Serving our community and giving back

This summer we had the opportunity to volunteer at a local camp right down the street from the bakery. Paradise Farm’s camp has an outreach program called The Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation, RISE program. This is in honor of Karen Hicks, who is the director, of her son who passed away at the young age of 17. Andrew had dedicated his time to serving others. He tutored inner city kids, hoping to bring a positive message to the children’s lives.

Today the camp brings in kids from middle school age to high school from Chester. They spend a week out in the country, exploring, learning and creating amazing memories. As a professional development program they just started at the camp, they invited professionals from different areas of trades. The Master’s Baker was asked to come in and teach the kids cake decorating.

Melissa had a great time teaching them everything from making icing, learning about the color wheel, the steps in making a cake, making buttercream roses and sculpting fondant flowers. Every day they would walk in each one would say “What are we learning today!?” The final day, the group got to decorate 60 cupcakes for the whole camp that night. These cupcakes were going to be served at the end as the dessert course. Each kid took their creative skills and went to town! It was a wonderful week and an experience we will treasure! Here are a few photos of the kids with Melissa.

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We look forward to volunteering next summer!

Cake toppers

Cake toppers have been a long-standing tradition with wedding cakes. On some accounts it can be traced back to the late 19th century. Toppers were a unique way to symbolize one’s love for one each other. They were originally made from gum paste or plaster and then in the early to mid 1900’s they were made from wood, paper, or wax.

Today we see many, many different types of cake toppers come through the bakery. Whether it be the classic monogram, customized bride and groom giving each other a “high five”, or adding their pets or favorite mascot into the mix. We have seen it all!

One bit of advice I’d like to share is when picking a cake topper, make sure it does not take away from the design of your wedding cake. Many couples choose a beautifully decorated wedding cake and have a very dramatic cake topper that takes your eye away from the decoration. It’s like wearing plaid pants and a zebra striped shirt…yikes!

Today there are hundreds of sites and stores to buy cake toppers from. My favorite is etsy.com. There you can find people who hand sculpt your topper and customize figures to look like the couple or match your wedding color! The possibilities are endless!

Below are just a few of the unique ones as well as a traditional topper. Happy picking!

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Aside

Summer party cakes that people remember

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Lazy fishing days

Summer days are the best as we think of the  warm beaches, colorful umbrellas,  long-awaited vacations, the crystal clear  pool, the fun and laughter,  good sing along music, bonding of  family, unexpected road trips, your bronze tan, gentle breezes,  juicy seedless watermelon, spontaneous picnics, and buttery corn on the cob.

It is also a fun time for partying, complete with a delicious TMB cake in one of our many flavors.  My favorite is the lemon raspberry or the carrot but a lot of people might like to differ with me.  Have you tried either one?  You should.  I have given you a few pics of some creative summer cakes for your party coming up.  Our shop usually closes over 4th of July but this year we will remain open.  We are able to create a spectacular July 5th cake, even with the sparklers.

This one would be perfect in red, white and blue with fireworks instead of the flowers.

Graduation Celebration

June was a lot more special to the Weldons this year because our first son and grandson graduated from high school.  Brandon, graduating with honors, is on his way to a South Carolina university this August to study Bus Adm for 4 years.  He has told us he hopes to one day work with his Aunt Julie’s new company.

Some of you might know Brandon from working Saturdays at our shop.  He was the tall, dark handsome teenager with the great smile.  He has been helping customers for about 3-4 years now and does a great job.  Certainly, we are going to miss him.

Here is a graduation pic with his current boss, his Aunt Christie.

Our newest bakery Intern, Matt, turns 21

Do you believe in coincidences?  I don’t!  I think that all things happen for a reason. While vacationing in Florida this past Valentine’s Day, my husband, Paul and I went out to dinner.  The restaurant was filled with only outside seating available, which we quickly accepted.  Another couple behind us did the same and  because of minimal seating,  they asked to sit with us.  We accepted gladly and quickly got to know one another.

They were from Illinois, he a 3,500 acre farmer and she, a landscape designer, with 4 children.  Conversation turned to my cake business and then to their son, Matt, who was in culinary school, needing an internship to graduate.  Since we accept interns, I suggested that maybe he could come to Pa to complete that internship, maybe even stay in our home, exchanging room and board for  weekly yard work.

Upon arriving home from the sunshine state, I rec’d an unexpected email from Matt requesting an internship.  He has been here since April doing a great job for us and for our property.  He has won the hearts of our staff with his dedicated skills, has entered the roller derby world as an official, and has beautified our property’s pond with a rock wall and plantings.  He is an asset all the way around.

Here is a pic of him celebrating his 21st birthday with us here in Pa, both with our family and in our shop.  Again congratulations Matt and we love you.

OUR Cake Tops for your Raspberry Cream Trifle

Just made a delicious, simple and inviting trifle for our family for Memorial Day   and thought I would share it with you.  It is so easy and fast, quickly drawing a crowd of ohs and ahs.  I call it Raspberry Cream Trifle but you can add any fruit that works for your family such as strawberries, peaches and blueberries.

Here’s my recipe:

1 14oz sweetened condensed milk, chilled

1 cup cold water

1 tsp almond extract

1 3.4 oz pkg of instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1 0r 2 tins of The Master’s Baker vanilla or choc cake tops cut in cubes

2 tbls raspberry jam

2 cups fresh raspberries, strawberries or any fruit

Decorate with fresh mint, if possible

Beat milk, water and extract.  Add pudding mix, whisk for 2 minutes until soft set.  Fold in whipped cream. Place half of cake cubes in glass dish, top with cream.  Carefully spread with jam, Sprinkle with 1 cup raspberries, Layer again as above.  Garnish with mint.  Serves 14-16

SO EASY…….SO GOOD

Zebra Print Cake

Found this on Pinterest, what a clever idea from this mom, so I just thought I would pass it on……..Jerie

This weekend I made the COOLEST cake for my daughter’s 7th birthday!  The theme was hot pink and black zebra print…and my question to myself was how in the world was I going to incorporate that into her birthday cake?  Well, below is exactly how I did that!
1 box of Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 box of Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix
3 cans of white icing
a small jar of “rose” colored (hot pink) gel icing to dye the icing
2 – 8″ round baking pans
We then went to work mixing the cake batters in separate bowls!
Once the batters were done, I took a 1/4 cup scoop of white batter and placed it in the center of one of the pans.
I then placed a 1/4 cup scoop of the chocolate batter in the center of the white batter.
I repeated the steps over until the pan was about 2/3 full, for each of the pans.  Each time I placed a scoop in the pan, I gently shook it to spread the batter.  Don’t worry if the batter starts to spread to one side of the pan, mine started to do this instead of staying in the middle of the pan…it’ll all work out 🙂
These are fairly new pans, only been used a few times, and I used Pam spray and have NEVER had a problem baking a cake in these pans…but for some reason, the odds were against me this time.  Probably because I was so confident and excited about this cake!…and it was super important to me because it was for Jocelyn’s party.  I highly recommend purchasing spray SPECIFICALLY made for baking!  If not, please please please grease your pans with shortening and lightly dust some flour in your pans!…because if you don’t, you risk the chances of this happening…..
I literally had a meltdown in my kitchen after this and had to walk away!  I had already spent hours baking and prepping for the party and done a million dishes and all I wanted was to finally be done.  WRONG!    So Jason, being the great guy he is, comforted me and ran to the store to get more supplies so I could start over.  Ugh.  When he returned, I gathered myself and got to work.  This time the cakes popped right out of the pans beautifully!
Below is the final product!  B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!

Painted Flowers by our designer, Erica

hand-painted-flowers-wedding-cake-trends-maggie-austinPainted Flowers
Hand-painted designs are a way to turn a wedding cake into nothing less than an edible canvas. I love how simple and delicate painted botanicals blend seamlessly with three-dimensional sugar flowers.  Did you know that we have an artist, Erica, on board here at The Master’s Baker, who is also a muralist.  She was just featured in the West Chester Art Show and has sold lots of paintings.  She is GOOD.

This is another idea of a unique wedding cake, quite modern and so pretty in purple, done with an airbrush.  We work with so many techniques here and are always experimenting with new tools.textile-inspired-wedding-cake-alexander-mcqueen-dress-cake-trends

Pedestal Cake Stands

Here a suggestion that you might consider.  Below is a picture of cake stands which elevates the cake and gives it greater presence.    Sarah’s Stands, which are not only beautiful in design but supportive enough for even the heaviest of cakes.  This purchase would be a perfect wedding gift as well as a necessary kitchen item for years to come.  These stands range from $120 to $315 depending on size since they are handmade and in your color.  Check around, just maybe a family or friend might give or loan you one of theirs.

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Below are two beautiful cake on stands featured in Sarah’s Gallery.  Check it out, there are lots of wedding cake ideas that might help you decide on your theme.

Cake StandCake Stand.