A Big 2018 Thank you!

Hello All!

I wanted to extend a huge thank you to all of our clients in the 2018 calendar year! And what a wonderful year of growth and opportunity it has been! I’ve been so grateful for your trust in our designs, for not fearing colour, being open to modern drama and accents, and for allowing us the chance to become a part of your very special memories! From parents helping to plan their children’s weddings and parties (often at a distance), to brides and grooms envisioning their wedding celebrations, and of course our event planner friends working to coordinate their client’s visions, thank you for having us and we look forward to working with each of you again in the coming year!

With so many wonderful experiences, I wanted to share a few of the highlights for our 2018 year:

  • Monthly Tasting Dates - With Engagement Season spanning the 6 weeks from Christmas Day to Valentine’s Day, our Monthly Tasting Dates for the first few months of the year were a huge hit! Scheduling your tastings in advance means that we can offer a wider selection of available flavour options for your sampling, and gets your wedding cakes secured on our calendar straight away. We will be continuing these Monthly Tasting Dates in 2019, with available dates and spaces published via our Social Media accounts - Facebook & Instagram. Stay tuned, and please share the news with any couples that you know who are in newly engaged!

  • Wedding Wire World - As a Business Owner, it is crucial me to stay up to date with the technology and trends of my industry, and build connections with other vendors. Traveling to Los Angeles this past year for WW World offered me just that! This is a way that we can continue to offer you (our clients!) excellence of service and a quality custom cake! Creativity lives in my soul, but a continued industry education provides for our clients an easer means of communication throughout your entire experience with us, from our first chat to the safe delivery of your cake, and beyond!

  • Technology - Speaking of tech, this year we’ve updated our internal systems to Dubsado which has created a much more seamless means of communication with you, including receiving and viewing your proposals, e-signing contracts, paying for invoices, and also gives you the means to upload any images or links that you’d like me to be aware of. This makes the business aspect of your ordering process a breeze so that we can focus on the creativity and design of your cakes… which, let’s face it, is way more fun!

  • YOU! - This year wouldn’t be possible without you! Your patronage, your references and reviews, your support by liking/sharing our Facebook and Instagram posts, and mostly your trust… it means the world to me! This business grew from a passion of baking to feed hearts and create wonderful memories! It has been my honour and pleasure to become a part of your events this year!

We’re looking forward to another wonderful year! See you in 2019!

All the best,

Leah Younan

Owner/Cake Artist, The Mix Baking Co.

www.themixbakingco.com

Predicted Trends for 2018 Wedding Season

If you’re planning your 2018 Wedding now, and you’re perhaps a bit stuck creatively, here are some trends that wedding industry professional are predicted for this year’s season! While some trends come and go, others are here to stay as we see a generational shift in the traditions surrounding weddings. Finding inspiration not only from tradition but also new and modern trends is a great way to make the choices that best represent you and your fiancé(e) as you move towards your special day and a lifetime of happiness together!

 

COLOUR

White monochrome is always a classic option, yet more and more couples are choosing to incorporate vibrant colours into their wedding palette, and even into their cake design! Wedding professionals are predicting that we’ll be seeing Apricots and Butter Yellows this year in addition to variations of Pantone’s colour of the year – Ultra Violet. This means that we’ll be seeing colours like lavender and burgundy, deep romantic merlots, and vibrant regal purples, complimented by or perhaps along with those hues of natural yellow. In some cases, getting those rich colours in your cake design can be done using fruits like berries, figs, plums, and apricots. In other cases, using food dyes to as nearly match your wedding colour palettes as possible may be what’s best for your preferred design.

 

DESIGN TRENDS

In 2017, we began seeing trends towards metallic golds, and rose gold in specific. Gold is set, and likely won’t be going anywhere for some time. That said, wedding professionals expect to see a shift in metallic accents towards Silver rather than Gold. Silver would be a lovely accent in industrial settings and against natural backdrops, picking up light for a dramatic effect. Whether you prefer an understated accent of metallic silver painted on your cake or entire tiers covered in edible food grade silver leaf, this accent is a sure way to elevate your wedding décor and bring a modern touch to your cake design.

Along with metallic accents, natural stone textures like marble as well as geometric accents are predicted to reign over wedding décor this coming year. Imagine a cake with hexagonal or square tiers, or even a cake stand that includes a geometric shape base. Even if you’re leaning towards something a bit more traditional, there are plenty of ways to add small geometric touches to your cake design. As cake artist, this is where we come in, incorporating all of the elements of design that you love in a cohesive and custom wedding cake for you and your guests to enjoy!

 

FLORALS/GREENERY

Using fresh flowers will never go out of style. There’s something about bringing the beauty of nature to cake design that you just can’t beat. We are seeing movement not necessarily away from fresh flowers, but rather to include a larger array of greenery. Branches and greenery, even fresh herbs, are being used more and more in wedding décor in general and, most certainly, on wedding cakes. When it comes to florals and greenery, our goal is to ensure not only the design aesthetic that you’re after but also food safety through thorough preparing of each flower and stem added to your cake design.

 

STYLED DESSERT TABLES

A growing trend in weddings is to offer a variety of sweets to guests in addition to your cake. While traditional wedding cakes will never go out of style, many couples are choosing to add on items such as cakesicles, cookies, macarons, meringues, tartlettes, dipped oreos and pretzels, and the ever beloved cupcake. While candy and dessert buffets have been trending for a while now, the difference here is how stylized the tables have become. The use of backdrops, unique stands and platters, and an assortment of colours, shapes, and heights, give guests not only an array of treats to choose from, but also a visually appealing presentation to match the preferred aesthetic of your wedding décor.

Deciding how many of each item can be the hardest part of this route. It is recommended to have at least 3-4 items per guest. If you’re planning to serve a custom tiered wedding cake, you can drop that recommendation to 2-3 items per guest. Having a variety of sweets is great, but this does also allow room to get creative with flavours! If your wedding cake is all one flavour, these other treats give you room to feature other flavours that you enjoy, and perhaps also give opportunity for those guests with food allergies or restrictions to likewise enjoy treats.

 

WEDDING SEASON

Traditionally, wedding season peaks in the summer time. We are seeing a trend of weddings moving towards the fall. Wedding Wire, a leading Wedding Industry platform, states: “1 in 3 couples now get married in the fall, and nearly 15% of all weddings take place in October.” Securing your date with your vendors and venue well in advance may be the best way to ensure you get the wedding date that you prefer. That said, California in the summer and fall is still quite hot.  Especially because we are seeing movement towards outdoor weddings, ensuring that you have a place to store your wedding cake until your cutting ceremony or service is very important.

Cakes are baked fresh and we use high quality ingredients. Cakes are susceptible to extreme heat and direct sunlight. Making sure that you have a space indoors, covered from direct sunlight, on a stable and level table, in a room that is no more than 75 degrees F will be the best way to ensure your cake’s quality. Please keep in mind that a Semi-Naked Buttercream Cake filled with fruit placed on a cake table outdoors in the middle of July heat in Northern California probably won’t make it. We’d love it to, but it probably won’t. Benefiting from our experience, we can offer tips and design tricks to make sure that your cake dreams come true, and we can coordinate with your day-of planners and venue to ensure the quality and integrity of your perfect wedding cake.

 

Our aim is excellence in custom flavours and design, and also in customer service! Getting you closer to your perfect wedding by providing a delicious custom designed cake that represents you and your partner and the love you share is our joy! Get in touch today to schedule your Wedding Cake Tasting and Consultation! (www.themixbakingco.com/contact) 

 

 

Leah Younan

Owner & Cake Artist, The Mix Baking Co.

www.themixbakingco.com

 

 

Cake: My Artistic Medium of Choice

Many times, I’ve been asked how I got into “doing cakes”. The simple answer is that I’ve always loved to bake and that I’ve always had a soft spot (I’m not literally talking about my thighs here, but… yeah, it applies) for cake, and chocolate, and pastries. But how did I turn that love of eating cake into the love of baking it for others, and what’s more, how did I figure out that this was the best expression of my creativity?

When it comes to baking, I have too many memories to count. Coming from a Hungarian household, many of our holidays were spent helping Mom and Grandma whip up cookies, handmade doughnuts, tortes, layer cakes, and a variety of other delicious treats! Sometimes we’d wait all year long just to make doughnuts at Christmas or have Grandma’s apricot and honey wafer torte at Easter. And don’t even get me going about Grandma’s chocolate cake – my birthday request every year, without fail! The experience of baking with women who knew their way around the kitchen prepped my palate for delicious homemade sweets and set the foundation for my passion. In a heavily Lebanese and Italian neighbourhood, the variety of sweets available afforded me an appreciation for many flavour profiles. When the term “foodie” became popular, I had finally found the right word to describe myself. While I appreciate a plethora of dessert options from around the world, the fusion thereof has always been appealing.  Grandma’s rich chocolate cake is still my go-to comfort food, but I’m constantly dreaming (yes, literally dreaming) of new combinations and ideas for delicious cakes and treats!

I’ve always loved cooking and baking for others. If you ask me, that old idiom “the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is applicable to everyone. Breaking bread is universally understood to be one of the most welcoming and loving gestures. So when I think about cakes, I’m not just imagining a cake. I’m imagining a family, a group of friends, an entire wedding of guests, coworkers and their bosses, all coming together to share cake and build memories with one another. With every cake I bake and spend hours decorating, love is the number one and most important ingredient. (Oh God, it’s so corny but I love it anyways!!) Like music has the power to be the soundtrack of your memory, my passion is to make your cake the flavour of your event, the focus and light of your experience!

Through love, I was blessed with a son. And that little boy is my everything. When his first birthday rolled around, I knew I wanted to make it special! Without much decorating experience until that point with traditional tiered cakes, I set out to make him a 3 tiered monster of a birthday cake. Well, it was a monster aesthetically speaking but it was one of the best cakes I have ever made! Vanilla cake, dark chocolate ganache, fresh raspberries – super decadent; and way above the palate of a 1 year old! For his 2nd birthday, he got a vanilla Elmo cake and a chocolate Cookie Monster cake. And I was on a roll! For his 3rd birthday, my airplane and peanut butter obsessed boy got a peanut butter and chocolate cake with an airplane runway and DIY style airplanes flying overhead, and buttercream puff clouds. By then, 3 years in, I realized, this was more than just love of my son, this was a love of cake and how I could use it artistically to express my love. It was more than a delicious treat; it was a means of communicating a clear message (in this case: “I see you, my boy. I know everything about you. And I love you. Happy birthday!”) I kept staring at the photos of that cake thinking, ‘This is more than just cake!’  And it clicked. I want to do this! I want to be take part in helping others express their love and their joy! The Mix Baking Co. was born. And over the course of the next year, I set out to perfect my skills. Still to this day, every cake makes me a better designer. Every new flavour combination makes me a better batter baker. (Say that 10 times fast: “better batter baker, better batter baker, better batt…”) Every new trend presents a new opportunity to grow.

There is no shortage of inspiration in the world when you see it through sugar eyes. The colours of a sunset, the gentle folds of a perfect rose, the way fabric drapes on a wedding dress, the intricate designs embroidered into a rug, the sleek air duct work in an industrial style coffee house. It’s everywhere. By no means did I ever imagine myself conventionally good at art. I was never exceptional with a coloured pencil and piece of paper as a kid. But as an adult, when cake is canvas and only the most delicious buttercream, or edible paint and colours are presented to me, everything just clicks. I go into Cake Land, and I live there. It’s one of my favourites places in the world. It calms me and genuinely makes me happy; it’s therapy to me! And that’s what good art has the power to do, isn’t it? I’m always working to grow and be better. Cake is my artistic medium of choice. And with those skills that I constantly cultivate, my art – the cakes that my clients so enjoy – can represent for them and for me an expression of happiness and love.

Eat, Pray, Love, right?

 

Leah Younan

Owner & Cake Artist, The Mix Baking Co.

www.themixbakingco.com

Cake Design: Tradition or Trend

A generation or two ago, cake design preferences often originated from our experiences: what we had seen at weddings/celebrations that we’d previously attended or perhaps what we had seen in a movie. These days, with the advent of social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest, the options seem endless and the decision daunting. How do you know if you’re making the right choice for your cake design? Is this really your preference or are you just familiar with this design? Is it what you think is expected of you? Perhaps what you have in mind may match your colour scheme but not your personal taste.

Cake design is best and most meaningful when it is custom and unique to you! You may have a general idea that you’d like to discuss with us, but perhaps you also have a favourite flower, or colour, or experience that you’d like expressed in your cake.  Discussing with us your design preference can often mean sharing with us the story of your love, of your life, which you are celebrating with your guests. Cake is a delicious artistic medium! The design that you choose can help tell your story all while coordinating to your décor, your colours, and your taste.

Traditional white monochrome cakes with detailed piping work are absolutely gorgeous, and we love creating them for our couples!! That said, there are a variety of other newer options available and we take great joy in helping our couples find the cake design that is just right for them. Some of the recent cake trends are here to stay. Let’s explore them:

 

Naked/Semi-Naked Cake

This rustic design is perfect for feminine, delicate décor or countryside affairs. The exposed or “naked” effect came about as a result of the “laid-back” or barn venue wedding. Instead of having lavishly piped, traditional designs, brides wanted something with a rustic feel to coordinate to their decor. Often paired with flowers and fruit, this design has become just as common for outdoor events in the countryside as it is for event halls in downtown venues. It is versatile and pairs well with a variety of decoration choices including edible gold leaf, semi-drip effects, and metallic touches, as well as burlap borders, and lace.

 

Modern Metallic & Geometric

If you prefer an Art Deco style and enjoy sharp/defined lines, colour blocking, or even marbled fondant effect, this design style might be right for you. Having metallic effects on your cake can blend beautifully with modern and industrial venues. What is becoming quite familiar with modern cake design is extra tall or “double barrel” cake tiers. Double barrel means creating multiple tiers of the same size structurally but decorating them as one to create the effect of an extended or tall tier. Having a variety of tier heights can add interest to your cake design, taking it away from the traditional sizing. Including geometric shapes or having select cake tiers different shapes than others (cubes, hexagons, or the like) will allow your cake to stand out among your decor.

 

Textured Buttercream

There are so many options with the finish of a buttercream. We could create texture resembling waves, brush strokes, or, of course, a smooth finish… perhaps upon which you might find more traditional piping, floral designs, and much more! A growing trend in buttercream cakes is watercolour, a technique whereby a blending of buttercream in multiple shades creates an interesting colour effect. This can be paired with any number of textures but often adds dimension and allows the cake design to coordinate with event colour schemes. Along with multiple textures and colours of buttercream, a trend is emerging now: painted buttercream! Using buttercream like an acrylic paint, texturing coloured buttercream with brush strokes to create flowers, mountain or forest landscapes, and a variety of other textured art, can elevate your wedding cake to a truly unique piece of art where cake is the canvas! Though this painted cake effect can also be accomplished on a fondant covered cake, the raised texture of the buttercream adds an element of 3D to your final design. And while buttercream is often associated with traditional cake design, due to its versatility, it can do most anything.

 

Choosing your cake design is one of the most fun elements of wedding planning (along with your tasting, of course)! Get in touch today to discuss your many cake design options. We are happy to create a unique piece of cake art for your wedding, celebration, or corporate event!

 

Leah Younan

Owner & Cake Artist, The Mix Baking Co.

www.themixbakingco.com

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Deciding On Your Wedding Cake

Whether you’ve been dreaming about your wedding since you were young or just starting to imagine it now, your wedding is a special day meant to celebrate you and your fiancé! The glitz and glamour represented in movies is a dream meant for some, yet others dream of small gatherings at a family farm, destination weddings, or an informal industrial setting for cocktails and cake. Whatever wedding you choose, your cake should represent your personal favourite taste and aesthetic. But how do you choose your preferred cake? Let’s explore a few of the main factors in your wedding cake decisions:

 

Flavour

You love chocolate and caramel, and your fiancé loves strawberries and cream. You love mocha, and your fiancé loves pistachio. Perhaps you both already know exactly what flavour of cake you typically order when out. Perhaps you feel like your guests expect a certain flavour to be offered. Sure! Let’s do that! If you know your favourite flavour from the get-go, perfect!  But perhaps you have certain flavour common to your cultural background that you’d like to explore. Or perhaps, as in my case, you have a particularly fond memory with the love of your life. You know the kind; the one that reminds you not only of the flavours, but the sounds, the setting, and the company with whom you enjoyed it all. For me, that meant sitting on the back porch of a Bed and Breakfast in my hometown, sipping on white chocolate raspberry hot cocoa (a concoction of the hostess), while listening to Edith Piaf on a humid summer’s night on a trip to show my love where I grew up.  White chocolate and Raspberry are a traditional pairing, but after that day that flavour profile means more to us. Maybe you have a night like this… a memory like this that you’d like to pay tribute to. I have an “open menu” which allows us to put those memories on your plate, and share that memory with your wedding guests, perhaps it might even make a cute anecdote during speeches!

 

Design

You might be scanning through every bridal magazine in the country, and you ou may have a Pinterest board dedicated to your wedding, but for some reason you can’t quite imagine how to put together all of the elements that you love. Creating a piece of art for your wedding can seem daunting but that’s where I come in. Bringing other planned elements of your wedding (colour schemes, location, pictures of your dress, etc) to a tasting and consultation can help us build a cake that fully represents you and your fiancé joining together as one. It can fun and funky, it can be clean and traditional, or it can be edgy and modern.  Having a larger vision of your wedding celebration can help focus us so that we are creating a piece that not only coordinates, but compliments the other elements of your wedding celebration.

 

Price

Setting your price point can be a helpful tool when planning your wedding in general. It helps keep you on track and reduces your stress as the wedding date approaches. That said, a Custom Designed Wedding Cake is not a grocery store cake. It doesn’t taste like grocery store cake. It doesn’t look like a grocery store cake. Everything about our custom wedding cake experience is unique and from scratch. You get custom designs, flavours and cakes made fresh just for you! So, it stands to reason that a custom wedding cake will cost more than a grocery store cake. Hours (and hours and hours) of intricate labour and design, premium ingredients, and a genuine love of the art goes into every one of my cakes. Creating a range for your price point rather than deciding on a particular fixed number might be a better way to approach a custom creation. Your wedding cake helps build memories for you and your guests. In my book, cake is priority #1 after finding the right person to share it with!

 

These 3 factors of choosing your wedding cake can vary drastically from one couple to the next but having the flavour and design that best fit your price point can create a standout element of your wedding and become the foundation of wonderful memories to come!

 

Leah Younan

Owner & Cake Artist, The Mix Baking Co.

www.themixbakingco.com

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