Gourmet Baked Goods

http://citrusspicebakery.com (801) 923-4117 citrusspicebakery@gmail.com

Custom wedding and party cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies, and French macarons.

All my products are made to be the most delicious you've ever eaten! Painstakingly tested recipes, innovative baking techniques, and the very best ingredients set them apart. Premium chocolates, Madagascar vanilla beans, real butter, fresh fruit, and premium toasted nuts.

Everything I make is from scratch, including my fondant, sugar paste and modeling chocolate.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vanilla Rose Cupcakes

In the Wilton cake decorating classes I took, you learn two different ways to do roses: piped, or sugar paste.  They are both beautiful, but the problem is, although they are both edible, they're not really yummy.  The piped roses are piped onto a "piping nail" on pieces of parchment paper, which allows you to turn the nail between the fingers of your left hand while piping petals with your right. These are made out of royal icing, which sets up overnight to form a crunchy sugar rose, which can then be placed on a cake/ cupcake/ whatever.  My kids love them - they taste like nothing but sugar.  For adult palates, though, "pure sugar" is not really a desirable flavor!  It's a pet peeve of mine in baking that so much of it is beauty over taste - good taste is routinely sacrificed for the look the baker is trying to achieve.

In any case, I decided to make these vanilla rose cupcakes with the most delicious frosting of all: French buttercream.  The nice thing about French buttercream is, it will harden when cold.  Professional bakers use it (or Swiss buttercream, which is almost the same thing) for this reason under fondant, because it will set hard like a rock after a few minutes in the fridge, and then you have a smooth, hard surface to place the fondant onto, resulting in the beautiful finish you see on professional wedding cakes.

So, I piped my French buttercream roses onto parchment paper squares on the flower nail, and then I placed the squares carefully on a small baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes.  The roses solidified, and I could then peel them off the parchment squares and stick them on the cupcakes.  10 minutes later, the roses were thawed, and the cupcakes delicious and ready to eat!

Pi Day

It's every baker's favorite holiday - Pi day!  You know, 3/14... 3.14...  Ok, I know, I'm a nerd!  But I do have a bachelor's degree in math, and I love to bake, so you do the math!  (ha ha ha)

To celebrate the (ahem) holiday, I made these chocolate raspberry truffle tarts.  They are the ultimate in decadence: a crisp, butter shortbread crust filled with dark chocolate raspberry ganache, and drizzled with pureed fresh raspberries.  

The ganache filling is what you use to make truffles, so it is basically a truffle with pie crust!  First, you get the rich, creamy, chocolate, and a burst of the sweet-tart raspberry cuts in.  Then the crispy crunch of the shortbread crust, and at the end, a hit of salt from the crust, intensifying all the flavors.

Happy Pi day everyone!

Elephant Baby Shower!

My step-sister is expecting her first baby, and she had her baby shower this weekend.  The invitations were adorable, with yellow hearts and the sweetest little baby elephant.  As soon as I saw the invitation, I knew it had to become a cake!  She had already asked me to do cupcakes to match the invitation, so I made both!

The cake is coconut (my step-sister's favorite!) with key lime filling and coconut Swiss meringue buttercream.  I made homemade coconut fondant and covered the cake in it, and also made the heart border, and elephant topper.

For the cupcakes, I did a dozen each of coconut with key lime filling and coconut Swiss buttercream, and also chocolate cupcakes with cherry pie filling and cream cheese buttercream.  I made little elephants and hearts matching the cake and invitation out of sugar paste to stick on top!  If you look really closely, I used a piece of yellow sugar paper and a little heart punch to make tiny yellow heart sprinkles, which are on the heart toppers and also sprinkled on top of the cupcakes.

As cute as the cake and cupcakes are, I can't wait to see my new baby niece, Matilda!  She will be cutest of all!

Chocolate and Raspberry Macarons

I got an order for chocolate and raspberry French macarons this week.

I love making macarons - they are so much fun to make, because they are truly challenging.  I made 10 unsuccessful batches before I finally got my recipe to where I had success every time.  All the "unsuccessful" batches were very delicious - they just had cracks, or didn't develop the little ruffled "feet" at the bottoms, or weren't perfectly round, etc.  In any case, basic macarons only have 5 ingredients: almond flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter.  That includes both the cookie and the meringue buttercream filling!  Only the French could take 5 tiny ingredients and invent something so diabolical with them!

Macarons are a huge trend in Paris and New York right now, but they're pretty hard to find anywhere else.  There are a couple of bakeries here in Utah which sell them, but I have visited them and found out that the macarons they sell are not made at their bakeries - they import them from France or New York.  One baker said she tried to make them, and it was too hard, and she didn't have the time to invest in figuring out how to do it.  She also stopped importing them, because it was too expensive.  Of the macarons I've tried here in Utah, and also in Las Vegas, the Utah ones are sad indeed.  You can tell that they are not fresh.  The Las Vegas ones were much better, but still not as fresh tasting as the ones I make, which are, in fact, fresh!

In any case, when the trend finally makes it to Utah in, oh, 10 years... I'll be ready!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bridal Shower Cake

I got hired to make a bridal shower cake this week, and I was really excited, because the client gave me the colors, cake size, and flavors, but left the rest up to me!  I had been wanting to do a buttercream ruffle technique on a cake for a while, and figured this was my perfect opportunity!  Since the outside would look ruffly, I decided to make some large ruffly flowers to go on it.

The lighting was bad in this first picture, so the flowers don't show their full color, as they do in the pictures below.  The colors were yellow, dark blue, and silver.

I just love how the ruffle technique comes out!  It's so feminine and frilly!

Everything on the cake is edible... including the beautiful silver sugar pearls.  

The inside was chocolate cake with chocolate Swiss buttercream between the layers, and vanilla Swiss buttercream outside for the ruffles.  You definitely want to use less-sweet Swiss buttercream for this, as it requires a LOT of frosting!


My church was having an activity - a birthday party for all the women - and they decided to make the decoration theme be the movie "Up."  Such a cute movie!  The main thing you have to know, if you haven't seen "Up," is that an old man decides to take the adventure he and his wife had always planned, but didn't get around to, and so he tied a TON of balloons to his house, and it flew in the air.

The woman in charge of the activity, asked me if I could make cupcakes for the event, and demonstrate how to do a frosting swirl on top with a piping bag and tip.  She thought there would be 40-50 ladies attending, but she called me the day before with the final count, and it was 90-100!  And so, I got to work, making 50 chocolate and 50 vanilla cupcakes, and a LOT of whipped vanilla American buttercream.  I left 24 of the vanilla cupcakes unfrosted for the demonstration part.

For the "UP" decoration, I made 100 circles in blue sugar paste, and mounted them on sticks of spaghetti.  I use spaghetti for two reasons: first, it is edible, so when a cute little kid decides to grab a decoration and pop it in his mouth, it is fine, and he will not impale his mouth with a toothpick!  Also, spaghetti has starch, and so when I brush my sugar paste decorations with a bit of water, and stick the spaghetti on, a bit of the outside starch melts in the water, along with sugar in the sugar paste, and it makes a totally tight fuse when it dries.  I have had problems with decorations falling off of toothpicks and florist wire, but spaghetti makes an awesome seal.  Once the circles were dry, I brushed one side with a bit of water and sprinkled on multi-color circle sprinkles.  Once that was dry, I had perfect little "balloon balls" that looked like the cluster of balloons from the movie.

Sadly, I neglected to take a picture of my display, with all 100 cupcakes frosted and topped with their toppers.  It sure was cute, and every cupcake got devoured!

Chocolate Mint Brownies

The first time I ever had chocolate mint brownies was at my friend's house, where she was hosting our book club. This was before I had kids, and before my baking days, 7 or 8 years ago, probably.  I thought they were amazing - a layer of brownies, a layer of delicious green mint frosting, and a layer of chocolate on the top.  I tried to make them myself one time, and it was a disaster - the warm melted chocolate melted the mint frosting and just turned into a swirly chocolate mint buttercream mess... still delicious, though.  Fast forward to present-day, when I was having my kids' grandparents over for their piano recital and dinner afterward.  I hadn't thought about the 3 layer mint brownies in years, but as I was deciding what to make for dessert, I remembered them, and realized I had all the ingredients already!

Now that I am an accomplished baker, I knew I had to do several things differently than I had on my first unsuccessful try.  First, I used my favorite homemade brownie recipe - not a box mix! - and then I cooled them completely before adding a homemade whipped peppermint buttercream, dyed pink because I make everything pink when it's up to me :).  Then, I refrigerated the frosted brownies to make sure the buttercream would be very cold and very hard, so it wouldn't melt.  While that was chilling, I made up chocolate ganache and let it cool to room temperature, to further combat melting, before spreading it over the brownies.  Back into the fridge, and it all set up beautifully.  I was overly proud of how they came out... just because of the previous failure!


It's March, so in my mind, spring is here, even if my lawn is still covered in snow... I decided to give Mother Nature an extra hint and bake some delicious springtime flower cookies!  These are my favorite sugar cookies: crisp at the edges, but soft inside, and not too sweet so they go well with the delicious buttercream on top.  I used whipped American buttercream for these, which is so light, fluffy, and delicious... and very sweet, which is perfect for a cookie.

I met some friends for lunch, and brought these for dessert.  Yum!