Sunday, June 15, 2014


With a tasting and a wedding last week, plus many upcoming projects on the horizon it's been a busy wedding season so far for Morgan Phillips Cakes! I am so excited today to share a preview of the cakes I did for my sister's wedding last weekend. The professional photos are forthcoming, but for now I can't resist posting a few of the behind the scenes action.

The general consensus was cakelets > cupcakes. Stay tuned for many more details and pictures of how it all came together. Make sure to click back and check out the planning of this wedding to see these pretty little cakelets came to be.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Smith Island Cake

Before going to pastry school, I graduated from Washington College in Maryland with a four year degree in Business Management. My school is located on Maryland's Eastern shore and it is a place very near and dear to my heart - food traditions included. The Smith Island Cake is the state cake of Maryland (respect to any state that has a 'state cake') and it was historically made for the watermen to take out to sea with them as a reminder of home. It is a perilously high stacked yellow cake with anywhere from 8-15 layers and frosted with a boiled fudge icing to keep the cake from spoiling or drying out at sea. The look of a traditional Smith Island Cake is very rustic from the ooey-gooey fudge frosting.

In my latest class we had an assignment to make a "control" dessert and then re-create it following three separate dietary restrictions but preserving the taste and appearance of the dessert. For my project I did a Smith Island Cake with gluten-free, vegan and reduced calorie versions.

 To make the cake gluten free, I replaced the cake flour in the recipe with a blend of rice flours, vegetable starches and powdered egg whites. The frosting and sauce are the same recipes as the control. (**For the purposes of this class we did not prepare these specific desserts keeping cross contamination in mind, however with enough advanced notice I can offer a gluten-free cake that is safe for someone with severe Celiac's Disease to consume**).

The vegan version was a slightly more drastic departure from the traditional Smith Island Cake, but still ended up tasting surprisingly similar. The "yellow" cake actually had tofu in it to build structure instead of eggs and I replaced the dairy milk with almond milk. The traditional fudge frosting is pretty jam packed with animal fats, so for a vegan version I changed the idea entirely. This frosting is made using a ripe avocado, cocoa powder and a little vegan powdered sugar. It is still every bit as "fudge-y" but completely void of animal products and as a bonus - less than half the original calories. This one was actually my favorite cake out of all of them!

For the reduced calorie version I was able to cut out over 25% of the calories in the original cake by replacing whole eggs with egg whites, using a sugar substitute and using a combination of oil and plain yogurt to replace the fat. The cake ended up lighter and fluffier than the original and a lot of people who stopped by our presentation even liked it better.

My class prepared sample sizes of each of their desserts and set up a presentation for any students, faculty of tour groups who happened to be walking by. It was great to get feedback from an impartial audience on recipes that I had developed myself and will most definitely be using in the future. 

Any version of this yellow cake can be easily translated into a tiered or sculpted cake and is not just available in its "Smith Island" version. Contact me today for all your cake related dietary needs! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bachelorette Book Cake

When I was first asked to make a cake for my sister's bachelorette party, I wasn't super thrilled with the resultsof my initial 'bachelorette cake ideas' google search. I know the traditions of a bachelorette party run deep, but, c'mon now, a cake should look appetizing. Enter a new idea: a bachelorette cake in the shape of one of the bride's favorite things, like a groom's cake but just for her. 

My sister is a writer and she and her fiance love books more than anyone I know. A book cake seemed like the perfect way to pay homage to their love story, and it is definitely a safe departure from the "bachelorette" norm. 

In between the pages of this book are layers of citrus chiffon cake, homemade blueberry compote and cream cheese filling. This cake is actually covered in fondant and decorated with hand made gumpaste hydrangea, stephanotis, rose buds and hyacinth.

[Embracing the photo-ready MRS. koozie]
It was a classy and elegant cake for my classy and elegant bride-sister and most importantly it was delicious too. She's cleaned up in the cake department this past year and we're getting dangerously close to her big day of cake eating ( I mean marrying...). If you missed the details of her wedding cakes or her bridal shower cake, be sure to check out those too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Limoncello Cheesecake Truffles

Debuting a light (ahem, -er) treat for you today inspired by the warmer weather and sunshine we are finally getting up here in New York (three months left!). Limoncello cheesecake truffles. Not that they need more description or convincing, but you're going to get a little bit anyway.

They're made from lemon chiffon cake that has been soaked with a healthy douse of limoncello and citrus cream cheese filling. After being formed into truffles they were dunked in a refreshing lemon glaze and dipped into toasted graham cracker crumbs. 

Irresistibly sized and flavored, cake truffles make the perfect addition to dessert bars, special occasions or snack times. [Click here to view bourbon caramel, and ice cream sundae versions]

pssst....the limoncello cake truffles in this picture are sitting a top one of my favorite cake plates that I rent for free with the purchase of a cake or gourmet dessert item- check out the entire collection here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cake Plates

Through the years I've accumulated what's bordering on a crazy (but handy!) cake plate collection. There's thrifted plates, gifted plates, and even ones simply found on sale at target. But any and all can be rented for free for to use at your event as long as it's displaying one of my cakes or a collection of gourmet desserts. The plate is the quiet winner to any great dessert display and an important part of the cake plan if you ask me.  A pretty little cake needs a pretty little seat!



6", 8", 10"




center 6", outside 10"

fits 9" pie or cake plates

9" pie tins

6", 8", 10", 12" cupcake stand

Embellished silver lazy susan
(14" cake sits flat)

3" pedestals

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Contemporary Birthday Cakes

Stepping out of the bridal realm for a post on a contemporary version of the classic birthday or occasion cake. I've never been one who needs an occasion to eat cake but for those of you who do, please allow me to introduce you to the entremet. An entremet (meaning 'between meals' in French, because they needed a word for that whole cake they eat between meals...) is a type of mousse cake that is built in a metal ring and contains layers of multiple different textures and flavors encased in a singular exterior mousse. It is garnished with the purpose of serving it whole to a person or party, who may then slice it up and share it (...or not). Because of the petite size and easily frozen nature of the entremet, you'll find them most frequently in upscale restaurants or bakeries reserved for guests with a special occasion. I just took a whole class devoted to these little gems in pastry school and I thought they were too cute and delicious not to share.

The best part about an entremet is how many different layers of texture you can incorporate into one. A particular flavor can be repeated multiple ways to make a strong statement, or you can build an interesting blend of different ones. Because it is created in a mold, you can use both hard and soft textures with ease without worrying as much about structure. The entremet pictured below has a spicy gingersnap cookie on the bottom, a blueberry jam, an almond cake and a marscarpone mousse on the exterior. The colored band is a decor sponge cake that we 'camouflaged' using brightly dyed cake batter, and there is a raspberry glaze on the top to finish.

Entremets come in all shapes and sizes like this buche de noel mold. The ends are sliced off to reveal the gorgeous layers inside of sugar cookie, blueberry jam, citrus chiffon cake, blueberry compote, basil mousse and lemon mousse. This one is also glazed with a raspberry glaze and garnished with sugar decor items.

Now this one, this one, is modeled after the Take 5 candy bar. Yes. It is a chocolate cookie crust followed by a chocolate pretzel crunch, a caramel cremeux (similar to a mousse), chopped peanuts, a chocolate flour-less cake and a peanut butter mousse. Then the whole thing is en-robed with caramel glaze and garnished with chocolate. It really is as good as it sounds.

I saved my favorite for last though. As much as I love chocolate and peanut butter, the textures and flavors of this last entremet jive with me the most. 

 It is a modern version of the classic carrot cake with a hazelnut cookie crust, raspberry jam, carrot cake, strawberry gelee (almost like a jelly), and cream cheese exterior mousse. To finish this cake I sprayed a hot glaze of white chocolate (dyed orange) onto the frozen cake using a paint spray gun from the hardware store. The warm chocolate sets instantly when it makes contact with the frozen cake and creates a velvety, slightly crunchy texture. It's garnished with chocolate and dried, candied orange slices.

An entremet is the perfect platform to experiment with new flavor/texture combos and really be inventive. They also make a beautiful centerpiece for a birthday or your next special occasion. For your flavor inspiration, any of the mousse flavors listed could be used as a filling in a more traditional type of birthday or wedding cake to make the concept more practical for larger events too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bridal Shower Cupcake Cake

I've been busy working on lots of cakes coming your way soon, but I wanted to check in quickly today with this bridal shower cake I recently made:

The design was simple and functional- two dozen cupcakes arranged in the form of a wedding dress to match the theme of the event but be easy to grab and mingle.

These little cakes are tangy and tender citrus pound cake paired with a lavender cream cheese frosting. The floral scent of the lavender brings out the brightness in the citrus beautifully. I wrapped a white tulle sash around the middle to finish and garnished with delicate yellow flowers for some flare. 

This style of cake makes a sweet centerpiece to shower your favorite bride anytime. This getting married business is definitely an excuse to eat a lot of cake!