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Once Upon a Time Sugar Art Collaboration

Are you a fan of ABC’s Once Upon a Time? To be honest, I have not seen the show….that is until I was invited by Brittani Diehl from Layde Cakes to join in on a Sugar Art Collaboration last year. Brittani and I have never met, so I was flattered that she recognized my work and chose me to be part of this creative collective. How could I say “No”? This would be an amazing opportunity to not only expand my network of fellow cake/sugar artists, but also challenge myself and my creativity. Here is what the collaboration was about described in Brittani’s words:

Once upon a time… a group of cake and cookie artists from all across the realms came together to create magical works of art that are made entirely from sugar.

The purpose of this collaboration is to bring people together to represent the heroes and villains of the Once Upon A Time series and to show our sugar magic to the world.

Challenge accepted!

Next thing I had to do was binge watch about 4 seasons with about 20+ episodes each. I became a little obsessed. With about 2 seasons in, we were able to choose our characters/themes from the show. I already knew I wanted a villain, and I was lucky enough to get Maleficent. Each time her story was featured, I payed extra close attention and even screen shot some images (okay a LOT of images) that would potentially help in my design.

We had about a year to come up with something and submit our work via hi-def photos. We also had to keep this collaboration on the down low as to not spoil the magic. The grand reveal finally happened during the Season 6 Premiere on Sunday September 25. I love how this piece turned out and I am so proud to share it with you.

Before I share MY grand reveal, here are a few photos of the process…


My Inspiration: Maleficent may be considered a villain, but understanding her story, her actions may be warranted. She is a misunderstood shape-shifting dragon that spews fire, but all she really wants to do is protect her home and her dragon egg. Once we learn about her daughter Lily and how she was betrayed by the Charmings, we can sympathize with Maleficent. She’s just a mother that lost her child and so desperately wants her back. 

The cake shows Maleficent both in human and dragon form. The top tier is inspired by her human form with her dragon staff where her powers come from. The design comes from her iconic Maleficent dress and horned headpiece from OUAT. The bottom tier is her dragon form where her tail is protecting her egg. She’s on the defensive, no fire, just a mother protecting her own. The middle tier represents that transformation, with hints of purple haze as she shape shifts from human to dragon. There is also a pattern detail on the middle tier that is taken from a window pattern from Maleficent’s castle also known as the Forbidden Fortress, which has been invaded several times by various characters.

Now the magic…

A big shout out goes to my friend Scott Arpon of Scott Shot Photo for these amazing images of my cake. 

This was such a fun and different project for me….first of hopefully many cake collaborations. To view other amazing pieces inspired by Once Upon a Time, follow our Twitter handle @OUATSugarArt or our Facebook page: Once Upon A Time Sugar Art Collaboration.

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Martha’s Vineyard

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to Martha’s Vineyard to attend the wedding of my friends Kiwie and Lin. Not only was I a guest, but I also had the honor of doing their wedding cake. Being that I’m from California, and this would be a destination wedding to an island just off the coast of Massachusetts, a lot of planning and logistics had to be figured out prior to that weekend. This wedding cake racked up 3,104 miles to its final destination! I’m happy to share that it was a great success.

Here’s what the itinerary was like:

Tuesday before wedding –  Bake cake layers, make frosting, torte (fill and layer) cakes, mask each tier, and FREEZE.

Wednesday before wedding – wrap frozen cakes, box each tier (3 total), pack tools and extra frosting, pack boxes of frozen cakes in carry-on baggage, red-eye flight to New Jersey.

Thursday before wedding – arrive in New Jersey, stick cakes in Freezer, pick up rental car.

Friday before wedding – drive from NJ to Boston to Martha’s Vineyard via ferry, settle into AirBnb house, refrigerate the cakes, organize tools in kitchen, rehearsal dinner, collect extra flowers from centerpieces (babies breath), apply final coat of frosting on chilled cakes, and stack.

Wedding Day – gold leaf decor, apply babies breath, deliver cake to venue.

This cake was a special challenge and I would do it again in a heartbeat. All the planning made everything go smoothly. As far as this cake traveled, it could be one of the least stressful deliveries I’ve ever made. This opportunity was more than just another “job”…it took me across 6 different states, to places I’ve revisited as well as places I’ve experienced for the first time. It was an amazing weekend.

Congratulations to the happy couple….Mr. & Mrs. Bui. 

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Nikki + Ryan

Photo by Tyler Branch

Last August I had the privilege of creating a wedding cake for my friend Ryan and his bride Nikki. All they requested was a “naked” style cake with their colors being ivory and sage. They also mentioned their venue The Lombardi House as inspiration for the look. Their main concern was to have the cake “look good for the photos” since they wanted to have their special day featured in a wedding blog. No pressure.

I instantly knew I wanted to add some wafer paper flowers. They are definitely on trend with the latest cake decorating techniques and add a nice modern touch to any design. They are also lightweight which I felt was important to balance a naked style cake.

They chose carrot cake with cream cheese frosting as their flavors.

Nikki and Ryan’s wedding was featured in Green Wedding Shoes. You can read about their special day and view their beautiful photos under Modern Boho Wedding at Lombardi House: Nikki + Ryan.

A goal of mine was to have one of my creations featured in a popular wedding or food blog. A big THANKS to the Carandangs for allowing that to happen. Hopefully it won’t be my last.


Although we are already a few days into Autumn, it still feels like summertime in SoCal! Global warming anyone? 

With temperatures still well into the 90s and 80s, we have to find ways to stay deliciously cool. Here are a few chilling treats from my summer travels. Enjoy.


Butter Pecan Ice Cream. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory 1 Water St. Brooklyn, NY 11201


Vanilla and Chocolate soft serve in a J-shaped Ice Cream Cone tastes like Captain Crunch cereal. Play J Ice Cream Truck. SoHo, NYC


Watermelon Ice Tea. Keven Parker Soul Food Cafe. Reading Terminal Market 51 N 12th St., Philadelphia, PA


Strawberries n Cream Joe Latti. Joe’s Italian Ice 2201 S Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92802


I even made my own homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! Can’t wait to try other yummy flavors.