Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Love letter...from my poetry slam days

He is a poem in the flesh
With a perfect rhythm and rhyme;
He eases through my mind
Like a cold rolling stream
Taking his own sweet time.
He is manna from Heaven
For my hungry heart
And aloe to soothe my pain;
He is the shelter that I seek
When my world is flooded with rain.
He inspires me to chase dreams
When I once only lived day to day;
He is the song I can't get out of my head,
The only song my mind can play.
He is the most beautiful music
My soul has ever heard;
He is a poem in the flesh
I want to memorize every word.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cupcake weddings

There are hundreds of ways to display cupcakes, just as there are hundreds of ways to display cakes, though most opt for a slight twist on the traditional.

Here a couple adorable ways to wrap your cupcakes...though they are a little pricier than your usual cupcake holders, these will certainly make a statement! (From Paper Orchid, and Fancy Flours)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is tomorrow December really?

Holy moley, yes it is. One more month to book 2008 events at 2007 prices!

Karen's Just Dessert works hard to provide a quality dessert that is beautiful, delicious, and within your budget. Still, in 2008 our prices will change slightly to reflect the increases in our supply cost...have you seen the price of a gallon of milk lately? Our delivery charges will increase slightly too, as gas prices have gone increasingly higher. We deliver to the entire Carolina coast!

I would also like to mention my sister-in-law, Lorrie Fisher, operator of Cocoa Fusion. She makes absolutely delicious hand-dipped truffles in unique and decadent flavors. Visit her at www.cocoafusion.com, or get in touch with me and I'll pass on your information. She sells through Southern Seasons in Chapel Hill, and also does boxed truffle wedding favors for which your guests will actually thank you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I still have a soft spot for the Southport Community Center. Everytime I go there, I remember my own wedding in February of 2001 held there. In the past, I've offered discounts for weddings held at this venue, and despite my now being located 85 miles away, I'm offering the discount again...10% off for any weddings held at the Southport Community Center in Southport, NC. Offer will be good for a few months...and I can meet for consults in Wilmington, don't forget!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coming soon to a computer screen near you

My marvelous husband is in the process of redoing the Karen's Just Dessert website. I've done all I can with it considering my limited computer skills (yay templates!). The past year produced some gorgeous cakes and I'd like to showcase them better to potential customers. So, stay tuned for the new and improved site.

And don't forget to check out our current website specials at www.karensjustdessert.com.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thought for the day

What goes around, comes around.

Military discounts

I started giving active military and veteran discounts before I ever moved to Jacksonville, home of Camp LeJeune. Now that I am here, it seems the very least I can do to say thank you.


I am thinking of offering care packages to be shipped overseas. Ideas for contents, anyone?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And on the 8th day...

On the 8th day,
God created chocolate. He really does love us, you know.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cool cake topper

I'm not one for cutesy kitschy normally, but Tara Lazar of A Lazar Soiree(the tres cool coordinator for this wedding) sent me this photo of a cake/cupcake table I had done. Spooky and pink!

Love is not an assignment for cowards.

Love, as glorious as it is, entails a lot of work. A little heartache, some pain, and a whole lot of faith.
This is one of my favorite songs. It might be a little familiar to some of you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Food (cake) for thought

Now that the Cape Fear "busy wedding season" is over, I've a little time to breathe on the weekends. And see my family.
Reviewing this past year so far, I find that I have provided cakes for over 60 weddings and countless birthdays and anniversaries. That is, by my estimation, about 1000 hours of baking and decorating. That does not include consultations, emails, phone calls, shopping, or delivering the cakes (that would add another 300 to 400 hours).
It's a joyous and fun profession mostly, although sometimes I wonder why I didn't become a brain surgeon instead. The stress of any wedding-related profession is always forgotten until we're actually in the thick of working. I understand how important a cake is to most couples for their wedding, as it is commemorated in photographs, scrutinized in person, and tasted by hopefully satisified guests as well.
I've had a wedding myself; I know that some wedding traditions are more important to some than others. Long before I ever heard of cake decorating as a career, my own wedding took place, and folks, my cake was from Walmart. I had to put it together (it came in pieces) and decorate it myself. I used fake ivy! I'd like to think I've come a long way since then. When we came out to cut the cake, I discovered my very well-meaning friend stuck bright red heart cookies in the top. She still feels badly about it, because I gasped "What is this????". (I don't care...I think it's funny, but years later, I still play the guilt card...bad Karen!)

A few closing thoughts...

Good cake ain't cheap; cheap cake ain't good.

It's not a (choose a dollar amount) cake...it's a beautiful and delicious DESSERT for (choose a guestcount) people.

Never trust a skinny baker (though I would like to shatter that myth..and be skinny).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I love someone with Autism

Always nice to hear!

"Karen, I just wanted to say thank you for helping to make my wedding day PERFECT. Our cake was absolutely beautiful(the seashells were amazing) and tasted Wonderful! Everyone went on and on about how great the cake was! Again,thank you! I will highly recommend you to any and every bride!

This was an especially nice comment since I had run into a great deal of traffic en route and arrived just 30 minutes before her beachhouse wedding was to start.

Congratulations Brooke and Kevin!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What should I ask my cake vendor?

Do you have a military (or other profession) discount?

What size will my cake be? How many servings is in each tier?

Is delivery and set-up free? How do you deliver?

Can I have a reference?

Do you freeze your cakes? When do you bake them?

What are your most popular flavors? Do you have a personal favorite?

Will you copy a picture? (Please keep in mind that while decorators will do their best to emulate a picture, it may be slightly different in reality due to size, colors, and the style of your decorator.)

What is your payment policy?

Just a few suggestions...happy cake shopping!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baking tip of the day

If you are using a boxed cake mix, and are looking for a little more flavor...
try a flavored liquid Coffee-mate creamer. Add a 1/4 to 1/3 cup to your recipe, and wait for the compliments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I pulled a tendon in my foot yesterday. I've got a high pain tolerance, but this just dang hurts! When you do most of your work standing, this is not an optimal condition.
So, off my feet today mostly. I've got a busy weekend ahead, and fortunately, I can do a lot of the prep work sitting down (gumpaste bows, fondant shells, making umpteen "to do" lists). But, come Thursday and Friday, I've got a great deal of baking, baking, and baking to do. And some decorating. And then delivering. Thank goodness for coffee!

I've started booking for 2008 already; this has helped a great deal with my ideas for the future of the business. It doesn't seem like too long ago when I decided to bring a decorated cake to the bridal show in Southport instead of just my truffles and chocolate wedding favors. And so it began...

And last but not least...

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband Jack!

He has requested a giant Double Stuf Oreo cookie to celebrate. And how do you make a giant cookie? With smaller cookies and buttercream! (He told me not to bake!)

I'm feeling a little adventurous, too...need to tweak the flavor menu a bit. Any requests?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Beach weekend

Congratulations to Bridget and Jason.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Time for sleep

Two weddings, a birthday, and a rehearsal dinner dessert this weekend. I've already put in about 22 hours just on cake the past 2 days, and it's up early tomorrow to put the finishing touches on 3 of the orders...and respond to some website inquiries.
These are days I really miss my family. I long for Saturday night already; a movie on the couch, some popcorn, and good sleep before church Sunday morning...Oh, man, I forgot about my nephew's birthday cake for Sunday afternoon!

There goes Saturday night.

Sweet dreams.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Time to work

Because I work at home, procrastination is always tempting me. How do I bypass it??
There's always something to do other than the task at hand!

I find a streaming online radio station, "schedule" breaks for myself, and picture myself working at 2 a.m. (NO FUN!), which is a great motivator.

And then I post here, and tell everyone I'm getting to work...first up...a Darth Vader groom's cake.

Have a great day, everyone!

Off for another cup of coffee, and back to work!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

i still love the muppets

What is a groom's cake?

(please note...these groom's cakes are examples; not cakes done by me.)
From Wikipedia.com...

A groom's cake is a wedding tradition typically associated with the American South. While a wedding cake may often be decorated in white and light in texture and/or color, the groom's cake can take a variety of forms, many incorporating chocolate or fruit. Cheesecake sometimes serves as a groom's cake. The decoration of the cake may reflect the favorite hobby or interest of a groom, or be used for humorous effect, as depicted in the film adaptation of Steel Magnolias, in which a red velvet cake was fashioned in the shape of an armadillo. The groom's cake is often served at a separate table from the wedding cake at a wedding reception, though it may be served as a dessert for a rehearsal dinner.

Somewhat mirroring legend associated with wedding cakes, a young lady who sleeps with a slice of groom's cake under her pillow will supposedly dream of the man she will marry.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groom%27s_cake"

Monday, September 24, 2007


A great color choice; bold and unique, especially with the right flowers.
Congratulations Jennifer!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just stop and listen.

Sometimes we forget to stop and just listen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fondant does not have to taste gross

When most folks meet with me about cake, they ask me "What does fondant taste like? I've heard it tastes really gross."

Fondant (pronounced fon-dunt, not fahn-dahnt) can come manufactured or homemade. A few manufactured brands (namely the big W) do taste, well, like old gum. Though, it makes a cake so beautiful! But who wants to pay for something people will just peel off their cake? Dessert should not be so much work!
But there are several brands that taste wonderful (think tootsie rolls or a white chocolate roll-up). When I started making cakes, I used the Big W, and added some flavoring to it to offset the "chemical" taste. Then, I found other brands to try, and worked with them for a bit. Better...
They tasted much better. But still, not quite right.
Then I discovered:
Making my own fondant.
There are a few recipes out there, with some variations. With additions like extracts and flavorings, the variations on fondant flavors are endless. And almost nobody peels it off their cake now. Pretty and edible! Now, that's good fondant.
And a beautiful cake.

Sugar eggs flour and butter

Some folks say...it's just a cake.
The ingredients don't cost that much.

(Well, you haven't been shopping lately!)

But here. Here are some examples of what you can make with sugar eggs flour and butter. And a lot of time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beach themed-cakes can be simple and elegant.

This is one of my favorites from the summer.

First day

I just got started today.

On days I'm not working, or particularly great work days, I'll share some more.

Baking tip of the day:

Get an oven thermometer. Your oven probably does not bake at the temperature you think.