We’re tweaking our shop hours to better accommodate summer schedules! We’ve extended weeknights to 7 pm and shortened weekend hours for better class times! Please click HERE for the new shop hours.
We’re SO ready for summer here and created our latest cake to help usher in the warmer weather! You’ll learn a lot of cool techniques in the mermaid cake decorating class, such as how to use a silicon mold to make seashells, create fondant scale pattern, ice your cake and paint with edible metallic paints! See our May class schedule HERE.
A big THANK YOU to the Woodmere Art Museum for inviting me back again this year to curate another cake show, Sweet Inspiration, in their beautiful museum. This year’s theme was based on the stunning children’s book illustrations by Philadelphia artist, Charles Santore, for books such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, Snow White and more. Ten of the Philadelphia area’s top cake artists created whimsical cakes inspired by one of the illustrations of their choice, and the results were spectacular cakes highlighting the artistry of cake decorating.
We had a fun and fabulous opening reception, where each cake artist had a chance to describe their cake and some of the advanced cake decorating techniques they used, as well as what inspired them about the illustration they used as the basis for their cakes. Below are some highlights from the opening reception party with photos courtesy of Brian James Photography, Chestnut Hill.
The gallery talk went in the order of the illustrations, which were hung in order by book, starting with Peter Rabbit. Jennifer Roach, Executive Cake Artist for Cescaphe Event Group, created this beautifully hand-painted cake, highlighting her expertise in illustration painting with petal and luster dusts as well as 3-D cake sculpting..
Next, was the Wizard of Oz, with a fantastic compilation of illustrations combined into one fanciful cake by Danielle Zahodski of The Master Baker. Danielle excels at building complex cake designs, evidence here in her gravity-defying cake twister swirled together with Oz, Dorothy’s home, flying monkeys and minute wafer paper poppies all supported by a base with the sleeping Cowardly Lion and yellow brick road.
Danielle was followed by an enchanting cake hand-sculpted and hand-painted by world-renowned cake artist, Colette Peters of Colette’s Cakes. Best known for her whimsical and unique cakes for celebrities, Colette’s showpiece of the Emerald City sparkled in hues of metallic green luster and disco dusts, which highlighted the ornate architectural elements. Her cake looked like it stepped right off the pages of the book! Unfortunately, Colette was not able to attend the party, but her cake was a show-stopper!
Next were the illustrations of the book Snow White and a fabulous sculptural cake based on the Evil Queen with elements made of isomalt and rice treats created by Nala Holloman, cake artist for the Night Kitchen Bakery and her own business, Bhumiart. Nala’s specialty is sugar sculpting, seen here in the many hand crafted pieces such as the skull, knife, apple and book of spells.
The next book in the show was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. My cake (Noelle DeSantis owner of Ella Vanilla) was first in the group, showing Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole, with a hand-sculpted cake topper of Alice in free fall as well as hand-painted gum paste decorations in petal, luster and metallic dusts.
Next up was the finely detailed cake with hand-painting and stunning gum paste flowers by Lara Kalin, of LaraLada cakes. She created an enchanting scene with the beautifully rendered caterpillar and Alice, along with gum paste mushroom and cluster of delicate wafer paper foliage at the base.
Lara’s cake was followed by a striking cake in a bright color palette inspired by decorative elements of the Queen of Hearts. Created by Cristina Cinquino of PrimaCristina, this sophisticated and more abstract cake design was highlighted with gold accents and punctuated with stunning wafer paper roses.
Owner of The Fancy Crumb, Briana Green’s gravity-defying topsy-turvy cake of the Mad Hatter’s tea party was next in the line up, highlighting her expertise in complex cake construction, sugar sculpting and refined airbrushing technique.
The next cake was the large, whimsical 3-D cake of the rabbit standing about 2 feet tall created by the super-talented Masha Lipkovksy of Unik Cakes. Finely hand-sculpted on an armature base, Masha’s rabbit looked so realistic as if it could jump right off of the pedestal!
The final cake in the show, was a beautiful interpretation of Noah’s Ark- The Flood. Jennifer Low, owner of the Frosted Fox Cake Shop used buttercream icing applied in an impasto-style technique to achieve the Impressionistic and turbulent atmosphere to her cake, which she then juxtaposed with delicate gum paste roses.
Not only were the cakes show stoppers, but each cake artist brought along cupcakes for tasting.
And a stunning floral arrangement graced the entrance from Robertson’s Florist. The rest of the evening was good fun with the tasting, wine and mingling. Thanks to everyone who came out to make this launch an extra special evening!
We’re thrilled to be invited back again this year to the Woodmere Art Museum to co-curate our second cake show, on view March 15- 21. Join us for the Opening Reception & Cake Tasting and see ten fanciful cakes inspired by the children’s book illustrations of Charles Santore, like Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, Peter Rabbit and more. Area cake artists from Night Kitchen Bakery, the Frosted Fox Bakeshop and your’s truly will be exhibiting! See more information HERE.
Cakes from the 2017 exhibition shown
Take a class with your main squeeze in our special Couples Valentine Cake Class on Wednesday, Feb. 14 or come decorate an adorable cake or cookies to give as a gift in one of our other festive Valentine classes. Remember, the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach 😉
See the February class schedule HERE.
Not sure what to give? Our gift certificates can be of any denomination and used for supplies, cake decorating classes or both- plus they never expire! We can send your gift certificate via regular mail, pick up in store OR email a digital copy to you to print out and give or email directly to the recipient! Place all orders before Saturday December 23 by 9 PM for guaranteed Christmas delivery by calling (215) 909-9392, emailing Info@EllaVanilla.com or by clicking HERE.
Our holiday cake decorating classes are selling out fast! Don’t miss your chance to learn some advanced cake decorating or cookie decorating skills tailored for beginner Adults and Kids, as well as intermediate classes. Our classes are small, intimate groups of no more than 5 students for maximum individualized instruction- plus they’re just good creative fun! See our December schedule by clicking HERE.
Wow, thank you SO much to everyone who helped make our Harry Potter Cake Show a massive hit! We had close to 3000 people through our shop to see the stunning Harry Potter cakes and vote for their fan favorite cake.
Congratulations to Night Kitchen Bakery for WINNING with their amazing “Book of Spells” creation! They won a $100 Gift Certificate to Ella Vanilla and Renshaw Fondant!
I’d also like to thank the other participating cake artists/bakeries for their incredible cake artistry, including:
Id also like to give a BIG thank you to my sisters and friends who volunteered their time to create a unique Harry Potter experience for all who came through the shop. For one week, Ella Vanilla was transformed into Dolores’s Delights.
If you aren’t Harry Potter savvy, Dolores Umbridge is the villain everyone loves to hate- think prim, proper, pink and cats! My friend Denys (who also was a striking double as McGonagall) and her two girls Cassie and Ellie set the stage (literally) by custom sewing pink drapes that covered my entire shop! They also handcrafted dozens of cat plates, dyed satin ribbon to the perfect hue and much more all to mimic Dolores’s office. Everyone who walked in was BLOWN AWAY!
Also a huge thanks to my sister Carolyn who gave everyone who walked into the cake show personalized attention about each cake artist and Ella Vanilla. And a big thanks to my other sister Barbara, my good friend Kristin and my niece Kristin and her friend Sarah for overseeing the outside selling station of chocolate frogs, wands, cookie cutters and other goodies!
I was also pleased to share the outside table with Jenny from Frosted Fox Cake Shop. She sold hundreds of their YUMMY and magical Harry Potter inspired cookies. We’ll be collaborating again next year!
And of course, the festival is all about the HP fans! Some amazing costumes came through the shop, including some of these greats!
No Ella Vanilla event would be complete without an appearance by Olive, a.k.a. Puppy Potter
Be sure to come see our 2nd Annual Harry Potter Cake Show featuring several leading cake artists and bakeries. See more info HERE.
Check out our fall schedule for some ghoulish Halloween cake decorating classes for kids and adults like our Mini Monster cake decorating class! You get to create the monster as you like with fondant features and piped fur in the colors of your choice. See an array of classes HERE.