As we are about to kick off the wedding season, I would like to share the news that our family is leaving Cincinnati this summer to relocate to Philadelphia. Cincinnati has been our home for the past 17 years. This was the place were our kids were born and the city that fully embraced my Sugar kingdom. We are excited for the future and optimistic that the City of Brotherly Love will bring as much happiness to each member of the family and to this small business of mine, as Cinci did. With tremendous gratitude, I say farewell to my beloved Queen City, and to its warm and special people! We will be saying goodbye with a bang, as we have lined up spectacular designs for spectacular clients! We will leave town in July, and our last order is scheduled for early June. Cheers to one last memorable wedding season in Cincinnati!!! #sugarrealm #cincinnatiweddingcakes#cincinnatiweddings #philadelphiaweddings #philadelphiaweddingcakes
Easy flawless, sharp and DELICIOUS cakes, every single time!...and a process that this time you will ENJOY!. Learn my signature techniques in my first Craftsy Class: Make-ahead techniques for stunning cakes.
In this kingdom, it all starts with a beautiful and precise cakes iced with SUPER DELICIOUS smooth chocolate panels! The architect in my likes precision. Flawless cakes with sharp edges are SO EASY to achieve with my signature rolled chocolate panel technique. Most importantly, unlike with other icings, with this technique, you will ENJOY the process!!!
In lesson 1 and 2 of my upcoming Craftsy Class: "Make-ahead techniques for stunning Cakes", I will be covering EVERYTHING that you need to know to achieve (every single time) sharp cakes like these. I'm positive that this class will demonstrate that you ALSO have an architect in you!
These were the Hero and Step Out cakes that I prepared for my class, photographed before the were fully or partially decorated, before they were shipped to Denver!.
Yes, my chocolate covered cakes were shipped in the middle of July!...Bt that's material for another post, wink!
It's not glass!!...these are cubes of custom colored cooked SUGAR ready to be "Pulled". Learning Pulled Sugar, is something that has been in my bucket list for a long while!!!...and now that I have experimented with it, I may be obsessed with it!. Come back later, I hope that you love this order as much as I do!!!
Why Sugar Realm?. Here's the story.
As many of you may know by now, I'm an Architect by trade. In 2008, at the peak of the recession, I got laid off from a fabulous job as a senior Designer in an Architecture and Design Firm. I felt defeated. Three months after being back home, I found myself planning my daughter's first communion, cake included of course!. Since high-school, I dreamed of being a pastry chef and of owning a pastry shop. I've always been a great baker. Her cake was a HIT and orders from friends and acquaintances started coming my way....and I haven't stopped ever since!!!!
Now, back to the name. The last project that I worked at as a designer, was a very large themed park in Dubai (think whales:). The firm put together a team of top notched designers from all disciplines and it was on itself a bootcamp in creativity!!!.The park was organized into 5 Realms. The day that I sat with my sketch book at hand to figure out the name of my business, I decided that I would be Queen of my own kingdom where my imagination would rule. A sugar Realm all for myself...and now it fulfills me inmensely to share it with you.
Thank you for being part of this dream.
Sherri Barber: Photographer
SPECIALTY CAKES CINCINNATI: specialty cake for the inaugural gala of the CAROL ANN'S CAROUSEL at smale river park.
Gorgeous Photography by Leppert Photography, Backdrop Linen by All Occasions Event Rental.
We couldn't be more thrilled to have been commissioned this order for the Donor's Inaugural Gala of the new Carol Ann's Carouse, at Smale Riverfront Park. This carousel is a true work of art, and we felt obligated to deliver our very best with our most delicious cake and sugar replica of the Carousel!
To treat these generous donors, we freshly baked three of our favorite flavor combinations: Toasted Almonds with Pistachio and Honey. French Vanilla with Raspberry and White Chocolate. Toasted Almonds with Hazelnut and Chocolate.
The carving and painting of the animals/characters and the creation and installation of the carousel was be done by Carousel Works (Mansfield, Ohio).
The Carousel is located along the Ohio riverfront and between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium. It is at home in a large glass enclosed space overlooking the Ohio River and the John Roebling bridge, over the new Anderson Pavillion.
"ROYAL GARDEN wedding cake", designed for the launching of Marvelous molds new Royal Garden Collection!
Our first collaboration was the design and creation of a cake model for the launching of their new line of molds,
titled "Royal Garden". Marvelous molds are my favorite molds to use, primarily because they make the molding process so quick with their special cutting blade feature....and time is money, right?
As I said to the MYOM team, I'm and have been a believer in their products, and feel truly honored to collaborate with their creative and oh-so talented team!
I'm a lucky girl and I don't take that for granted.
I have a healthy and loving family and I have found my "call" with this Sugar Kingdom I have created for myself.
I'm also very lucky because I'm able to work with great clients who make me feel like a rock star, and who appreciative my craft and the passion I put into my work as much as I do.
But my luck doesn't end there!...sometimes, I even receive praise from professionals and peers in this industry, and that makes me feel like I conquered the world!
One morning as I was working on pieces and parts for an order, I received a phone call from Chef Dominique Palazzolo, Founder and CEO of Marvelous Molds and Make your own Molds. I'm also lucky to live in the same city where these products are designed and manufactured, and I've been a LONG, LONG, LONG time user or their line of molds and custom mold making products. SO when Chef Dominique inquired if I would be interested in collaborating with them...I basically jumped from joy!!!
The Royal Garden wedding cake main features were created using all the molds in their collection, except for two: The Sonata and the Fanfare Medallion. Swags were created using the Etude and Fanfare Border. My very favorite mold of all was the Symphony mold...the texture and relief that it produces is surreal; it can be used to create a continuous panel (as shown), or individual sections of a panel. My second favorite was the Quadrille border that produces the most intricate chrysanthemum formation. The corners of the cake were accentuated with the small and large Quadrille medallions!
If you make cakes as I do, you NEED these new molds!!!...Give them a try and be forever hooked with this new fabulous line of molds.
SPECIALTY CAKES CINCINNATI: specialty cake for the inaugural gala of the CAROL ANN'S CAROUSEL at smale river park!
Feeling Giddy, because a week from today, we will be delivering our Cake for the Donor's Inaugural Gala of the Carol Ann's Carousel at Smale Riverfront Park!...and we are making a sugar replica of it:)
SO super excited to be part of this!!!...visit us back on May 15th, for a full feature of the cake and the gorgeous work of all the artists involved in this project!!!
#sugarrealm #SpecialtyCakesCincinnati #CACarousel is open! #CarouselCountdown #CincyParks
wedding cakes cincinnati - wafer paper wedding cakes
When it comes to new and innovative cake decorating techniques, Wafer paper is Queen!
I originally learned about wafer paper form the super talented Stevi Auble, Queen of wafer paper.
Wafer paper is and edible translucent paper that can be printed, colored and shape, it was originally made of rice starch, but it is currently made of potato starch. It has a mild flavor and it melt at the contact of moisture.
Wafer paper flowers have such vintage and ethereal look...their translucent look makes them look whimsical. They are also faster to make than sugar paste flowers...and I certainly LOVE that!
One of the most mind blowing things about wafer paper is it's versatility. It wan be printed, colored and shaped to beautifully petal shapes...but it can also be layered using a collage or decoupage technique!. It can also be accentuated with edible grade silver leaf like in the image above.
Get your hands on a package of wafer paper and you'll be hooked for life!
wedding cakes cincinnati - wedding cake trend chocolate sequins
If you don't desire to make your own chocolate, there are many commercial brands that carry modeling chocolate, also, This technique can be made with fondant. If fondant is the icing of your preference, just follow the same steps and refrigerate the completed sequin fabric strip for an hour or so, until it's stable enough to be lift without stretching.
I've also read awesome tutorials that use pre maid color confetti for the sequins, but I've found that multi color confetti is hard to cover in edible paints, because it requires too many coats and even then, the original color of the confetti tends to show!
So when I decided to give a try to this new "sequins cake trend"...I knew that I had to make them out of chocolate!
Below is a step by step list of the process, including the lessons learned, and what I would do different!
wedding cakes cincinnati - celebration cakes cincinnati sequins
Cake trend alert: Sequins!
I have to confess that when it comes to sequins, I can be a bit intimidated. The reason is that I think that anything embellished by sequins falls in one of two categories: 1. Glorious or 2. Tacky....there is no middle ground!
Sequin adorned cakes have been in my mind for a while...I have researched and tried different techniques, and hadn't found a method with which I felt comfortable....until now!
As you may now by now, I am a big fan of rolled chocolate, not fondant. The first reason is taste...I make cakes, delicious cakes!. The second is workability!
So when I decided to jump in the "sequin's wagon", I thought about my trustworthy chocolate, and tested making my own chocolate sequins!
I will be posting a full image tutorial on Friday, come back and check it out...and jump in this Sequin's wagon with me!
stained glass wedding cake cincinnati - wiedemann hill mansion wedding
We are kicking off the wedding season with a Stained Glass Wedding Cake!
Inspired by the stunning stained glass windows of the Wiedemann Hill Mansion and the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany; a technique learned from the tremendously talented Maggie Austin.
Every time I'm asked, "What's your favorite cake?" I reply, "my last cake!"...and today's cake is MY favorite cake!
Veronica and Michael married at the historical Wiedemann Hill Mansion. This venue is an architecture jewel that was stunningly renovated to its grandeur by their owners Donna and Roger. One of the beautiful features of this house are their stained glass windows.
So, when Veronica said "We want a stained glass wedding cake", I jumped with joy...and then gulped:)
Everybody in the cake decorating work is familiar with the unsurpassable talent of Maggie Austin, who has graciously shared her stained glass technique with the cake decorating community:)
I would dare to say that this is not a difficult technique per se, but it definitely requires practice!
Before you commit to paint your iced cake, you better have a good understanding of the shapes that you want to represent, and the "feel" of your design.
Veronica shared with me the colors, type of flowers and design that she selected for her table arrangements, and I used them for inspiration for the pattern of the cake.
Wedding Cakes Cincinnati - Wiedeman mansion weddings cincinnati
Often times I'm asked "what's your favorite cake?" Without hesitation, I always respond that my favorite cake is my last cake:) I'm constantly learning and researching new techniques and methods, ingredients and trends, and have a long list of things that I would like to try on new orders!
So when Veronica and Michael told me that they wanted a stained glass themed wedding cake, I jumped with joy (not literally, but in my head:). They are marring at the historical and stunning Wiedeman Mansion, which has the most beautiful stained glass pieces and decorative windows...and I'm a huge fan of stained glass!
Of course when you say stained glass, you think Louis Comfort Tiffany; and when you say stained glass and cake, you think Maggie Austin. Maggie is an incredible pastry-chef and artist who has graciously shared many of her techniques with the online cake decorating community.
This is my testing samples for Veronica and Michael's cake. I have used powder edible paint diluted with ever clear and black edible ink markers to delineate the shapes and motifs of my floral inspired stained glass patterns. Our cakes are iced in rolled chocolate, not fondant, and this technique works beautifully on our delicious chocolate panels.
I'm so looking forward to be able to work on the actual cake!...It's due in a few days. Come back and cheek it out. I think that it will be spectacular.
We are testing ideas for a "Fishing Boat" party!
Along these confections, we will create our first "Fishing Boat" cake...it will surely be a challenge and we can't wait to start working on it!
It's hard to believe that we are about to kick off the Thanksgiving week!...2014 has been a wonderful year, and in this small sugar kingdom, we have many things to be thankful for. It was been a year filled with health, love and many special clients, for whom I have had the pleasure to create delicious and beautiful cakes!
It has also been filled with a couple of tough moments, like my husband's emergency shoulder surgery after falling from his bike!... and the passing of my mother, in the middle of the wedding season, and on the week that I had my largest wedding cake of the year. But regardless of those painful and stressful moments, I feel that it has been a great year. Those two incidents, have thought me, that you have to find inner strength, and be an example to your children, because life is about "solving problems" and about tackling life with your most positive energy and with the best attitude!
And now, I'm getting ready to take a pause and celebrate with my family and friends and make time to say thanks for all that I have, and included in those, are you!..who are taking the time to read these lines, and to follow my work and being part of this kingdom!
Here is the link to were I originally posted my celebrated "Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffle Acorns"!
They have been a favorite of many and have been featured many times by bloggers and cake aficionado sites!
Hope that you too have a wonderful Thanksgiving week, because I'm sure that you too, even in the middle of hard times, will find reason to be thankful for!
All my best, Ileana.
CINCINNATI WEDDING CAKES - WEDDING CAKE SUGAR FLOWERS
You have no idea how great these words, from a recent bride, made me feel,
Making sugar flowers is an act of LOVE. They are seriously time consuming...and I LOVE and enjoy every bit of the process. SO when Gigi posted this comment to my fb, a huge smile popped in my face!
"I made little arrangements with the flowers from my wedding cake... They are littered all over the house and I smile every time I see them!. Gigi"
CINCINNATI WEDDING MAGAZINE - WEDDING CAKES CINCINNATI
Today I'm dreaming in COLOR...Creating "cake magic" for Cincinnati Wedding Magazine!!!
Their Winter 2015 issue will be decked, top to bottom with amazing things!!!
#cincinnatiweddingsmagazine #sugarrealm #artistinme
CINCINNATI WEDDING CAKES - OMBRE SUGAR FRILLS WEDDING CAKES
Yesterday we delivered on of our most dreamy wedding cakes, one that had Tons and tons of Sugar Frills and Sugar Flowers to Celebrate Tiffany & Alex!
It was an intimate and exquisite, private residence celebration...we were just honored to be part of it!
For them, we freshly baked a combination of Chocolate sponge with peanut mousseline, and an Almond sponge with praline mousseline, a touch of Belgian chocolate and hazelnut crunch:)
Our Ombre design in tones of blush with accents of red and merlot, is our own take, on the acclaimed Maggie Austin sugar frills technique. The ombre effect wase carried over through the event, from linens to the draping on the tent fabric, even on the lightningdesign...absolutely stunning!
Always a pleasure to work with top notch vendors: i-do Boutique, Fitz the Occasion, LLC, eat well celebrations and feasts, Goodwin Lighting, among others!
We created this sugar paste color palette to share with our client, and it was so well received, that it was used to coordinate color selections for the event!...I love when all vendors collaborate in producing a cohesive vision for the event...and for sure it showed!
Today we are basking on the amazing event that Gigi & Chip's wedding was.
This spectacular night was conceived by the creative genius of Dora Manuel, owner of Viva Bella Events, and the unique vision of the bride and groom!
For this special night, we created our tallest cake to date, with 9 tiers and 400 Servings of the most delicious cake!
To celebrate their union, Gigi & Chip chose our three most favorite cake combinations:
Almond Sponge paired with Pistachio and Honey Mousseline. Almond Sponge paired with Hazelnut Mousseline and a line layer of Belgian Chocolate Ganache, and French Vanilla Sponge, paired with Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse,
Our cakes are always iced with the most delicious Rolled chocolate, not fondant. It is more work, and an additional cost...and SO worth it, because it's taste is that of a delicious chocolate bar:)
Viva bella events brought together the most amazing team of vendors...and we were honored to be among them:)
Brideface, Studio Z Films, Marti's Floral Designs, Kortnee Kate Photography, All Occasions Rentals, Jeff Thomas, Catering, Douglas Djtoad Scholten, Giddy Ink, Endless Summer Band.... just to name a few!
The set up for our cake couldn't have been better. Viva Bella along with All Occasions Rentals designed the most amazing tent. This was a Black and White Themed event, and every single detail of the night was tasteful and jaw dropping!
Some of the perks of having a mom that makes cakes, is that you are (almost) guaranteed to have a pretty cool birthday cake each year :),
Tomorrow Gabe is turning 11, and to celebrate his birthday, and the end of the school year, he's inviting 6 of his buddy's to celebrate!
Since opening in 2010 in Cincinnati, Venezuelan born Ileana Saldivia’s studio, Sugar Realm has become a preeminent wedding and celebration cake design boutique. In 2018, due to her husband's job, Ileana and her family relocated to Philadelphia, and so did her Sugar Kingdom. Sugar Realm’s cakes and confections are known for their sophisticated flavors, unique designs, artistic sugar flowers, innovative techniques, and architectural compositions. The studio’s wedding cakes are regularly featured in leading bridal, lifestyle, and cake decorating magazines. In the December 2015 issue of “Cincinnati Magazine,” Sugar Realm was named “Best of the City” and featured on the cover. Saldivia’s blog “Life in a Sugar Kingdom” is regularly visited by hundreds of cake enthusiasts and lovers of all things pretty..