Every holiday season I adopt a family with a child on hospice and gift them their wish list. Contributing to a charitable cause is something that I have vowed to continue and is more important than ever, as I want to lead by example for my son and exemplify generosity for Landen to make his own philanthropic choices someday.
It just so happens that I started my business after teaching myself how to make Sea Salt Caramels and gifting them for the holidays and they quickly became our most highly requested item on the menu! 3 years ago, I asked myself how I could love on my community and encourage them to give back too. Thus, the Annual Ladies Holiday Charity Brunch was born! I just ask every guest to bring a gift and in exchange, I spoil them and they go home with a box of our caramels!
I am going to share with you how I plan and execute this event and hopefully this will encourage you to host a Ladies Holiday Charity Brunch in your community!
STEP 1: Come up with your theme! Sure- its the holidays. But the options are endless. You can do a Winter Wonderland, Classic holiday colors, or Flannel! I wanted the party to feel warm and cozy....think "hot cocoa by the fire" so our theme was all about dressing up in your best flannel! Every aspect of the party should tie back to this theme in some way. Let me show you....
Party Invitations: These lovelies were designed by Phenix Paper Co. and had the perfect hint of flannel with instructions to dress "Flanneled Up!". Send invitations early, as people are extra busy this time of year. I prefer a virtual Save The Date followed by a mailed invitation- who doesn't like getting mail!?
STEP 2: Sourcing your decor
Decor & Rentals: We used our Fav local rental companies for various items: Yay Parties for the furniture and Balancing Balloons for tableware! How cute are the warm and cozy blankets!
STEP 3: Create your menu
Food and Beverages: What can you make ahead of time? We prepped an egg casserole the night before and threw it in the oven the morning of the event- 45 min later...DONE! Offer a simple Arugula salad on the side.
A mimosa bar is a must! Add fresh cranberries to garnish champagne and offer a variety of sweets to nibble on. I opt to make an easy Spiced Bundt Cake (TIP: make the week before and freeze) and buy the rest! The peppermint bark from Trader Joes is such a great dessert to snack on. Don't forget non-alcoholic beverage options. We LOVE Rachel's Ginger Beer in Seattle and they have the best holiday flavors.
The goal was to keep it cozy! My house is tiny but I didn't want to be limited to the amount of amazing women to invite. We rented an outdoor tent with heaters and created a cozy place to sit (or stand) with blankets. Notice the flannel on the tabletops? We used blankets and scarves!
STEP 4: Activities that are fun and offer convenience
Activities: we hosted Stella & Dot to allow the ladies to conveniently get some last minute Holiday shopping in. WIN WIN!
The main activity is for each guest to decorate their caramels! We provide chocolate and all the fun holiday sprinkles & candy canes to make them their own. The guests LOVE this so i've decided to make this the main activity of the event ever year.
My friend makes these amazing candles! And they just so happened to have the most appropriate title for the theme of the party. Guests were also provided the option to buy these as last minute holiday gifts and each went home with one as the party favor!
And look at all of the holiday gifts we raised!! Over 40 gifts provided to children on Hospice. I love my family and friends and look forward to spoiling them every year by hosting our annual Ladies Holiday Charity Brunch!
This year- we are offering our Sea Salt Caramels for sale and donating a percentage of proceeds to the Confetti Foundation which provides birthday parties for kiddos in the hospital. If you would like to help- please visit our store starting November 27th! WARNING: We sold out just 48 hours after launching our site a few weeks ago so get em' fast!
We are having our first BABY!!! We are overjoyed to be expanding our family and how we got here was a bit of surprise!
If you been following Eat More Cake for some time now, you most likely already know a piece of our story to becoming parents. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I shared the most raw and vulnerable experience of my life. If you missed it- we had a pregnancy loss in January at 11 weeks with our first baby. I would have been due in just 2 weeks from now. Full story about my miscarriage here.
I decided to open up about our pregnancy loss because it was a really devastating experience that seemed very isolating and lonely. After opening up- I heard so many other women (many in my very own network), that had also experienced a loss. I would have never known! Not implying that everyone should shout it from the rooftops, but I quickly realized how isolating it felt because I really had no awareness of how many other women went through this too. Building community, knowing you're not alone was the biggest source of hope for me. Hopefully sharing my experience will help shed light on the emotional and physical aftermath of an all too common devastation.
Back to the happy news! But before I get to it...I want to highlight my experience with several doctors through out this process because I think its an important reminder to advocate for your own health and listen to what your gut is telling you.
I wasn't happy with the experience I had with my OB during the miscarriage. Not only did I lose the baby while waiting in the E.R......my husband couldn't even find the hospital staff to to help me when it happened. Following that, my doctor seemed very insensitive to what happened and I couldn't even get into see her for another week!! Yup- I was at home, in pain, and clueless for a week. I pressed her to do hormone testing or anything that would shed some light and I was told that most miscarriages happen because of chromosome abnormality. But what if mine wasn't? She didn't do testing and or even an ultrasound to ensure that I didn't need a D&C procedure. I ended up back into the doctors office 3 weeks later due to excessive blood loss and almost fainting at work. Again, offered no explanation, I decided I need clarity.
I found a new doctor and demanded they did blood work to see if anything else was going on. There it was.....'Low fertility, increased risk of infertility' I got this news while out of town on a work trip and cue the dramatic music in my head!...."is being a mom in the cards for me?" "Did I wait to long to try and have a family?" "Will I ever be able to have my own?" blah blah blah. I waited for 2 months to get into the Fertility Specialist.
Here is where the fun surprise hits us! We have a consultation at the doctor, I'm feeling really optimist and we jet off to vacation in Santa Barbara, CA waiting for our lab results to come back. As we landed, I listened to an unexpected voicemail. It was the nurse....and my heart dropped because I was expecting the worst of worse news.
Candice, you are currently PREGNANT! Wait.....excuse me!? I look at my husband with the biggest grin on my face right as were about to deplane and I whisper the news in his ears. Were completely shocked. We were even more shocked to find out that we were originally expecting twins...TWINS! Unfortunately, we did lose one of the babies somewhere between 7-8 weeks, which you can imagine caused extreme fear of losing the other.
We were even more taken back when we were told our rainbow baby's due date. JAN. 19 2019....exactly one year later (to the day!) that I went to the hospital and lost our first sweet baby. This is the truest definition of rainbow baby and we feel over the moon excited and in awe of this blessing.
Here we are....14 weeks pregnant with a sweet baby BOOOOOYYYYY and all were doing is looking up from here and smiling. Thank you to everyone for the love and support!!
Photos by Kelly Lemon Photography
On a recent trip home to CA, I visited my favorite bakery Icing on the Cake. They are known for their Banana Cake. I know what you're thinking, yuck...right!? I was never a fan of banana desserts but this one is a legit must try. On my recent visit- I had a craving for an oatmeal cookie and haven't stopped thinking about it since.
So I recreated their Cherry Chunk White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie with a little inspiration from the Quaker Oats box recipe. Can't go wrong! Father's Day is just around the corner and I bet Dad would love a box of these homemade cookies.. Or try them as an ice cream cookie sandwich!
Recipe: yields 20-24 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (room- temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur is my go to!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2) In large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy and pale.
3) Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.
4) Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and mix well. Stir in cherries and white chocolate.
5) Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. (TIP: once you start smelling the cookies baking, thats when they are done! mine took 10 minutes). Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Enjoy!! Key is to not over-bake the cookies. I always do a test batch at the minimum time on the recipe (10 minutes) before baking the rest!
What do you LUV? I luv coffee, hiking, peanut butter, flowers, CAKE! and this unique watch by Jord Wood Watch that just happens to match my brand :)
Today I am celebrating one year in our first home, with our pup and 1 year of marriage. I just looked back on the goals my husband and I wrote together before we even got engaged, and its incredible how quickly time passes! We are tracking with most of our goals but only about a year behind on our projected timeline to start a family. Oops! It will happen when its supposed to happen. In the meantime, I fill my life with wine, chocolate, and lots and lots of C A K E.
I wanted to share an easy chocolate cake recipe in case you wanted to whip something up to surprise your loved one on Valentines Day! and to top it it all off- I am partnering with Jord Wood Watches to bring you all an incredible giveaway! If you have been following along my journey, you all know how much I love to gift (especially when its an giveaway where everyone wins!) Enter to win here and you automatically get a $25 credit to Jord Watches and place yourself in the running for $100 gift card too. They have awesome women watch and men watch options!
These watches are Amaze-ing!!! You can even get them personally engraved. But I love the attention to detail in the wood and the craft in making each watch.. I get so many compliments every time I rock this piece!
Happy Baking, friends! I hope your Valentine's Day is sweeter than ever :)
Choco- Chocolate Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup black cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
Well 2016- you have surpassed all expectations. It was the year full of so many firsts for me. Lets take a look back on all the sweet surprises this year had to offer!
Yowza! That is a year for the books. I hope you enjoy all the sweet creations below! Thank you for following my journey, allowing me to pour my heart into my baking to come up with delicios creations for each and every one of my customers. Its a passion I want to grow year over year and continue to serve my community, family and friends! Cheers to 2017
There have been lots of exciting changes happening and I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to celebrate than with champagne cupcakes topped with candied grapefruit and swiss buttercream!
After one year hiatus, I am returning to full time corporate life. I also got myself a car (yay to independence!) and a sweet rescue puppy who we named Jax. So I guess its true- good things really do come in 3! I couldn't be more excited for all the changes and progression I am making with Eat More Cake too! Stay tuned for announcements to come :)
This recipe is super duper easy and fun! I added the candied grapefruit for texture and some tartness but its completely optional. Champagne cake is traditionaly pink but I decided to keep out the food coloring.
Champagne Cupcakes Recipe: yields 24-26 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 cup Champagne (No need for expensive Champagne, I used a bottle that I had lying around the house)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degree F Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on medium speed for 5m minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Mix in egg whites one at a time.
3) With the mixer speed on low, add the flour and champagne in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour to prevent curdling.
4) Pour batter into prepared pans and fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I had some Swiss buttercream in the freezer, This is a less sweet more buttery type frosting but you can make any frosting you prefer. Below is the recipe for a standard American Buttercream with a twist!
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
In a mixing bowl, beat butter for 1 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and grapefruit juice. Beat for 5 minutes or until creamy and fluffy.
I don't think these baked doughnuts really need an introduction. Doughnuts are back! And there are ways to make them less of a guilty pleasure than the beloved store bought versions. Here is how:
1) You DONT have to fry them! I know I know, everything is better when its fried. Coming from the girl who could eat french fries with every meal and not bat an eyelash. BUT believe me, they are still Am-A-zing baked if you have star recipe (which i'm about to give you).
2) Sub the bad ingredients for a healthier version. Let me explain:
These are moist, not too sweet, not too dense, pillowy goodness. I opted for a maple glaze but you can absolutely get creative and add any glaze flavor you love! *Hint hint- salted caramel would be pretty scrumptious too.
Pumpkin Doughnuts: Yields 6 (adopted from the The Faux Martha)
3 tbsp. melted coconut butter (or unsalted butter)
½ cup all- purpose flour
½ cup cake flour (or sub for a total of 1 cup all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon pumpkin spice
2 tbsp. buttermilk (*If you don't have buttermilk, combine 2 tbsp whole milk with 1/4 tsp vinegar, allow to sit for 5 min to curdle)
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 tbspoon honey or date paste (blended dates)
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 400 degress
2) Melt coconut (or butter) and set aside to cool
3) Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice in a bowl and whisk ingredients
4) In a separate bowl, combine canned pumpkin, sugar, egg, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla extract
4) With a spatula, combine wet and dry ingredients until combined. Be careful to not over mix, as this can create a dense doughnut
5) Spray the doughnut pan with coconut oil, using a piping bag or spoon, distribute batter evenly into baking pan
6) Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the doughnut springs back. Or insert toothpick, should come out clean. Allow to cool in the baking pan for 1 minute before cooling on cooling rack.
7) While doughnuts cool, make the glaze. No recipe here! Combine powdered sugar, milk and maple syrup to your desired consistency
Serve and Enjoy!
Worlds easiest cookie to make and only 3 ingredients! Not to mention, they are gluten free, grain free, and you can even make them refined sugar free.
As much as I don't like to confess this fun fact: In college, I had to have a scoop of peanut butter every single day. I tried every brand I could find and it wasn't until I studied abroad in Mexico and Spain that I finally broke this peanut butter obsession. I couldn't find it abroad....I looked every day.
Needless to say, my peanut butter obsession most likely inspired this very peanut buttery cookie. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:
1 cup Peanut Butter (Choose your fav)
1 cup brown sugar (sub coconut sugar if you are refined sugar free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2) In a mixer- blend the peanut butter and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in egg, baking soda and vanilla extract
3) Using a tablespoon or ice cream scooper, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Flatten on cookie sheet with a fork.
4) Bake for 9-10 minutes. They will be delicate, soft, flaky cookies so be gentle when transferring from baking sheet to cooling rack.
5) After the cookies have cooled, fill with peanut butter frosting and a dollop of your favorite jam. Sprinkle with Maldon finishing salt
Peanut Butter Frosting:
I actually don't have a recipe because you don't need one! Below are the ingredients in the frosting but play around with the ratio. If you want a sweeter frosting, add more confectioner sugar. If you want less sweet add more peanut butter and milk/cream to thin out the frosting.
Milk/Cream (can use dairy free alternatives)
To all the momma bears and papa bears out there- add these PBJ Sammies (in cookie form) to your kiddos lunch box. They will love them, they will love you, and they will love their first day back to school.
As I always say, celebrate more and Eat More Cake, if thats what makes you happy!
I was recently asked how I make my cakes so light and fluffy. Yowza! For bakers that is one loaded question! There are several factors that contribute to creating a cake that is airy and light in texture, and I wasn't sure how to condense the answer in order to prevent an hour long monologue.
Alright so i've decided to share what I believe to be the most commonly skipped step that makes a world of a difference when it comes to cake texture. I want to start off by mentioning that baking is science. Unfortunately, the only way to truly get the results that you want is to experiment. Luckily there are a plethora of options and recipes at our fingertips now a days, but I still encourage you to experiment with the recipes, make adjustments to your liking of taste and texture and have fun!
I prefer my white cakes to be light and airy vs dense and moist (Nothing wrong with this type of cake) and have my go to recipe that works perfectly. This recipe also has a secret ingredient......wait for it.......whipped cream! Yup, thats right. Whip up that cream and fold it into the cake batter as your last step, You can thank me later :)
I am going to KIS (no, I didn't misspell KISS). But KIS- KEEP IT SIMPLE, for you all.
CREAMING the Butter and Sugar based on the recipe directions. If the recipe says to cream for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until light and fluffy.....DO IT! I seriously used to speed up this step by mixing on high for a few minutes and called it good. But don't- you are missing a crucial step that can't be reversed or made up for in another step of cake making. And simply put, here is why:
Creaming the softened butter and sugar creates air pockets in the mixture. The sugar aerates the butter and creates bubbles that allow for expansion of the cake (due to the work of your leavener) when baking.
Thats it! If you want more detail regarding what the mixture texture and color should look like, check out the detailed explanation from King Arthur Flour
If the recipe doesn't specify, then what do I do? I cream for 3-5 minutes on medium speed until the color changes from yellow to a palish yellow, almost white. It should be a light texture, not grainy. Another important component, ROOM TEMP BUTTER. Let it sit out for at least 2 hours before you begin.
I hope this helps you the next time you tackle cake making! Leave a comment and let me know if this tip was helpful. Any other tips your dying to know when it comes to baking??
I know what you're thinking- Paleo? Gluten Free? BORING! But I promise you my friend, this is anything but boring. This recipe adopted by Ambitious Kitchen is the closest tasting to the real deal.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar ( you can also sub for brown sugar)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1./4 teaspoon salt
3 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt, for garnish *OPTIONAL
1/2 pack of Vanilla Pudding (powder mix, not the actual pudding) *OPTIONAL
Instructions: Yields 12-16 cookies
*If you can't have almond flour because of allergies sub for 1/3 cup coconut flour only. AND 2 eggs.
*You can use any chocolate your heart desires. But the quality of chocolate makes all the difference in this recipe. I used Theo Dark Chocolate.
Hello! I'm Candice and I love baking. This blog is dedicated to all things sweet, exploring your passion, staying inspired and encouraging you to Eat More Cake!