Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Sweets: Cake Nouveau

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I love seeing online bakery galleries with consistently gorgeous, creative, and impeccably detailed cakes. Too often I'll find a great cake, only to visit the original site and discover it's the one stand-out in a gallery of otherwise lackluster specimens.

That said, I was thrilled when a reader tipped me off to Courtney Clark's work over at Cake Nouveau; every entry is so amazing, I couldn't pick just one favorite! So here are six samples, but I highly recommend you visit her site to see the rest of her work: it is well worth your time.

That scroll work is perfection, and I love the tiny roses peeking out.

As a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, I'm loving Courtney's interpretation of Snow White here. (There's also a Toy Story version on her site.)

Doing what I do, I've seen a lot of amazing purse cakes. I mean, a LOT. But this has got to be my all-time favorite:

Gorgeous.

I'm not really sure why this is called "rattlesnake", but for you non-bakers out there: look at the way the sides of this cake are shaped. See those cartoony curves? And how the bows look like actual fabric? That, my friends, is called talent. Sweet, sugar-coated talent.

Now, I know this next one is fairly simple, but I had to include it - I just HAD to:
It's orange and pink and perfect all over. Jen likes.

And lastly, an Alice in Wonderland theme:
That teapot is awesome. And a very merry un-birthday to you all!
The Courteous Chihuahua said...

How absolutely delightful!

Alix said...

Truly amazing. But I wonder why the gorgeous tiered cake is named "Rattlesnake." Am I missing something obvious?

And those bows! I wish I could wrap real ribbons like that. My favorite cake, though, has to be the handbag. That's Perfection.

As always, thank you Jen, for educating us on the the good, the bad the ugly and the stellar of the cake world.

ND said...

having just taken a beginner's course in fondant decorations - I truly appreciate these creations! even the 'simple' one is great!
Thanks for your fab blog, Jen!

Fluffy Cow said...

How sweet. These are so beautiful, I love that they are themed without being tacky. I wonder if that purse cake costs more or less than the real thing!!!

WV- setam
You have the cakes? Setam down right here.

themedianerd said...

those are beautiful! the link to the Cake Nouveau website doesn't work...i'd love to see more!

Mirinda said...

Those are all amazing! I hope this girl gets paid a lot for her talent because she is SO worth it!

Pan Historia said...

These really are amazing cakes! Thanks for sharing some of the success stories too.

HorribleLicensePlates said...

All of these are too pretty to eat! I would probably carry around that purse cake, it looks so good. I don't know if the resulting icing mess would be worth it though. Still these are all "wow" cakes.

Abbie said...

I don't think I've EVER seen such talent! Amazing work!

Omm said...

Absolutely amazing! I thought the bows actually WERE fabric. These, my friends, are fondant finery.

Word verification: sockerr, what we want to do to people who wreck cakes, but not the woman who made these!

Elizabeth said...

That Alice in Wonderland cake is the first cake that I've ever seen that made me say "Oh my god! When I get married I want THAT!"

Nandi said...

All I can say is total awesomeness!!! Hope your holiday season is a blast so far.

fading in the sun said...

wow. gorgeous!

Kateri said...

I love Sunday Sweets almost more then the weekday wrecks. I really want that teapot cake!

Mandy said...

Tasty beauty!

Ah, to have such talent.

schism said...

About the "Rattlesnake" cake, if you look at without the bows, it kind of resembles a rattle tail.

Molly S. said...

I was just talking to my boyfriend about this really amazing cake place in the Kerrytown district here in Ann Arbor while I was looking at the Cake Nouveau website, but I couldn't remember the name of the place. Then I came across the "Kerrytown" cake on the site, and I realized that this was the place!

I'm so happy to see Cake Nouveau featured on Sunday Sweets. They definitely deserve to be featured!

Michelle said...

Ugh, but all that nasty fondant! Yes, they are amazing works of art, but totally inedible in my book. Yuck!

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I could never slice a single one of those cakes! They are genius!

Amy said...

Awesome! That teapot cake is wonderful.
~Amy B

Rachel T. said...

Beautiful!

Brandi Fox said...

those are the beautiful sort of cakes that people ask less talented bakers to create and get cake wrecks in return!

MarieA said...

I've also said a gorgeous handbag should be good enough to eat.
simply delish... all of them! impressive too.

Brooke P. said...

Holy crap. That last one just about made me wet my pants. TMI? I might just get one to have around the house.

Vashti said...

STUNNING!!! I love the Snow white one!

sendingtheclowns said...

Gorgeous cakes. How can one bear eating them?
I have always loved orange and pink together--it's so unexpected!
My 32-yr.-old daughter would like the Alice cake; she's a huge fan of Lewis Carrol's Alice--it's a subtle theme in her life.

amyd said...

It took me a few minutes staring at the Rattlesnake cake, but I think I get it....see how the tiers resemble the rattle end of a rattlesnake's tail? Even down to the curve on each tier. She's made a beautiful interpretation of it. That cake is brilliant. And those bows! Amazing.

paige said...

Rattlesnake...the way the bows are lined up, it reminds me of the "rattler" on a rattlesnake's tail.

These cakes are all gorgeous! I love this site!

juds2323 said...

the link didn't work for me so I googled it. Her cakes are gorgeous too bad her reviews on yelp are mediocre. Wish I had that kind of talent.

amandaleggett said...

Wow...I don't even have words...those are some of the most amazingly beautiful cakes I've ever seen...wow.

Frippery said...

OMG The Alice in Wonderland is WONDERful!They are all right out of the pages of a fairy tale. Love them, P.

fuzzyblue said...

Everybody, you've GOT to go have a look at the site. All of her cakes are amazing. Here's a working link:

http://www.cakenouveau.com/home.html

If I ever get married, I'm going to have to hold the wedding in Ann Arbor just so I can get my cake from this place.

Sara said...

Loving that purse!!

Yels said...

I've been to Cake Nouveau many a time and seen the beautiful cakes in action. They are truly magnificent.

Also, the cupcakes they have available there are to die for!

sammik said...

Snow White is my favorite! I love everything Disney. :) Great cakes!

KenyonJen said...

Check out her MySpace page, too--she's dressed up as a cupcake! :)
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=134095269

Hyena Overlord said...

I love them. There are even some that are deceptively simple looking. I'll start practicing. My Parents 50th in next August. Apparently, I've been voluntold to bring the cake.


wvotd fleco: to use brown sugar for sand on a beach themed cake.

Mikki Black said...

How beautiful! I look forward to these Sunday spots just as much - if not more - than to the wrecks!

Maybe the rattlesnake is a snaking stack of rattles? It made me think of a little classic baby rattle with a bow on the handle.

Anonymous said...

That purse-cake is amazing. It's fantastic to look at and I'm in love with the detailing - she manages to make fondant look like fabric, leather, and metal all at the same time! - but it's still soft enough to look edible. Even appetizing. Hm, I need to stop reading this blog before breakfast...

Stacy said...

A friend recently linked me to a flickr account for a student in London whose work was consistently amazing - The ribbons reminded me of those here.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosey_sugar_palace/

Anonymous said...

Meh. They're pretty, but in my opinion a little fondant goes a long way. When I find myself trying to figure out where the actual cake layers are under the fondant, that's too far.

OTOH, considered as props, these are works of art.

Word verification: guete. That unfortunate foreign guy who accepts an invitation to a party and then discovers that nobody thought to warn him about the weird customs. Okay, I caught the garter. Now what am I supposed to do with it?

Jenny said...

That Alice in Wonderland cake is horrid! It looks like she has a teapot for a torso!

Hi Kooky said...

So so so gorgeous! It makes my eyes happy to look at these works of art!

FreedomFirst said...

Ohhh, I love the teapot cake! And the one with the pretty curves. Thanks!

Haddayr said...

These are all WONDERFUL, but I loved the last one so much I actually feel swoony.

Beth said...

regarding the rattlesnake, not only to the tiers sort of resemble a snakes rattle, but the orange and black wrapped between the bottom two layers resembles the markings on a snake.

Elessa said...

my jaw was literally dropped by the time i reached the alice in wonderland cake.

amazing! simply amazing cakes!

AlisonH said...

WOW!!!

TattingChic said...

WOW! Those are some jawdroppingly gorgeous cakes!

Vodka Mom said...

those are incredible! damn.

C.G. said...

Absolutely lovely!!! Thank you for sharing!


Carol G.

Anonymous said...

Wow!
I want that Alice cake!

I have a theory on the rattlesnake one: the shapes of the layers are very suggestive of the shape of the rattle. This would not be obvious unless you have seen one up close. I do wonder what that backstory is on that one, who requests a rattlesnake cake? What romantic encounter did they have over a rattlesnake?
Alex

Katy said...

I just went on the website and looked through every single one of those cakes. They are all amazing. My expectations for a good cake has just risen. A lot.

Christine said...

I have had my last three birthday cakes made for me by Courtney at Cake Nouveau (the Elvis and Buffy cakes are the last two). Not only are her cakes gorgeous, but the fondant ACTUALLY TASTES GOOD! People actually eat it! This is part of the reason I keep going back!

Chewbob said...

She has a Buffy cake AND a Harry Potter cake AND a Nightmare Before Christmas cake. She is my cake fandom hero.

Anonymous said...

I must be the only person to not like the look of fondant. I appreciate the work and the artistry and the attention to detail - but fondant always either looks like plastic or rubber and, thus, not appetizing.

Anonymous said...

I think we broke them! Server is down.

Kasey said...

The Buffy cake made me laugh out loud! Mrr. Argh!
Thanks for sharing this site.


verification restse Time to take my nap!

Sheri said...

That purse is freakin' amazing. Well, okay, they are ALL amazing (especially when you're used to seeing so many BAD cakes), but the purse just made my jaw drop because I would have never known it was a cake at all!

DivaLea said...

I am such a sucker for curled roses. They're so cute!

Rach said...

Oh, I love love love the Alice in Wonderland cake!

Anonymous said...

The cakes from Cake Nouveau are gorgeous as always. Having actually had their cake I can tell you it is dry and tasteless underneath. :(

susie190 said...

Your right that was totaly worth checking out. WOW!

Beth said...

These cakes are great, but the Alice in Wonderland is a little frightening to me. It looks as if a giant teapot fell down and smashed Alice on the head. There's her dress, but where's the rest of her?

Susan's Scribbles said...

WOW!!! These are fabulous! I don't think I could bear to cut into one though. They are truly works of art.

Mandee said...

Those are gorgeous! I went to her site, and those cakes are just amazing!!! I wish I could go get some of her cupcakes...the Hot Chocolate ones sound delightful!!! My favorite is the Snow White cake. :)

christine said...

I am so sick of "mad hatter" cakes, and even though the teapot is one LITERALLY, I love it!

Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said...

I love these kind of cakes! However I have to agree with the people who post about fondant tasting like garbage. It generally does but this lady wouldn't be in business if she wasn't good and if it didn't taste good! Whatever you might think a bride will not buy a cake that tastes bad. Not on purpose anyway.

THE MISTRESS OF CAKES HEREBY DECREES THAT THESE CAKES HAVE HERE STAMP OF APPROVAL!!!!

Thank you announcer guy. As I was saying. Beautiful. I am glad you use at least one day a week to promote true cake beauty!

DoodleBunz/DB Impressions said...

Those are TERRIFIC! Kuddos to the bakery...

Emily said...

I looked at the album, and I have to say these three are my favorites.........

[IMG]http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o338/LoveDove02_2008/cake136b.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o338/LoveDove02_2008/cake100b.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o338/LoveDove02_2008/cake67b.jpg[/IMG]

BreeAnn said...

I've been enjoying Cake Nouveau for a long time, I was so happy to see her on Sunday Sweets! Way to go! Such wonderful work!

cate said...

I love the Down the Rabbit Hole cake. I hope Tim Burton takes notice. Wouldn't it be great to see some amazing cake in his Alice in Wonderland movie in the tea party scene? Isn't it great? No CGI needed to make beautiful cakes.

Christina said...

My jaw dropped when I saw the ribbons and fabric and realized that it wasn't the real thing! These are really amazing.

Gina said...

OMG, Looooooooove Snow White! And then on her site - the Dr. Seuss one? Adorable. The Wizard of Oz one? I. Want!!! :) Lots of really pretty cakes on the site. Very, very nice.

gabrielina said...

These cakes are absolutely gorgeous.

Bex said...

The "Rattlesnake" was probably made for a wedding or event at the "Rattlesnake Club" in Detroit.

The fondant she uses is pretty tasty - no icky Wilton fondant here. The cakes taste amazing too. She makes the most amazing Italian Meringue Buttercream!

Courtney has won several Challenges on Food Network also. She's a little bit of a minor celebrity here in Ann Arbor.

Here's a little video about her and the business: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnIi8aSh-kI

The Pink Queen Albatross said...

The cakes on that site were absolutely amazing and beautiful!! So many lovely ideas on there. Too bad I don't live in or plan in getting married in Ann Arbor.

Elisabeth said...

I thought I recognized that style ... This is wonderful shop right next to the People's Food Co-Op in Ann Arbor! Her window displays are so sweet. No vegan stuff, but she is willing to experiment!

Sally said...

Jen - did you happen to see this geek cakes yet? Found it through LOTD. I thought you might find them good:
http://www.slipperybrick.com/2008/11/25-awesome-geek-cakes/

Sorry - don't know how to do links within a comment.

Paige of Pearls said...

I just came to this site for the first time. I love the wrecks - kind of like those photo albums of celebrities with zero taste in fashion that make us all grateful for our own fashion sense - and I love these Cake Nouveau pictures, as well. They are evidence of perfection and talent in the world of cakes! I hope that someday I'll be able to make something even resembling something similar, but for now I'll be happy that my cakes are on a slightly smarter level than "wreckage!"

Thanks for this site!

Amy Jo said...

those are incredible! The pocketbook doesn't even look like it's a cake at first glance!

Cody said...

I'm from Ann Arbor and have had the pleasure of seeing Courtney Clark's work a number of times--she is truly in a class all her own. Incredible craftsmanship!!

mustang sally said...

I am absolutely in love with Down the Rabbit Hole. Anything Alice in Wonderland rocks my socks.

Thanks for the Sunday palate cleanser between wrecks.

Kendon said...

Well, this post is possibly one of the nicest and truest articles I've read about cake EVER! These cakes by Courtney ARE amazing! And yes, I am just a little bit biased because I am married to her, but I genuinely like every single cake and cupcake she makes! Anyone who thinks otherwise... well... I pity their palate's lack of judgement! Seriously... if you are ever in Ann Arbor, you must try her cakes. They're AWESOME!

Kendon said...

Oh... and PS to you, Cake Wrecks. You earned major bonus points with Courtney and Cake Nouveau... so if you ever stop in, your cupcakes are on the house! ;-) I think you've made a friend for life!

Anonymous said...

How could you not post the Mousies cake!!!!!!!!!! How could you not want to kiss their adorable little marzipan noses!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE YOU NO SOUL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, Rant over.

BUT I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY!!!!!

Wendy said...

My favorite (on her site) is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cake.

MaryO said...

Wowie zowie. I am soooooo impressed. Never in a million years could I create such lovely cakes! Wonderful! These pictures lift the spirit!

Anonymous said...

As the proud father-in-law, I have eaten a number of cupcakes from Cake Nouveau -- very tasty. And I drool over the tasty-looking artwork. Since I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I have to eat the cakes with my eyes.
I'm VERY PROUD of Courtney (and Kendon).

SampaDad

miss boo said...

Thanks for showing this site... I never would have known about them otherwise. I am SO contacting them to do my wedding cake, and they're not even far away from me!
Woo hoo!

Kristin aka kjnohr aka Trekkie Gal said...

Every single one is absolutely beautiful! I am absolutely in love with the Buffy cake that I found while checking out their website. :D

Arjun and Indira said...

I have only been following your blog for a short while now, but have you seen this website/cake for the beautiful cakes? http://www.pinkcakebox.com/
Damiane'

Sylvonna said...

I was going to write to you and recommend looking at this place. It is in my hometown and I visit all the time. Their store front specializes in cupcakes (with wonderfully delicious flavors) but the cakes are what really stand out. All of the fondant is hand rolled. Not to mention that the owner and workers are the most friendly of folks!

Laura said...

Just came to this site for the first time... I live in Ann Arbor, and work downtown close to Cake Nouveau. I have to forget that I am a few blocks away or else I would weight 500 lbs!

Her cupcakes are beyond amazing with fantastic flavors, the cakes are gorgeous and Courtney is extremely nice...

Sixxlet said...

Slowly going through all of your previous posts. I think the Snow White and Alice In Wonderland cakes are gorgeous and very creative!

Pamela said...

I believe it's the shape, the stacked cake looks like cake vertebrae...

Pamela said...

I believe "rattlesnake" comes from the shape of the cake. The shape and the way it's stacked, looks like vertebrae...

Erica said...

Oh my God! These cakes are amazing! I checked out the website, and they just keep getting better and better. As a self-proclaimed Disney dork, I love all of the Disney inspired cakes ... amazing. I am thoroughly jealous of the talent!

T.O.C. said...

Oh! As soon as I saw the Snow White and Alice in Wonderland cake I was speechless! I am a sucker for me Disney movies. No commentary is needed for me to know what it is.
~T.O.C.

Valerie said...

I love Cake Nouveau and all of Courtney's work! She's so talented AND it actually tastes good too! I've had many a wedding cake that look just beautiful but taste like cardboard! But, my brother & sister-in-law got their cake from Cake Nouveau and it was just gorgeous, matched their fall theme beautifully AND it tasted devine! They had a cinnamon spice cake (I think) with a caramel apple filling to again go with the fall theme. It was then served with hot apple cider. YUM!

She's so talented though and I love looking at all the designs on her website!