S’mores Campfire Cake


If you are looking for an end of summer and end of diets cake, look no further.

This S’mores Campfire Cake is both of those things and more….where do I even begin?

How about I start with: I was supposed to give this cake away to 3 different families, however my mother and stepfather and I are the ONLY 3 people that ate this entire cake.

Yes I know, we have a problem and it’s called THIS CAKE IS AMAZING!!

The s’more sponge cake alone is O M GEE awesome!

Then add the ganache and buttercream icing!???

Please………….you may just want to pitch that tent in the backyard – all alone, with this cake – and don’t tell anyone where you have gone!

S'mores Campfire Cake
Prep time
Total time
This is a building on recipes recipe so be sure to have all your base recipes prepared in advance before beginning
For those who want a more "marshmallow-y" filling do not add the butter or shortening to the swiss buttercream recipe
Serves: 1- 8" cake
  • 1 Recipe S'mores Sponge Cake
  • 1 Recipe Swiss Buttercream
  • 1 Recipe Ganache
  • candy rocks optional
  • marshmallows garnish optional
  • Pirouette Cookies
  • Oreo Crumbs garnish (about 8 oreos)
  • Sugar Fire Recipe in video tutorial: 2 cups sugar + 1 cup water
  1. Follow along with the video tutorial for how to assemble
This cake can stay at room temperature for up to 3 days

Refrigerate for longer storage 1 week
Read More →

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake

I am dubbing this Strawberries and Cream Cake the “Say Yes to the Dress Cake!”

For me this design is reminiscent of a bridal shower or maybe the day the girls go wedding dress shopping!?

After a day like that~ CAKE is definitely in order! Am I right?!

What better way than with a Strawberries and Cream Cake?

Of course this does not have to be anything to do with dresses or bridal showers (or Quinceañeras?!)

This cake for any ol’ reason is the best reason actually!

Strawberry Chiffon Cake layered with vanilla pastry cream and fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Buttercream gives this cake the perfect pink tint and of course more strawberries dipped in white chocolate to garnish!

I used my Swiss Buttercream recipe this time because, well…..my mom insisted!  She knew she would be the recipient of this cake and well let’s just say beggars are becoming chosers! LOL

Nah, Mom can have whatever icing she prefers! And she definitely prefers the Swiss over the American Buttercream!

For the Super White Chocolate and the Dress Cookie cutter check out Candlyland Crafts ~ They ship worldwide!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberries and Cream Cake
This is a building on recipes cake so be sure to have all your base recipes prepared ahead of time
Serves: 1 - 7" Cake
  1. Follow along with the video instructions
Cake must be kept refrigerated due to the pastry cream filling.

Bring cake to room temperature for about an hour before serving, but do not keep it out of refrigeration for longer than 3 hours total

Keep covered in an airtight container and it will stay fresh for up to 5 days
Dress Cake close up dress




Read More →

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

I should preface this blog post by saying that this Black Forest Cake I am sharing with you, is the American version Black Forest Cake!

This is not the authentic German version that is loaded up with Kirshwasser infused cherries, Kirsh flavored whipped cream and a drunken simple syrup to soak the cake layers.

Now please let me be clear that I am not at all knocking the authentic German version by any means…after all it is a classic cake; a most famous and delectable dessert enjoyed by…….. ADULTS!

I have learned over the years as baker /owner of a retail bakery and as pastry chef/ blogger here on the internet, that there are many more people who DO NOT like alcohol in their desserts as opposed to the people who do like a little “toddy” now and then.

So in the interest of preparing a cake that most people will actually make and eat, I am going to show the American version today.

I am however going to be using small amounts of Kirshwasser in the black cherry compote, the whipped cream and the simple syrup, but you can of course leave it out of everything completely with no substitutions.

All you die hard pastry passion-istas……. cover your eyes! It’s about to get deliciously sacrilegious up in here!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Forest Cake
Prep time
Total time
We are Building on Recipes here so be sure to get all of your base recipes prepared in advance
Serves: 1 - 8" Cake
  • 1 Recipe Chocolate Cake (baked into 3-8" layers)
  • 2 Recipes Whipped Cream (1/3 will be made into chocolate whipped cream)
  • ¼ Recipe Ganache
  • 1 Recipe Black Cherry Compote
  • ¼ Recipe Simple Syrup
  • Cherrry Juice 2 - 4 tablespoons *optional
  • Kirshwasser 3 Tablespoons or to your taste *optional
  • Chocolate Shavings for garnish
  • Fresh Cherries for garnish
  1. Bake cake layers and be sure they are fully cooled before beginning to build the cake (I keep mine in the freezer until I am ready to build)
  2. Prepare all base recipes except the whipped cream as far as 1 week in advance or as directed for the storage on each recipe
  3. Prepare whipped cream only when all base recipes are ready and add 1 Tablespoon of Kirsh at the last stage of whipping.
  4. Take out ⅓ of the entire amount of whipped cream and add the melted cooled chocolate ganache.
  5. Add the other 2 tablespoons of Kirsh and 2 tablespoons of cherry juice to the Simple Syrup
  6. Fill the cake layers brushed with the infused cherry simple syrup and then fill with chocolate whipped cream and black cherry compote.
  7. Ice cake with remaining regular whipped cream
  8. garnish with chocolate shavings and fresh cherries.
This cake must be stored in the refrigerator at all times due to the whipped cream filling and icing for up 5 days covered
Read More →

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream cake? Yeah we got that…………..

But this sure ain’t no ordinary Ice Cream Cake!

Drum roll please!

This my friends……………….is a 7- Layer Oreo Cookies and Ice Cream cake!!

Last month I asked my fellow Gretchenators on Facebook to post a picture of their favorite dessert that they would like to see me replicate; and the one that got the most “likes”  Facebook_like_thumb  would be the winner!

The winner was awarded a cake kit of choice and my eBook – the Gretchen’s Bakery Guide to Owning a Bakery! Not bad eh?

7 layer ice cream cake - Bareerah Nana-PatelAnd here you have it- by popular choice ~ posted by Bareerah Nana-Patel!!
Bareerah used some different ice creams and cake for the original pictured here, but I will be putting my little spin on this Ice Cream Cake of course, so you all can feel free to do the same.

If you have a favorite ice cream flavor then by all means please change it up!

That’s the fun of building on recipes is that you can pretty much make it your own!

Just a couple things to consider when making ice cream cakes though, is #1 the Icing and #2 the Cake
That is if you even want icing or cake in your ice cream cake!

But for those of you who do indeed want a couple layers of cake in there with some icing to seal the deal….well we obviously have to FREEZE this cake at all times, so you should consider the cake choice to be one that will do well being served under those circumstances.

And wherever did we learn that? Why, the blog post called What is Cake? Of course!

Angel Food Cake is my favorite cake to use in Ice Cream Cake, since there is NO FAT in the recipe it will not be hard and dry when frozen!

Another good one would be the Chiffon Cake or the Yellow Cake since those are both made with oil, they have a better chance of staying pliable and softer when super cold.

I don’t have any qualms about eating my chocolate cake frozen either…I would eat that cake under ANY circumstance!

Next you will decide on the icing. Again considering that it will be frozen when serving.
As amazing as that buttercream recipe may be; I think that not many people want to eat it when it is frozen!? But hey, then again there are no rules really so you decide!

Whipped Cream is usually my choice when icing Ice Cream Cakes, however if you work fast enough you can always use some semi melted vanilla ice cream as the icing!

This was a trick I learned way back when I worked at Baskin Robbins as a cake decorator! Believe me it’s not easy to use melting ice cream as an icing! But it does really work well for texture, taste and overall effect of an ice cream cake! You just need a super heavy duty freezer to blast that baby frozen once you get it is place!

This time though, I will be using ganache since my cake just happens to be chocolate and oreos overload!

Why not make it even more sinful with a hefty slathering of rich deep chocolate ganache too!

*I will note that I had a tricky time icing it with ganache without a crumb coat, I highly recommend using a very thin layer of either whipped cream or buttercream or even some thickened ganache to make a base layer before pouring warm ganache straight over ice cream! What a melting mess!

So let’s get down to business….this cake ain’t no joke, WE HAVE WORK TO DO!

Yes the prep times says 24 hours! That is not a typo! 🙂

Ice Cream Cake
Prep time
Total time
It is best to start this project at least 1 day ahead of time and be sure to have sufficient space cleared in your freezer before beginning. We will have to go in and out of the freezer quite often while building this cake, so the colder it is, the better it will be too!
This is a building on recipescake so be sure to have all of your base recipes prepared ahead of time
You will need 4- 7" cake pans to mold your ice cream layers as well
If you do not have 4- 7" cake pans you can absolutely still make this cake, however you will just not have a 7-Layer one like I am making!
Serves: 1 - 7" Cake
  • Ice Cream of choice 2 Gallons (I used Oreo in chocolate & vanilla, vanilla and then Mrs. Fields Brownie Blast in chocolate)
  • ½ Recipe Angel Food Cake baked into 2- 7" layers
  • 1 Package Oreo Cookies (separate 1½ cups for the crust- the rest for garnish and fillings)
  • Butter (salted or unsalted) 4 Tablespoons (56g)
  • ½ Recipe Ganache
  • **Sprinkles, Nuts, Cherries for garnish optional
  • ¼ RecipeButtercreamfor the rosette garnish and if you decide to do a crumb coat this will be enough
  1. Line the cake pans with plastic wrap and press ½ gallon of ice cream into each pan then freeze immediately for at least 4 hours or best overnight.
  2. On day 2, prepare the oreo crust by combining 1½ cups crushed oreo cookies with the melted butter.
  3. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased and parchment paper lined 7" cake pan orring mold as shown in the video
  4. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven (177°c) for approximately 10 - 12 minutes.
  5. Cool completely, meanwhile set up a double ring mold (or spring form pan with out the bottom attached as shown in the video) and place the cooled oreo crust in the bottom of the mold, then begin layering the ice cream on top of the oreo crust alternating with the angel food cake until no ice cream layers or cake layers remain.
  6. Freeze again until solid.
  7. Ice with your choice of icing and then cover with melted ganache and garnish as you wish.

 Ice Cream Cake Gretchens Bakery


Read More →

How to Make a Beach Wedding Cake

Beach Wedding Cake

Beach weddings may be one of the nicest venues for a wedding (in my opinion).

I think it just screams romance!

So unless you hate sand, this could be the most beautiful way to say “I do!”

On the other hand, not all of us can tie the knot on an island getaway but who said you can’t bring the beach to your wedding!?

What a great way to bring your fantasy wedding right to your doorstep!

This Beach Wedding Cake is just one idea of thousands of ways to incorporate the sun, sand and seashells for that beach theme!

Much of the decoration for this cake can be handmade or purchased at very reasonable prices at craft stores and cake decorating stores alike.

I will link to all of the supplies for you right here!

But first you must prepare all of your recipes  in advance and get to building that cake!

So be sure to watch the video and follow along with the blog instructions for everything you need on How to Build a 3 Tiered Cake

Great, now that you are an expert on Building 3 Tiered Cakes, you can decorate as you wish!

Visit Candyland Crafts online store for all of your cake decorating needs.  They ship worldwide and carry just about everything you will need or can dream of for making wedding cakes!

The Guylian Chocolates were a very lucky find in a local supermarket near my house, otherwise I find that they are not that readily available.  You can however order them online or try your hand at making Fondant Seashells for an added special touch!

When making my chocolate seashells I use Merckens chocolate coins since it is not necessary to temper this chocolate

I had a really hard time finding those Adirondack Chairs at Michael’s Crafts as I’d always seen them there in the past.  But of course once I finally needed them for a project they were no where to found, so I ordered them through an online craft supplier.

How to Make a Beach Wedding Cake
Full tutorial for How to Build a 3 Tier Cake for 60 people
Serves: 60 people

Read More →

Boston Creme Pie

Boston Creme Pie

This Boston Creme Pie got the best of me this week.

Can you see the giant portion taken out from the whole cake in the background?

Yep…..that was all me!

If you watch to the end of the video where I take my famous bite of cake to sign off yet another video…..I let out this strange squeaky squeal of ecstasy.

I then proceeded to eat the entire piece and then another one after that.

And then who will eat the piece that I used for the photo?  Can’t waste it right?

I seem to have a problem with really delicious desserts!

And the problem is ~ I CAN’T STOP EATING THEM!

I know you will love this Building on Recipes cake just be sure to have someone in the house to share it with, or tear you away from it!

Boston Creme Pie
This is aBuilding on Recipe recipe so be sure to get all your base recipes prepared ahead of time
Serves: 1 - 8" cake
  1. Follow along as per the video below
Because of the pastry cream, this cake must be kept refrigerated. It can be brought to room temperature for about 2 hours maximum

Wrap well or store in an airtight container to prevent drying of the sides of the cake, since this is a "naked cake" (no icing)
I will let you in on a secret I didn’t mention in the video: I had about 1 cup of buttercream leftover from an earlier project and I didn’t want to waste that either.  So I added it to my vanilla pastry cream recipe and O M G! It took this classic combination to heights I’d never dreamed of!
I honestly didn’t think it would do much to the filling, but what a great way to incorporate something I didn’t know what else to do with!

So you see guys, be creative…. experiment with different things; you never quite know what gems are hiding if you don’t dig around and stir things up a bit!

(Now I didn’t include the buttercream in the recipe below, since #1 I don’t want you to make an entire recipe just to add a spoonful…and #2 I didn’t mention it in the video so to add it in here would be a nightmare of confusion I couldn’t handle! Since I’ve learned that only a handful of you guys actually READ my blog posts….I feel like this is the hidden gem of information that only SOME of you will get! Wink wink..secret handshake private club stuff right here!)

AND……………………. if anyone pays attention in my videos – the reason this is called a PIE and not a CAKE is because originally the New England’ers that first made this classic combo did not have cake pans, so they would bake their batters in Pie Tins!

NOW- I have been corrected and someone else mentioned the “real” history of the Boston Creme Pies as follows: The original Boston Cream Pie was never baked in a pie tin at all. Dating back to 1856, an Armenian-French chef by the name of M. Sanzian created this dessert, and did in fact, bake sponge cake layers in true round tin cake pans. It was originally named for the Parker House – dubbed “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie”.
The use of pie tins did not come into play until 1875 when the New York Times featured this recipe after Christmas. Use of pie shaped tins were for common-folk/common-households, and not the traditional Pastry Arts methods. 


Read More →