This past year I was lucky enough to become Insta-friends with ORZ raw honey. We did a trade—my handcrafted caramels for her organic honey. I couldn’t wait to use it in a dessert. I wanted something that would really highlight the natural flavor of the honey—and this buttercream recipe does exactly that. I paired it with a tender lemon cake which balances the sweetness perfectly. Good, quality honey really makes a difference and lets the flavor shine. This makes an ideal tea party or brunch cake—I wouldn’t think twice about eating it for breakfast either with a hot cup of tea. The honey buttercream can be used on other cake or cupcake flavors as well—it would be amazing on a dark chocolate cake.
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons organic raw honey
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Whip softened butter and honey with a mixer until combined. Add powdered sugar slowly, alternating with tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add more or less cream to achieve a spreadable consistency.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg + 2 yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the whole egg followed by the yolks and mix until combined. Then add the lemon juice and zest. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the batter until all is incorporated well. Don’t over mix to ensure a tender cake. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake from pan and cool before frosting.
I met Laurel Bledsoe, owner of Florida-based interior design company Laurel Bledsoe Design, at a food blogger photography workshop this past summer. We immediately hit it off discussing our businesses and future plans. It’s always wonderful to meet fellow small business owners—bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming. Her company also has a blog Little Black Domicile that features free design tips every week and has proven to be a great tool for clients. After the workshop, we stayed in touch and Laurel reached out to have me create some custom gift boxes to send out to her clients. What a fun project! Check out her blog post on our collaboration here.
Sometimes gift-giving can be tricky—but I believe crowd-pleasing edibles are sure to go over well with everyone. I knew my handcrafted caramels in their kraft box packaging would make the perfect little gift. Keeping with LBD’s business identity, I added a sleek black satin ribbon to match her business card tucked inside.
Crowd-pleasing edible gifts are always sure to be a hit with everyone.
I also designed a larger custom gift box option I plan to launch soon. It all started with the container. I appreciate attention to detail and one-of-a-kind touches. After wanting something that felt special and could be reused, I decided to build my own custom wood box. It’s sturdy but not too heavy. Kraft paper crinkles make a nice nesting place for all the goodies inside.
Along with a packaged box of my buttery, soft caramels, I included an individual banana bread in a jar with mini wooden spoon. Banana bread brings memories of comfort and love—I grew up watching my Memaw make her signature recipe often. Each time I bake it, I’m reminded of all those happy times and I truly believe you can taste all the love that’s gone into it.
I started my business with the desire to spread happiness with sweet treats.
I also called upon my good friend and talented calligrapher Nicki at Tandem Calligraphy to create a custom decor piece. She hand-lettered a beautiful round of raw wood with the phrase “life is sweet”, a mantra I like to think of everyday.
A satin ribbon, hand-written note of thanks, and caramel info sheet are the finishing touches before packing up to ship. I hope that each recipient enjoys each gift that’s been put together with thought and care. I started my business with the desire to spread happiness with sweet treats—I think these custom Sweet Melissa gift boxes are a great way to start!