Lemon Cake + Honey Buttercream Recipe

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.

 

honey buttercream

Ingredients:

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons organic raw honey

4-5 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions:

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.

 

lemon cake

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

Mother & Daughter Team

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to share a little glimpse into this mother/daughter team of ours. I can safely say, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the support of my dear Mama. Being an only child, I’ve always gotten so much love and attention—I consider myself very lucky. Throughout the years, she’s played so many important roles, and it continues with Sweet Melissa. Working neck-to-neck with me in the kitchen, wrapping caramels, setting up market booths, assisting at workshops, attending small business meetings, and helping with taxes. There’s no end to what she does. Read on to find out the top three things I’ve learned from her—both in business and life.

#1 Be strong.

A few years ago, I got my first tattoo on Mother’s Day. It was a phrase in her handwriting: “be strong my love.” Whenever I see it, I’m reminded to not give up and to keep going, no matter how hard. Like anyone else, I’ve gone through ups and downs in life. But to see all of the hard times she’s had to overcome inspires me to try and be just as strong.

#2 Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

One of my biggest downfalls is managing finances. Numbers have never been my thing—I’d rather ignore problems with money until they get out of control. I learned the hard way that this is not the right path to be on, and luckily my Mama was there to help get me on a better track. She told me even if I’ve done something wrong, it’s better to ask for help.

#3 Work hard and with integrity.

One of the best attributes my Mama is known for is her great work ethic. She’s worked her way up in the same company ever since I was born—respected and relied upon. I like to think I’ve held the same beliefs in the way I carry myself. Hard work goes a long way and being a person who does the right thing will reflect positively on you for years to come.

 

 

Lastly, I’d like to share this beautiful hand-lettered phrase I had created for me by the talented Lauren Heim Studio—”I got it from my Mama.” Look out for this design on some pieces in my soon-to-be-launched online shop. You may ask what is “it” that I get from her? Strength, cooking skills, work ethic, love of biscuits and gravy, big blue eyes. All good things!

One Year in Business: Things I’ve Learned

Time to pop the champagne! This month marks my one year business anniversary. Last August is when I became legit, got my food permit, and signed a contract with a commercial kitchen. Oh, the things I’ve learned! I’d love to share some of the details of my journey and what I’m planning moving forward. It’s been quite a learning experience and I’ve definitely grown as a business owner along the way. Working in the food industry has been a challenge for a self-taught baker like myself—but my passion for food and bringing people together is what keeps me pushing ahead.

Listen to your heart and your gut.

It’s SO important to listen to what your insides are telling you. Let your heart guide you. Let your gut tell you when something doesn’t feel right. Being true to yourself is crucial when starting your own business or brand. If you do things that feel off, it’s going to steer you away from the right direction. It’s one thing to have butterflies as an entrepreneur, but when you feel a pit in the bottom of your stomach, that’s not a good thing!


It’s okay to change your direction.

My gosh, in the beginning I had no idea what was involved in some of my business plans. What I had envisioned in my head was completely different than actually executing them. My Mama tried to warn me, but of course I wouldn’t listen—I had to experience it myself firsthand. That’s okay! Every time you find out what NOT to do, you move towards what you are meant to do.


Community is everything.

I never expected to become part of such a strong group of local entrepreneurs. I randomly joined my local Rising Tide Society Tuesdays Together group for a meeting last summer—and that was one of the best decisions I ever made. These people have become not only my support system in business, but have become such dear friends. I never feel alone or hopeless—I know I can always reach out to someone to chat or brainstorm. And it makes me feel good when I can help others as well—we all want each other to succeed. It’s #ComminityOverCompetition at its finest.


Don’t be so hard on yourself.

We’re all our own worst critics. I’m no exception. But sometimes our perfectionism can really put a burden on us. For every successful business or perfectly-curated Instagram account you see, there’s another story, a struggle, and tons of hard work. Some people find their groove relatively fast, others may take years. Either way it’s okay to go at your own pace—everyone starts somewhere!

Moving forward…

This has been my year of learning—seeing what works in my business, what’s profitable, and what I enjoy the most. At this point in time, I can’t afford to have my own commercial kitchen space, so I will continue to rent. The cost and logistics of renting by the hour don’t allow me to profit from doing event or wedding orders. I’m cutting out those services so I can focus on what makes the most sense and where my passions lie. Otherwise, I’m just going to be running a very expensive hobby (in addition to my full-time art director job)!

Handcrafted Caramels

Soon I’ll be carrying my caramels in some select local stores and also hope to create an online shop. This is an exciting endeavor for me and requires some more work on my end to make it happen. Wish me luck!

Workshops

The true heart of my business has always been the desire to bring people together with food and create memories. The response I’ve gotten so far from my workshops has been absolutely incredible. I’m thrilled to be planning more in the upcoming months and partnering with local businesses. Stay tuned!

Dessert Favors

I’m no longer doing wedding or event desserts, but I WILL be continuing to do custom dessert favor orders whenever possible. I love designing special packaging and getting to be creative with my treats.

Pop-ups & Markets

I have a TON of fun pop-ups and local markets I’ll be attending in the next few months. I truly love connecting one-on-one with people in the community and sharing my  creations.

A very special thank you to my dear friend and photographer Erika Mattingly. She’s been working with me since the beginning and has been instrumental in creating the feel of my brand. Also, I must give thanks to my incredible Mama who is my partner in business, life, and the kitchen. I couldn’t do any of it without her by my side. Thank you to everyone who has supported me this past year—I hope to continue spreading love the way I know how…through the kitchen.