As I outlined in my “Pinterest Wedding Do-Over” post, there are quite a few things I would choose to do differently if given the opportunity to plan my wedding again. While I can’t turn back time to pick different bridesmaids dresses or redecorate our venue, I was given a marvelous second chance to take part in a wedding-planning experience that I missed out on (and I didn’t even need to get married again to do it!).
The fabulous Erica, of Erica OBrien Cake Design, was kind enough to fill the void in my wedding planning process, by inviting me into her studio for a wedding cake tasting! To be fair, my husband and I were given a cake selection for our wedding. It consisted of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, a pen, and some check boxes. I can’t remember what we ended up “checking”— but that fact alone tells you that it left no lasting impression.
What first drew me to Erica’s cakes was that they were unlike anything I had ever seen. I eat a lot of dessert. I watch all the cake shows. I may or may not be able to direct you to the nearest cupcake shop from any given location in NYC. The cakes that I first saw on Erica’s website and then in her studio are true pieces of art and I soon learned that they tasted just as amazing as they looked.
I was welcomed into Erica’s shop in Hamden, CT, a space she shares with her sister “The Soup Girl”. The space consists of a storefront for the soup business, where several of Erica’s baked goods can be purchased, a consultation studio and of course, the kitchen! As she would if meeting with prospective couples, Erica led me into the consultation studio where the cake tastings take place.
I was immediately drawn to the warmth and style of the room. It was so tastefully decorated and cozy, with unique touches like the vintage-framed bulletin board Erica created herself. It became apparent immediately that Erica is somebody who knows that it’s the details make all the difference.
Photo courtesy of: Brooke Allison Photo
Photo courtesy of: Brooke Allison Photo
She set me up with three small “loaves” of cake (carrot cake, chocolate cake and vanilla cake) and six different filling samples (cream cheese, caramel, tiramisu, passion fruit, peach and orange). A complete list of available flavors can be found here. This was a great set up, because it allowed me to mix and match different combinations. They were all amazing!
Erica’s cakes are all made from scratch, using REAL ingredients (like fresh cream, fresh fruit and fresh butter), not cake mixes like some bakeries use (which I suspect my wedding cake was made with). While I stuffed my face, Erica gave me a little history of Erica OBrien Cake Design, and walked me through her process. A native New Yorker, Erica has been creating delicious, beautiful cakes for the last 15 years. After living in California for some time, she returned to the East Coast and opened up her shop in Hamden earlier this year.
I found it interesting that Erica’s client process was very similar to the process I have when creating custom invitations. It starts with a consultation and cake tasting (hmm, maybe we should start having cake at my client meetings, just because) where Erica really gets to know the couple and their vision for their wedding. Once they have made the decision to order their cake, Erica begins sketching and conceptualizing cake designs and tweaks it until the client gives her the go-ahead. From there, it’s off to the kitchen! To get a better look into Erica’s style, check out her awesome cake gallery.
Erica is super friendly, easy to talk to and passionate about creating her cakes. She comes with my highest recommendation to anybody in the NY-CT-MA area planning a wedding or special event.
Even though I ate more than what was lady-like, I still had some leftovers, which Erica was nice enough to box up for me and bring home to share with my hubby. While all of the samples were delicious, the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting was hands down my favorite, and I’m still thinking about it a week later!
Thank you Erica, for this amazing experience! To learn more and to book YOUR cake tasting, please visit www.ericaobrien.com.