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Hello sweet tooth!

Kristen Coniaris

Welcome to a gold mine of information about cake construction, cake decorating with modeling chocolate, gingerbread house building and the bakery business, all written by a former pastry chef. Here is where you can check out photo galleries of the best and the worst of my baked goods over the years including the naughty cakes. Here are my published books. Here is the reader Hall of Fame.

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New Here? — 60 Comments

  1. Hello,

    I’m an aspiring fashion designer that designs clothing inspired by desserts real and fake, I’ve watched your tutorials on trademark and copyrights, but does this also apply to using desserts as inspiration for clothing, and also what about posting what the clothing is inspired by, do I need to get permission from the publisher or person who made the dessert to post the dessert on my Instagram? And do I also need to get permission to use desserts as inspiration for my designs? Just cause I asked someone on Instagram (shoebakery) and they said that I can use desserts as inspiration unless it’s copyrighted, is that correct? I also plan on one day selling my clothing aswell, eventhough I’ve already asked someone I just thought I’d ask you aswell, as you seem more professional when it comes to this kind of thing.

    I also have an Instagram where I post the designs @_.sweetie.heart._

    Thank you for reading I hope to hear back from you soon xx

  2. Do you have a hard copy version of your bakery business book? I’d be very interested in buying it!
    I live in the boonies and we’re starting a small from scratch bakery here. I love that I can reference the info for free on your site, but I’d also like to have a copy in my hands for reference and note-making.

  3. Hi! I just came across your blog and LOVE it! I have a feeling I will be using your tutorials and tips a lot! What a great blog filled with easy to understand lessons, and information. I can’t wait to get started!

  4. just bought the 2 gingerbread videos and looked at the free ideas. Cool, cool, cool. Did I miss it? Is there a download pattern for the little cars? They are darling but I don’t see a pattern anyway on the site or videos. Thank you.

    • UPDATE: Now you can get printable versions here: Gingerbread Cookie Car Template

      I’m so glad you asked this question. I had completely forgotten about the templates for the car. I went digging into my old files and indeed, I did create one. It’s not calibrated in black and white specifically for print but you should be able to make do with it for now. I will be sure to add this to my list of materials-to-release at some point later this year. Thanks! You led me to discover a small treasure.

  5. Hi, love the site! Do you have a link with tips on how to store and display cupcakes properly? I’m trying to figure out refrigerated vs non for a new, small bakery display? It will have one refrigerated side and one non-refrigerated. I want to be in the food safety guidelines without drying my cupcakes or tossing unsold items after 4 hours. Thanks!

    • I don’t have an article to your specifications but I can tell you that in short, if you are working with natural products such as butter, cheese, or egg-based mousse (essentially any raw ingredient that normally requires refrigeration), then your cupcakes must remain refrigerated at all times. Of course they will go stale faster as a result. This is one of the many disadvantages of selling cupcakes.

      If you are working with entirely non-natural products like synthetic cake mixes and shortening-based frostings, your cupcakes may be safe at room temperature. I would be very careful about it though. Don’t do it unless you are absolutely sure it’s okay. In my experience manufacturing cakes and cupcakes on the synthetic end of the spectrum for stores like Costco and Walmart, there were hefty, caustic preservatives involved and we tested the products at labs to determine shelf life before anything went to market.

      Selling cupcakes is a tricky business because it is an individually portioned dessert that involves more time on the production end as you work to keep up with volume and freshness. For this reason, I suggest diversifying the product line to include larger, higher ticket items with a longer shelf like 8″ and 10″ cakes, which sell well. These can be produced in bulk then frozen and decorated as needed, which increases production efficiency, positioning them in the sweet spot when it comes to profit margin and saleability.

  6. Hi Kristen
    I purchased the Cake Splat Book and finally found it in my downloads. I subscribed to your site and I cant for the life of me find your recipe for Swiss Buttercream can you help me out?? Thank You

  7. Please forgive me if this is noted on your site, I just can’t seem to find it. Are you actually baking in the 3 inch pans or simply constructing in them?
    Thank you!

  8. Hi …. I wrote a message two days ago but it seems to of vanished into the ether. My question was would the consistency of a brownie or a almond meal based cake be the best for making tall cakes? I was thinking that the consistency would need to be firm as in fruit cakes for wedding cakes. I have ordered the book but of course it will need some time to arrive …. yes, I guess everyone wants the answers when they think of the question. 🙂 Thank you for you really lovely website and blog. Cheerio for now,

    • I found another comment from you located here. Was that the one? I don’t have a catch-all answer to this question for you. However I can state with confidence that there are more critical factors that go into the stability of cake besides the flour. In my experience, the fillings and infrastructure have much more bearing on the success or failure of a tall cake. Those are the two things you absolutely must get right or the cake may collapse. As for the cake sponge itself, a light kind of sponge is going to give you the advantage of less weight bearing down on the fillings and on the lower half of the cake. This idea of picking a dense and heavy sponge is not necessarily the best impulse when it comes to height. At the very least, it will not guarantee a stable cake.

    • Thank you so much …. I will rethink the consistency …. maybe one of what you call pound cakes would be a good alternative? I will Google what that means 🙂 Thank you again . Today I visited a shop that sells products for cakes … in France this means of course speaking in French which is not my strength by any means ….. so it will be a weekend of experimenting me thinks .
      Cheerio for now,

  9. Hi. I am not a professional baker. I bake as a stress release from my hospital job and as a hobby. I hope that one day I can start my own caking business, I know I will have to start small. I just purchased your Smooth Buttercream Cake Frosting book and found your buttercream technique very unique, interesting and got a lot of information from it. Let me say that your cakes and decorating abilities are exquisite, and very elegant. I will be purchasing your Cake Decorating with Modeling Chocolate Book too. I am just curious, do you have any cake recipe books for sale? Thank you once again for sharing your talent with us.

    • Thanks, Luna! Sometimes I wish I had gone into medicine so I admire you for helping heal people for a living. Baking is such a great hobby and you definitely deserve that form relaxation and joy. I’m so glad you found the buttercream book to be helpful. As for cake recipes, please check out my answer to the comment below.

  10. I too was hoping you could recommend cake recipes. When you say you use pound cake, is that what you use for wedding cakes too? Do you have a source for the pound cake recipe you prefer? I would love it if your wealth of knowledge could lead us to some tried and true vanilla and chocolate recipes,

    • In terms of cake recipes, I have little to add to the canon that does not already exist online. I can’t endorse any one particular recipe mainly because I have an egg allergy that prohibits me from eating cake so this is a weak spot in my knowledge base. That’s why I focus my writing on the construction and decoration aspects of the craft where my skill set is the strongest.

      I recommend checking out The Cake Bible. There are a good selection of recipes there. As for pound cake, I like it for sculpted cakes because it’s dense, sturdy and easy to carve. I would opt for something lighter in a wedding cake, a butter cake or a white cake recipe would be more appropriate in terms of a vanilla flavor.

    • Thanks for your speedy reply and information. So any basic cake recipe would work for a puck (layer cake) no more then 5 or 6 layers? Are puck and layer even the same? Pardon my ignorance, but I’m laying it down for all to see.
      Thanks again.

        • I’m not sure what you mean by “puck” cake. Do you mean like a cylinder shape? Cake is typically quite sturdy so it’s hard to go wrong with a recipe. The only kind that’s never sturdy is angel food so I would avoid that. The aspect of layer cake building that’s most important is the type of filling, how much filling you add, and how you build the layers. I recommend checking out these tutorials: How to Fill Layer Cakes and Cake Filling Recipes

  11. J’habite en France (Marseille). J’adore votre site. Votre savoir faire, surtout votre générosité sont exemplaires. J’ai réalisé presque toutes vos recettes. J’aimerai vous poser une questions : peut-on traduire vos livres en français ?.
    j’aimerai aussi vous envoyer quelques unes de mes réalisations. Cordialement !

    • Salut! Votre gâteau est si belle. Je pense que mon travail est si rudimentaire par rapport à ce que je l’ai vu en France. J’ai étudié à Grenoble et ont échantillonné les pâtisseries à Paris. Vous êtes entouré par les meilleures pâtisseries du monde. C’est vous qui devrait être me enseigne.

  12. Hi! I just came across your website. I’m making a cake for my boyfriend in March (I attached a photo, I’m not sure if it will post or not). Anyway, The recipe calls for modeling chocolate. Now I’ve made and worked with marshmallow fondant before and love it. But I’ve never even tasted modeling chocolate before. I can’t stand white chocolate at all, so will the modeling chocolate taste like that? Can I use fondant instead of modeling chocolate? Any tips you can give me would be fantastic!

    Thank you so much!

    • If you dislike white chocolate then maybe try using candy melts instead. They are usually just vanilla flavoured and you will save a lot of mess and time with colouring too as they are available in a whole range of colours. Haven’t used them myself as I love white chocolate lol, but a lot of people I’ve spoken to on the subject say they find them easier to mix and work with than ‘real’ chocolate. Suggest you buy a bag and taste them first to make sure you like them.

      • Amy – The modeling chocolate will taste exactly like the type of chocolate used. You can always add flavoring to it if you want to alter the taste. For this design, you could certainly use either fondant or modeling chocolate. I have see this very design done successfully both ways. Andy also makes a good point above. Here is where you can find all my best tips about modeling chocolate.

  13. Hi I’m feeling really Sad because this is the second e-mail a send and nobody help me .
    My request is about my username and password I lost completely tonight I et the new password but said doesn’t work . I LOVE your program and for more the 6 months I have be sick and until now I can star to go back for my NORMALRutina. please Please Help me I forget to tell you about oI already paid the Buttercream class . it is really bad to have problems with my memori., and to make worse English is my SL and I’m apologize for my Grammar.
    Thank you for everything you can do it . Mariadelpilar Anderson

  14. I bought your e book on gingerbread house and used your recipe last year (I love it!!) but have a question… can you use blackstrap molasses? I just made a batch of gingerbread and just realized my bottle of molasses says blackstrap on it. Last year I just used regular molasses.

    • I am not sure of the answer to this question. It looks like you can indeed substitute it. Blackstrap is known to impart a more bitter flavor so it may alter the taste of the cookie. I suppose if you’ve already made the dough, you might as well use it and see how it goes. Please come back and let us know how it went for you in case someone else has the same question. Accidents like this are how the answers get discovered.

  15. Hi! I was trying to get your 5 disclaimer pages by the email link, but i have no success and nothing has come through, even in my spam filter. Would it be possible to have them emailed to me? No rush- im just starting out, getting a website done and stuff like that.


  16. I’m so discouraged. I purchased your book before it was even available. I thought sure the answer would be in it and it probably is. I’m just not getting it. To summarize; A couple of weeks ago I made two batches of white modeling chocolate (using guittard chips) and one batch turned out perfect and the other one turned out dry. They were made ‘exactly’ the same. I thought, “maybe this wonderfully talented modeling chocolate person (you) has a hint of what the hell I am doing wrong. I can’t roll out my chocolate like I want and should be able to and it’s making me crazy!! Please help if time allows?

    • Did you measure the chocolate by weight or by volume? According to the recipes in the book, the only accurate way to measure chocolate is by weight.

      Corn syrup and glucose are both so thick that it’s quite hard to measure the exact same amount every time. The difference of one teaspoon too much or too little is enough to offset the recipe like you describe. Fortunately, you can fix this problem.

      If a batch comes out dry, simply knead in more syrup by hand until the desired consistency is achieved. Alternatively, you can use the dry batch for making colors that require a lot of food coloring such a bold reds or blues. The added liquid is likely to offset the dryness.

  17. I brought your book looking for a great buttercream recipe and its great! I work with fondant cakes… so what happen when I put your buttercream recipe and tecniques for a clear egde under the fondat and I not refrigerate the cake? all straight and clear edge gone?


    • It’s better to refrigerate the cake until the buttercream is solid before adding the fondant to the cake. It also helps to refrigerate the cake afterwards since it’s covered in a butter-based frosting. If you don’t want to refrigerate the cake, then I don’t recommend using a butter-based frosting.

  18. Hi 🙂

    I just brought your book! And I can’t wait to try some modelling chocolate cakes!

    Do you think it would be possible to inlay colored fondant into dark modelling chocolate? Just hoping because I’m not sure that I’ll be able to find a white chocolate I can use (lactose intolerant) to make any white modelling chocolate 🙁



    • Interesting question. I haven’t tried this myself but I imagine it would be possible since the two substances are similar enough. They might not fuse together like two kinds of modeling chocolate would but I think it’s worth trying in your case. If you decide to experiment, do let us know how it comes out.

      • Thanks for the reply! I did manage to find a rice milk white chocolate that worked well. But I should try this out sometime as well

  19. Hello,

    I recently came across your site and it is very helpful. I also purchased your e-book. I just tried making your strawberries and cream filled cake, using your cake filling method. Great idea!!!! My white cake really shrunk though, so the filling method did not work out exactly as it should have. What white cake recipe do you normally use? I am making my cousin’s wedding cake in one month, so it would be awesome if I could get this method down pat before then!

    Thanks for your help!


    • I don’t have cake recipes published but I often use pound cake. If it shrinks a lot, you can make a cake collar like you would to make a tall cake except build the cake up against one side of the pan and use the collar inside of the pan.

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