2017 has been a year full of excitement, amazing clients, and of course a bigger shift than we could have ever imagined. We are so grateful for all of the success that Melissa’s Fine Pastries has seen over our 9 years in business. Our cakes have adorned some of the most beautiful spaces from New Orleans to Prague, and we’ve been able to produce and incredible array of designs and works of art. Our passion for the wedding industry has not wavered, and although we are no longer commissioning cakes, we are excited for this next chapter. Melissa will be offering services including teaching, consulting, and one on one coaching beginning in the summer of 2018. In addition, she will also be available for speaking engagements relating to business services, client experience, and the luxury wedding market. This shift will allow us to expand on the best parts of our company, and share our ability for success with those who are just starting, looking to reach the next level, or provide an exceptional dinner party for their closest friends. Melissa’s Fine Pastries has taught us that we value the client experience over anything! Let us be the secret ingredient in creating your successful business!
Nine years ago, I set out to create a brand that stood for quality, creativity and dedication. I built Melissa’s Fine Pastries to bring a fine art cake studio to New Orleans, and it has become more than I had ever dreamed.
I have much to be grateful for: a successful business, a loving and supportive husband and two wonderful children. I feel fortunate that I have been able to pursue my professional dreams, but it’s time for Melissa’s Fine Pastries to take a new direction.
I’m passionate about teaching and sharing with others all I have learned in my years as an entrepreneur, and I am excited for the road ahead and all the opportunities it presents.
Consequently, Melissa’s Fine Pastries will no longer take any commissions and will wrap up 2017 crafting cakes and pastries for our clients already on the books. I am truly humbled and grateful for the years of support, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the exciting announcements ahead!
After much anticipation, we are so excited to share one of our most popular cake recipes - the lemon poppyseed! When we asked our followers which recipe they'd love to see shared, lemon poppyseed won with a staggering amount of votes! And, we think we know why.
This light and flavorful cake is perfect for your end of Summer gatherings. Worry about what to bring to your neighborhood Labor Day party no more, this cake is it! Check out the full recipe below, and be sure to tag @melissasfinepastries when baking. We'd love to see your work of art.
We suggest pairing this tasty treat with lightly sweetened whipped cream and summer berries. This recipe will make two 8" - 9" pans or one half sheet pan.
Butter 170 g
Sugar 332 g
Cake Flour 375 g
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Baking Powder 1 tablespoon
Water 1 3/4 cups
Egg Whites 180 g (6 ea)
Sugar 166 g
Lemon, 1 zested
Poppy seeds, 1/8 cup
1. Cream room temperature butter and 1st measurement of sugar
2. Add lemon zest and poppy seeds
3. Sift flour, salt and baking powder onto parchment paper
4. Alternate flour mixture with water until blended
5. In separate bowl, whip egg whites together and add second measurement of sugar to medium - stiff peaks
6. Fold meringue into cake batter, 1/3 at a time
7. Bake in convection oven at 325 degrees
Images by Arte de Vie
One of the greatest, grandest, and most labor intensive cakes that Melissa's Fine Pastries has ever executed was the Minas Tirith - Lord of the Rings cake. We were facinated by the challenge of creating a replica styled groom's cake of this magnitude, and the ideas escalated quickly. We attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to begin researching 3D printers. We heard faint whispers of chocolate and sugar printers, but these models were all in the very beginning stages. The trials began by printing molds and eventually lead to printing positives and creating molds out of food grade material. There are no Minas Tirith chocolate molds on the market...so we made our own. As you can see, this design called for extremely linear molds, and clear straight lines. We also used some architectural textures produced by "Hirst Arts", a fantasy architecture company, to create food grade silicone presses for our made from sugar stone walls and cobblestone streets. Our process continued to be very involved as we used CAD to draw shapes and determine every detail including window height, shadows, and dome shapes. We were able to purchase a model of Minas Tirith, that we used as a scaled image by measuring each detail with a toothpick and increasing that measurement by 7.2 - who knew mathematics were such an important part of baking a cake! We could not have been more pleased with the outcome, and we hope you are just as fascinated with this design as we've been!
We are so excited to say that an inspiration photoshoot we were a part of was featured on Weddings Unveiled! The shoot took place at the lovely Terrell House on Magazine St. The beautiful florals were done by Bee’s Wedding and Events. The cakes were done by yours truly, and it was all captured by the infamous Arte De Vie. Below are pictures of our cakes, and please click here to see the full post!
We are so excited to be working with Icing Smiles again! Icing Smiles is a non-profit organization that provides custom cakes to children dealing with critical illnesses and their siblings. We were contacted to create a custom cake for a 10 year old boy. His request was a Regular Show themed cake… So a Regular Show themed cake was made!
We had never even heard of Regular Show, so we began to research and discovered the cutest cartoon characters. We decided to keep the characters looking cartoon-like and made them out of gum paste. Each character was handmade and placed meticulously on this fondant wrapped Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Caramel Hazelnut Jam and Dark Chocolate Mousse.
In the words of Regular Show, “You go give him some sugar!” -Benson
We are delighted to be able to serve our community in such a unique way! If you would like more information about Icing Smiles, click here.
A New York bride, originally from New Orleans, was referred to us seeking an extraordinary cake for her wedding. The bride wanted a vibrant and intricately designed cake, her father wanted the wedding cake to be more traditional and white. We drew this sketch to give both the bride and her father the design they were seeking. Her classic Indian wedding was a medley of events over multiple days filled with a rich color palette, amazing patterns and much attention to detail. A life size floral elephant greeted guests at the entrance to the reception and sugar jewels adorned the cake. It was an event that will live on in history as extravagant and breathtaking.
For her wedding cake, the bride wanted to incorporate peacock feathers and vibrant jewel tones. We took the approach of blending a traditional monochromatic style with the vibrant jewel tones that the bride requested to create a one of a kind cake. We used a variety of molds and different sugar mediums to create edible jewels, drapery and beading. The wedding was held at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans with 550 guests.
Wedding Photography provided by Davina and Daniel. Floral design and arrangements by anamazing New York Floral Designer, David Beahm. Five days of wedding festivities planned and coordinated by New York wedding planner, Christine Paul.
This unique, Indian wedding cake was also featured by Inside Weddings Magazine
We created this intricate and ornate wedding cake with a series of different molds and techniques. The jewels were created by using silicone molds with gum paste and then being hand painted. Other sculpting techniques were used to create the beading and borders.
The construction of our life sized Yoda cake consisted of carrot cake, rice krispy treats, modeling chocolate and fondant.
Maison Montegut, New Orleans. Wedding venue in the French Quarter.
A bride came to us requesting a Star Wars themed cake featuring Yoda for her husband to be. We did some searching and found several photographs of Yoda to use as a reference. To support the cake we placed wooden dowels throughout the body made of hand carved cakes. It was then wrapped in fondant to form Yoda’s body and cloak.
This fabulous wedding cake was created for a wedding held at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. The buttercream-iced cake featured metallic gold fondant ribbons. It was dramatically suspended from the ceiling with crystal ropes – truly a sight to see.
Photo by Courtney Dellafiora
For this wedding at the Audubon Tea Room, the bride requested a modern cake design with sugar flowers and baccarat butterflies. The crystal had a special significance to the bride so featured prominently. The lovely pink fondant-wrapped wedding cake featured pearl stripes, sugar roses, peonies, and fruit blossoms.
The groom, a Louisiana history buff, opted for a colorful cake shaped like the state with depictions of colorful Louisiana characters Napoleon, Marie Laveau, Jean Lafitte, Louis Armstrong, a Voodoo doll, and Huey P. Long.
Photos by Arte de Vie
For this New Orleans wedding with a “Midsummer Nights Dream” theme, Bee’s Wedding and Floral Events used our cakes as a base for a floral design sculpture. We created several sizes of white chocolate lavender cake wrapped in moss green fondant. The cakes were suspended among manzanita branches and fresh floral leis.
For this New Orleans wedding at Race and Religious, the bride wanted a beautiful, yet effortless-looking cake. The classic white wedding cake was accented with fresh flowers and complemented by a display of wedding pastries: mini tarts, red velvet petit fours and chocolate doberge cake. The dessert display evoked a rustic farmhouse look.
Photography by Maile Lani Photography
The groom had proposed to his bride while fishing on a pier and wanted to commemorate the magical moment. We talked it over with him and came up with the idea for a sculpted groom’s cake featuring a fondant pier, water, and a cartoon jumping fish with a ring in its mouth. The chocolate rum cake with buttercream icing also featured chocolate pebbles and a graham cracker sand beach. The wedding that featured this cake took place at the Board of Trade in New Orleans and was planned by Kelly Sherlock.
Melissa’s Fine Pastries in New Orleans can take your ideas and turn them into a perfect custom cake or pastry display. We incorporate your favorite colors, flavors, or flowers. Whatever inspires you, we can create a custom wedding cake, groom’s cake, or special occasion cake.
This lovely seersucker cake with kumquat accent is inspired by Polo, the Hamptons, and Pimm’s Cup. Like a preppy-chic garden party, it features a clean, tailored look with a monochromatic palette, canvas-covered bars, citrus decor, lemon shortbread cookies, passion fruit curd tartlets, vanilla bean panna cotta with kumquat marmalade, miniature almond leaf cakes, and naked cakes.