Colorful layered cake recipe

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Colorful layered cake

Man, I gave you a little teaser last week of the Balloons & Books baby shower and then I was mum! Well, mum no more, I’m sharing more details about the party and today it’s the colorful cake that Mary Elizabeth Hammond made for our celebration of Victoria and baby Anthem. Layered cakes are nothing new, but I still find them totally charming and shocking—I’ve never actually seen one in person, nor have I ever come close to making even one of those layers, nay, a half of one of those layers. I did burn a cake mix once though, but that’s a story for another day.Baby shower cakeBalloons and books baby showerColorful layered cakecolorful birthday cake

So, I thought it would be fun to make it nondescript from the outside so that it would be a little mullet moment when it was cut open (you know, business in the front, party in the back). Ha! Not true, I just totally forgot to do anything about a cake topper. But I like the excuse so I’m going to stick with it. I should have been a spin doctor.

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Photography by Melissa Leavitt  |  Cake by Mary Elizabeth Hammond  |  Concept and styling by Brittany Jepsen  |  Partyware and balloons from Zurchers 

Click below for full Colorful Vanilla Cake Recipe!

Mother’s Day brunch & dinnerware sale

The House Lars Built Dinnerware for Twig NYMother's Day brunch ideas with dinnerware from Twig NY by The House That Lars Built crepe cake recipe for Mother's Day

When I see a product I love sometimes I have a hard time envisioning how I would use it and incorporate it into the things I already have. Perhaps the same goes with you? So, I thought it would be fun to show you how I styled my three dinnerware collections for Twig NY for three different parties/gatherings starting with this first one, a Mother’s Day brunch. I used my Scandinavian Flowers collection for the gathering pulling inspiration from a Danish summer home—the kind I used to visit when we lived there. Think farm tables and woods and gorgeous spring flowers (by my favorite Tinge Floral).  I paired it with a complementary palette of blues and mints and blush pinks and set a table of a crepe cake (by my favorite food ladies, Ramblin Rose Cafe) topped with edible flowers, macarons, tea, donuts, yogurt, and fresh juices.

And good news! My dinnerware collections are on sale from now until May 5th. Save up to 20%. And get free shipping on orders over $85 until April 30th.

If you do use my dinnerware for your events, take a pic and tag it with #LarsForTwig. I love to see how you use it!

Photography by Chaunte Vaughn  |  Food by Ramblin Rose Cafe  |  Styled by Brittany Jepsen  |  Flowers by Tinge Floral  |  Macarons by Seine Macarons  |  Additional dinnerware accessories provided by Terrain

Complete the look:

Scandinavian flowers dinner plate  |  Scandinvian flowers dessert plates  | Scandinavian flowers mugs  | Scandinavian flowers bowls  |    Rose tumblers  |  Pale mint tablecloth  |  Gold-tipped flatware  |  Small ceramic ring dish  |  pink ceramic dishes from Suite One Studio  |  Edible flowers  |  Grey ceramic dessert tray

DIY Party style: Edible flowers

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edible flower barkEdible flower cake design love fest flowers in cocktail

Our forsythia is blooming, our bleeding hearts are on the verge of breaking hearts…it’s SPRING! There’s nothing that brings me more job than spring, because that means we are the furthest away from winter. Hallelujah! I’ve been wanting to do an edible flowers project for ages ever since a friend showed me a book on the subject, but I’ve been spotting some people doing some rad projects with it. I think they would be great for a spring tea party or birthday or something. So pretty, right?!

DIY edible flower bark from Paper and Stitch

Edible flower cake from Design Love Fest

Rose spring cocktail from Martha Stewart

See more party ideas here.

St. Patricks’ Day crafts

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We had a ball coming up with some fun green/rainbow/gold inspired crafts for you this season. Did you make any of them? If so, please take a picture and tag it with #MakingWithLars. I’d love to see them! And sometimes I love to show people what you are making. Now, let’s recap St. Patrick’s Day 2015:

rainbow balloon arch tutorial

Rainbow arch tutorial

Rainbow collar

Rainbow collar pin

DIY Rainbow Shoes for St. Patrick's Day

Rainbow colored shoes so you don’t get pinched!
Shamrock cake pops for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s day cake pops (key lime pie flavored!)

Free printable rainbow box

Printable rainbow box for some St. Patrick’s Day cookies

2 St. Patrick's Day garland ideas

2 St. Patrick’s day rainbow garlands

Giant lucky charms tutorial and recipe

Oversized lucky charms

balloon shamrock st patricks day

DIY shamrock balloon backdrop

 photography by Trisha Zemp  |  assisting by Emily Wheeler  |  assisting by Mary Elizabeth Hammond 

St. Patrick’s Day Cake Pops

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Shamrock cake pops for St. Patrick's Day

I’m “technically” off sugar for the month of March (I’m going to buy myself something from here if I succeed), but these St. Patrick’s Day cake pops might be my downfall. You see, Mary Elizabeth always bakes the yummiest goodies that I just can’t resist and today she’s sharing how to make them. I mean…they’re key lime pie cake pops! Are you dying along with me? Just top them off with some shamrocks and gold nuggets and you’re good to go! See the full tutorial and shop the post below.
Cake Pops for St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick's Day cake pops St. Patrick's Day Cake Pops Cake Pops for St. Patrick's Day key lime pie cake pop

photography by Trisha Zemp  |  concept and creation by ME Hammond  |  styling by Brittany Jepsen

Get the full tutorial and shop the post after the jump.

St. Patrick’s Day printable rainbow box

St. Patrick's Day cookie pox printable

The St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza continues here on Lars. This time I partnered up with my favorite bakery in town, Cristina from Birdie’s Bakery in Salt Lake City, to create a free printable St. Patrick’s Day rainbow cookie box that would be perfect for holding “gold nuggets” like these ones. They’re perfect for the “end of the rainbow” treasure, no? And, in true Irish fashion, it comes with an adorable leprechaun who pulls the box open. Printable Rainbow St. Patrick's Day cookie boxSt. Patrick's Day cookies by Birdies Bakery SLCBirdies Bakery SLC Golden Nugget Cookies and DIY Rainbow Box Birdies Bakery SLC golden nugget cookies for St. Patrick's Day Golden Nugget Cookies and Rainbow Leprechaun Box

If you’re in the SLC area, Birdie’s Bakery is THE BEST. Seriously. If you’re into the most delicious cookies in existence, then you need to order these ones.

photography by Trisha Zemp  |  Printable by Alexa Jorgenson  |  Cookies from Birdie’s Bakery in SLC  (the best in town!) 

See below for printable and to shop the post.

DIY Giant Lucky Charms

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Giant lucky charms tutorial and recipeGiant lucky charms. The best thing to happen to life since…lucky charms. Amiright? My philosophy about most things is that they are scientifically 10x better when they are enlarged or shrunken. Lucky Charms fits in that category.  Try out these homemade shortbread cookies and marshmallows with the recipe and tutorial below.

3 unique popcorn flavors

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3 unique popcorn flavors

In these colder months there’s nothing I enjoy/need more than warmth of any kind, whether that be a heating pad, an electric blanket, or … POPCORN! Popcorn just makes everything better doesn’t it? It feels like a treat without feeling like you’re going to keel over on a cholesterol overdose. Our resident baker/chef, Mary Elizabeth, came up with some delicious unique popcorn flavors to add some variety to the typical buttered variety. And let me tell you, this was a fun and filling shoot for me. 
white chocolate and cranberry popcorncheese and rosemary popcorn IMG_3173 photography by Laura Sumrak  |  Recipes by Mary Elizabeth Hammond  

See the full instructions and recipes on the next page

Conversation heart cookies & printable box

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Conversation heart cookies with free printable box

Are you dying of cuteness overload? I nearly did as we were shooting these little guys. There’s nothing more charming that making a small object giant like these conversation heart cookies. AND the icing on the cake is the printable box they come in. I mean…come on! So cute! Give them out at school or hand them out to neighbors! So many uses for those boxes alone!

Rather than create colored icing, ME worked at dyeing the cookie itself. Much less frosting and easier to transport too!

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baking by ME Hammond  |  packaging by Ashley Isenhour  |  photography by Trisha Zemp

See the full tutorial below.

3 pie crust decorating ideas

Give Thanks and Eat Pie pie stencil. Available with Cricut ready file.
You know food is not my specialty…but decorating food is something I can totally get behind. So, we did what we do best and painted the town Matisse, stenciled some sugar, and dotted some pies to make some fun and memorable pies perfect for Thanksgiving.
Last week while I was in NYC I attended the exhibition on Matisse’s cut outs at the MOMA (after getting bummed I couldn’t go to the Tate in London). I was inspired so we came up with the Matisse pie, of course.
The Matisse pie crust
Matisse inspired pie crust idea.

 The polka dot pie crust.

Dot pie crust.
See below for the full tutorials.
Photography by Laura Sumrak
Baking and crafting by Victoria Riza, Carli Randolf, and Ashley Isenhour,

“Give thanks and eat pie” pie stencil

I love how simple yet impactful this one is. Ashley came up with the idea to apply a stencil to a pie…genius! This one is great for the Cricut or Silhouette machine.

Step 1: Simply download this file and cut it out on your machine or cut it out by hand. I used a piece of scrapbook paper to create the stencil.
Step 2: Set onto the pie. Not too firmly, it might take a layer of the pie off.
Step 4: Sprinkle powdered sugar on top with a sifter.
Step 3: Gently take the stencil with hands on either side so you pull it all off at the same time.

Voila!

Give Thanks and Eat pie pie stencil
Cricut ready SVG pie stencil file.
The Matisse cut out inspired pie crust
Carli came up with this brilliant idea to paint the pie crust with food coloring. It went on so smoothly and bakes brilliantly.
Step 1: Cover your pie with the dough to have a large surface to work with.
Step 2: Use a paint brush to paint on your design with food coloring. We didn’t water down at all but used pure food coloring. We looked at images from Matisses’ paper cut outs.
Step 3: Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes to brown the crust (you should have already baked the pie filling).
Voila!
Matisse inspired pie crust.

The polka dot pie crust

Victoria came up with this fun and easy idea of decorating your pie crust.

Step 1: Roll out your dough and use the back end of an icing tip to punch holes into the dough like a cookie cutter.
Step 2: Apply the dots to the perimeter of the pie then coming into the center of the pie filling and bake for the last 15-20 minutes of the pie cooking time.

Voila!

Pie crust idea.

How will you be making your pies for the holidays? Tell me!

Halloween dinner party menu

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Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Yesterday I gave a sneak peek of the delicious menu for our Halloween vanitas party (read more about the party here) with the free printable menu cards and guys, you will want to bookmark/pin/note/dream about this menu. It’s beyond. If you remember from the Midsummer party, we partnered up with the girls from Ramblin Rose Cafe who created this out of this world menu. These girls have a knack for making delicious, healthy food that’s also gorgeous. And they have graciously provided all the recipes for you. SCORE! You’ll get dishes like:
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower soup
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
plus a delicious beverage to wash it all down. Go ahead, bookmark! 
food and food styling by Ramblin Rose Cafe 
art directed by Brittany Jepsen

Click below to see the full recipes

Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Roasted Root Vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
  • Red Beets, Golden Beets, Rutabaga, Black Turnip, Parsnip & Rainbow Carrots
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 c. Black Rice
  • 2 c. Water
  • 1/4 inch slice of Ginger 
  • 1 Star anise 
  • Big pinch of Sea Salt 
  • Cracked Black Pepper
Honey Orange Vinaigrette
1 Orange, juiced 
1 Lemon, juiced
1/4 c. Honey Wine Vinegar 
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt 
Cracked Black Pepper 
1/2 c. Hazelnuts, toasted & roughly chopped 
Place everything in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Taste & adjust with sea salt & cracked pepper to your liking.
Rinse black rice in a strainer under running water to get rid of excess starch. Place rinsed rice, water, ginger, star anise, salt & pepper in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and leave lid for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, remove star anise & ginger.
Meanwhile, rustically cut a variety of root vegetables. Toss in olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees until tender about 30 minutes. 
Toss rice in vinaigrette and pour onto platter. When vegetables are
done roasting arrange on top and finish with extra vinaigrette, sea salt, cracked pepper & toasted hazelnuts.
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup 
  • 2 heads of Cauliflower 
  • 1 bulb of Garlic 
  • 1 Onion 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Veggie Stock to cover
  • Sea Salt 
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Yogurt 
  • Chili Oil
Chili Oil
  • 1/2 C. Olive Oil 
  • 2 Tbsp. Red Chili Flakes
In a small pot bring oil and chili flakes to a simmer, then turn off and let steep for about 30 minutes to let the chili infuse into the oil.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
Cut the top of the garlic bulb off, drizzle with olive olive and wrap it in tin foil. Roast the whole garlic bulb until soft and golden. 
Ruffly chop onion and sauté in olive oil until translucent, season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Ruffly chop cauliflower add to onions and season again. When cauliflower is tender and golden cover with veggie stock. 
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery bulb into the soup pot. And blend soup with an immersion blender or high speed blender until smooth. Taste and season with more sea salt and cracked pepper if necessary.
Finish with the chili oil & a drizzle of yogurt.
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board 
  • Artisan Bread, torn 
  • Artisan Cheeses–we used Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Teahive Cheddar Cheese & a French Roquefort Blue Cheese
  • Olives
  • Orchard fruit, sliced
  • Figs, cut in half
  • Pomegranate, deseeded  
  • Butter & Flakey Sea Salt
  • Honeycomb 
  • Spicy Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Big wood board to serve on
A few pointers when arranging a harvest board:
• Use a big enough board, better to have the contrast of wood showing then all the good stuff rolling off.
• Place the cheeses & bread down first, everything else can be scattered around & made to fit.
• Keep each ingredient clumped somewhat together, to keep easier to dish from.
• If using honeycomb, place on the board at the edge. The honey starts to seep out of the comb as soon as it is cut.
Pomegranate Ginger Elixir 
Equal Parts:
  • Pomegranate Juice (chilled)
  • Ginger Beer (chilled)
Combine in individual glasses or make a big pitcher, serve chilled.

Vanilla bean skull cake for Halloween

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This. Is. Edible! It’s a skull, but it’s a cake. It’s a skull cake! I love the vanitas still life it created for our Halloween party so it acts as decor AND deliciousness. And let me tell you, this recipe is delicious! 
Also, I had to do it:

And here’s a teaser for our dinner table for the party. There are a number of decoration ideas and recipes. You might die (muhahah! pun shamelessly intended) with all the delicious gorgeousness.

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Floral styling by Sarah Winward
Props from Mary Lee
Cake by ME Hammond
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

See recipe and instructions below

See more Halloween ideas here. 

Vanilla bean skull cake

Materials:

We used this skull mold from Wilton (and it’s super cheap if you use this link on Amazon)

3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 3/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 T vanilla
2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 c. whole milk
For glaze:
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Prepare the skull cake pan by thoroughly spraying the pan with non stick spray and lightly flouring
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Slowly add eggs, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans
5. Combine dry ingredients in small mixing bowl
6. Add dry ingredients and milk alternating approximately 1/3 at time beginning and ending with dry ingredients
7. Once the batter is mixed place it in the prepared skull cake pan
8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
9. Allow cakes to cool for about 30 minutes until the cake it only slightly warm
10. Unmold the cakes from the skull pan
11. Allow cake to completely cool, cut the tops of the cakes to be even and place the cakes back to back to create the 3D skull
12. Glaze cake and allow glaze to harden before serving
14. Viola! You have a scary skull cake!