Cake Deliberations and Trader Joe’s Finds

Okay, so I’m kind of back to square one with my father-in-law’s wedding cake and I’m pretty happy about it. Let me explain!

The photos below are the inspiration cakes my father-in-law’s fiancé sent me. I noticed that all the cakes have fondant on them, which isn’t a problem because it’s pretty easy to mold and work with. In case anyone is wondering, fondant is an edible icing used to decorate cakes. It kind of has the consistency of play dough, but makes cakes have the extra smooth and polished look to them.

I made a trial layer cake last week just to goof around with the fondant, amount of cake dough needed, etc., and had them try the cake. I wasn’t surprised when they were totally weirded out by fondant because I’ve never met anyone that’s like “I love the taste and texture of fondant!” haha. It’s just weird, but makes cakes look flawless.

Three layer wedding cake with fondant and Harley Davidson colors

The trial run cake.

After talking, they decided they want a frosting that is smooth on the cake but also tastes good and doesn’t feel like eating play dough, so that’s where I’m at! My father-in-law really likes my buttercream recipe, so I’m going to do something along those lines. As for the look of the cake, they want it to say “ride with me forever” and have Harley Davidson colors.

Right now, we are nailing down cake flavors before I start making tiered cakes with decorations again. Since the cake is going to be three layers, they have a lot of options! I think I’m going to make either a few small cakes or cupcakes in a variety of flavors for them to test out one evening and then they can decide what they want for each layer.

Vanilla cupcake with strawberry buttercream

Vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream that I made over the summer!

Here are my flavor combination ideas

  • Strawberry cake + vanilla pastry cream filling + marshmallow buttercream
  • Chocolate cake + caramel mousse filling + chocolate frosting
  • White (vanilla and almond flavored) cake + strawberry preserves filling + marshmallow buttercream
  • Lemon cake + lemon curd filling + lemon buttercream

If you have any flavor combo suggestions, let me know! I wanted to do some “different” cake flavors (think: lemon rosemary, lavender-honey, mocha banana, etc.), but I don’t know if that’s very wedding-y.

Okay, onto the Trader Joe’s finds! I just went today to pick up groceries (yup, still cheating on Aldi over here!) and found some things I’m excited to try.

Trader Joe's maple nut granola, bite sized everything crackers, and pumpkin Puffins

Up first is the cranberry maple nut granola, which I think would be so good with a bowl of yogurt or milk. In the middle are bite sized everything crackers, and on the right is one of my all-time favorite cereals, Puffins!

Trader Joe's peanut butter, sourdough bread, red split lentils, and blueberry acai exfoliant

I also picked up peanut butter (and already dug in the jar the second I got home…), red split lentils, sourdough bread, and blueberry acai facial scrub.

When I saw the lentils, I immediately thought of a soup recipe by Aarti Sequeira that I’ve been wanting to try, and the bread will be great to dip into the soup and use for sandwiches. I’m pumped to try the facial scrub. I just recently bought this (highly rated!) clay mask and this toner, so I think I’m all set to do an at-home facial!

Do you ever buy groceries from Trader Joes? If so, what’s your favorite TJ’s product?

If I had to pick, I’d say mine is their sunflower seed butter!



  1. I’m not a huge fondant person either. Looks beautiful for cakes but I would rather have frosting. You could try doing a mocha flavor if they enjoy coffee. That could be a fun cake to try.

    If you like cheese then you have to pick up the unexpected cheddar from TJ’s. So good!!

    1. I am 100% the same way with fondant vs. icing. I love the idea of a mocha flavor! I just may have to try that 🙂

      I will look for the unexpected cheddar from TJ’s next time I go!

  2. I am not a real fan of fondant either – but it does make your cakes look like you’re the “cake boss of Heidelberg”. I LOVE buttercream frosting as well, and yours is amazing!!! FUN FACT- I still have never been to Trader Joe’s! IDK why! Oh well, someday. I’m glad you found some good deals though!
    Have a great night!
    Love, Madre

  3. THAT CAKE!! It turned out amazing, you did such a great job!!

    I love me some TJ’s, those puffins used to be a staple in my diet. I would add them to smoothie bowls.

  4. So I don’t know if I’ve ever had fondant (if so, it would have been when I was a kid and don’t remember), but I have heard lots of people say that they don’t love the way it tastes. But it really does give that pretty, very finished look. I understand why they are going with the buttercream frosting instead, though! You want it to be delicious for sure! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    We don’t have a TJ’s here, but I hear great things about them. I do love Puffins for sure! 🙂

    1. Maybe it’s a good thing you probably haven’t had fondant! It’s definitely not the best taste-wise, haha!! I can’t wait to share the final cake in May!

      If you ever visit Pittsburgh I will take you to TJ’s!! 🙂

  5. Girl you are inspiring me to start baking again! (I have been watching food network way to much!) I worked with fondant a LOT when I was a pastry chef, and it was always so funny to see people’s reactions.
    Also in my former life (which now that I think about was ten years ago oy vey!) I found that anything went with wedding cake flavors. It really depended on what the couple wanted. Are there any flavors they don’t like?
    I LOVE lemon and blueberry. And a spicy mexican chocolate cake is always a winner (especially with that marshmallow buttercream)
    One of my favorite cakes I made (which is making me hungry) was an almond sponge cake, with a white chocolate zabaglione, a berry compote and my signature Italian buttercream. SO yummy!
    If you want to trouble shoot flavors, or want recipes or anything let me know! (I can talk cake ALL day! Lol)
    Also I LOVE TJ’s! You got some great finds! That granola is also one of my favorites and it goes really well with yogurt. I actually love eating it with TJ’s honey Greek yogurt! I hope you have an amazing day! ❤

    1. Oh la la, your comment has been so wonderful for me to read through and get ideas/tips!! Lemon + blueberry sounds so perfect for a spring wedding, and I feel like they’d also love a spicy mexican chocolate cake! So many ideas!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. Those cakes and cupcakes look so good. I just want to live next door to you so I can take some of these delicious baked goods off your hands.

    I always forget about TJ’s. Their stuff always looks good when I see it posted elsewhere.

    1. I seriously wish you guys lived next door! I could share my baked goods with you and you could give me child rearing tips!! That would be so fun. Plus, then we could get Rue and Malcolm together 🙂

  7. I’m super spoiled because there is a Trader Joe’s 10 minutes away from where I live, and also near where I work! So I’m pretty much there every day! Haha. Right now they have this banh minh noodle bowl I like, and they started selling Perfect Bars which I am in love with too!

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