Our journey to motherhood is each unique, sometimes it catches us by surprise when we least expect it, sometimes it comes at just the right time in life when everything is in place, and sometimes the journey is long and hard with a lot of heartache along the way, but no matter the road we travel the moment we hear their first cries, the moment we hold them and get to look into their beautiful eyes is the moment our life changes forever, in that moment our purpose in life takes on a new meaning. Motherhood is a journey of sacrifice, selflessness, trials and tribulations, triumphs and failures all intertwined with unconditional love. It’s also in becoming a mom that we realise how much our own mom loves us, that we truly appreciate their worth.

Our moms are our first best friends, their unconditional love can be felt in every little thing they do for us, from kissing our booboos, cooking our favourite meals to tucking us in at night. They show us strength, love and vulnerability, they are there for us every step of the way, from our first words, our first day at school, our first heartbreak, no one will ever be able to take their place.

This Mother’s Day we got to spoil moms with a few sweet initiatives we were happy to be involved in.

Bostik wanted to give kids the chance to use their imagination and create a gift for moms that was extra special this Mother’s Day. One that had their own personal touch and charm, so moms would know just how loved and special they are. So, Bostik armed kids with the tools and set them off to work. Introducing the Bostik Mother’s Day Cupcake Project. Kids were asked to create the best cupcake they could think of using Bostik Crayons, Glitter Glue and Paint Twisters. Cupcakes were highly imaginative – there were tall cupcakes, skew cupcakes, cupcakes decorated with rainbow colours, and ones with never seen before creatures. We were thrilled to be involved in the project and brought the children’s imagination to life. The children were very excited to hand their gifts over to their moms. Some moms even shed a few tears. Everything is sweeter when it’s made with love and a little imagination. The Bostik Mother’s Day Cupcake Project was filmed by 7Films. Take a look; it will melt your heart.

We were also approached by CANSA TLC to donate a cake to the mommies in the children’s ward. They were going to be spoilt with a mini pamper session and cake and tea afterwards. We continue to support CANSA TLC and were delighted to be able to donate a beautiful Mother’s Day sheet cake to the mommies whose world have been turned upside down by this horrible disease. We wish and pray for a speedy recovery for each of the beautiful kids in the Tygerberg Hospital Paediatric Cancer Unit.


Finally we donated a bunch of treats for a Mother’s Day Breakfast hosted by Aidan’s Party Fairies for 35 grannies within the community. Have a look at their Facebook page to get involved in this local NPO who lends a helping hand to struggling families in the community.

 


We live in a time of sky scraper cakes where taller is better, where extreme baking has become commonplace and where social media continues to influence our daily choices, be it that smoothie bowl you saw this morning or the mud cake tower you saw this afternoon. For us nothing takes the cake like, well, cake but what do you do when you’ve created a multilayer beast and traditional cake cutting methods just leaves you in a heap of icing and crumbs leaving behind a Leaning Tower of Pisa?

A recent cake cutting video went viral for this very reason, offering us a solution to the messy business of cutting tall cakes. Shared by Katherine Sabbath, known for cakes as tall as they are breathtaking, it demonstrates using a long knife and a cutting board, supporting the entire side of the cake while cutting it and laying it down onto the cutting board. After that, simply cut vertical pieces of the tall cake before setting them down onto a plate or serving tray.

We decided to put this cake cutting method to the test with one of our own cakes. We chose a 15 cm (6 inch) Orange cake. We estimate the slices on this cake to be 8 to 10 slices using the traditional cutting method, but using Katherine Sabbath’s method, we were able to yield 16 delicious “responsible” servings of cake fingers using the cutting guidelines below.


For cleaner and smoother cuts, be sure to have a jug of hot water and a clean cloth, clean your knife by dipping it into the hot water, dry it with a cloth before cutting your next cake slice.

This cutting method works well at a party where other cakes and treats are also served, but the best thing about this is you can always get up for seconds and thirds! Here is a step by step video.


Every special occasion deserves an equally special cake, but just because you are not inviting the whole neighbourhood to your birthday doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a phenomenal cake. It’s your birthday right! So before heading out to a supermarket to buy a below par cake, why not order one of our new Mini or Small cakes. Whether you are simply celebrating the day with your nearest and dearest, having a romantic dinner for two or hosting a big shebang with all the bells and whistles, we have the perfect cake for you.

We’ve recently introduced two new size cakes to our classic cake range, our Mini {10 cm diameter} and Small {15 cm diameter}, but before you go searching for a ruler to try and wrap your head around the new sizes, we’ve already done all the work for you. We grabbed our ruler and scale and tested out our new cake sizes to give you all the information you would need.

The first question we are always asked is how many slices makes up a cake? Sounds like a riddle right? Well to a certain degree the number of slices a cake will yield is a matter of opinion (and appetite), but here is a general guideline to our new cake sizes.

Mini

Our Mini size is the perfect cake for an intimate affair, whether you are cooking a romantic dinner for two, surprising your little one with cake for breakfast on her birthday morning, or enjoying the cake as a small family, our Mini cake is the perfect sweet addition to your celebrations. It also makes for a delicious birthday present for those with a sweet tooth and comes beautifully packaged with our new open window branded mini cake box.

Our mini cake is approximately 10 cm in diameter and 14 cm in height, it weighs just over 1 kg and yields 4 to 6 portion sizes.

Small

Having a braai with a few friends? Need a sweet ending to a dinner party? Birthday Celebrations with the family? Our Small Cake is perfect for those smaller get togethers. The dimensions of this cake is 15 cm in diameter and 17 cm in height, it weighs just over 2 kgs, and yields 8 to 10 portions.

Regular 

The pièce de résistance, our regular cake size at a whopping 4 kgs might just be enough to feed a village! Approximately 20 cm in diameter and 17 cm in height, this beast would yield 16 to 18 portions. A favourite for large celebrations there is definitely enough cake here to go around.

Whether you are having a small celebration or the party of the year Tessa’s has you covered! Now go have your cake and eat it too!


I have always loved birthdays, not only mine, although I will openly admit to being that person who reminds everyone months in advance that my birthday is approaching, but more so I especially love making those close to me feel extra special on their day. It wasn’t however until I had our little Annie that I realized how truly magical a new life is and that birthdays took on a whole new meaning to me. I remember the day she was born better than any other day in my life, the anticipation of finally being a mom, the excitement when we woke up at 5 am to get ready for our scheduled C-Section. I remember listening to the music playing in theatre with tears streaming down my face as I turned to my fertility specialist and said don’t worry these are happy tears, and then the moment that took our breath away, that first cry, oh how I will never forget that very special moment, it was as if her first breath awakened something inside of me, something so fierce and protective but equally loving and kind. The day I became a mom, singularly the most important day of my life. I want her to always know how important she is to us, how much the day she was born means to me and how grateful I am to be able to call her my daughter and her birthday is just one of the many ways I can show her that, though at 2 she doesn’t understand the concept just yet, she will one day.

There is also a good chance I have a serious party planning addiction and I might even have another baby just so that I can do this twice a year! I just love the attention to detail, I love researching ideas on Pinterest and social media, searching through Etsy for party printables, shopping and crafting. It’s a creative outlet for me and I just love the joy it brings to my daughter and her little friends.

Annie loves Peppa Pig, in fact one of her first words were Peppa and I have genuinely picked up a hint of an English accent in some of her words, like the way she says Okkaayy just like Peppa does, so it was easy to choose her theme a few months in advance. I was also lucky that Peppa was coming to town the weekend after her birthday. So once I had the theme chosen the fun began.

When planning a party my Go-To is always Etsy which has a diverse range of party invitations and printables for every theme imaginable. I chose a custom invite from PartyHooray and sent these out digitally to all our family and friends.

I also have an obsession with photos and Annie’s 2nd Birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity for a family photoshoot with our very talented friend Sheena Henry, the photos she took were nothing short of amazing, little moments of time captured and treasured for the rest of our lives. Tessa had bought Annie the most beautiful pink floral dress when she was only a few months old and sent me the inspiration for her birthday shoot one evening, a picture of a little girl standing next to a huge floral number 2. I ordered a 1 m tall polystyrene number 2 from Hot Wired and found tissue pom poms at China Town. I spent a good day and a half ruffling the pom poms and hot glueing them to the number 2. I underestimated the amount of pom poms it would take to make this (a whopping 50) and had to make a return trip to China Town, but in the end I was super proud that it came out looking so beautiful. I used the number 2 on the photoshoot, the morning of her birthday as well as on the dessert table.

Keeping up with trends we made a Number 2 Cookie Cream cake for her “smash cake”.

A month before I started crafting some items for Annie’s Birthday Party. We had bought a Brother Scan ‘n Cut machine a few months before and I couldn’t wait to put it to use. I started by making Peppa Pig headbands for each of the little guests. I found pink headbands at China Town for only R3.00 and bought two shades of pink felt from PNA. After cutting out the shapes for the ears, I used my hot glue gun to glue the felt ears to the headband. These ended up being super cheap to make and I loved seeing the little ones (and a few moms) wearing them.


I made the Peppa Pig party boxes myself using my cutting machine. This took up the most time and effort but the boxes were really cute in the end. I filled them with all the usual party pack goodness and added a Peppa Pig Bubble Wand which I found at China Town and a small pack of colourful pens for the colouring book I got on Etsy.

I had initially bought a template for a Peppa Pig favour box, but the boxes ended up being too small to use as a party pack. I still used the little boxes nonetheless and filled them with some sweets.

Lastly I bought a backdrop and some Peppa Pig Printables and tags on Etsy. I also got a cute Peppa T-shirt from Subella.

Finally party day arrived! I set up most of the dessert table the night before, bar the cheesecakes which needed to be in the fridge as we were heading off to the show early in the morning. Annie absolutely loved the show. A few of her friends joined her as well and it was amazing to see them interacting with Peppa and jumping in muddy puddles.

I reused the fake grass from our Easter photoshoot as well as the picket fence border. I used my floral number 2 on the table and put up the backdrop (rather skew I must say) behind the table. I used an old wooden crate I had and repurposed Annie’s muddy boots from last year as a flower container and used some of her Peppa plush toys and duck bath toys for decor. I had a red polka dot runner which I used as well and then laid out all the incredible cakes and treats from our bakery:

This amazing two tier Peppa Pig Cake was certainly the show stopper.

I also had a Red Velvet Cheesecake in a pink Tessa’s style design with a 2D Peppa Pig Fairy on top.

As well as a Peanut Butter Cheesecake surrounded with Kitkats and topped with a muddy bath of ganache. We used some of Annie’s Peppa Pig figurines for the toppers on this cake.

Our talented team made some incredible cookies, from George’s Dinosaur on a stick to Mrs Duck in her pond as well as Peppa playing in Muddy puddles. We also couldn’t help but add some cakesicles to the table which was a massive hit with the little guests.

Before her party we had noticed a delicious new trend called Grazing Tables (do yourself a favour and go look it up). We attempted to recreate one and I must say it was beyond amazing and really such a hit with our family and friends. We packed our kitchen table from corner to corner with a selection of cheese, biscuits, dips, dried fruit, nuts, savoury snacks from the bakery like mini quiches, mini pies, spanakopitas and bought some phenomenal mini rootis, samosas and pitas from a friend’s aunt and then our guests did exactly as the title said, grazed all day on all this goodness.

Annie spent the day playing with her friends in the garden and in her Play House and we really all had such a wonderful day but sadly I have to pack away my party planning cap until next year.

If you are planning a Peppa Pig Party I hope you have as much fun as I did! I’ve put together a file you can download here with some of the Peppa Pig Party Printables I used.

Now go jump in muddy puddles!

Love, Des (AKA Tessa in Training AKA Tessa’s Daughter in Law)

 


Move over Cake Pop, Hello Cakesicle! Finally, something has come along to tip the scales. Popsicle shaped cake pops dipped in chocolate and decorated in the cutest characters and themes.

These beauties became a hot trend after Melbourne cake artist Raymond Tan started posting his creations on social media and it wasn’t long after that the world followed suit. We couldn’t wait to recreate and add our own flair to the trend and got to work creating the most phenomenal, enchanting and whimsical characters.

We first got to work transforming our enchanting Sugar Plum the Unicorn Cake into cakesicles as well as the cutest Pandas. But we couldn’t stop there!

One little girl loved our Unicorn cakesicles so much she asked her mom to get her cat themed ones for her birthday paw-ty. Are you kitten me meow? Of course we said yes! She sent us her party invite and we brought her kitten to life in cakesicle form which were a massive hit at the paw-ty.

The creative juices were flowing by now and one by one new characters were created with dreams of making matching cakes very soon in the future. From the Unicorn of the Sea the Narwhale, the cutest koala, mystical mermaid and a sassy fox …

To something for the boys, Pokemon and Batman, the possibilities are endless with this amazing trend.

Want your own piece of cake heaven on a stick? Our cakesicles start at R35.00 each depending on theme and complexity. We are itching to create more characters so go ahead and give us a challenge and ask us to create something special for your next party!

 


Retail Shop Assistants (Seasonal with the possibility of full time employment)

We are looking for friendly, customer service orientated retail shop assistants to serve customers during our busy holiday season. This is a seasonal position, but the possibility of full time employment within Tessa’s does exist. In particular this position entails:

  • Promoting sales by assisting customers and offering suggestions.
  • Ability to communicate professionally in person.
  • Stock shelves, counters, and tables with merchandise.
  • Provide prompt and courteous service to all customers.
  • Utilize product knowledge to promote sales.
  • Responsible for ensuring store appearance is clean and presentable at all times.

Please apply in store for this position.

 

Junior Customer Care Advisor/Administrative Assistant (Full Time Position)

We are in search of a junior customer care advisor/administrative assistant to act as first point of contact for all customers contacting Tessa’s Bakery via the customer care telephone line or email. To display a genuine passion for the product and to deliver the highest level of friendly, personable service that maintains the company’s image. The position entails:

  • On a day to day basis to manage customer expectations as the first point of call for all queries, complaints or customer orders;
  • Where appropriate, to undertake follow-up calls to customers to deliver a service that exceeds their expectations, ensuring that the standard of customer service from initial contact through to after-sales follow up service is consistently excellent;
  • To respond proactively to all incoming telephone communications, handling queries and ensuring that customers are given accurate advice on the choice of products;
  • To process any orders placed via Tessa’s website, ensuring attention to detail and accuracy. Where necessary, to talk customers through the website ordering system.
  • To undertake any other reasonable duty as required by the Company.

To apply for this position please send detailed CV to workforus@tessasbakery.co.za. Alternatively, apply in store.

 


We celebrated Halloween with a Spooktacular day of ghoulish treats, face painting and trick or treating. Thank you to everyone who came along, especially those ghosts and goblins who dressed up for the occasion. We had such a fun day!


We are always excited to get a call from Afternoon Express, and when they called on us again for the third time to bake them a cake for their second birthday and appear on the show, we were more than happy to oblige, after all at Tessa’s we are big on birthdays!

We decided on a two tier Macaron Cake, layers of fudgey dense chocolate cake with macarons sandwiched between the layers and decorated in a blue and purple watercolour design buttercream icing. Our Head Pastry Chef Cherise appeared on the show and put the finishing touches on the cake with the help of the presenters and the crew devoured the cake after the show.

Thank you Afternoon Express for allowing us to be a part of your second birthday celebrations, you are now officially a toddler.


Mother’s Day ~ a day we get to spoil the Queens in our life. It’s a day that brings with it both tremendous happiness and sadness for me. It’s been almost four years now since I lost my mom tragically to a heart attack and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and long for her. Days like Mother’s Day makes the longing even greater and I know that many feel the same. But it’s also a day I thought I would never celebrate myself, for a long time I feared that I would never be a mom. Last year I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, a bittersweet day as I wished my mom could have been here to see me become a mom. But for all I have lost, I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law Tessa who has been there for me through the best and worst times. It’s not often that you find a mother and daughter-in-law not only working side by side but living together and yet somehow it works. I love her tremendously. They say a mother is a person who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take and while this is most certainly true, Tessa surely comes close.

I’ve been a mom for little over a year now and it’s been the best, most tiring, yet tremendously rewarding year of my life. No one could prepare me enough for this journey, I finally understand why life is so precious and why we should savour each memory, each moment, each smile, because one day all we will have is memories and the love that will forever be in our hearts.

I know this blog has very little to do about cakes, but let’s celebrate each and every mom this Mother’s Day, whether it’s with a card, a cake or an extra long hug, let her know how much you love her.

Mom is simply a title above Queen and every Queen deserves a High Tea. We had a beautiful tea party and so can you, simply pop on over to our Mother’s Day High Tea Collection with its floral hints of Lavender and Rose!

Much Love, Des x

Photography by Sheena Henry Photography


I am so excited to be able to blog about our little Anastasia’s Magical Day. When deciding on a theme for her First Birthday I knew I wanted rainbows, after all she is our longed for rainbow baby, our ray of light after the storm. We struggled for a long time to have her and fought through several rounds of IVF, six to be precise, several rounds of disappointment and the loss of our beautiful twins. Our journey was hard, but the moment I heard her cry for the first time, the moment I held her and looked at her through teary eyes, I fell in love and in that moment she completed me.

So needless to say when I finally got to plan her first birthday it was no-holds-bar, I literally went the whole nine yards and while hubby grimaced at the sight of our emptying bank account, he simply let me be as he knew how much it meant to me!

I must admit that unicorns are my guilty pleasure, it’s no co-incidence that we have so many unicorn cakes and treats. I’ve loved unicorns since I was a little girl and now I get to be surrounded by them daily.

Annie’s special day was captured beautifully by our friend Sheena Henry Photography and as usual Cape Town Balloon & Event Company didn’t disappoint with a phenomenal rainbow balloon arch that was truly such a showstopper. I hired a glitzy gold sequin table cloth from Grand Style Hiring and our friends at EPRO Products made me the silhouette unicorn in wood which I then spray painted gold for the backdrop together with gold and pink Ginger Ray fans and being a baking family we have no short supply of cake stands.

Annie birthday party-79

We chose four cakes for our cake table:

  1. A stunning two tier fondant cake, gold sequin bottom tier with pastel rainbow and a soft pink top tier with gold glitter unicorn silhouette topper. (R1,250.00)
  2. Rainbows and Unicorn Cake from our celebration cake collection, however we opted for a white chocolate ganache drip instead of the dark chocolate drip (R425.00).
  3. Sugarplum the Unicorn Cake our popular resident unicorn from our celebration cake collection (R450.00).
  4. And finally we customised our red velvet cheesecake with a pastel watercolour design rainbow icing, chocolate shards and meringues and a cake topper that read “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” (R395.00 excl. topper).

Annie birthday party-70   Annie birthday party-68   Annie birthday party-71

Annie birthday party-56

We also had a load of fun making different unicorn and rainbow theme treats:

  1. We made Unicorn cake pops with pastel flower crown and used these awesome gold Ginger Ray paper straws (R25.00 each). Annie birthday party-76
  2. Of course we had to include our uber cute Unicorn macarons (R25.00 each).Annie birthday party-63
  3. We made a mix of chocolate, red velvet and vanilla cupcakes iced with pink, yellow and purple flower crown and Unicorn horns and ears (R28.00 each Unicorn Cupcakes).Annie birthday party-62
  4. Of course my favourite treat in the whole bakery has to be our Oreo and Caramel Popcorn Rocky Road and I customised these with a pink, purple and yellow chocolate drizzle (R18.00 per Rocky Road bar – I cut my bars into three)Annie birthday party-75
  5. Rainbow Rice Krispy Treats (R15.00 each)Annie birthday party-78
  6. Rainbow Fudge – these were so tasty and the recipe uses marshmallows and white chocolate in the fudge so it’s not too sweet but totally tasty and delicious, I coloured the fudge in layers of pink, yellow and purple (R12.00 each – again I cut my squares smaller)Annie birthday party-77
  7. Layers of white funfetti and pink coconut ice (R12.00 each)
  8. I filled a jar with rainbow coloured macarons (R12.00 each)
  9. I bought in some candy floss aka Unicorn Hair (R10.00 each)Annie birthday party-64
  10. I bought in the customised cookies from our Cake friend Delight Baked Treats and Sweets.Annie birthday party-67

I made little party packs for each of the kids using Ginger Ray‘s party bags from their iridescent range which I customised and filled with a few treats and Cristina from Little Wilds made each of the girls their own unicorn headband (these were such a hit with the girls who ran around pretending to be unicorns).

Annie birthday party-66

There were so many other suppliers that made the day simply perfect, we rented a soft play set up from Giggly Jumpers and a little toddler roller coaster which Annie enjoyed the most of all, we also hired a carousel from Kiddie Rides and a carousel jumping castle and the kids really had such a great day on all of these.

Annie’s first birthday was really a perfect day for us, I know she won’t ever remember the day, but it is a day I will never forget, it was a wonderful celebration, but really every day is a celebration with her in my life.

As you can see we not only do some amazing cakes for your little munchkin’s birthday party, but some awesome treats as well so don’t hesitate to contact us to chat about making your little one’s birthday extra special!