Looking for a fun Easter activity for the kids? Why not whip up your favourite cupcakes and turn them into Hippity-Hip little bunnies. It’s easy peasy and uses just a few items and sweets from your local grocery store. We will show you how in our step-by-step tutorial below – but you can also pre-order one of these Hippity-Hip Bunny Baking Kits from our online store with all the dry ingredients and decorations already  pre-measured and pre-packed. Ready … set … let’s bake!

 

Bake your favourite cupcakes and whip up buttercream frosting.

 

Cut marshmallows in half diagonally, then dip the cut sticky side in pink sugar. TIP: Spray a little cooking spray on your scissors so the marshmallows don’t make your scissors sticky.

 

Fill a piping bag with vanilla buttercream, snip the end off and pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake or use a palette knife or butter knife to spread a generous amount of buttercream onto your cupcake

 

Cover the buttercream with white vermicelli. You can pat it down and shape the cupcake once you have dipped the entire cupcake into the vermicelli.

 

Add your marshmallow Bunny ears, use pink jelly beans for the nose, chocolate drops for the eyes and for the whiskers cut and use liquorice ropes to complete your Bunny Cupcakes.

 

Want to have even more fun? We’ve also got a fun craft activity for you, simply download and print the Easter Photo Props attached and get the little ones to cut them out and using hot glue, glue them to skewer sticks to make fun photo props for Easter.

 

Lastly, don’t forget TO HAVE FUN!

Lots of Love

Annie

 

DOWNLOAD EASTER PROPS PRINTABLE

 


Remember Smartie cakes, caterpillars made out of dough and finger biscuit aeroplanes? Do you remember sitting on the kitchen counter creating masterpieces with chocolate sprinkles, hundreds & thousands, silver balls and twirly straws? Are these some of your sweetest childhood memories?

We are passionate about baking and bringing back nostalgic memories through our bakes, but we also want to create those special memories for our future generation. Recently our little Annie, who turned 3 not so long ago, has started to take an interest in baking and her pure delight and excitement when baking has sparked a passion in me to want to share these special bonding moments with other families too.

It’s too easy in this modern world to become digitally distracted, to be overwhelmed by the pressures of life and to feel that we aren’t bonding enough with our children. But working side-by-side, talking through a recipe, mixing, baking and decorating are all opportunities to connect with our little ones, giving us quality time together doing something we enjoy. You laugh, giggle and make a glorious mess. The process is often more important than the final result!

Getting kids involved in baking also helps to develop fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, and even early concepts of math and science into a fun activity they will enjoy. Baking is also a wonderful art and gives children the platform to be as artistic as they wish with their masterpieces. There is no right or wrong when it comes to decorating, just a whole bunch of fun!

So with this in mind we would like to invite you to Annie’s Baking Club, a fun monthly subscription box filled with special bonding moments and opportunities to learn. We will dream up a fun and interactive themed monthly box with step-by-step instructions and all the dry ingredients necessary to make delicious cupcakes, biscuits, tray bakes and more, Made like Mom’s!

Are you ready to bake up a storm and create magical memories? Sign up to our Newsletter to help us develop our first boxes, receive the first sneak peeks from our first quarter’s boxes and be the first to sign up to our Subscription when pre-sales open.

Subscribe to Annie's Baking Club

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This year we’ve turned to the classic symbol of Valentine’s Day, the iconic Conversation Hearts candy for our 2019 Valentine’s Day Collection. We love a fresh twist on a timeless treat and in true Tessa’s style have added a modern, cheeky twist to our Candy Heart cakes, cookies and cupcakes. From our feature cake, a modern Love Hearts mini drip cake with the option of personalising your own special message to your Valentine to our various sets of Conversation Heart cookies, cupcakes and macarons, we’ve made sure that there is a Candy Heart for everyone!

But of course we love being extra and as our Valentine’s Day gift to you we have created the sweetest Conversation Heart banner printables which you can use for art projects with your little ones, decoration for your dinner table, as a sweet surprise for your colleagues in the office or even as Instagram-worthy photo props! 

 

 

The instructions are super easy to follow and you can even get the kids involved in this DIY project. Simply cut out the hearts, punch holes on the left and right side of the hearts and thread your ribbon or string through the holes. If you’re using ribbon a nifty trick I have learnt is to wrap adhesive tape two or three times around the end of ribbon to form an aglet similar to the end of a shoelace. This will make threading the ribbon through the holes so much easier.

If you want to use the banners as photo props simply cut out the hearts and glue them to an ice cream stick or skewer.

 

We have created six sweet and cheeky sets of hearts, so whether you are planning a romantic night with your Valentine, spending your Valentine’s Day with the kids or kicking back with All Your Single Ladies we have all you need to make it memorable and to show those you love just how much you care.

 

Download the banners and assembly instructions by following this Dropbox Link or download them directly from this blog post.

 

 


It’s become a tradition that every year we host a Christmas Party for our friends as a way to share this magical time of year with them before everyone either goes away on holiday or spend their time with their families. We usually don’t get to see one another until New Year’s again so it’s a great way to get all our friends together and make it especially special for the little ones.

This year I decided to do something different because (a) I thought it would be more fun and festive, (b) I mistakenly thought it would be less work and (c) I was dying to plan something that involved Llama’s!

Whilst I am still very much on Team Unicorn, the enchanting creature trending since like forever, I think the Llama trend is giving this magical beast a run for its money and might just finally (gasp!) dethrone our beloved Unicorn. So naturally I couldn’t wait to plan something around this theme.

I set the table on our patio and we were lucky to enjoy great weather on the day. I loved the festive colours I was able to achieve with a bright pink runner, different coloured side plates and funky cactus drink jars.

I bought two colourful bunches of flowers at Woolworths which I placed in different glasses which we had at home. These colourful green and blue glasses belonged to Tessa’s grandmother and was brought down  from Greece and I just love them so much. Woolworths also had Mexican themed napkins for my place settings and I added some more colour to the table with colourful Christmas baubles I got at Checkers.

 

At each place setting I placed one of our decorated sugar cookies in different styles of llamas and cacti.


And of course our Falalala-Lama Christmas Cake featured as a centrepiece.

I went a little extra and made Pinata crackers for the adults which had a Mexican Moustache and mini bottle of alcohol in it for that extra fiesta feeling.

This was well received by our guests!

For the kids I got a plastic Mexican sarape table cloth from the party store as I knew they would be getting quite messy with their activity boxes and also bought them Llama crackers from Woolworths. I made each of them an activity box which included pages to colour in, a cookie painting activity, a cookie decorating activity as well as a craft activity and game. They really loved doing these activities and managed to keep them still for a little bit. I think they enjoyed the party most of all.

 

But of course what is a fiesta without food?! Whilst I thought making Mexican food would be easier than a full three course Christmas lunch, I was clearly kidding myself. I completely misjudged my timing and as we had our staff function the night before I wasn’t able to prep as much as I had hoped, but alas I am not perfect and in the end even though it might have been later than expected we all had a feast nonetheless.

Starters consisted of platters of nachos and hard shell tacos with some chilli con carne mince, tomato and peppers enchilada chicken, 7 layer dips, refried beans, salsas, guacamole and sour cream.

Our Gin Bar ensured everyone had a very Merry Gin-mas and if you look closely you will even see our little tree sported Gin filled baubles.

 

Finally it was on to mains which was Pulled Pork (Carnitas) and Fish Tacos. These came out much later and I don’t have the best photographs of them, but they were simply divine! It was the first time I made pulled pork which I cooked in the slow cooker overnight. Our friend Dane, who not only happens to be the graphic designer behind Tessa’s but also an amazing cook, fried the fish in a beer batter – and I must admit I felt a little hard done by that I slaved over the meals for hours and he ended up getting all the credit for his fried fish – haha just kidding.

Lastly we had Churros and chilli chocolate ganache and some Cruffins from the bakery which unfortunately I never got photos of!

But all in all it was one of the best fiestas I have ever had and many wonderful memories made both with our friends and our little ones.

To host your own festive fiesta we’ve created these fun printables which includes tags, place card or food tent cards, Christmas Llama and alcohol prints.

Download via this Dropbox Link or direct from this blog post.

 


Did you know that we now have a direct line to the North Pole? Santa has entrusted us with a magic Post Box that sends letters direct to his workshop, so grab those good little boys and girls and keep the magic alive by getting them to pen their wishes to the jolliest fella in the North Pole and stand a chance to win.

Letters to Santa can be posted in Santa’s Magic Post Box between the 7th and 22nd December and each child who posts a letter stands a chance to win a R1,000.00 Takealot Voucher for themselves as well as a R1,000.00 Takealot Voucher for any Charity they nominate.

Kids posting their letters to Santa on Saturday 8th, 15th and 22nd will be spoilt with a yummy Christmas cupcake.

HOW TO ENTER: 

Kids, write your Letter to Santa along with your age and name. Write a short creative letter telling him what your biggest Christmas wish is and why it is important to give to others during Christmas.

Mom and Dad, place your contact details on the back of the letter.

Post your Letter to Santa in Santa’s Magic Post Box next to the Christmas Tree in our store.

COMPETITION RULES: 

  1. Tessa’s Letter to Santa Competition is open from Friday, 7 December 2018 to Saturday, 22 December 2018.
  2. Winners will be announced on 23 December 2018 via our Social Media Platforms and via the parent contact details provided.
  3. Competition is open to children aged 10 years and younger.
  4. To enter, entrants must submit a short, creative letter to Santa telling him what their biggest Christmas wish is and why it is important to give to others during Christmas. Entrants must nominate a Charity.
  5. The letter must be handwritten by the child and in the child’s own words. Parents may assist younger children who aren’t able to write yet.
  6. Incorrect spelling, composition and sentence structure will not penalise the letter in any way.
  7. The following prices will be awarded. R1,000.00 Takealot Gift Voucher for entrant and R1,000.00 Takealot Gift Voucher for Charity nominated by the entrant.
  8. No purchase is necessary.
  9. By entering this competition, you give Tessa’s Bakery the right to publish your letter on our social media platforms.

DOWNLOAD YOUR LETTER TO SANTA TEMPLATE – Santa_letter


We really love Christmas at Tessa’s and every year we dream up themes and cakes that we hope will help you create beautifully festive tables with scrumptious treats that everyone will be talking about for years to come. But before I delve deeper into our Christmas range and share some pretty cool printables with you, I have a confession to make – I suffer from O.C.D. – Obsessive Christmas Disorder – I have admittedly been planning Christmas, since before Christmas in July! I try and fool myself into believing it’s because we are in retail that I have to stay ahead of trends and research Christmas as far back as March, but deep down I know the truth and although I am super excited that December is finally here, that we have a cracking Christmas range, that the Christmas lights on the tree are twinkling in the background as I write this, and as jolly as I am for the upcoming festivities, a part of me is sad that it’s almost over, like I just don’t want it to end, ever!

When planning our 2018 range, I drew inspiration from the Nutcracker story which I love and decided to incorporate this into our theme this year. That it coincided with Disney’s release of their feature film this year was purely coincidental. We couldn’t decide whether to incorporate the traditional Christmas colours of the toy soldier or the pink hues of the Ballerina and in the end decided to do both settings because you know we are extra like that! So let’s start with our pastel pink collection.

If you suffer from OCD like I do and are wondering where we got our Nutcracker Toy Soldiers and decorations from, then you simply need to pop on over to Santa’s Warehouse and best yet, their online store is open all year long so you can secretly fuel your obsession without any judgement.

We have two beautiful feature cakes in this range as well as biscuits, cupcakes and cakesicles and a fun DIY Gingerbread House Kit. We chose light but very Christmassy flavours for our pastel collection, with a pink velvet cake with berry filling and a light vanilla cake with a delicious apple filling.

 

And if you are a lover of all things Pink as Tessa and myself are, or if your home is overrun with little princesses then our pastel range will be perfect for you and Mr Price Home have some amazing pink table decor and crockery to match.

But of course, pink is not for everyone and if you love the more traditional hues of Christmas then you will love our Traditional Nutcracker range.

Our traditional range has everything you could ever ask for in Christmas, from aromatic gingerbread flavours, an edible Christmas Village, tangy cranberries and boozy Baileys and a sprinkling of snow. Novelty biscuits and cakesicles make for the perfect table favours or treats for little ones while our feature cakes will certainly leave your guests talking about it long after their plates are empty.

If you are looking for table setting gifts for your guests then our Novelty Biscuits or Cakesicles make the perfect little treats and characters peeking out from a simple napkin fold.

 

But of course it’s Christmas, the season for giving, so this year we will be sharing a bunch of free printables with you to make your Christmas even more festive and memorable. Download our gift to you, a Nutcracker printable set consisting of two festive prints, name place cards and tags which will beautifully compliment not only your table but our cakes and treats too.

Dropbox Download Link 

So from all of us here at Tessa’s – have a cracking Christmas – ’tis after all the season to be nutty!

XMAS_NUTCRACKER


Isn’t Christmas simply the most magical time of the year? A time for opening up our hearts, showing those we love how much we care and for creating special memories with them. But it’s especially magical for the little people in our life. There’s a Christmas quote I saw which I simply love which says, “In the eyes of children we find the joy of Christmas; in their hearts we find the meaning” and this year I am especially joyful to create many more Christmas memories and traditions with my little Annie. In the last few months she has blossomed into this beautiful curious little girl who simply lights up our life every single day with her little quirks, her adventurous spirit and the little things she does and says.

One day when she is older I want her to look back on her Christmas memories and remember the magic and joy not only of Christmas morning but the weeks leading up to it, how we baked cookies, put the tree up and decorated our home, how we shopped for our yearly Snow Globe to add to our collection, how we gave back to those less fortunate than us and how we excitedly counted down each day until Christmas.

So this year I decided to do an Advent Calendar to make each day of December leading up to Christmas extra special for her. Knowing how much she loves a good “suplise” I know she is going to love this year’s advent, but I wanted to share the DIY printable with you too and hope you will create wonderful Christmas memories.

In line with our Christmas theme we created a Christmas Village Advent Box, which can equally double up as a little favour box for your table setting. I loved the idea of incorporating the Bakery into our village which also boasts a Coffee Shop and Toy Store.

To start with print the template on plain white card stock paper. You may choose to do this on a colour printer at home or take the PDF file to a local print shop. I had mine printed by Jetline in Century City on 160gsm card stock. Gather required materials – a good pair of scissors, a glue stick, and a ruler or straight edge to score the folds. You can use a bone folder for scoring if you have one or simply pre-fold.

Cut the template out. Refer to diagram below. Cut lines are solid and black. Fold lines are dashed and pink.

You can now pre-score your fold lines with a bone folder if you have one and ruler or straight edge. Pre-fold the lines you have just scored and then flatten the template back out again.

Apply glue to the side tab. Cover the surface evenly. Line the tab up under the far side to form a box. At this point it’s a good idea to flatten the box and press along the seal you have just created to ensure it adheres well. To begin forming the base, fold up the rectangular tab. Next apply glue and fold down the tab that lies opposite to the rectangular tab. Apply glue and fold in one of the side tabs. Finally, apply glue and fold in the last side tab. Set the box down and use a long instrument to press down and secure the base tabs from above. You could use your bone folder, ruler, or the fat end of a pencil. Squeeze the tops together to form the peak of the roof.

To fasten the boxes I used miniature wooden clothes pegs which I bought at the craft store and painted red. I then used hot glue to glue the numbers onto the pegs.

The fun part was obviously filling the boxes with all the treats and gifts. For Annie’s boxes I bought felt tree ornaments from Little Wilds as well as a few tree ornaments from Typo, a variety of sweets and biscuits, some surprise eggs, toys and small Christmas figurines I bought from Wish, but for a more adult version I would suggest brownies and biscuits from our bakery, Nespresso Coffee Pods and chocolates for the Village Coffee shop and items like mini Funko Pops, key rings, nail polish and ornaments for the Village Toy Store. Once I had filled my boxes I fastened them with my pegs.

I simply cannot wait to very merrily count down the days to Christmas with my little girl and enjoy her squeals of delight at the opening of each Christmas village shop!

To create your own village download the attached templates. Enjoy!

Download via Dropbox Download Link


A few months ago I got to plan a very special baby shower for Lucia and my goddaughter Baby Leah as well as for my sister Leanne and niece Baby Gracie. Lucia’s baby shower was going to be at home whilst I was travelling down to Port Elizabeth for my sister’s baby shower. I decided to do the same theme at both baby showers – an earthy Boho theme with touches of pink and mint.

I sent out the invitations which I bought on Etsy digitally and used the same editable invite for both baby showers. I then set out to find beautiful Boho Dreamcatchers to frame the cake table with and bought two white dream catchers with touches of lace from No Negative via their Hello Pretty Store. They have some really great Boho macrame wall hangings, table runners and dreamcatchers and is the perfect place to shop at for a Boho inspired party. I added a few artificial flowers I bought from China Town to the dreamcatchers to give it a softer feel and set out to make DIY teepee centrepieces from an idea I found on Pinterest. I bought some wooden dowels from Brights, along with a grey chalk finish spray paint and hot glued my teepee together, sprayed it grey and gold and then decorated it with a variety of artificial flowers, vines, some glittery gold feathers and a small white dreamcatcher (which I bought off Wish). Both the dreamcatchers and teepees were gifted for the babies’ nurseries afterwards.

For the backdrop I used one of our dark wood photography backdrops which we had previously bought from the Backdrop Shop for our photos. I had a custom laser cut name made in a Boho theme with each Leah and Gracie’s names on. I spray painted Leah’s one gold. Custom laser cut designs like these are available to order from our store.

I wanted a very woody and rustic feel and so I hired wooden slices and cake stand from Happy Tree Designs. I also hired the Donut Stacker from them as well. I got coordinating printables from the same Etsy store which I printed at Jetline in Century City who do all our printing. The lace table cloth was one we already had at home and Mr Price Home happened to have Boho photo frames which I loved.

Once I had all the decor it was just a matter of choosing which cakes and treats we would make. We decided on a fondant feature cake in an ivory colour with the cutest fox and teepee toppers and touches of grey, pink and mint. The bottom tier was a dummy and the top tier was mommy’s favourite vanilla cake which she got to take home.

Also on the cake table we had two small 6 inch red velvet and chocolate cheesecakes which we decorated simply with macarons, fresh flowers and a touch of sprinkles.

We also made cake pops and biscuits in a boho theme. For the cake pops I had small laser cut dreamcatchers and arrows made which I hot glued onto the straws of the cake pops. The biscuits were packaged with a tag and were for our guests to take home as a little thank you treat.

 

To compliment the table we made a donut stack of our delicious brioche donuts with pink and mint coloured sugar glaze, mini bite size lemon meringues and bite size key lime pie bites. These are available on order.

Knowing that we were going to gift the feature cake to Lucia, Tessa arranged a sheet cake which we decorated with fresh flowers and berries as no one ever leaves our home without a box full of yummy treats!

For the mommy to be I bought a sash from Ginger Ray and a flower crown from China Town and hired a pink teepee for decoration and to keep all her wonderful gifts in with a printed banner with Leah’s name above her seat.

Mommy to be looked radiant when she arrived! We grabbed some snacks and drinks from the Mom-osa Bar and got comfy for the gift opening.

To make the opening of presents a little fun, I asked everyone to give me a childhood photo of themselves which I printed out and stuck on their gifts for Lucia to guess which proved quite difficult but fun nonetheless. Whilst Lucia was opening her gifts we played Baby Bingo with some great prizes for the winners.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and laughing, and oohing and aahhing over baby stuff and had a really amazing time sharing this day with Lucia and just about everyone from the bakery.

Photography by our talented friend Sheena Henry Photography.

And then on 27th September this gorgeous little girl came into the world and made herself welcome in our hearts.

Welcome to the World Baby Leah!

PS: I used a lot of the same decor for my sister’s baby shower but a totally different look! Unfortunately I don’t have many photos.

I am sharing some cut files and printables with you which you can download at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3cd5kcvq5e6hihm/AACarlz4zmwyaUtTn4KWEZH_a?dl=0


As the global demand for plant-based foods rises it is clear that following vegan or vegetarian diets are no longer just for “weirdos, hippies and activists” as was the stereotype before. Whether it be for environmental concerns, animal welfare or personal health many more people are choosing to embrace a plant-based lifestyle and with the demand at an all time high, brands like ourselves are creating more plant-based options.

You need only listen to the debate amongst friends, especially if you are part of the millennial generation, to realise that this is an issue as emotionally charged as debating religion and politics, and whilst you may feel strongly either way or sit on the fence – global warming, unethical farming practices and the rise of health concerns such as cancer and obesity are issues we face daily. Luckily in our modern world social media platforms have allowed us to have open debates and spaces for us to share our experiences and knowledge and we reached out to one such influential brand – Cape Town Vegan – and invited Garth and some of his friends to a Cake Party at our bakery to try out some of our new plant-based cakes and treats.

We initially dabbled in the world of vegan baking only as an in-store product with many customers asking for vegan or gluten free options. We researched and tested a few recipes until we found the perfect vegan and gluten free carrot cake which became more popular than expected, with even non-vegans loving it. We went on to create a vegan brownie and Hummingbird cake but it wasn’t until we reached out to Garth that we decided to make a concerted effort to experiment with this new baking trend. In the weeks leading up to our Cake Party we contacted our suppliers asking a question I am shocked I never thought to ask before, whether their products were vegan friendly. We compiled a list and started working on some new recipes discovering the amazing properties of Aquafaba in both our vegan macarons and Swiss meringue buttercream, and whilst Tessa would still like to know who thought of whipping up the liquid in a can of chickpeas, I guess we can equally wonder who thought to whip up the white of an egg? Ultimately we wanted to be able to create a cake that would rival any of our cakes on our website both in taste and look. In the end what we created was a moist decadent chocolate cake with a rich fudge filling, an Aquafaba Swiss Meringue Icing, dark chocolate ganache drip and topped with fresh berries, rosemary, Lindt chocolate and a hint of glamorous gold leaf. We also tested a lighter vanilla cake with Aquafaba Swiss meringue buttercream decorated with an edible print and home made vegan sprinkles. The vanilla cake was not as rich as the chocolate cake which is perfect for those who prefer a lighter alternative and I think is going to be an amazing base cake for many wonderful flavours going forward.

On 1st November, World Vegan Day, our Cake Party took place at our bakery with Garth, Jessica – The Green Dietician, Donovan – ProVegSA, Leozette Roode – Author: The South African Vegan Cookbook and Vegan Guide Cape Town. Garth proved to be such a kind and generous individual. It was always a pleasure working with him as we explored our new baking adventure. Garth went out of his way to be helpful to us as we bounced ideas off him and I think the work he does with brands looking to explore creating plant-based alternatives is wonderful and certainly a move in the right direction. It really was a pleasure hosting all of you.

Keep an eye out as we delve further into the world of vegan baking but in the meantime we already have four great options for you so head on over to our Vegan Range to order a plant-based alternative for your next celebration.


It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already in our new store in Milnerton, it felt like just yesterday we were rushing to open our doors with construction still going on around us, but here we are, one year later and so incredibly thankful for the amazing year it has been. We’ve been fortunate to welcome new customers into our store, open our doors and hearts to new employees who are now part of the Tessa’s family and have each grown in leaps and bounds in creativity, business and life.

The truth is without our valuable customers we wouldn’t be where we are today and so we thought a little celebration is in order. This month we will be running specials each week online and in store, so keep your eyes on our social media platforms to find out what our weekly gift to you will be. Specials will be run online using the Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY.

Hip Hip Hooray!

7 – 14 JULY – 20% OFF CLASSIC CAKES {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}

16 – 21 JULY – 20% OFF CHEESECAKES AND TARTS {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}

23 – 31 JULY – 20% OFF CELEBRATION CAKES {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}