Edited 09/29/15 – Change in recommendation of carton egg whites
Edited 01/16/15 – Tips on using SMBC under fondant added at end of post.
Edited 12/22/14 – New flavor variations added and cream cheese version modified.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tutorial with Step by Step Pictures and over 16 delicious flavor variations | dessertdesignlife.com

Many clients I’ve worked with swear they hate buttercream because they think it’s so sickly sweet and everyone just scrapes it off their cake… until they try my buttercream. This is nothing like the “buttercream” you most likely associate with, made out of powdered sugar and Crisco. It is a european meringue buttercream (oooh fancy!) that actually uses real butter and egg whites.

It can only be described as light, satiny smooth, velvety, not super sweet, and just plain luxurious. Allow me to introduce to you swiss meringue buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tutorial with Step by Step Pictures and over 16 delicious flavor variations | dessertdesignlife.com

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Read More →

Look at the light texture!

Check out the fluffy texture. It almost looks like a slice of cake!

Warning: this is not your typical New York style, dense cheesecake. Despite its appearance of looking overbaked when it comes out of the oven, this is a light and creamy cheesecake recipe that’s a cross between a New York, Japanese, and European cheesecake.

This cheesecake uses a combination of cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and heavy cream.

And it’s absolutely melt in your mouth amazing.

Read More →

Best ever creamy lemon bar with buttery shortbread crust

Luscious Lemon Bars with traditional powdered sugar or a lemon meringue pie twist.

I woke up really really (really!) wanting lemon bars. It’s almost summer, and it’s the perfect time for a bright citrus dessert! I actually have been thinking about lemon bars since I decided to start writing this blog and made a list of recipes I wanted to share. Lemon bars were at the top of a very long list.

Creamy, sweet, with a fresh lemon taste and just a hint of tartness on a rich, buttery shortbread crust.. (uhhh..excuse me while I grab another lemon bar…)

Lemon Juice for Lemon Bars

Freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Read More →

Desserts fresh from the farmer's market!

Desserts fresh from the farmer’s market!


It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in California’s central valley and for me and my girls, that means it’s a trip to the farmer’s market! I first visited the Sunday Farmer’s market less than a year ago and it has been one of my girls’ favorite places to go to when the weather is nice outside.

Sweet, Plump Blueberries

Sweet, Plump Blueberries. Score!

This trip to the farmer’s market yielded juicy red strawberries and sweet, plump, blueberries among other things. So I thought, with the start of summer, it would be fitting to do some simple desserts that showcased these delicious fruits. (Disclaimer: I am mildly allergic to fresh fruits and vegetables, but the desserts looked so yummy that I couldn’t help but try them myself! Sooo worth it!)

Read More →

White Serveware is the most versatile item you can own for entertaining

I love white serving pieces big and small!

You heard me right. Though I can’t believe I’m making a fashion comparison. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m one of the least fashion forward people – my closet probably still has clothes from high school and I can’t remember the last time I went shopping for clothing for myself.

Which is why I used the little black dress as an analogy. My closet, pathetic and dated as it is, does have a few go to classic black dresses that I can dress up, dress down, accessorize, and I feel good in… and well you get the idea. Just like white dishes and serveware.

They all coordinate - can you tell which is Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or IKEA?

They all can mix and match – can you tell which is Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or IKEA?

Some may people think white serveware is boring, plain, uninspired, and just plain blah, just like black dresses. Well, in my world it’s just the opposite. It’s classic and it is the most versatile piece of serveware you can have in your kitchen arsenal. Like the little black dress, it can be dressed up, dressed down, accessorized, and food always looks good in it. Read More →

Ombre Cupcakes

Ombre Cupcakes so easy a kid can do it!


Yes, you read that right. Ombre Cupcakes by my 5-year-old daughter.

Today is Mother’s Day and my 5-year-old daughter announced this morning she wanted to make cupcakes for me. Not just any cupcakes, they had to be pretty pink cupcakes.

Alrighty then… this should be fun.

Alex found these cupcake wrappers - Better Crocker no-fade cupcake wrappers

Alex found these “mommy it’s so pretty!” cupcake liners in my supplies – Betty Crocker no-fade cupcake liners

Read More →

Almond Croissants Creamy Almond Custard Filling

Wait.. what? Aren’t almond croissants a breakfast item? I know I know.. this blog is supposed to be about desserts and/or design and here I am doing a recipe on breakfast. Aileen’s losing it.

Well I loooove almond croissants, my family begs for them, my friends love them and just about anyone I’ve had try them will always ask me to bring them to the next get together. They’re crispy and buttery on the outside with a creamy filling in the middle.

And I eat them for dessert. So there. Happy? I know I am. =)

Read More →