Private Lessons


Minette acrylicsIt has been my pleasure to host small group and private lessons in our new studio.  I am honored that students have traveled from all over the states to join me in the studio.

These wonderful ladies traveled from Maine, Oregon, and North Carolina for a 3 day private lesson.  We worked on perfecting buttercream and fondant and sugar flowers.  I think you will agree with me that they did a fabulous job!!!

Minette Private collageIf you are interested in classes at the studio, please feel free to contact me for private lessons or check our teaching tab.

Sweet Regards,



Cherry Topping



I do love cherries and this easy to make cherry topping is a delicious accompaniment to cheesecake, ice cream, or just by itself…after you try this recipe, you will never open a can of pie filling again….I promise!  Let me know how you like it!

Here is the video tutorial:

Cherry Topping

1 Can tart cherries, pitted and packed in water – 1 pound can

Sugar – 1/3 cup or 67grams

Cherry Wine – 3 fluid ounces or 96 grams

Cornstarch – 1 TBS

Pinch of salt

*Drain cherries for at an hour and reserve juice.

*Set aside 1/4 cup of cherry juice and place in the refrigerator to cool.

*In a medium sized saucepan, add sugar, cherry wine, and 2 TBS of the cherry juice.  Stir together and bring to a boil over medium heat.

*To the chilled 1/4 cup of cherry juice add the cornstarch. Stir until completely dissolved.  Add to the boiling mixture, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 1 minute.

*Add the cherries to the mixture in the saucepan and a pinch of salt to the above mixture.  Stir well.  Remove from stove and let it cool.

*Store in the fridge

Minette Recommends:

1. My very favorite cherry wine is Cherry Kijafa.  It gives the cherries an amazing taste.

2. Be sure to dissolve the cornstarch in COLD cherry juice.  Once you add it to the saucepan, let the cornstarch mixture come to a full boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.

3. This is my very favorite topping for cheesecakes but it is equally delicious warmed up and poured over vanilla ice cream!

4. Enjoy!!!!

Leave me some feedback…let me know how you like it!



Amaretto Cake Recipe – The Wedding Cake


Mascarpone mousse

Wedding cakes have always been my love.  I enjoy every step of the process (ok…the paperwork…ummm, not so much,) meeting with brides, hearing their story, seeing the details, designing the cake, making the cake…everything!  After 15+ years, I still love EVERYTHING about the wedding cake…including eating the cake!!!

The beginning of my career, all wedding cakes were pound cakes with buttercream frosting and decorated with fresh flowers.  When bridal magazines started featuring pictures of wedding cakes, not only were the outside of the wedding cakes beautifully decorated with fondant and sugar flowers, the inside of the cakes were beautiful as well…. layers and layers of cake filled with fruit fillings, curds, and mousses…a grand dessert worthy of being presented and eaten at a once in a lifetime event.  As the look of the wedding cake evolved, so did the cake itself.

Our wedding cake now are a reflection of the times, a light, delicious, and moist cake with just a hint of almond.  The cake pairs perfectly with most any filling, mousses, fruit preserves, fruit curds, vanilla buttercream, all serve as a wonderful accompaniment to this delicious cake.  Stay away from dark chocolate fillings as they tend to overwhelm the delicate almond flavor.

With many thanks to those who shared recipes with me throughout the years. I have added my touches to this recipe and we are proud to share Custom Cakes’ Wedding Cake Recipe with you!

Here is the video tutorial:



Amaretto Cake

*18.25 oz White Cake Mix or (517.38 g)

*2/3 Cup eggs —1 whole egg, add egg whites to whole egg to make 2/3 Cup or (1 whole egg plus whites to equal 4 oz.) or (1 whole egg plus whites to equal 113.4 g.)

*1 ¼ Cup Sour Cream or (10 oz.) or (283 g.)

*1/2 Cup of Oil

*4 ½ TBS. of Amaretto (Almond flavored liqueur) or (2 oz.) or (56.7 g.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Into your mixing bowl add Oil, eggs, and Cake mix. Beat on medium speed until just incorporated.

Add Sour cream and beat on medium speed until just incorporated.

Add Amaretto and mix until well incorporated. Be sure not to over beat!

Pour into 2 greased and floured 8” pans.

Bake in a 325 degree oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let rest 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto cooling racks, dome side up to finish cooling.

Minette Recommends:

1. I prefer Duncan Hines white cake mix, but really, any other brand will work just fine!

2. I love Diaronno brand of almond liqueur but it is pricey.  A less expensive brand of almond liqueur will work too!

3. Put your liquid ingredients into the mixing bowl first and then add the cake mix.  Makes for less bowl scraping and your ingredients incorporate faster.

4.  To up the almond flavor, you can add REAL almond extract along with the amaretto.  How much, you ask???? Depends on your taste buds.  Me…I prefer not to add any extract as I like the subtle almond taste the liqueur adds.

5. After the cakes have cooled in the pan for 10 minutes, take them out of the pan, wrap twice in Saran Wrap and let them cool.  Sometimes, I chill the warm cakes in the fridge…yes, you read it right!  The plastic wrap holds all the yummy moisture in!!!!

6. So many friends have shared recipes with me over the years am I am so very grateful.  This recipe is actually a recipe from Earlene Moore.  I’ve changed it up just a bit.  Earlene no longer sells cakes but is still very active in the cake community.  Please visit her site for some great recipes and general information.  She also sells a line of beautiful molds.  Earlene’s site.   Earlene is the best!!!!




Mascarpone Mousse


Mascarpone mousse

I have been making cakes most of my life and YES I still love a good cake!  As much as I love a good cake, I equally love a good filling!!!

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite fillings, Mascarpone Mousse.  This is a wonderful mousse that works well as a filling for your favorite cake.  The not too sweet taste complements both vanilla and chocolate cakes…fold in some fresh raspberries or diced, fresh strawberries and the yum factor is of the chart!

We have made a short video tutorial for Custom Cakes’ youtube channel if you want to watch how the Mascarpone Mousse is made.

 Mascarpone Mousse

  • 1 1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese or (10 ounces) or (284 grams)
  • 3/4 cup Heavy cream or (6.1 ounces) or (173 grams)
  • 1/4 cup Powdered sugar or (1 ounce) or (28 grams)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla


-Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

-Use the whisk attachment and mix on low until combined.  Turn speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form.

-Refrigerate mousse (cover it in saran wrap) for 30 minutes before using.  Keep refrigerated.

It is just that easy!!!!!

Minette Recommends:

I like to chill the mousse for about 30 minutes before filling a cake…gives it time to set-up nice and firm.

When using this mousse or any perishable filling, the cake must be kept refrigerated.  Don’t assume your client knows…be sure and tell them!

I love to add fresh fruit to Mascarpone Mousse.  Fresh raspberries and strawberries are my favorites.  If using fresh strawberries, wash them and dry thoroughly.  Dice the strawberries and let them sit on a paper towel for a few minutes to absorb the excess juice.  Gently fold the berries into the mousse.

Like your mousse a little sweeter?  Add powdered sugar to taste.


I do hope you will give the Mascarpone Mousse a try!  Please let me know what you think!!!






Cheesecake – My Favorite!


Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert!  I have tried many, many recipes looking for the perfect one…dense and creamy…and easy to make.  I am thrilled to share it with you.  For you visual learners, you will find the link which will take you to our youtube channel where you can watch me make the cheesecake. The written recipe is below in case you want to print it out.  Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me copy and paste a table into the blog… the measurement aren’t as neat and tidy as I would like.  Here’s hoping I find a solution soon!!!


 Custom Cakes’ Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust

*Graham cracker crumbs  –  1 ¼ cups  OR 4 1/2 ounces   OR 125 grams
*Granulated sugar  –  ¼ cup  OR 1  3/4 ounces    OR 50 grams
*Butter, melted  –  8 TBS (one stick) melted  OR 4 ounces  OR 120 grams


Make the crust first!
*Preheat oven to 375°F.
*Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
*Press as evenly as you can into the bottom of a 10” springform pan.
*Bake in preheated oven for 5 minute.
*Remove and cool while you prepare the Filling.


*Cream cheese, room temp –  3 pounds  OR 1,362 grams
*Granulated sugar –  1 ½ cups  OR 10 1/2 ounces   OR 300 grams
*Eggs, room temp –  6 large eggs  OR 10.5-11.5 ounces (without shells)  OR 300 grams (without shells)
*Vanilla- 1 TBS  OR 1/2 ounce   OR 13 grams


Make the filling!
*Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
*In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese until softened for 2 minutes on low.
*Gradually add the sugar to the cream cheese. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
*With mixer on low speed, add the vanilla. Mix until combined.
*Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Make sure the eggs are fully incorporated but don’t over mix.
*Pour the batter into the cooled crust.
*Bake in preheated oven for about 1 ½ hours. The very center of the cake may be somewhat wobbly but the outer edges will not.
*Turn off oven and open the door slightly. Let cake cool in oven for 2 hours.
*Remove cake from oven and let it cool completely at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
*To remove cake from springform pan, run a knife around the edge of the cake. Open the latch on the springform pan. Place a cake board on top of the cake, invert, remove bottom of pan and parchment paper from crust. Invert cake onto serving plate.
*Serve plain or with fruit topping.
*Keep refrigerated.


Minette recommends:

-If you want an extra tall cheesecake, use a 9” springform pan. You will need to bake the cake a tad bit longer…but not much so keep an eye on it.
-You don’t have to have a springform pan to bake a cheesecake. A 3”x10” pan will work too! When ready to de-pan, (should be cold and right out of the fridge), move the pan back and forth over your stove top burner (turn your burner on med- high but keep the pan moving,) enough to slightly warm the bottom of the pan. Run a knife along the edge of the cake. Place a cardboard round on top of the cheesecake, and then turn it out of the pan.
-No you don’t have to bake cheesecakes in a water bath!!!! Good news, right???? I have made this recipe hundreds of times with almost no cracked cheesecakes!!!! Check the cake at the end of the 1 ½ baking time…I like the center to wobble just slightly. Turn the oven off and crack the door SLIGHTLY…then walk away and leave it alone for 2 hours….don’t be tempted to check on it…you will only regret it!
-Speaking of cracks….don’t beat the fool out of the filling! Ingredients should be well incorporated but you don’t want any extra air beaten into the batter…I’m convinced an overbeaten filling results in cracking.

I do hope you will give this recipe a try!
Let me know how you like it!!!

Happy baking and thanks for looking!!!



Small Classes and Private Lessons at the Custom Cakes’ Studio


January has been a busy month at the Custom Cakes Studio!  I have had the pleasure of hosting small classes and private lessons.  So honored to have students travel from VA, North Carolina, South Carolina, and North Georgia to learn everything from sugar flowers to wedding cakes.

Sara and Krista made some beautiful sugar flowers.  Hard to believe they had very little experience!!!!  I think you will agree they do beautiful work.

Here is Sara with her PeonyJan classes sara

Krista made this beautiful Dahlia and wedding cake!

jan class krista flower

Lori and Cristina made these beautiful wedding cakes!

Jan wedding cake class 2

Thank you to these delightful ladies for joining me!  It was truly my pleasure.

If you are interested in classes, please be sure to check out the TEACHING section of our blog.  New classes are posted on a regular basis.

Until next time,

Sweet Regards,



Chocolate Covered Cherries


Chocolate covered cherries1

Chocolate covered cherries are a mainstay in our house during the holidays.  I have been making them for my family for longer than I care to say…My dear friend Suzanne and I get together after the Thanksgiving crowd has cleared and spend a day making these delicious morsels.

I have made a short tutorial with the recipe and the technique I use to make them.  Give them a try!  I hope our chocolate covered cherries will be a mainstay in your holiday house as well.

Chocolate Covered Cherries


Let me know how you like them!

Sweet regards,


Sugar Paste Demo Webinar


July 30, 2014

Thank you , thank you, thank you for joining me today for the  “Making Sugar Paste” webinar. As I said in the last blog post, the original sugar paste recipe was given to me by Rosemary Watson.  I have changed the recipe up a little so it suits our hot and humid climate better.

Sugar Paste Recipe – Minette Rushing/Custom Cakes

1 lb. 10x sugar, sifted

2 TBS. gum tragacanth

1/4 Cup cold water (cold tap water is fine)

1 1/2 tsp. gelatin

2 TBS. corn syrup

1 TSP. of shortening (for hands and table top)

*Place 10x sugar and gum tragacanth in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer.  Cover with foil and place in a 200-250 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

*Sprinkle gelatin over water (make sure your water is in a microwave safe bowl.)  Let sit for 5-15 minutes.  Don’t let it sit more than 15 minutes.

*Melt gelatin/ water mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Stir and heat for 10 seconds more.  The gelatin should be completely dissolved. On the top of the water you will see white swirls.  Feel the gelatin mixture and make sure there isn’t any gelatin granules that haven’t dissolved.  Take care to not over heat the mixture.

*Place the Karo syrup in a microwave dish.  Heat for 10 seconds. Should be warm to the touch, but not hot.

*Remove mixer bowl from oven and place on stand.  Use pot holder when handling the bowl as it will be very warm.  Use the mixer paddle and stir to distribute the gum tragacanth.

*Add the gelatin mixture and Karo syrup to the mixing bowl.  Attach the paddle and mix on low for one minute.

*Turn the mixer to high for 5 minutes.  The bowl should be cool at this point.

*Rub some shortening on your counter top.  Turn the gumpaste onto your counter top.  Knead the paste until it no longer feels airy.  The paste should not be sticky.

*Wrap twice in plastic wrap.  Store in a zippy bag.  Let the paste rest in the fridge for 12 hours before using.  Bring to room temp before using.

Thank you again for watching.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Here is the video:


Sugar Paste Recipe


I’ve been asked to share our Sugar Paste Recipe…and I’m happy to do so.  The recipe isn’t mine, actually, but rather was given to me by Rosemary Watson.  I’m sorry to say Rosemary has retired from all things cake.  She was quite the cake decorating pioneer and is responsible for many of the tools we enjoy today…lace molds, silicone veiners (still think hers are the gold standard,) flower cutters, marshmellow fondant, and the list goes on!

Rosemary Watson’s Gumpaste Recipe

1 lb. 10x sugar

2 Tablespoons (level) gum tragacanth

1/3 Cup of cold water

1 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin

3 Tablespoons of corn syrup

1 level Tablespoon of shortening

*Place 10x sugar and gum tragacanth in the bowl of a heavy duty mixing bowl.  Place bowl over bain marie until warm to the touch.

*Sprinkle gelatin over cold water (in a microwave safe bowl) and let sit for 5-15 minutes…no longer than 15 minutes.

*Melt shortening (I do melt it in the microwave)

*Dissolve gelatin mixture in the microwave on low temperature.  Don’t over heat but make sure all the gelatin is dissolved.  It the gelatin is not completely  dissolved, you will end up with nasty little bumps in your paste.

*Heat corn syrup…should be warm to the touch.

*Add melted shortening and corn syrup to dissolved gelatin.

*Place mixing bowl (with warm 10x sugar and gum tragacanth) on the mixer.  Use the paddle attachment and mix on low for a couple of minutes until the sugar and gum trag are combined.

*Add liquids and turn mixer to medium for a minute and then turn to high.  Beat for 5 minutes.

*Lightly grease work surface.

*Remove paste from mixer.  Paste will be airy and fluffy.  Add some shortening to your hands and knead the paste until smooth.

*Wrap twice in Saran Wrap and place in Ziplock bag.

*Let rest of 12 hours.

*Keep refrigerated.  Will last along time refrigerated and will last even longer if frozen.

Rosemary’s sugar paste dries really hard and works well in our hot and humid location.  Hope you will give it a try and let me know how you like it!


Chocolate Fudge Buttercream



Rich, creamy, and oh so delicious…our Chocolate Buttercream is a favorite  of our brides and I have to say myself , it’s pretty yummy!!!

We’ve had a lot of requests for the recipe so I am happy to share.

Custom Cakes’ Chocolate Fudge Buttercream

1 Pound Butter, softened (if you are using straight from the fridge, pop the butter in the microwave for a few seconds until very soft…it’s ok if some of the butter is liquid

2 Cups Milk (I prefer whole milk but you can use whatever type you like)

4 Pounds Powdered Sugar, sifted

2 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa, sift if you see lumps

*2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla, optional

I recommend using a heavy duty mixer with a paddle attachment

* To the mixing bowl, add softened butter and beat until creamy.  Should only take a couple of minutes if your butter is nice and soft.

*Now begin adding the cocoa.  I add it in a little at the time so I don’t get a big “chocolate cloud.”  Once you’ve added all the cocoa let it mix until fully incorporated.

*Next start adding the powdered sugar.  Just like with the cocoa, I add the powdered sugar a little at the time…trying to avoid the “powdered sugar cloud.”  You can also cover the mixer with a damp dish towel and that will keep the powdered sugar from going all over the place.

Once the mixture begins to get stiff, start adding some milk.  Alternate the milk and powdered sugar until all the powdered sugar has been added.

*Add enough milk until you reach the desired consistency.

*Add the vanilla.

*This is a crusting buttercream so be sure to keep covered  if you aren’t using it.  I store any used buttercream in the fridge…Ziplock container work great.  The chocolate buttercream darkens as it sits.

I hope you will give our Chocolate Fudge Buttercream a try.  Let me know how you like it!

Take a look at our Youtube Buttercream videoChocolate Buttercream

Thanks for looking!