Grand Opening!

Today represented about two and a half years of work on the part of so many people. I can't thank these people enough: Christina Oatfield (From the SELC), Mark Stambler (and the LA Bread Bakers group), and Assemblyman Mike Gatto (and all of his staff), for all their hard work in getting the Cottage food law passed. This thank-you list is far from complete, and I know not all the bugs are worked out, but what a huge accomplishment!  I spent a fair amount of time at the capitol myself, wrote letters, made phone call, and petitioned friends and family for help in the process, and I know I am only one of potentially thousands of people across the state that will benefit from this change in law. 

I am honored to be the first cottage food operation permitted in Sacramento county, and after getting all of my permits, licenses, and such in place, Amber Gillespie's Cake Creations quietly opened for business in mid-January.  But even though I do not have a store front, I wanted to have a Grand Opening party!  I did this for lots of reasons, but it gave me an excuse to bake lots of cake, party with my friends, and design a cake that was all my own.

I love designing for other people, don't get me wrong, but this was an opportunity to try some new techniques and work on my piping skills, which isn't in huge demand these days.  I also decided to try and make a royal icing that was totally vegan since I have an egg allergy.  I am happy to say that I was pretty successful! This icing dries hard like royal, is stretchy (a little too stretchy really, I need to work on that), and lends itself to string-work pretty well. The downside is that it isn't stiff enough to pipe flowers (the pedals kind of melt).  One interesting thing is that it keeps it's shine, which I like.

I want to play with it more and see if I can make it work for flowers and try to get it a little less stretchy, and then I will post the recipe for anyone who is interested.

Anyway, back to the party... we all had a great time and everyone loved the tasting bar I had set up with several different kinds of cakes, icings, and fillings for people to mix and match. I even had a couple of my gluten-free goodies out for sampling.  In fact, the cinnamon rolls were a hit with both the gluten-free and non-gluten free crowds alike!

Thanks to everyone who came for the party! I had a great time celebrating with you and I look forward to making cakes for everyone again in the future! 


Over the last several years I have made a lot of cakes. All of those cakes I have made and given away as labors of love because it was illegal to sell them in California. If you have followed me over the past year, you may be aware that I (along with many others) spent a lot of time at the state capitol speaking with senators, representatives, and writing the governor, trying to make it possible for people to make food items from home and sell them. On January 1, 2013, that dream became a reality, and son after I became the first Cottage Food Operation in Sacramento county!  Amber Gillespie's Cake Creations is a legally operating food facility!

So, this smokin' cake represents my very first sale! Thanks so much to a sweet and wonderful friend of mine who ordered this cake for her son's birthday this past weekend. Victor is currently studying to be a firefighter, so I thought it would be awesome to do some airbrushed flames around the cake and we re-created the logo from the Fire and Rescue facility where he is currently training.  I love how the flames just jump right off the black background!

Happy Birthday Victor! Good luck with your training and we are all very proud of you!

Valentine's Cookies!

What confection is more iconic than the Valentine's Day cookie?  Conversation hearts are pretty high on the list I but, Valentines cookies hold a special place in my heart. Back when I was first dating my husband, I was totally broke when Valentine's Day came around.  I wanted to do something special, so I set about to make my (then) boyfriend three or four dozen of those confections.   No two cookies were alike; and let me tell you, that was a challenge! But I did do what I set out to accomplish - make a Valentine's gift that would be appreciated (and consequently remembered for years to come!) .

 I don't think anything I could do would top those first cookies.  So, this year I decided to do something different.   This year I wanted texture!  So I decided to play around with fondant. There are all kinds of  wonderful things you can do with fondant.

 Most of the textures here were done with impression mats of various kinds.   I also added a hint of Shimmer with pearl dusts, but sadly that doesn't show in the photo much.  However, you can see a hint of shine on the cookie in the top right corner.

This year these cookies went to the winner of my  "I have reached 100 likes on Facebook" drawing! Don't worry, my dear hubby will not be without sweets from his sweetheart! Those goodies are still in the works.

 Happy Valentines Day everyone!

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Sacramento, California, United States
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