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Holiday Naked Cake & Cocktails Workshop W/ Sweet Melissa

Hannah Weeks

I've been so eager to get to one of Sweet Melissa's naked cake workshops for awhile now & this weekend I finally got to attend! It did not disappoint! I went with a friend and we had a blast..and probably ate way too much salted caramel frosting. Who am I kidding, I definitely ate way too much, but it's the holidays and nothing counts on the weekends in my book!

Sweet Melissa, aka Melissa Miller, is a self-taught baker born and raised in the Midwest. Hands up for the Midwest girls!  I LOVE her style and always look forward to what she's doing next. You can find out more about Melissa here:

http://sweetmelissadesserts.com/about

 

Here's a look into my experience at the Holiday Naked Cake & Cocktails Workshop!

First of all, Journeyman Distillery is one of the most gorgeous and inspiring venues I've come across. It is located in Three Oaks, Michigan, about 30 minutes from my hometown of LaPorte, Indiana. I just want to sit in the space and dream..maybe while drinking some of their fabulous cocktails. I love the history of the building and the wide open venue spaces make me want to bust out my old pointe shoes and start dancing.

 

 You had me at wood slated wall...

You had me at wood slated wall...

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 Be still my heart.. The temptation to start twirling was almost too much.

Be still my heart.. The temptation to start twirling was almost too much.

We had veered off course, not entirely accidentally, because I wanted to see the empty venue space. Eventually we found our way to The Grainery, where Sweet Melissa's workshop was taking place. Guess what? That space was equally as gorgeous, especially with all the pretty decor for the event.

 

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 Gift bag table! More on the goodies that were in them later!

Gift bag table! More on the goodies that were in them later!

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 photo via: Sweet Melissa

photo via: Sweet Melissa

My friend and I had arrived early, so we snagged some seats right up front.

 

 I sat as close to the flowers as I could, naturally.

I sat as close to the flowers as I could, naturally.

After finding our spots, we were greeted with a delicious cocktail made especially for the event, with Journeyman Gin, of course! I am not a big fan of gin, but even I loved it. My friend who joined me, Crystal, is actually a bartender at Enzo Trattoria in LaPorte, (where I used to work!) and she gave her stamp of approval as well.

 photo via: Sweet Melissa

photo via: Sweet Melissa

 Cocktails: gin, cranberry & rosemary simple syrup.

Cocktails: gin, cranberry & rosemary simple syrup.

Once we had our cocktails, it was ready to begin the workshop!

 

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 We started layering with salted caramel frosting, which was delicious.

We started layering with salted caramel frosting, which was delicious.

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 The more layers the better..

The more layers the better..

 Photo via: Sweet Melissa

Photo via: Sweet Melissa

 photo via: Sweet Melissa

photo via: Sweet Melissa

Melissa was great with giving us pointers and tips for baking the cakes on our own and on how to more easily frost the outside of the naked cake. It actually was pretty easy, especially with the lazy susan to help spin the cake.

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 I had to stop myself a few times before finally putting down the frosting spreader. There's no wrong amount of frosting for this style cake, just whether you want to see the cake more or less!

I had to stop myself a few times before finally putting down the frosting spreader. There's no wrong amount of frosting for this style cake, just whether you want to see the cake more or less!

Next up, the flowers!

 

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Leah Bayes with Leah Bayes Floristry had us start out choosing 1-2 larger flowers to start as our base. Here's mine!

 One of Leah's tips was to tape the stems that would be put into the cake. I did this for the big stems, but eventually stopped taping, because I'm fine with a little earthiness in my cake, haha!

One of Leah's tips was to tape the stems that would be put into the cake. I did this for the big stems, but eventually stopped taping, because I'm fine with a little earthiness in my cake, haha!

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Next we added greenery with another tip about spacing and balancing the greens into odd numbered points.

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After adding the greenery we were able to pick final touches such as pine cones, ornaments, chestnuts and cinnamon sticks and add them to our cakes. I added my final touches and then resigned to leaving the cake alone. I could have get adding and making tweaks forever!

Here's my final product!

 

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After we finished our cakes, we got to eat some cake that Melissa had brought along. It was so delicious and the cake itself balanced out the sweet frosting.

 

 SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

On our way out, we snapped a photo of our masterpieces and grabbed our gift bags!

 

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 photo via: Sweet Melissa  The gift bags were awesome! We received a bottle of Journeyman Distillery's Gin, Caramels from Sweet Melissa and some recipe cards for the cake and frosting we made! I am definitely going to make the cake again very soon!

photo via: Sweet Melissa

The gift bags were awesome! We received a bottle of Journeyman Distillery's Gin, Caramels from Sweet Melissa and some recipe cards for the cake and frosting we made! I am definitely going to make the cake again very soon!

I had such a great time and it was so fun to try something different. I highly suggest snagging a ticket to Sweet Melissa's next workshop in the new year. As a small business owner myself, I understand the importance of supporting small, local businesses. Who knows, maybe we'll drum up a collab sometime in the future! below are some links to all those involved; happy holidays ... and EAT THE CAKE!

http://sweetmelissadesserts.com/

http://lbfloristry.com/

http://www.journeymandistillery.com/

 

 Thanks, Melissa!

Thanks, Melissa!