about Style Sweet CA, the blog:
Style Sweet CA is a cake and pastry blog for the home baker. As a professional cake designer/bakery owner turned home cook/food blogger, I aim to empower the everyday baker to take risks in the kitchen and try new things in the culinary world. Along side my industry tips and tricks from my years spent in commercial kitchens, I enjoy sharing my everyday successes and errors as a bake with a toddler in tow in my Vancouver apartment. For me, it’s not always about getting the icing on a cake just perfect on the first try, but about testing out a new recipe or ingredient and flexing our creative muscles. So stick around a while, try out a new recipe, follow along with one of my cake decorating tutorials, and share with me your journey towards making amazing pastries, creative cakes, and more! Questions? Comments? Leave me a note at [tessa(at)stylesweetca.com].
what does Style Sweet CA mean?
After picking up my camera and starting this blog back in 2013, my role as just a baker has evolved into so much more. I regularly wear many hats – recipe developer, cake designer, food stylist, editor, and even dishwasher. Since I no longer have local clients and people rarely get to actually taste the recipes I share here, it is up to me to present everything in the most attractive way possible through purposeful food styling and imagery. Ultimately, I am a California(CA) girl living in Canada(CA) – on a quest to explore the culinary arts and share stylish sweets.
Around the Web
Work With Me
Let's create stunning imagery, delicious food, and beautiful words together! For recipe development, styling, photography, and freelance writing, please contact me at [tessa(at)stylesweetca.com].
Occasionally I work with brands to create sponsored material. If you think your brand might be a good fit for Style Sweet CA readers, let me know!
Click here to view collaborative work.
Hi there! It's me, Tessa Huff! I am the writer, photographer, and recipe developer behind this little corner of the Internet. These days, it is hard for some of us to identify with just one job title - am I pastry chef? Mom? Stylist? Wife? Cake slinger? Author? All of these things make me who I am and shape a lot of the stories and recipes I share. If you are wondering how I got here (sometimes I do, too) or where I am headed, let me tell you a little about me:
once upon a time I had a bakery:
I believe that somewhere, somehow I will always be known as the "cake lady." Throughout my career I have both embraced and rejected the title, but when it comes down to it, cake was my first and one true love in the world of pastry. My passion for cake is what inspired me to quit my desk job to work nights at a local bakery, what drove me to open my own cake boutique, and ultimately became the backbone of my new cookbook "Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes."
The Frosted Cake Shop was my first baby. I opened TFCS, Sacramento's first custom cake shop, in 2008. I was young, unmarried, and with the support of my parents and then fiance (turned husband - hi Brett!), I took a giant leap at a great opportunity. I ran the shop for four happy, long, exhausting, exhilarating years - developing recipes, designing cakes, and servicing an array of local clients, weddings, and community events.
My husband Brett and I were content newlyweds, living our normal 20-something lives, but deep-down we both wanted more. He was not happy with his career (math teacher turned insurance claims adjuster) and I knew there was something holding me back from really expanding and pushing the bakery to its limits. Before we had children, we decided to do something a bit unconventional. After falling completely in love with both the city and wildlife of Vancouver, we packed up our bags, threw Remy (our French bulldog) in the car, and moved to beautiful British Columbia, Canada.
Pretty crazy, right? Since then, we've gained our permanent residence, bought our first condo in the West End, and we have never been happier. Nearly 3 years later, and I still can't hardly believe that we get to call this gorgeous city our home. Plus, Brett just landed his dream job as a video game programer at one of the top studios in the city (proud wife, right here).
A few different events led up to a major turn in my career. I always read food blogs when I owned TFCS, but it did not make sense at the time to start my own. Once we decided to move and I realized I'd be closing my bakery, I turned to blogging. Since I would no longer be working with my local clients, I began sharing recipes, photos, and stories to a broader online community (hi everyone!). At this point, I knew a lot about making food but not photographing it - the most important way to virtually share my cakes and recipes online. After my first experience on a food photography set, I knew exactly what I wanted to do next...
My brother is very talented photographer himself, so when he generously gifted me my camera, I wanted to make him proud. I began studying food photography, styling nearly every meal I made at home, and taught myself the ins and outs of my DSLR. I still can't decide if I enjoy baking the food, styling it, or photographing it the most, but I am so happy to call myself a food photographer today.
on becoming a writer
After trying to a get a "real job" once I finished college and ending up flinging fondant and covered in buttercream every night, there was a time I thought I would never end up using my degree. I am a proud UC Davis alumni, who (unforeseen by me) made it back to where I started, kind of. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, so I guess I should not be too surprised that I spend equal (if not most) of my time at a keyboard as I do in the kitchen these days.
I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, seeking out new forms of it. I love picking over piles of produce to find just the right ingredients and sorting through hundreds of recipes in search of the perfect one for whatever occasion. I also love writing about it. Not only do I write recipes, I share my food adventures, the stories that shape a recipe, and many tips and tricks from my years spent in a commercial kitchen.
I am so proud to call myself a mom. I always knew that I wanted children some day, but decided to wait a bit to make sure Brett and I were really ready. Of course you can never really be ready to have a little human enter your life and turn in completely upside down, but it was not until after about 4 years of marriage and our big move up north that we decided to start a family. In January 2015, I gave birth to the most scrumptious little boy I have ever laid my eyes on. Everett James stole my whole heart and definitely changed the way I see most of the world. He's taught me a love that I never knew even existed.
As he begins eating solid foods, being a mom is starting to change my culinary point of view as well. I am excited to see what twists and turns my career and the way I think and treat food will take as I continue to feed the little one. Heck, I even give my fur-baby Remy (the most gorgeous, elegant French bulldog that ever lived) homemade food full of organic vegetables and chicken thighs. I hope to begin experimenting with more natural sugars and alternative flours - along side the heaps of buttercream, of course.