Celebrating a royal wedding with a cake

In honor of the occasion of the event in England, I set out to bake a Bunt cake, shaped in a crown for my British neighbor Valerie, who was hosting a brunch for some of the ladies in the area.

Decorated with Borage flowers
bow and ribbon to emulate Kate’s veil and train

Unfortunately I was unable to photograph Valerie’s beautiful table setting as I had a cardiologist appointment and when I was there not all the food was set up. Nevertheless I can tell you that there was a portrait of William and Kate just below the flower arrangement. A beautiful light and airy fabric cascaded down from the elevated flower arrangement, creating wonderful hills and valleys. In between the rolling material was set a typical British silver tea service and dishes.

Photo by Valerie

Valerie honored me by having reserved the center of the table for my cake, that too was elevated by a glass pedestal. I had also dropped of a plate of mini blueberry muffins, decorated by two different Dutch irises, a number of Borge and yellow Daisy flowers.

I hope that you all had a great time sharing the event with friends as we have so little to celebrate these days.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine
Hugo Burnand/Clarence House/PA/Landov

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with attendants and then with families
Hugo Burnand / Clarence House / PA / Landov

The recipe 

8 tbsp./40 oz. unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
4 large organic brown eggs
3 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of firm Greek yogurt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. orange extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried apricots - diced
3/4 cup yellow raisins
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, cut into small pieces


  1. On a large dish or medium bowl mix the apricots, raisins, cranberries and pecans, then dust with flower to prevent them from sining to the bottom during baking
  2. Mix the soft butter with sugar until well blended
  3. Add one egg at a time and blend
  4. Add orange and vanilla extract and briefly blend
  5. Slowly add the flour with the mixer at low to medium speed. After half of the flower has been added, add the yogurt and mix, then resume adding the remaining flour. If the dough feels to thick and not elastic enough, add a dash of milk.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in the dried fruit and nut mixture until well distributed. Do not use the hand blender or mixer for this step.
  7. Now add the mixture to a Bunt pan that was buttered and dusted with flour.
  8. In a preheated oven set to 350° degrees, set the cake mold in the center of the oven. Check after 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick or cake needle. Cake usually takes 50-60 minutes to bake.


Thank you for your visit
and comment . . .



A leap of faith

Since I finished the painting “White on White”—my last post—more than a month ago, I felt I had only scratched the surface when it came to interpreting Typography Graveyard, a collection of photographs taken over a period of more than five years of the Berkeley telephone poles and the remains of fliers and posters.

Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
8 x 8” inch (20.32 x 20.32 cm) Shopping bags for a base, treated and
sculpted Bristol paper on canvas

So after taking a leap of faith these last weeks, I have set out upon a journey with the idea of creating a collection of paintings that would take my visual interpretation from a photograph to another level and with no less than thirty-five canvases. A huge undertaking even if these canvases are only 5 x 5” inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm), with an additional undisclosed number that are 8 x 8” inch (20.32 x 20.32 cm).

Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated and sculpted Bristol paper on canvas then covered with gesso,
 further adjustments made after adding new pieces of treated Bristol paper

Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated and sculpted Bristol paper on canvas

This undertaking of mine is now in its third week and during this time many technical discovers have been made as I experiment with different kinds of archival art papers, including vintage book pages, something I thought I would never do, since I love books too much to actually be cutting one up. Once the first cut was made, the next several were easier and now I not only have vintage book pages, but also plenty of interesting binding material and fibers for use in another project, with a few ideas already percolating in the back of my mind.

Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated Bristol paper on canvas

With each new canvas that is started I take another leap of faith in how I use the materials so that there are plenty of differences and yet enough similarities from one canvas to the next, including going back to those I first considered finished and ready for their last two stages, making further adjustments. 

With the first twelve canvases ready for their last two stages, I have opted to first build the foundation to which all layers are added, this way I can maintain control over quality and the look of the series, which otherwise could be jeopardized. This most likely will take two weeks with an additional three to six weeks for building the layers that will represent the Typography Graveyard, with an equal amount for painting the layers in acrylic and then finishing the painting in oil.

Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated charcoal paper on canvas

This will be only the second time in which I have set out to do a series, the other time was in 2000 and took eighteen months, over seven hundred sketches to complete 8 (?) 36 x 36” inch paintings based on Russian Reconstructivism and German Bauhaus.

Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) various art papers and vintage book text on canvas

Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) various art papers and vintage book text on canvas

So please join me over the next couple of months as I will sharing more photographs documenting the progress of these small paintings from the layering stages throughout the painting phase.

Thank you for your visit
and comment . . .