Planning Your Bestie’s Baby Shower

So your bestie is having a baby! It’s such an exciting time! And if you’re taking on the important (and possibly overwhelming) task of planning the shower. Congrats! You’re an amazing friend. 

There are so many factors to consider during the planning — from where to hold the shower to should it be co-ed to game or not to game. And then there are the desserts, which can be such a fun way to celebrate the new addition with friends. Well, we’re here to help ease some of the stress of planning the perfect baby shower. 

Read on to find out some of our favorite baby shower dessert options, in addition to some tips and tricks from the 12 Oaks Team. Happy planning!

PS: We recommend including baby shower games as they’re a great ice breaker! 

Cake Gems & Macarons

He or She, What Will It Be: The Baby Shower Reveal

It can be so fun and exciting to find out what the baby will be. And including a gender reveal, or sex reveal as it’s also called, as part of the baby shower is a special way to include friends and family in the joyous moment. There are several ways to incorporate a reveal into the dessert portion of the party, but one of the most popular is the cake cutting reveal. Two common cake reveal methods involve using blue or pink food coloring in the cake batter or in the frosting so upon cutting the cake, you’re met with pink or blue. Coloring the frosting is a good option if you’re a chocolate fiend like us and wouldn’t be able to color the actual cake.

Baby Shower Cake

Next Level Baby Shower Cake: Sprinkle Bomb

We like to up the ante a bit, though, and often suggest using a sprinkle bomb to reveal. This method really ups the “wow factor” and makes the reveal that much more exciting. We incorporate a sprinkle bomb by first cutting a hole into the middle of the cake and placing blue or pink sprinkles and candies into the hole. We replace the top bit of cake and then frost and decorate as normal. When the parents-to-be cut into the cake, they’re met with blue or pink candies spilling out. It’s such a fun way to add to the reveal and definitely adds to the pizzazz of the party. 

Gender Reveal Cake with Sprinkle Bomb

Baby Shower Dessert Tablescape

We adore designing tablescapes and a baby shower offers so many opportunities to create a breathtaking dessert table. One table we designed, with help from the Mom-to-be, centered all around their nursery color choices of yellow and pin. We designed our Fancy cupcakes for the event with yellow and white frosting topped with macarons and yellow flowers. We loved how everything on the dessert table came together and complemented each other from the cute cupcakes to the gorgeous blooms, to the lemonade carafe, it was as elegant of a tablescape we’ve ever created.  

Baby Shower Tablescape

The Mom-to-be even matched the yellow decor with an adorable yellow dress (too cute!). With dessert table planning, the sky is really the limit — you can customize it all from the color palette to the dessert options (ie. cookies, cake gems, mini cheesecakes, cake pops, you name it!) to all of the accompaniments. 

Baby Shower Fancy Cupcakes

Baby Shower Themed Desserts

Working with a theme for the party? Party themes are our bread and butter. We love designing around a theme and coming up with adorable designs for cakes, cake pops, and cupcakes alike. For baby showers, we recommend incorporating custom cake pops because they turn out so cute. For example, with the yellow tablescape shower, we designed custom bumblebee cake pops, which were an absolute hit with the shower guests. 

Bumblebee Cakepops

For theme ideas, you could use the baby’s nursery theme. Some fun examples could be sports, safari animals or under-the-sea (our pufferfish cake pops are especially aww-inducing) but we love the mermaid cake pops too! 


         Sports Cakepops   Puffer Fish Cake Pops   Safari Animal Cakepops

For larger parties, custom themed cakes are a great option. We once created a 5 Little Ducks cake for one Mom-to-be. 

5 Little Ducks

With so many options, it can feel overwhelming when making these decisions. But not to worry, that’s where we come in. We like to chat with clients either over email or on the phone to iron out all of the key questions, i.e. whether there is a party theme, what their likes and dislikes are, etc. 

With that vital information in hand, we’ll take some time to brainstorm ideas and options, then come back to our clients with some options (including example pictures) to discuss. It’s always a collaborative process and we’re there to help you along the way to make planning easy and fun.


A Quick Note About Baby Shower Games…

We wanted to share a quick tip about baby shower games — we think they’re a lot of fun and a great ice breaker if you’re bringing together lots of different friends and family groups for the baby shower. One special activity that’s super easy to organize was actually done at Missy’s baby shower. The activity was secret letter writing for the mom-to-be. Each guest wrote a quick note on a card for Mom, whether it was words of encouragement or parenting advice or just some funny jokes. Then the planners collected the cards and once Missy’s son was born, they mailed 1 or 2 cards per week. The cards were a complete surprise since Missy had forgotten about that baby shower activity. And it was so welcoming to hear from many close friends during maternity leave, which can be such an exhausting and kind of isolating time. Missy kept all of the letters to this day!


Yours sweetly,

Katherine & Missy

12 Oaks’ Guide to a Low-Key, Romantic Valentine’s Day

Happy 2020 readers! At 12 Oaks we are excited to kick off a new decade with a post dedicated to taking the stress out of the supposed most romantic night of the year: Valentine’s Day. Sure, some say that Valentine’s Day is a bit of a silly, manufactured holiday. But we believe any excuse to connect with your significant other (SO) and cultivate a loving, romantic relationship is a good one. 

Our goal for this Valentine’s Day? Let’s make it one of the best low-key romantic nights ever. Below we’ll share our three-step process to take the stress out of V-Day. Trust us, these tips and tricks are sure to make the night memorable, fun and romantic for you and your partner. 

Tip 1: Skip The Reservations

When we think back to Valentine’s past, we’re reminded of the pressure to secure the perfect reservation. Always at a fancy restaurant, serving their special Valentine’s pre-fixe menu. This sounds incredible, until you arrive at the restaurant and notice the tables are so close together that you could easily ask the couple to the right if you could just taste a bite of their lasagna (come on, just one!). Let’s admit, those tiny squished-together tables make for great eavesdropping opportunities, but the ambiance does not encourage intimate, romantic conversation (unless, of course, you enjoy being eavesdropped upon…)

Our advice: Skip the reservations and make other dinner plans. You’ll reduce your stress and the expectation that dinner, with that pre-fixe price tag, must be perfect. What are some better options for dinner? Consult Tip 2! 

Tip 2: Get Creative With Dinner

What do we mean when we say get creative with your Valentine’s Day dinner? Well, this all depends on what constitutes a fun, romantic night for you and your SO.

For some of us that might mean staying in and preparing some of our favorite recipes. On Valentine’s Day we like to keep the fare relatively light, hence we’re not preparing a giant roast. Some of our favorite Valentine’s Recipes are listed below with links to recipes…mix and match to create your unique dinner or let these be an inspiration for you to find the perfect Valentine’s Day menu and have fun in the kitchen together!


Shucked oysters with minonette 

Never shucked an oyster before? It can be a fun activity to take on with your partner, and it’s surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. Check out Jaques Pepin’s how to video here.

Gussied Up Cheese Plate

Who doesn’t love to share a  good cheese plate? Thanks to Karen Small at the Flying Fig in Cleveland, you can try your hand at making a delicious sweet and savory cheese plate combo. This recipe requires some prep time, but not to worry, you can make them in advance and store them in your fridge for up to 3 days.


Our advice? Basically any salad containing burrata. Burrata is one of our favorite cheeses of all time and elevates any salad to super-fancy. And Epicurious has kindly compiled 10 Options for your consideration!

Main Courses

Grilled ribeye

For you meat-eaters out there, we love this option because typically one ribeye is great to share between two people. Don’t have a grill? Here’s a great way to make a delicious steak in your kitchen. Don’t have a cast iron? Check that VDay gift off your To-Do list and rest assured, you and your SO will get a TON of use out of the new addition to your kitchen.

Ina Garten’s Roasted Chicken

This is a more intensive dish if you have extra time on your hands. But roasted chicken is delish and Ina swears by it. Plus all of the sides cook with the chicken. Easy peasey!

Beet Risotto

This dish is not only delicious, it has the perfect VDay hue — we love the pinkish/purple the risotto gets when you mix in your cooked beets. This makes for a lovely vegetarian main course, or pair with seared scallops if you’re in the mood to take it over the top in terms of tastiness!

If our suggested menu doesn’t seem to be inspiring you, that’s okay too! Maybe you’re not a huge fan of cooking, or cooking dinner after working all day feels like a lot. Another option: You and your date could go back to the dive where you had one of your first dates. Or order in your favorite take out (pro-tip: try Postsmates or Caviar for delivery from your favorite high-end restaurants) and bring the restaurant setting to your home. That will certainly simplify the cleanup!


Tip 3: Indulge In Dessert

Now onto our favorite part of dinner: Dessert. This is a part of the night to lean on us at 12 Oaks to create for you a perfectly sweet, scrumptious bite. Particularly if you’re staying in for the night, we feel it’s nice to treat yourselves to something sweet and beautiful to make the night that much more special. 

Love-ly Cake Pops

Love-ly Cake Pops

Both decadent and dainty, our Love-ly Cake Pops taste divine and are gorgeous to behold. We form these cakepops using a silicone mold and hand decorate each heart to be special and unique. With toppings like edible gold leaf and fancy sprinkles, these hearts are a delight to behold. We love these for a special Valentine’s surprise for your SO.  

Valentine’s Cake Gems

Valentine's Cake Gems

Our Cake Gems have the perfect ratio of cake and frosting, and are a decadent dessert. They’re the perfect bite and while they’re very similar to our Cake Pops, they are just slightly smaller. For Valentine’s Day we’re now offering shimmery cake gems in Vday hues like pink and purple.

Valentine’s Day Roses & Cake Bites

Valentine's Day Roses & Cake Bites

For our local Los Angeles clients, we’re offering our beautiful Valentine’s Day gift box again this year! We’ve partnered with the wonderful crew at Garden Flowers and Gifts in Glendale to create the perfect Valentine’s gift box. Because nothing says “I love you” like a box of red roses and cake bites. Included in the box are 16 beautiful red roses and 10 cake bites in our most popular flavors including Red Velvet, Lemon and decadent Chocolate Chip. 

Wishing you a lovely and stress-free Valentine’s Day with your SO! Hopefully, our tips inspire you to plan something new and different this February 14th. 

Yours sweetly,

Katherine & Missy

Unicorn Cake Pops: So Magical, So Delicious

Desserts in LA these days are all about rainbows and unicorns. This trend has been going strong for a few years and we’re not upset to see it continue to thrive in 2019. Unicorn desserts make sweets both beautiful and magical and as you all know we love creating gorgeous treats. Plus, there are so many options for designing Unicorn desserts, from cake pops to cupcakes to multi-tiered cakes, we’ll take you through a few of our faves. Really, though, when designing these amazing desserts, the world is your…ah…unicorn! 

Unicorn Cake Pops

 Stick Down Unicorn Cake Pops

Our Unicorn cake pops are some of our favorite to design, they’re so fancy and adorable. They’re certainly a labor of love; not only do we roll a regular cake pop and dip it in candy melt, we up the ante by hand-painting the eyes and blushed cheeks and create the ears, flower crown and horn out of fondant (molds always help!). We also like to hand paint the horn a sparkly gold to make these cake pops extra-special. Keep in mind that we can create these “stick up” as pictured above where you’d use a stand to help them stand upright, or “stick down” where the cake pop would rest on a plate or serving dish.

We recommend Unicorn cake pops as the perfect favor for children’s birthday parties or baby showers. You could even pair these with our Magic Wand cake pops for an especially magical event.  We often hear people commenting “but they’re too pretty to eat!” Our advice: don’t worry, you can have your cake and eat it too. First, take a selfie, then dig in, because they’re both pretty and pretty delicious.

Speciality Unicorn Cake Pops for Halloween and Christmas

Lately, we’ve been riffing on the Unicorn cake pop trend and creating cake pops that fit the season, both for Halloween and Christmas. For Halloween, we turned this adorable trend on its head with a fun, spooky spin on traditional Unicorn Cake Pops: Zombie Unicorn cake pops! With a slightly green-hued blush on their cheeks and a missing eye, our Zombie Unicorns were a favorite of mine this Halloween. 

Halloween Unicorn Cake Pops


We loved how fun and spooky these little unicorns came out. Between their one stitched eye and black rosettes, they fit right in for Halloween, but with their golden horn, they still brought some glam. The Zombie Unicorn cake pops were a custom creation for a Halloween fair 12 Oaks participated in, and we would happily recreate them for a special event or birthday.

As for our Christmas Unicorn cake pops, these cuties will receive a festive treatment, with red and green flower crown and a bit of gold shimmer for good measure. These are sure to delight and wow your little ones during the holiday season. Don’t forget that we offer nationwide shipping on our cake pops, so if you’re outside of LA, don’t fret! 

Unicorn Cake Pops in Red and Green


Unicorn Cupcakes

Unicorn Cupcakes

We created Unicorn cupcakes for a custom dessert order for a special client. I thought these came out super cute with the fondant horns and ears and fancy sprinkles around the bottom of the frosting. We also had the chance to design a pull-apart unicorn “cupcake cake”. This is a custom dessert where cupcakes are placed side by side and then frosted together to create the design of the unicorn. (PS: I loved designing the mane for this pull-apart cake to look like it was full of gorgeous flowers.)

One special bonus with a pull-apart cake: instead of having to cut the cake, each person or child can pull one cupcake away from the unicorn. This design definitely saves time and stress when all of the little ones at your party are vying for their slice of cake. Hand them a cupcake and send them off to enjoy!

Unicorn Cupcake Pull-Apart Cake

Unicorn Cakes

To date, we haven’t received an order for a Unicorn cake, which we’re just itching to try. (Wait, there’s still time! Check out our custom order form!) However, we’ve seen some lovely examples coming from Jenna Rae Cakes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Below is an example of their unicorn cakes from their awesome Instagram account.

Jenna Rae Cakes Unicorn Cake

We love the simplicity of this design and also their attention to detail with the frosted mane. It’s absolutely gorgeous and we imagine this would be an extremely memorable cake for the birthday girl. Depending on the size of your party, you could also make this into a two-tiered cake, incorporating more of the unicorn’s “body” into the design. If it were up to us, we’d also include an amazing sprinkle bomb surprise in the middle of the cake. Sprinkle bombs, which can be sprinkles and candy placed in the cut-out center of the cake, add such a fun and unexpected wow-factor and are always a crowd pleaser. 

Suffice it to say, that unicorn cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops are fun, beautiful and delicious desserts that have so much potential!

Yours sweetly,

Katherine & Missy

5 Custom Birthday Cakes We Love

There’s something magical about creating a custom cake for a birthday party. I’ve made so many at this point, but still love the process from start to finish. First, I love hearing the parents’ or significant others’ ideas for the party theme and learning about the birthday boy or girl’s favorite things. Next, I like to move into a creative, brainstorming zone to take all of their feedback and identify a cake design or tablescape that would exceed their expectations. Recently, I was chatting about this process with the 12 Oaks team and began remembering some of my favorite custom birthday cakes. I thought, why not share them with you as well! While I enjoy all of our custom cakes, these are my Top Five Faves for custom birthday cakes. 

Robot Dessert Table Birthday Cake

This dessert table was created for a long-time client in Manhattan for her son’s 2nd birthday. The theme was all about robots. In addition to the custom cake we also designed custom cake pops to accentuate the tablescape (my favorite part). These were exciting to create because I could make them look all wonky and have fun with their faces. I don’t think a single cake pop looked the same. Plus, I was able to incorporate different types of candy like M&Ms and Twizzlers. 

Robot Cake Pops

As for the birthday cake, my favorite part of the robot cake was the ON/OFF switch which we added at the last minute to the back of it. It always made me and the team laugh! We also designed custom signs to help decorate the table ie. DANGER, HIGH VOLTAGE, which made the table look even more playful. 

It’s worth noting that this cake was one of my first kids’ birthday cakes, so there were LOTS of lessons to be learned! I’ll share some with you to give you a leg up in your endeavors.  

  • When doing a tiered fondant cake, be sure that the layers are even and have time to “rest” in a refrigerated environment (ideally overnight) before putting the fondant on. This helps eliminate any bulges.
  • Also, it’s so much easier to draw any details on your fondant decorations before placing them on the cake! Ie. we used black edible pens for the “buttons” on the robot
  • Make sure to use a large enough cake board so you have room to add the decorations and the cake can “breath”. 
  • I learned very quickly that fondant does not harden by putting it in the freezer (where did we even come up with that idea?!). Take our word for it! It simply needs time, so be sure to plan for additional resting.


Ballet Slipper Birthday Cake

Ballet Birthday Cake

To this day, this Ballet Slipper cake makes me “oooh and ahhh”. Ballet (and the American Ballet Theater in particular) has always had a special place in my heart. In fact, when 12 Oaks Desserts was based in Manhattan, the team would try to see several performances a year. But, I digress. Back to the cake: I enjoyed creating the Ballet Slipper cake from start to finish. The client was actually a husband ordering a special surprise 50th birthday cake for his wife who was a former ballerina with American Ballet Theater. 

Because the overall cake was so simple, it was important that it be perfect. I made the fondant ballet shoes a few days in advance so they had time to dry. It was important to put dowels in the “point” of the slipper so they could be inserted into the cake and give it more support. I decided to use real ribbon as I thought it would tie in nicely with the ribbon the ballet dancers use. 


Kung Fu Panda Birthday Cake

Kung Fu Panda Themed Cake

The Kung Fu Panda birthday cake is a favorite because it was so fun (and challenging!) to make all of the different characters. I made this 10” cake (which serves about 28) with vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream icing for our client’s son’s 5th birthday party. 

Creating characters in fondant is a lot of work, but it can also be so rewarding when they come to life. These characters were all so different and had such personalities. The key to capturing all of their charisma is to focus on the details, like evoking some of Po’s goofiness through his eyes. Definitely start ahead of time and give yourself extra time for all those little details! Most aspects of the characters were done with different colored fondant, but I also used edible markers and paints for some of the finer details (like the snakeskin and Tigress’s clothes).

5 Little Ducks Birthday Cake

The Duck Birthday Cake was created for a joint event to celebrate our client’s toddler’s 2nd birthday and the birth of their second son. For this 10” cake I used fondant and added a little bit of a marble effect to create the look of the lake in addition to making the Mama duck and baby ducks. Initially, this Duck cake felt like a fairly simple design, based on their son’s favorite children’s rhyme “5 Little Ducks”.  But, again, it’s all in the details. When it all came together I thought it was such a sweet cake. I loved the soft colors and the little “water” swirls in the fondant, as well as the grasses “bending” in the wind on the sides of the cake. 

Pirate Birthday Cake

Pirate Cake with Gingerbread Pirate Men

This Pirate cake might be a favorite of mine simply because the client’s request for the cake was to meld two very different ideas. It was for a long-time customer who always ordered her birthday cakes with us. We’d done mermaids, spongebob, zootopia, etc. This year her son requested a pirate cake, but also wanted to make sure there were gingerbread men on the cake. What a request! So, they became gingerbread pirates. We did our signature “sprinkles” cake and customized the sprinkles and then added the gingerbread men to the top. Outfitting the gingerbread men as pirates was just so much fun — they seem really into their new look, right?


Yours sweetly,

Katherine & Missy

Halloween Cake Pop Guide

Cake Pops have been “having a moment” for quite some time, and we gotta say that we aren’t upset about it. Why? Because in many ways, cake pops are the perfect dessert. With a light crunch through their chocolate exterior, your taste buds are transported to a magical land of gooey cake mixed with frosting. We like to think of it as love at first bite.

Green Cake Pop With Bite Taken Out

It’s not that simple, however. Cake Pops are also amazing desserts because they are so incredibly versatile, not just in terms of flavor, but also in terms of design. You have a specific theme for your party or event? Not to worry, we can create a multitude of custom styles to make the desserts for your party exciting and fun! 

Customizing Cake Pops

As with any custom dessert, we start the design process by consulting with our client(s) in order to understand what their event will be like, what kind of look they’re trying to achieve and of course, what their favorite cake flavor is.  

It can be a unique challenge to incorporate cake pops into a theme, given how small of a surface area you have to work with. That said, I always feel excited by the opportunity to create something new and fun that will fit perfectly within a client’s theme. And who doesn’t love a challenge?!

When it comes to shaping your cake pops, nothing works better than rolling them with your hands. If you’re having trouble getting them completely round, try chilling them in the refrigerator for a few minutes. We recommend starting your balls with a .75oz ice cream scoop to ensure consistency between your pops. You can pick one up on Amazon for only $6. However, if you need a specific shape, My Little Cake Pop Molds are a dream come true. For example, we use the heart-shaped mold to create our Love-ly cake pops.

Heart-shaped cake pops


The finishing touches on cake pops might be our favorite part! Silicon molds are all the rage these days and as we’ve mentioned previously, these can be helpful for creating fondant details. We always try to add finishing touches with candy (ie. pretzel antlers on our reindeer cake pops), but sometimes only fondant will do the trick. Whether it’s painting on some gold eyelashes on our unicorn cake pops or brushing gold leaf onto our brushed gold cake pops, the last touches are what really bring the cake pop to life. There’s no better example of that than with our Halloween Cake Pops!

Halloween Cake Pop Designs

At 12 Oaks, we love designing custom cake pops, but there’s something about Halloween that just sparks inspiration and we absolutely love creating custom Halloween cake pops! Here are some examples of our Halloween products:

These Spooky Halloween Cake Pops are our classic designs. This product gives clients a mix of tiny, creepy-crawly spiders, mummies and ghosts for an awesomely spooky party tablescape. The 12 Oaks team is especially fond of the ghost, which is made by laying fondant over the cake pop and painting the frightened face on with edible paint. A little scary, a lot sweet, we just can’t get enough of the Halloween Cake Pops. 


These are some of our newer designs. Halloween Spiders and Halloween Bats offer a spooky, but modern twist on Halloween treats. The bats are made from fondant; however, the spiders are made by hand and if you have a lot of them, we’d definitely recommend getting a mold! So many little legs to roll otherwise! We also used heated marshmallow to create the “spiderwebs”. We loved this effect, but it was definitely a difficult and sticky medium to work with – be patient. For the bats, we used Poppy Paints to “paint” a night sky and then added some edible stars (a favorite of ours). We also love using different Halloween-esque straws instead of the regular sticks with these to make them even more fun. 


Tips for the Home Baker

If you’re creating cake pops on your own, here are a couple of tried and true tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that you cool down the cake completely before you add any frosting and try to shape into balls. If you’re working with warm cake, it’ll be much harder to hold the shape you’re looking for.
  • If you want to create your own special cake pop shape, you can make shaped cake balls by flattening your cake mixture into a slab and using a small cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
  • It is super important to buy quality candy melt to coat the exterior of your cake pop. If you buy regular chocolate, you will need to temper it which just adds another step to the already long process of making cake pops. After trying about every brand imaginable, our go-to is Merckens. It’s always consistently good. Unfortunately, they are not as easy to find as Wilton candy melts which are at most craft stores. Wilton is OK if you’re in a pinch, but the taste is subpar and it’s much harder to work with. You’ll likely need to add a lot of shortening or paramount crystals to them. 
  • Make sure to dip your lollipop stick or firm straw into a tiny bit of the candy melt, insert it into your cake ball and finally let it dry. This will help keep the cake pop on the stick.
  • If you’re going to add sprinkles you’ll need to alternate between dipping the cake pops and adding the sprinkles. You’ll only be able to dip 2-3 cake pops before they will dry, so be sure to put the sprinkles on before that. Once they dry, you’ll be out of luck to add any sprinkles.

Remember: if you’re not in the mood for trying your own hand at making cake pops, you can always get ours delivered straight to you door for any special occasion!

Yours sweetly,

Missy & Katherine