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Desserts: Sugary Treats

A Guide to San Diego’s Best Dessert Caterers

A Sweet Addition

Behind the apron: Christina Tolpa creates whimsical and elegant color-popping candy buffets with panache.
Why we’re sweet on them: These ladies think beyond the buffet and will add sweets to your flowers, cocktails, and centerpieces. They earn creativity points for cake plates made of gumballs and baskets made from sour belts.
Masterpieces: Rainbow-colored French macarons in elegant Bell jars; antique gold gumball machines with French Vanilla Jelly Belly beans.
858.699.2964 |

Azúcar Cuban Desserts

Behind the apron: Owner Vivian Hernandez-Jackson, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, specializes in flamboyant, creative flavors with Cuban twists.
Why we’re sweet on them: Her Cuban-style pastries and cakes incorporate the tropical flavors of passion fruit, mango, and coconut.
Masterpieces: Her Divina, a white chocolate cake filled with passion fruit curd, raspberries and finished in toasty marshmallow frosting.
619.523.2020 |


Behind the apron: Chef Jennifer Duncan, a graduate of The San Francisco Culinary Academy, and designer/business partner Kimberly Gafter, create fresh-to-order cakes.
Why we’re sweet on them: This is no cake factory—all batters, buttercream frostings and cake decor are made from scratch.
Masterpieces: A five-tiered wedding cake covered in 400 handmade white-chocolate roses; a cake resembling a stack of suitcases with luggage tags and stamps.
619.295.2253 |

Cake Ball Love

Behind the apron: Pam Genio-Bates heads a small boutique at the forefront of cake ball creativity.
Why we’re sweet on them: Everything is made from scratch using quality, mindful ingredients.
Masterpieces: Multi-tiered cake ball wedding cakes; adorable bride and groom cake toppers; and cocktail-inspired cake balls like banana bread with a shot of butterscotch schnapps inside.
619.786.7196 |

Elizabethan Desserts

Behind the apron: Elizabeth Harris formed her own company 15 years ago and makes elegant, nostalgic 1950’s-inspired desserts with premium ingredients.
Why we’re sweet on them: She’s famous for her Lidibits™. These miniature desserts include salty caramel pecan tarts; maple whoopee pies; and Mississippi mud pie bits.
Masterpieces: An Andy Warhol-inspired cupcake display with “pop art” colors; a flame-to-order s’mores bar.
760.230.6780 |

Extraordinary Desserts

Behind the apron: Founder/chef Karen Krasne studied at Le Cordon Bleu and specializes in high design with unique and intense flavors.
Why we’re sweet on them: They use fresh flowers, edible gold leaf, and unusual flavors like blood orange ricotta and passion fruit whipped cream.
Masterpieces: Petit desserts such as lemon meringue tartlets; La Bête Noire with creamy chocolate mousse, vanilla crème brûlée, and chocolate ganache layered between dark chocolate cakes.
619.294.7001 |


[box title=”Say ‘I Don’t’ to Gluten”]

Gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley, severely affects about 1 in 100 people who have an allergy or intolerance. According to Deanna Smith, owner of Gluten Not Included bakery in Escondido, an increasing number of people are adding gluten-free products to their diets. “Gluten is the most difficult protein for our bodies to break down, so taking gluten out of your diet has a hugely positive effect.”

It’s no surprise that gluten-free foods are popping up on catering menus. “Wedding caterers come to us for gluten-free dinner rolls, baguettes, cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. All our breads and pastries are gluten-free and natural with no preservatives. Your guests will not be able to taste the difference and you can serve and make more people happy during the celebration.”

Looking for a fabulous gluten-free cake?
Try For the Love of Cake [/box]


Flour Power

Behind the apron: Design director Amanda Ambrose oversees this family business owned by the Davises. They have a bakery in El Cajon and a cake-tasting location in La Jolla.
Why we’re sweet on them: Flour Power can create anything you dream of—from a traditional white fondant cake to a whimsically lopsided Mad Hatter style cake.
Masterpieces: A 6’ x 6’ cake for an 800-person wedding and a groom’s cake replicating his bride’s engagement ring.
619.697.4747 |  

Michele Coulon Dessertier

Behind the apron: Michele Coulon lived in Paris and grew up in the restaurant business, creating desserts for her family’s restaurant. For the past 11 years, she has helmed her own dessertier in La Jolla.
Why we’re sweet on them: Her elegant desserts reflect her passion. She works with local farmers to obtain the best, freshest, healthiest ingredients, and only uses sustainable Belgian chocolate.
Masterpieces: Her famous Gateau Aileen, a hot milk sponge cake filled with buttercream and fresh berries; individual cakes for each guest with one-of-a-kind decorations.
858.456.5098 |

Pop Culture Desserts

Behind the apron: Jennie Parker, a self-professed sugar freak who studied with French pastry chef Yves Fournier, makes creative dessert bites, cakes, cookies and more.
Why we’re sweet on them: A specialist in dessert bars, Parker serves up creative bites like mini caramel apples, crème brûlée spoons, lavender lemon bars, and cake balls.
Masterpieces: Eye-catchingly colorful French macaron towers; drink and dessert pairings like mini milkshakes with shortbread cookies.
877.498.9123 |


Behind the apron: Candace Nelson, a favorite personality on the Food Network, goes for playful and sweet with the new SprinklesMobile cupcake truck.
Why we’re sweet on them: Always the trendsetter, Nelson has the world’s first cupcake truck, a Mercedes van that arrives with up to 1,000 cupcakes at your wedding.
Masterpieces: Sprinkles will custom design their signature dots to incorporate your wedding colors, logo, or initials.
888.220.2210 |

Sweet Cheeks Baking Company

Behind the apron: Designer/partner Elaine Ardizzone and chef/partner Donna Cellere have worked at the White House and won Cupcake Wars in 2011.
Why we’re sweet on them: These two draw from family recipes and create desserts made from scratch with all natural ingredients. They earn bonus points for creative displays like tree stumps and wrapped gift boxes.
Masterpieces: A film reel cake with edible “negatives” depicting images of the couple; and tiered wedding cakes with handmade sugar jewels.
619.285.1220 |

Ann Wycoff

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One Response

  1. Elaine Ardizzone Monday, February 4, 2013 Reply

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