Haute Stacker Meets Joanna Gaines' Cake Stands
Somehow I find myself at Target about once a day and last week, I meandered through the lovely boutique-style display of home décor pieces by the amazing Joanna Gaines. Can I just say that I’m in love with the mind of this lady. Her simple aesthetic is not only practical, but warm and beautiful at the same time. My eyes were immediately drawn to the rustic cake stands mixed in with lots of other hard-to-resist kitchen items. I grabbed three of the white base cake stands and as I was leaving, I spotted what I thought were candle holders. Upon further inspection, I realized they weren't candle holders at all, but vases maybe...I think they were a for single flowers because there was a deep glass test-tube or cylinder. However, I thought they’d be perfect to use with my Haute Stacker, so I grabbed a bunch of them too!
I didn’t think too long and hard about this Haute Stacker display. I liked the idea of pairing Joanna’s rustic style pedestals and vases with dainty little cakes and the first cake to come to mind was miniature meringue pavlovas. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that of the three “pavlovas,” only one of them is topped with whipped cream (which is customary for this Aussie dessert), while the others I left topless. I used some of my fancy piping tips to create some very feminine piles of meringue.
Here's the recipe I used for my for pavlovas, courtesy of Allrecipes:
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper. (I made 5-inch circles and left the center empty to allow for the post in the stacker plate.)
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
- Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center. (I used a couple different piping tips to create some really pretty peaks.)
- Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack. (I baked for about 30 minutes since I was making much smaller pavlovas.)
- In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with kiwifruit slices. (You can top pavlova with nearly anything...think pomegranate seeds, raspberries, caramel syrup...the list goes on and on!)
To break up the look, I mixed in some store-bought Dutch wedding cookies and some classic macarons. Macarons are a great way to easily introduce some color. They also add some variety in shape and texture to your overall display. I just laid them flat, but with a little bit of frosting, you can glue them in place tipped on their side or topside facing out.
To use the Haute Stacker with the vases, I just wedged a paper towel in with the stainless steel post to keep it plum and adjusted the height such that I could fit four stacker plates on each one. This is such an interesting look. For two of the vases, I just frosted and sprinkled bakery cake doughnuts. You can certainly make your own doughnuts, but I just purchased these from a local bakery. This look is a fun and elegant spin on the trendy donut towers that you see all over Pinterest.
For the other two vases, I just baked a sheet cake and punched out 3” round cakes using a cookie cutter. A little buttercream frosting to top each one and these little cakes are as sweet as can be. One could easily turn these cakes into naked cakes, which have a rustic look themselves and would compliment Joanna's wooded flower vases nicely.
As I started putting this display together, I couldn’t help thinking that this would be perfect for a bridal or wedding shower. The colors for the meringue pavlova, doughnuts, and cakes could be any combination. And, while I was going for a dainty rustic look, by simply swapping out the pedestals or vases for glass or ceramic, you could create an entirely different look!
I could see a similar Haute Stacker display used for a corporate luncheon, Christmas brunch, birthday party, or even a huge wedding…maybe even in place of a wedding cake!