Did The Tables Inspire The Cakes, Or Did The Cakes Inspire The Tables?

Welcome to the 761st Tablescape Thursday! Recently Warren sent me an email sharing a dilemma he found himself in–his wife had placed him on a dish ban. 😉 I’ll let Warren explain below.

“Recently, I had a problem. I love to create colorful, sometimes whimsical but also functional tablescapes for our frequent dinner parties, however, there are only so many different tablescapes one can set from a limited number of items. The attic storage space for my tablescape items is full and my wife, Kathie, has assured me that she would be mighty unhappy
if I came home with another set of dishes or glasses. HomeGoods is now off-limits. Undeterred, I decided to design tablescapes around “fancy cakes”, which would serve as the centerpieces of the settings. Accordingly, I have taken up cake decorating (at which I am terrible but improving).”

In his email, Warren described three cakes he had created for dinner parties, including a fourth wintertime tablescape that was set for a small reception for a family friend. Warren said, “Kathie wanted to serve a Hawaiian Wedding Cake for the Easter dinner dessert. I decorated three cakes. The first two cakes were decorated with styrofoam cake forms, which I used for practice. The third cake was the real deal.”

“On the first cake, I used a Crisco buttercream frosting, which was grainy; I could not get it smooth. Continuing the Hawaiian theme, I made royal icing hibiscus flowers for the top. There are a number of YouTube videos on how to make these flowers. Following the Wilton tutorial, I made about 60 of these flowers of which 25 broke and 14 were so bad I discarded them. I was
distracted chatting with my sister-in-law when adding the bottom border and it came out terribly. A row of purple roses partially hides the disaster. Although this cake did not make it into a tablescape, I liked the arrays of flowers on it.”


Warren’s beautiful Easter table setting… I think I see one of the practice “display” cakes there in the background.

Spring Tablescape


Beautiful Spring Table Setting


A pretty floral table runner–perfect for spring.

Floral Table Runner


Beautiful floral and bird-themed dinnerware!

Floral Bird-Themed Dinnerware


Wine Glasses, Purple and Pink



Floral Centerpiece


If I read Warren’s email correctly, I believe this cake is the real deal. Can you imagine cutting into this gorgeous cake?!


Sooo pretty!


Warren’s Winter Table Setting for a family friend… How beautiful!


Love the candlelight!



Love how Warren decorates his cakes to coordinate with his beautiful table settings and dinnerware!


I think this is one of the “centerpiece” cakes Warren created.


Beautiful setting! Love those napkin rings!


Wow! I’m in awe of these cakes! They truly are works of art! Warren could literally have a whole second career teaching cake decorating!


It would be so nice if there was a way to preserve these indefinitely. Just beautiful!


Warren said, “And then there is the law of unintended consequences. I made a blueberry cake with lemon curd filling and a lemon buttercream frosting for a holiday party with neighbors. The buttercream frosting was too soft and I had trouble getting it to adhere to the cake. It stuck after I cooled the cake in the freezer. While it was still cold, I poured chocolate ganache over it and added buttercream roses. Proudly, I displayed the cake on a table with a lamp, which nicely illuminated the cake. Disaster! The heat of the lamp was sufficient to melt the buttercream frosting on the back of the cake; the frosting then oozed down onto the cake plate and then onto the table. My guests had a good laugh and then heartily ate the cake!”


Thanks so much to Warren for sharing his wonderful talents! His cakes all look so professional–prettier than most of the ones I’ve come across in most bakeries! Warren is such an inspiration! I really believe THIS is the secret to staying young–never stop learning and trying new things!

Looking forward to the beautiful tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday! (If you enjoyed this post, subscribe for free email updates when a new post is up here: Subscribe for post updates.)

Tablescape Thursday

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  1. I dare say Warren will be asked to take orders soon! Beautiful cakes….look forward to seeing the progression of his skill! I’m sure the cakes will be as beautiful and vibrant as his tablescapes. Tip for Warren: Sell and replace some if you older dishes with new ones, then you won’t take up any more space and still have being creative

  2. Sandra L Garth says

    Warren’s tables are so pretty and the cakes are gorgeous and perfect for the theme.

  3. I must say Warren is extremely creative. He seems to be good at just about everything he sets his mind to.

  4. A beautiful new hobby. His wife must be so grateful that he loves to set tables and help entertain. I understand storage concerns, but it seems unfair to try to control him this way. Harmless, and he could be doing something more expensive. Let him have his fun.

  5. They changed Crisco (along with some other shortenings) a few years ago and this affected buttercreams. Warren needs to use Walmart’s Great Value, Prepared from Meat Fats & Vegetable, Shortening for a good, non-grainy icing. (High ratio shortenings work but generally come in 50 lbs. and have to be ordered.)

  6. Judy Hubbard says

    He is an Artist…the cakes are just beautiful! His wife is so lucky to have a husband who can do tablescaping and cakes like he does!

  7. Barbara L Armacost says

    Warren is a true artist!! Love all his cakes especially the first one. And his tablescapes are so beautiful. He is so thoughtful in his decorating that his guests feel special. Bravo Warren!!!

  8. I’m enjoying Warren’s cakes and the stories. I dabbled in cake decorating while my kids were growing up, making their cakes and for family members etc. I started out with a night class at the high school and on the 2nd week, the instructor told us we plugged the drains (in the home ec room….showing my age here) from washing our shortening dishes….so after that we had to make sure we took our ‘shortening’ messes home. haha Now my daughter makes ‘faux’ cakes and sells them, using plaster (I think). Decorated cakes have always taken my eye, such talent. Thanks for the post.

  9. These cakes are amazing! I can relate to Warren, I’ve stopped going to HomeGoods too, I simply have too much STUFF Good for him to find a new way to create beautiful tables! Thanks Susan~

  10. Warren is so talented and I’m drooling over those bird plates in the first table setting. So beautiful!

  11. Tina W Reynolds says

    Warren, those cakes are truly fine! I would love admiring them, on the table and then, certainly to eat! YUM! This idea of creating table scapes around the colors and theme of the cake is a great idea since most celebrations have a decorated cake! My husband has never, ever baked a cake. My son bakes the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” cake for parties. It is delicious and the frosting does not have to be perfect. I know that I do not have the necessary patience to make those frosting flowers. Really, they are little works of art.

  12. I love the winter scape… breath taking.

  13. Warren’s cakes are so pretty. I think he’s mastered flowers. So colorful and party festive and no doubt delicious and fun to share with family and friends. Warren is the perfect dinner host.
    What state does he live in? If he lived close by, I’d love to get a dinner invitation. LOL As payback, I’d gladly give him my place settings of 8 w/serving pieces of mint condition Royal Doulton wedding china, and my Spode Christmas Tree china. I’ve replaced those with 3 other Christmas patterns. I realized in trying to sell these, even on eBay, I won’t get anything for them trying to sell them and I kinda hate to just take them to the Salvation Army. My children aren’t interested in them. They just want all my different Halloween table settings. I think I’m up to 5 now on those! 🙂 I’d love to know someone would really enjoy them and use them. Unless, his wife Kathie has an armed guard at the attic door already and there is no way he can get these 2 sets by her.

    • Anne. What an gracious offer. If only you were closer. I hate it when someone donates a full set of china and GW breaks it up to individual pieces. Call her Warren. We will take up for you !

      • You’re so cute Myrna. I’m serious, too, about it. I live in TN., maybe Warren is within driving distance. Both patterns are pretty, in excellent condition and just packed away sitting in boxes now. I, too, was a fixture at one time in Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, etc. 🙂

  14. I always love to see Warren’s tablescapes. These beautiful cakes tell a story before the evening begins! Warren’s stories behind each creation makes me wish I was on his guest list. He sounds like quite a character!

  15. Anne. What an gracious offer. If only you were closer. I hate it when someone donates a full set of china and GW breaks it up to individual pieces. Call her Warren. We will take up for you !

  16. Warren, good job. Mistakes taste the same. I have a friend that has a business about an hour away. Publix makes the best cakes and I heard her say they liked this expensive Italian cake. So I ordered one. I am driving down the road and see the layers sliding apart. When I gave it to her they kept sliding. Too much simple syrup was used. But- this was on the heels of another mistake. I decorate beautiful packages and never use a gift bag, until this odd piece of crackle glass. As I handed her this one of a kind gift, the bottom fell out of that bag.
    BTW We are still friends.

  17. Teresa Oasquariello says

    I really love those hibiscus flowers and the peacock napkin rings! They really stood out to me. I also have more than enough dish sets, but never did a fancy tablescape. I don’t allow myself to shop for any more dishes. Thanks for the photos, a lot of special touches there!

  18. Wow! What beautiful cakes and what an amazine skill to have acquired. They are like works of art in and of themselves. I am in awe. Fantastic job Warren and thanks for sharing Susan! Happy Thursday to you both!

  19. Love the peacock napkin ring and plate. Just by changing the charger, that combo is for all seasons.

  20. Antoinette says

    Warren is truly an artist! What a wonderful job he does in creating his gorgeous tablescapes. And how lucky are the people that get to attend his dinner parties. Warren, if you’re running out of storage space, I say, you need a house with a basement so you don’t have to worry about not having enough room to store all your gorgeous pieces. Life is too short to deprive yourself! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

  21. Susan, What a fun post… I agree with the comment about ‘mistakes still taste great’ 🙂 Keep on baking, decorating and plating it all up in such a fun imaginative way, Warren. Thanks for sharing the results!

  22. Oh no! Not a ban on dishware and glasses!!! Oh please Kathie, let Warren keep shopping! It’s so great to have a husband who loves to do this type of thing. Sorry Kathie, but we are on Warren’s side. LOL But keep making cakes Warren, they are coming along so beautifully. The flowers are stunning! They are looking pretty yummy as well. Beautiful table settings matching the cakes. How special is that?! Love this idea! Hugs, Brenda

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