Tessa Huff

Tessa Huff is a Vancouver-based specialty chef and food stylist/photographer. She is the author of her forthcoming book "Layered," from Abrams Books. You can find more of her work at www.stylesweetca.com
How To Make Buttercream Frosting: The Easiest Method
This buttercream whips up super fluffy super quickly, and is literally the icing on the cake of any homemade treat.
Mar 8, 2017
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Holiday Recipe: Spiced Cinnamon Eggnog Rolls
There was always music playing in my childhood home, especially around the holidays. Once the tunes turned to holiday jingles, it signaled that there was fun to be had and cookies to be made. My mom would always mix it up, from the classics to her favorite R&B artists. Years later, I’ve inherited her eclectic tastes while adding my own favorites, so my Christmas baking happens to a soundtrack of Frank Sinatra, Burl Ives, Mariah Carey, and yes, Alvin & The Chipmunks.
Nov 28, 2016
These 5 Stylish Layer Cakes Will Make Any Party More Magical
Julia Child famously said that a party without cake is just a meeting. Preach it, Julia. If you were to take one thing away from our story this week about layer cakes, it is that there is always a good reason to make and eat cake. From elaborate dinner parties to bridal brunches to afternoon tea with a close friend, layer cakes make any occasion better. This week we have five gorgeous cake recipes, each studded with little tips and intelligence on baking better layer cakes. Which is yours?
May 22, 2016
Recipe: Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Layer Cake
This Riesling rhubarb crisp cake has it all: tender white cake, rhubarb-strawberry compote and matching buttercream, a crispy oat crumble, and a fanciful, ruffled finish. It’s the perfect cake to bake when you’re feeling like showing off your cake-baking skills or looking for a weekend project to tackle when you want to spend the day in the kitchen.
May 20, 2016
3 Secrets of Pro Cake Decorators
Creating the smooth, flawless buttercream finish you often find on professionally made cakes comes with practice. It also comes with the knowledge of a few insider techniques. So, some simple secrets from a pro baker’s kitchen, straight to yours. These are three of the easiest ways we get that gorgeous finish on our layer cakes. Successful cake decorating is all about the consistency of the buttercream and using your cake decorating tools to your advantage.
May 19, 2016
Recipe: Lemon Supreme Layer Cake
When you’re looking for something beyond vanilla, but still aiming to please a crowd, try a classic lemon cake. Something as simple as lemon might get overlooked in a world of salted caramel, velvety raspberry, and matcha-everything, but this lemon supreme cake is anything but ordinary. With three layers of lemon-soaked cake blanketed in satiny vanilla buttercream, this little cake makes for an exceptional dessert for anything from a bridal brunch to afternoon tea to a birthday party.
May 19, 2016
Recipe: Honey-Apple Layer Cake
Craving cake, but don’t necessarily have an occasion to make one for? Well then it’s a pretty good thing that you don’t need to wait until your birthday to make this honey-apple cake. This recipe falls under what I call “casual cakes,” meaning cakes that are perfectly suitable for Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, or any random Wednesday night when you need to fulfill a relentless cake craving without having to make something completely over the top.
May 18, 2016
Recipe: Towering Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake is the ambassador of summer, showing off juicy berries like jewels. It’s usually a humble dessert built on a biscuit, but here we turn it into a towering showstopper of cake, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. Yet it brings drama without fuss; this is layer cake the easy way. This cake stands four-layers tall, each one too gorgeous on its own to be hidden behind a blanket of frosting or smothering of chocolate sauce (although that totally works for other cakes).
May 17, 2016
Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Cake
Want to make a stunning layer cake, but lack confidence in your cake decorating skills? Well, here’s a secret — you don’t need to be a professional pastry chef to create gorgeous layer cakes at home. Of course, practice makes perfect, but there are some tips and tricks for making beautiful cakes now! If you want an elegant layer cake with some added insurance in the decorating department, then this chocolate coconut cake is for you.
May 16, 2016
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
‘Tis the season of gift giving, celebrating, and feasting! Your social calendar is probably filling up with family gatherings, friendly get-togethers, and holiday parties, while the number of shopping days left are disappearing before our eyes. Afraid to face the mall crowds or can’t seem to find enough hours in the day, but hate showing up empty-handed?
Dec 13, 2015
How To Make French Meringue
The cookie you can totally eat three or four of!
Dec 7, 2015
How To Make Pâte Sablée for Tarts and Pastries
Imagine the tines of your forking breaking through, almost snapping, the velvety crust of a fruit tart. It crumbles a bit, but is far from dry — each bite more rich and buttery than the last. That tender crust is typically known as pâte sablée. Unlike a flaky pie crust, pâte sablée is crisp and more cookie-like. The name literally means “sandy,” although it’s anything but.
Nov 11, 2015
Baking School Graduation: Here’s Your Final Project!
The Kitchn’s Baking School Graduation: Your final project! Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Congratulations! You have completed The Kitchn’s Baking School! What an exhilarating, sugar-filled month it has been. Surely your fridge and freezer are packed with sweet goodies, or you’ve made some awesome new friends and are now the best neighbor ever after having shared all your amazing creations over the weeks.
Oct 31, 2015
Baking School Day 20: Cake Decorating
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 20: All about cake decorating. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Dream of sky-high bakery-style cakes, cupcakes, and other decorative treats? You know, cakes with super-smooth buttercream, cupcakes with intricate frosting, and cookies with delicately piped details and sugar garnishes? Or even those treats with a rustic, “homemade” finish and handfuls of colorful sprinkles?
Oct 30, 2015
How To Frost & Decorate a Layer Cake
It’s a special occasion (or just a random Tuesday), and you are looking for a way to celebrate. We have just the thing: cake. A gorgeous, mouth-watering, decorated layer cake, to be exact! Have you just baked up your favorite cake recipe, made a batch of frosting, and don’t know what to do next? It’s time to learn how to stack and decorate cakes like a pro and start creating sky-high, sugar-filled masterpieces!
Oct 30, 2015
Baking School Day 19: Layer Cakes
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 19: All about layer cakes. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Let’s face it. Layer cakes will always steal the show. Heavenly cake layers slathered in fluffy frosting — who could turn down a slice? There are endless combinations of layer cake delights.
Oct 29, 2015
How To Make a Cake from Scratch
Have you graduated from boxed cake mix? Want to step up your cake-making game? Lucky for all of us, baking a cake from scratch is completely doable for the home baker. If you are just starting out, we have some great tips and just the right recipe for you. Classic yellow butter cake straight from your own oven – what’s better than that? Let’s get started!
Oct 29, 2015
Baking School Day 18: Essential Dessert Sauces
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 18: All about essential dessert sauces. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments From carefully measuring ingredients to the way we gently fold our delicate egg whites, much about pastry has a lot to do with attention to detail. These practices should not be lost by the time we get to the presentation.
Oct 28, 2015
Baking School Day 17: Cookies
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 17: A master class in cookies. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments What’s there not to love about cookies? They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures. Plus, you can pop one, two, or a half-dozen in your mouth whenever you please! Cookies are fun, playful, and approachable. No matter your skill level, nearly everyone can make at least one type of cookie.
Oct 27, 2015
Baking School Day 16: All About Sugar and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 16: All about sugar and baking. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Wouldn’t you agree that the most characteristic trait of baked goods, desserts, and pastries is their sweetness? From delectable desserts to breakfast pastries, almost everything that comes out of the pastry kitchen contains sugar, in one form or another.
Oct 26, 2015
Baking School Day 15: Croissants
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 15: All about croissants. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Anyone else dream of waking up to warm, flaky croissants in the morning? Their crispy shells and a whisper of steam from between the buttery layers calling you out from slumber? There truly is nothing better than a fresh-from-the oven croissant.
Oct 23, 2015
Baking School Day 14: Sourdough Breads
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 14: All about sourdough breads. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Different from most other breads that start with commercially packaged yeast, sourdough bread uses naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in the environment. This wild yeast creates a bread with superior texture and complex flavor — sometimes mildly sour from the bacteria or lactobacilli captured in the starters.
Oct 22, 2015
Baking School Day 13: Rich Yeast Breads & Sweet Breads
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 13: All about rich yeast breads and sweet breads. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Buttery brioche, mouth-watering cinnamon buns, and pillowy-soft challah — rich yeasted breads are what Sunday brunches and lazy mornings were made for. As opposed to lean doughs (like sandwich bread), rich doughs contain much higher amounts of sugar, eggs, and dairy.
Oct 21, 2015
Baking School Day 12: Basic Yeast Breads
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 12: All about basic yeast breads. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments A loaf of homemade bread is a beautiful thing. Soft, springy, and fresh — it’s perfect for slathering with some nut butter or turning into amazing sandwiches. Bread baking is a craft for sure, but something you certainly can (and should try to) do at home.
Oct 20, 2015
Baking School Day 11: All About Yeast and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 11: All about yeast and baking. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments When we mention the word “yeast,” how many of you instantly think of the daunting tasks of kneading, proofing, and rising? Best leave it to the professionals, right? Wrong!
Oct 19, 2015
Baking School Day 10: Puff Pastry
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 10: All about puff pastry. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Crispy, light as air, and puffed as all get-out, puff pastry is in a class of its own. With its fantastic texture and the endless ways it can be used for both sweet and savory pastries, this dough reigns supreme in the pastry kitchen.
Oct 16, 2015
Baking School Day 9: Pâte Brisée (Pie Crust)
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 9: All about pâte brisée. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Buttery and flaky, pâte brisée is basically your quintessential pie crust with a fancy French name. It is an unsweetened, versatile shortcrust that is great for both sweet and savory fillings. The key to producing its signature, tender flakes is in the handling, as well as — you guessed it — butter!
Oct 15, 2015
Baking School Day 8: Pâte Sablée
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 8: All about pâte sablée. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Once again we head straight into French pastry and French language — pâte what? Pâte sablée is simply the sweetened pastry dough used for making tart shells. As opposed to a flaky pie crust, pâte sablée is rich, crumbly, and more cookie-like — like shortbread cookies.
Oct 14, 2015
Baking School Day 7: Buttercream
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 7: All about buttercream. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Swirled high atop a cupcake or intricately piped onto a wedding cake, buttercream is the fluffy, sugary, creamy frosting our dreams are made of. There are several different types of buttercream, serving an array of purposes throughout the pastry kitchen.
Oct 13, 2015
Baking School Day 6: All About Butter and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 6: All about butter. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments It would be near impossible to talk about all these pastries and baked goods without discussing one big key ingredient: butter! Want tender biscuits and a flaky pie crust? Butter is the answer. Looking for moist, delicate cakes? You’ll need butter. Creamy frostings? Yup, you guessed it — butter is the key.
Oct 12, 2015
Baking School Day 5: Sweet & Savory Soufflés
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 5: All about dessert soufflés. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Soufflés tend to get a bad rap for being fussy and finicky — so why bother making them, you ask? Are they worth all the trouble? The answer is a resounding yes, and as you’ll learn in today’s lesson, they are not nearly as difficult as you might think.
Oct 9, 2015
Baking School Day 4: Meringue
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 4: All about meringue. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments In its most basic, stripped-down definition, meringue is egg whites whipped with sugar. Air is quickly whipped into the egg whites, which makes them billow up to as much as eight times in volume. Pretty neat trick, right? When sugar is added, it not only provides sweetness, but it also helps stabilize the egg whites.
Oct 8, 2015
Baking School Day 3: Pastry Cream
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 3: All about pastry cream. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Take your standard vanilla pudding. Now imagine that pudding taken to the next level — even richer, creamier, and more luxurious. That’s pastry cream. It is so good, you could eat it with just a spoon — or better yet, use it as filling in a multitude of pastries and baked goods.
Oct 7, 2015
Baking School Day 2: Pâte à Choux
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 2: All about pâte à choux. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments It’s the second day of Baking School and we’re diving straight into our first French pastry lesson. Pâte à what?
Oct 6, 2015
Baking School Day 1: All About Eggs and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 1: Learn all about eggs. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Welcome to Baking School! In day-to-day cooking, eggs can be scrambled, poached, or boiled to create easy, straightforward dishes all on their own. But when it comes to baking and pastry, the importance of their role changes from breakfast food to a vital ingredient for giving structure, texture, and flavor.
Oct 5, 2015
How To Use a Piping Bag
Do you find yourself flummoxed every time you come across a recipe that calls for a piping bag? Stranded with an empty piping bag in one hand and a half-dozen piping tips scattered around the counter, and don’t know where to start? Do you wish you could pipe delicate ruffles or intricate details on your birthday cake and pastries, or pipe a batch of luscious pastry cream inside an eclair? It’s time to befriend your trusty piping bag.
Oct 5, 2015