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'Extreme Cakeovers': Become a Decorating Expert

'Extreme Cakeovers': Become a Decorating Expert

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For the average home baker, cake decorating doesn’t necessarily come naturally. And when cake experts like Rick and Sasha Reichart of cakelava tell you that creating a cake like the masterpieces you see on the extreme decorating shows is actually a breeze, you may be inclined to erupt into a series of uncontrollable laughing fits. But, really, these two are not all talk and they have a book to prove it. Extreme Cakeovers is like the mecca of cake décor, teaching your how to turn store-bought cakes into a gorgeous masterpiece.

"We were inspired to write Extreme Cakeovers because we wanted to bring cake decorating — which can be technically challenging and intimidating to people — to a more accessible level for the average person," says Reichart. "We identified what we felt were the obstacles in cake decorating that would prevent someone from being able to make a beautifully decorated cake, and started addressing each one of these. The biggest obstacle being the lack of cake decorating experience and the cost of the specialized baking and cake decorating supplies."

To steal some of her expertise and learn more about the road to creating Extreme Cakeovers, check out our fun interview with the cake guru and pick up a copy of the book today!

Tell us a little bit about your journey to cakelava.

Sasha: Our journey to cakelava started in Los Angeles when Rick was working for a well-known cake design company and I was cooking professionally in restaurants. He had spent many years working for other people and wanted to follow his dream of opening his own custom cake shop. At the time, there were very few people in Hawaii making custom cakes, and I had family on Oahu, so we made a huge leap of faith, and left our jobs and moved to Oahu to open cakelava. I was interviewing for sous chef positions at the time, but made the tough decision to support Rick's dream and run the business side of cakelava. Since I had marketing and PR experience in addition to culinary, I felt I had the right skills to make that transition. We opened in 2005, and cakelava was well received by both customers and the media from the beginning. Rick developed his own style and we had an anything-goes approach to cakes. We've been very lucky to have had so many amazing opportunities, including being on Food Network, teaching cake decorating all over the world, and one of our proudest accomplishments, writing Extreme Cakeovers and working with Clarkson Potter publishers, which was a dream come true for us!

Do you have any favorite decorating tools?

Rick: My favorite cake decorating tools are not necessarily designed for cake decorating, but rather tools that artists use, like paintbrushes and my airbrush.

Although I do own specialized cake decorating tools, I find many of them aren't necessary and what I use is actually very basic.

Do you have any favorite projects from the book?

Rick:This is a tough question! Well, we spent significant time designing the cakes, and love them all, but yes, we do have some favorites: Sushi Platter, Roller Skate, Zombie, Ray Gun, Robot, Race Car, Banana Split, Game Console, and Dutch Windmill. But, we also adore the Volcano, Cheeseburger and French Fries, Snowman...

Which projects are perfect for kids?

Rick:Judging from the feedback we've received, kids are making a wide variety of cakes in the books. The Zombie, Motherboard, Aloha Shirt, and Day of the Dead cake have all been made by children. Almost any cake in the book, except for maybe the Bustier and the Stiletto, are perfect for kids. Try the Robot, any cakes from the "On the Move" chapter, the Caterpillar, Aquarium, Roller Skate, or any in the "Holiday Fun" chapter.

There is a lot of carving in this book… any secrets you can share for doing it well so ingredients aren’t wasted?

Rick:We did include a number of sculpted/carved cakes in Extreme Cakeovers because they have a big "wow" factor and really impress party guests. There are plenty of tips in the book to help the reader with the carving. Our best advice is to follow the recipe, which gives step-by-step instructions how to make the cuts and work as slowly as they need to. We encourage the reader to use the "Tools and Techniques" chapter to learn the wedge-cut technique, used in several of the cakes. We kept the carving at a basic level and require no freeform cutting. The carving largely uses straight line cuts or a template (such as following the curve on a dinner plate).

What is the biggest mistake you think home bakers make?

Rick:Not reading the recipe or familiarizing themselves with it prior to making the cake. Home bakers also tend to use more frosting than is called for, which can result in a less smooth surface.

How can you fix a cake emergency?

Rick:This question is complex because there can be many different cake emergencies and each requires a different approach. In terms of the cakes in Extreme Cakeovers, if the cake surface is accidentally marred, you can smooth out the frosting and reapply the candies. If a wrong cut is made, sometimes it's just a matter of using some frosting as "glue" and putting the pieces back together again. Almost anything can be fixed!

Tell us what details make a cake really pop.

Rick:The smoothness of the frosting and the decorations. Color contrast and textures also makes a cake pop. We have used plenty of both in the book!

Any special décor variations for cupcakes?

Rick:There are many decorating ideas in the book that could also translate to cupcakes. We encourage the reader to be as creative as possible, whether they are working on a cake or cupcakes.

If you could design a cake for anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you design?

Rick:Truthfully, there isn't a specific person I'm wanting to design for. There are many designs I would love to do, and it is a matter of what opportunities come my way. It would be amazing to make a cake for President Obama or George Lucas.

How Decorating an Apartment With My Partner Strengthened Our Relationship

Despite having graduated college more than two years ago, I&rsquove been living in what I like to call a &ldquocollege apartment&rdquo for the last few years (not to mention the four years I actually spent living in a real college apartment). You know the type: posters haphazardly taped up on the wall, cheap prints trying to pass as real art strewn overtop paint-drip streaked walls, cold dusty floors&mdashnot to mention all the college-themed memorabilia (specialized drink ware, oversized foam fingers&hellipthe works!). My dusty &ldquocollege apartments&rdquo were worn-in, marked by youth and a coating of cheap beer, and, though they were loved, I was quietly outgrowing them. I snuck away most nights to stay with my boyfriend, ultimately leading us to decide to move in together at the end of my lease.

When COVID-19 hit New York, effectively uprooting the status quo for everyone, I decided to trade in my dusty digs for an extended stay with my boyfriend's family in Queens. My partner lives in a basement apartment in his parents&rsquo two-family home, so given the circumstances for many, we were pretty lucky. Given that we had plans to move in together in a few months anyway, we designated quarantine as our trial period. If we could live together in the basement of his parents' house during a pandemic, we could live through anything. And if we couldn&rsquot? Well, we&rsquod cross that bridge when we got there.

Spoiler: we stayed far away from that bridge&mdashmy boyfriend and I survived four months together before moving into a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment&mdashbut it hasn&rsquot been without it&rsquos struggles.

Though every relationship is different, there's a common thread that weaves through most first-time living experiences: surprises. And let me be the first to say that I was shocked at how much my partner has managed to surprise me throughout our time living together. From his well-meaning, but sometimes illogical opinions on the design of our space to his insistence that deodorant belongs on his nightstand and not in the bathroom (the jury is still out on this one), I've managed to learn more about him&mdashand our relationship&mdashthan I ever expected.

My partner's sense of design style was by far the most jarring part of our moving-in process. Naively, I assumed my adventure-loving, easygoing boyfriend whose personal decor style I could only describe as "15-year-old boy" wouldn't have a strong opinion on much other than our TV. Turns out, I was wrong.

Up until now, my partner has survived (and maybe even thrived) on a hodgepodge of furniture, bedding, and decor he's amassed haphazardly over the years, so I was taken back when he started showing a serious interest in everything from our bedding ("It has to be really comfortable.") to the vintage rug in our living room ("Why would you buy a used rug?") and even the floating shelves in our bathroom ("Are they the right color to match the tiles?"). Of course, he's entitled to those opinions given that it's his apartment too, but considering I work for an interiors magazine, I selfishly assumed I would be the one primarily responsible for making our apartment visually attractive.

I spent the majority of my time under New York's stay-at-home orders mostly pinning midcentury sofas and colorful rugs to my Pinterest boards, counting down the days until I could officially make the switch to a more grown-up space. While I quietly planned, he carried on, making plans for our apartment that primarily revolved around his Xbox setup. So, when he started taking an active role in decorating, I found myself frustrated with his interfering with my vision. "Just trust me," I would say, "It will look good when it's all finished."

After months of disinterest, I was irritated that it was only now that he was voicing opinions about how our space looked. And even worse, when we would try to come to a joint decision about something, he had a hard time trusting my opinions. My partner is the type of person to think everything through, deeply. And while I mostly love this about him, his penchant for anticipating potential, though unlikely, problems with everything hasn't paired well with my impatience. Understandably, he wants to make the right decisions&mdashwhether we're considering what couch to buy or which spatula we want to cook our eggs with in the morning&mdashso he takes his time coming to them, mulling over every. single. possibility.

Despite my ego-fueled frustrations, watching him care about the minutiae of the space we're building together has been a sweet reminder of why I love him. And as incredible as that's been, it's simultaneously forced me to reckon with my tendency to sometimes be a total know-it-all and an even bigger control freak.

It became clear that I would have to invite my boyfriend to understand the vision I had for our space, and that he would have to put aside some of his irrational decorating fears, (because there are no rules in design, or so I've learned working for House Beautiful) so that we could create a living space we both felt comfortable in. Like good designers do with their clients, I started giving my boyfriend options, though not too many as to avoid overwhelming him with possibilities. Soon, he began to trust and, dare I say, even appreciate my wildest opinions without having to research them first.

As we've continued unpacking, we've noticed that the system of communication we had to help us navigate decorating our apartment, was somehow infusing itself into all aspects of our relationship&mdashI'm not only a control freak when it comes to my space and having too many options doesn't only overwhelm him when we're talking about paint samples, so we've had to use these tools to navigate other parts of our relationship too. At first, what felt like a fundamental difference between us and a large potential barrier to progress, has become a rather valuable lesson in communication and compromise for us.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

15 DIY Ideas to Redo Kitchen Cabinets for a Stunning Makeover

One of the most daunting tasks of any kitchen remodel is taking a stab at trying to redo your kitchen cabinets. Not only is there a lot to paint, but there's also the matter of picking out the best hardware. For any renovation woes, this list has exactly what you need to feel inspired about tackling your kitchen storage. While plenty of kitchen trends for 2020 are included, such as bold colors and open shelving, there are still nods to more classic design styles. Whether you're on the hunt for cabinetry that will give your kitchen the modern look you're aiming for, or that will evoke all the farmhouse decor and style that can be found in the rest of your home, anything you're in search of can be found in this list (and you should check out our guide on how to paint kitchen cabinets too).

Find simple fixes, like choosing some beautiful cabinet pulls, as well as more involved changes like completely gutting your cabinets. So instead of worrying about how you're going to achieve the look you're after, check out these gorgeous ways to redo your kitchen cabinets for some much-needed design inspiration.

This kitchen received a total overhaul, including completely new custom cabinets.

The final result is a chic all-white kitchen, complemented by dark wood floors and an antique table standing in for a kitchen island.

Get the tutorial at Inspired by Charm.

The cherry cabinets and island in this kitchen receive a fresh coat of paint in this renovation that cost under $100.

The use of two tones of gray pop beautifully in this kitchen, proving that paint can make a huge difference in any space.

This Before-and-After Townhouse Makeover Proves the Power of Paint

With a tweak here and a splash of paint there, a designer ushers colorful spirit into a nondescript townhouse.

When homeowner and interior designer Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson walked into this Atlanta-area townhouse, she quickly started a to-do list. The rooms were builder bland, but they boasted great volume and light𠅊nd potential. 

Some projects were big, like gutting the kitchen and master bath𠅋oth dated and lacking the pizzazz Ili loves. Others updates were small, such as swapping out nondescript light fixtures for fun ones. But the biggest game changer was a simple palette cleanse achieved by adding crisp white paint to walls and a dark stain to the hardwood floors. The result: a modernized look that brought the home’s millwork to the foreground.

Patterns, colors, and items that nod to Ili’s Puerto Rican upbringing now dance within the revived rooms. Ili lined the entry with a runner crafted from a piece of leftover stair carpeting. She prides herself on finding easy and creative ways to design a space without spending a lot of money, and using leftover materials from the home is a great example.

A few genius (and budget-friendly) moves relaxed the stairway in the home. Ili cut the finials off the newel posts and had the decorative knobs removed from the spindles. White paint worked wonders on the wood trim, and museum trim on the wall frames a painting, adding detail without a lot of fuss.

Ili isn’t afraid to repurpose rooms to work the way a family lives. She practiced what she teaches in her own townhouse by turning the਍ining room into her office. To enhance the room’s playfulness, she installed metallic-patterned wallpaper and painted the ceiling a dark gray.

The living roomਏireplace is in an awkward corner location, so Ili went against convention and downplayed it. She streamlined the mantel and toned down the surround, replacing brown marble with gray-and-white rift-cut Carrara marble.

How to Become a Baker

This article was co-authored by Mathew Rice. Mathew Rice has worked in restaurant pastry kitchens across the country since the late 1990's. His creations have been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Weddings. In 2016, Eater named Mathew one of the top 18 chefs to follow on Instagram.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 180,394 times.

A baker bakes breads, pastries, pies, cakes, cookies, tarts, and other baked goods by combining raw ingredients according to recipes. Though the traditional idea of a baker is somebody who works in his own bakery and caters to a local market, nowadays, bakers may also work in specialty shops or restaurants where they produce smaller quantities for consumption at the location itself, or in manufacturing positions where they oversee the production of large quantities of goods for distribution. Becoming a baker involves enrolling in a training program at a supermarket, or apprenticing with a craft baker to gain practical experience. If you want to know how to become a baker, see Step 1 to get started.

Finding the right psoriasis treatment:

Here&rsquos one of the challenging things about treating psoriasis: Your body can build up a tolerance to a certain medications, so something that seemed magical in its ability to bring you relief could suddenly stop working. On the other hand, a treatment that didn&rsquot work for you years ago could suddenly work wonders.

That&rsquos why trial and error is a necessary part of psoriasis treatment. &ldquoFinding the right treatment for psoriasis is much like finding the right partner. It may take some 'dating' until the right one finally comes along,&rdquo says Dr. Gohara. &ldquoSome may work for a bit, but then efficacy fizzles. Topical steroids are the most common culprit of this phenomenon, although it may happen with other topical or systemic medication as well.&rdquo

Decorating Cookies

Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, these simple childhood favorites just never seem to go out of style. But there's more to life than drop cookies - really! When the holidays roll around we become kitchen artists, wielding cookie cutters and icing bags to create everything from the simplest gingerbread men to shimmering, glittery cutout snowflakes. Join us as we guide you through the cookie decorating process, step by colorful step.

First, choose your cookie recipe

Elegant, light gold butter cookies are a classic choice, as is dark and spicy gingerbread. Light spice cookies hover somewhere between those extremes, with oatmeal decorating cookies offering a whole-grain option. And finally, two varieties of gluten-free cookie guarantee everyone in the crowd will be happy.

There are several distinct stages to making rollout cookies. It's easy to break the process down into simple steps that, depending on your schedule, can be spread out over the course of several weeks.

  • Cookie dough can be made in advance, and refrigerated (up to 1 week) or frozen (up to a couple of months).
  • Cookies can be rolled, cut, baked, and cooled, then stored in an airtight container (for a week) or in the freezer (up to a month), before being decorated.
  • Finished (decorated) cookies can be frozen for up to a month.

Before you begin, here are some handy all-around tips:

  • Chill cookie dough before rolling.
  • For ease of handling, roll smaller rather than larger pieces of dough keep unrolled dough chilled until you're ready to work with it.
  • To really nail your baking time, bake and cool 3 or 4 test cookies first, before baking the whole batch.
  • Cool cookies completely before decorating.

Let's get started by making cookie dough

Holiday Butter Cookies

These buttery sugar cookies roll out nicely, and have a beautifully tender/crisp texture.

Gingerbread Cookies

This molasses-dark, ginger-and-spice flavored cookie is perfect for gingerbread men.

Light Spice Holiday Cookies

Can't decide whether you want to make sugar cookies or gingerbread?

Oatmeal Decorating Cookies

These chewy oatmeal cookies are easy to roll and cut out with your favorite shaped cutter.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Can you catch a gluten-free gingerbread man? You can now with this rollout recipe!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Get ready to roll and cut this gluten-free cookie into whatever shape fits the occasion.

Next, roll your cookie dough

Roll out your dough and cut out cookies directly on a sheet of parchment to fit your cookie sheet. Leave enough space between cut shapes for the cookies to spread a bit when baked.

Using a small spatula, carefully remove the scraps of dough from between the cookie shapes. You can ball this up and re-roll it.

Transfer the cookies, parchment and all, onto your cookie sheet. Voilá! Perfect cookies ready for baking, with no misshapen cookies from transferring with a spatula.

Then, choose your cutters

The ideal cookie cutter is imaginatively designed sharp (but not dangerously so) and rigid enough to hold its shape during use. Avoid cutters with small details (e.g., a reindeer ear, an angel wing tip) that will result in tiny pieces of dough protruding from the cookie's main body these "outliers" will burn as your cookies bake. Finally, keep size in mind. If you're an expert decorator, small cutters (requiring delicate decorations) are fine. For kids, the larger the cutter, the easier the cookie is to decorate.

Even if you have your own treasure trove of cutters, there's always room for one more, right?

Finally, choose your decorating style

Are you a decorating minimalist? Don't have the patience for hours of painstaking piping? Imaginative use of a few basic cutters, icing, and colored toppings are all you really need to make good-looking cookies

Are you a cookie artist? LOVE playing with multiple bags of tinted icing to create simply gorgeous works of cookie art? We can help. See our complete cookie icing and decorating tips

Select your icing


Cookie glaze is thin, satiny, and dries hard. It's perfect for adding a written message, or coating with colored sugar (see below). Read more about cookie glaze consistency


This spreadable frosting is similar to buttercream, and stays soft on your cookies. Add sugar decorations for a fun or elegant touch.

Royal icing

This icing dries hard and opaque, and can be spread or piped atop cookies. Which type of royal icing should you make? Read more about royal icing consistency

Try this basic decorating technique

Start with a freshly iced cookie you want to work while the icing is still wet.

Lay the cookie on a piece of parchment. Generously cover the cookie with sugar or sprinkles.

Gently tap off the excess sugar.

Use the parchment as a scoop to transfer the excess sugar back to a bowl, for further use. The cookie can take several hours to dry.

Build your own gingerbread house

Warning, construction ahead - gingerbread house construction, that is! Nothing says "family-favorite holiday project" like building your own gingerbread house. Whether you start with a "pre-fab" house or build your own, we have everything you need for your best gingerbread house ever.

40 Things Every House in the 70s Had That No One Sees Today

The 70s&mdashit sure does seem like it was a more laid-back, dare we say more mellow, time, doesn't it? Disco was king, Jaws menaced moviegoers, and everybody was on roller skates. Houses were one-story ranch-style, or split level and filled with never-before seen design choices (most of which have been never seen again). But whether good, bad, or just plain tacky, home interiors were certainly unique. A little nostalgia is never a bad thing, so let's step inside the time machine and into a typical 70s pad. Just a warning&mdashyou might want to put on your sunglasses first!

There was no other kitchen and bathroom flooring in the 70s nearly as ubiquitous as patterned linoleum, beloved by working moms for its durability and easy cleanup.

No home in the 70s would have been complete without a few bean bag chairs thrown around the basement. Sure they were comfy, but how did anyone ever get out of them?

You still see wood paneling around, but rather than the currently trendy beadboard or shiplap, the 70s version was usually made from anything but real trees and had a painfully obvious fake grain.

These throws were crocheted in a repeating "granny" square pattern, using colors that clashed. Often made from scratchy wool, they were better tossed over the back of the couch than used to cover up with during movie night.

Technically the oddly hypnotic lava lamp was made popular in the 60s, but it continued on strong through almost the end of the 1970s.

If the 1970s were about one interior design trend, it was wall-to-wall shag carpeting, usually in eye-searing colors like bright orange.

Televisions weren't always so flat and light they could hang on walls. In the 70s they were furniture, a place to put knickknacks as well as watch The Brady Bunch.

Made of rough rock and usually taking up a whole wall, this design trend wouldn't have looked out of place in a hunting lodge.

Before the world went digital, people woke up with alarm clocks sporting numbers that flipped. They came in the ever-popular fake wood veneer, or some seriously bright 70s colors, and made a cool clicking sound.

If 70s walls weren't lined with wood paneling, they were sporting paper splashed with with big and bold geometric shapes in bright, contrasting colors.

The 70s were a neighborly time, and conversation pits were meant to encourage socializing. These seating areas sunk down a notch from the rest of the room and were cozy and inviting&mdashas long as your guests didn't break an ankle getting to them.

A floating staircase was a focal point on the design-forward set of the The Brady Bunch. Mr Brady might have been an architect, but those stairs still looked a little dangerous.

Most of us still occasionally eat in front of the tube. But do we do it in style, on molded plastic trays perfectly sized to hold our TV dinners?

Once consigned to patios and the like, rattan furniture become a hot addition to living rooms and other interior spaces in the 70s. It did go rather well with all the macramé and ferns that started turning up everywhere.

Much the same as wallpaper, upholstery in the 70s tended toward big, bright, bold, and busy as a bee in a field full of sunflowers. But where wallpaper tended toward geometric shapes, furniture fabric was all about the florals.

Between the rotary phones of yesteryear and the cell phones of today, there was the push button phone of the 70s. It seemed lightening fast to dial compared to its predecessor.

In the 70s, stereos were whole systems, some so intricate they rose in towers, up the wall. The modern equivalent, a tiny speaker that plays music from cell phones, can't compete.

Macramé, created by tying cords into knots, was all the rage in 70s homes, used for everything from potted-plant holders to decorative wall hangings in the shape of owls.

Maybe as a result of patriotism over the Bicentennial, Colonial furniture came back with a vengeance, bringing with it turned wood and other favorites of our forefathers.

Fringe was in during the 70s, and not just as a hairstyle or a decorative element on vests and ponchos. Fringe turned up on lampshades, too, where it diffused light and helped create a mellow vibe, man.

Back before internet and satellite radio, there was only AM and FM, and folks in the 70s listened to it on devices made just for that.

Hard to believe these weird little lamps with the colored filaments that glowed lit up everyone's rec room back in the day, but they did.

Whether you call them ball chairs or pod chairs or egg chairs or globe chairs, these seats were comforting and cozy.

Whether it was caused by the rise of ceramic artists, or hobbyists getting their hands on a kiln, pottery became popular way before Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze got goopy with wet clay in Ghost. In the 70s, ceramic lamps, vases, and more were in every home.

Despite all the earth colors and hippie accents, the 70s were also about shine, at least where chrome was concerned. Chrome accents on kitchen chair legs, coffee tables, and lamps lent a little bit of Studio 54-style glitz to home sweet home.

Admittedly, it's awfully nice using the backspace key to erase a mistake, rather than getting whiteout involved. But don't you miss those clunky 70s typewriters a little? Anyone?

It's still available in plain old see-though glass, but back in 70s, Pyrex casserole dishes and mixing bowls came in festive, fun colors you'd love to put on your table.

Vinyl records, it's sad to say, peaked in the 70s when ambitious "concept albums" like The Eagles' Hotel California were released. But their sound, according to experts, is far warmer and richer than digital could ever be.

The muted, flat shades everyone loved so much in the 70s have survived, but rust, sand, brick, harvest gold, avocado, and the like seldom show up all in one room anymore. That's probably a good thing, since taken together they tend to get a little. depressing.

Learning to Write on a Cake

A person who has lovely handwriting is not guaranteed a similarly attractive piped icing look so it is imperative to practice, practice and more practice until your lettering is consistently perfect. You might find that certain alphabet styles work better for you so try many “fonts” to pinpoint your best-looking letters. After you master that style of writing you can branch off into other styles of writing. Different icing types can also affect your skill at piping letters because you could get better results depending on the texture and flow of icing. Write with melted chocolate, buttercream, royal icing, and gels to discover what you like best.

One foolproof method of putting messages on cakes without risking your perfectly iced surface is to make a plaque out of gum paste, pastillage or fondant and simply write on that instead of directly on the cake. If you make a mistake you can wipe off or scrape off the letters and start over. When the letters are perfect you place the plaque on the cake and decorate around it with the rest of your design.

If you simply cannot get the writing to look good enough and your time is limited you can always use cut out letters from rolled fondant or candy molds filled with pressed fondant in letter shapes to spell out your message.

Boxwood Lookalikes

Gem Box Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra 'Gem Box')
Here's a holly that resembles a boxwood! It looks similar, but isn't susceptible to blight. The dense ball-shaped plant is nice as a hedge or in a container.

  • Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Strongbox Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra 'Strongbox')
Upright branches and a mostly round shape make this lesser-known native holly a good planting up against foundations or along walks. And it won't get boxwood blight!

  • Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Juke Box Pyracomeles (x. Pyracomeles)
This brand-new little evergreen has shiny leaves and fine branches. It works well as a hedge or specimen and takes to shearing just fine.

  • Size: 1 to 3 feet tall and wide
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9

Little Ollie Montra Dwarf Olive (Olea europaea 'Montra')
This dwarf evergreen has deep green leaves with silvery undersides and can be potted or sheared into a hedge. It's heat-tolerant.

Watch the video: Channel 4s Extreme Cake Maker Molly Robbins Makes A Baby Changing Bag Cake