Coco Cake Land aka The Journey Of Lyndsanity

party cakes cococakeland

lyndsay sung

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! HAPPY CAKE BOOK DAY OF BIRTH!!!!

bunny cake cover star coco cake land

coco cake land book

Coco Cake Land the book is finally here!!!!!! And instead of being watermelon-pooped out of a 10 centimetres dilated vageen covered in afterbirth followed by the birthing of a “sure why not I’ll encapsulate this” placenta, it is actually a non-crying, non-vernix-covered GORGEOUSLY CLEAN CUTE KAWAII COLOURFUL CAKE BOOK OF MY DREAMS!!!

pineapple cake cococakeland

I feel as casual cool as this pineapple dude right now. Just, “wow.” Just like – “give me my sunglasses so I can bask in this amazingness, this craziness.” No, pineapple cake. You didn’t write dat book. You didn’t stress and sweat over Word docs and hate your photos and reshoot all your cakes and cry a whole bunch and get excited a whole bunch and have so much anxiety you wanted to crawl under a large but crawl-out-able rock, pineapple cake. You didn’t emotional eat your feelings and get low-grade fevers over this book, and wonder if you were good enough to produce the thing that felt worthy of a book deal, of someone believing in you enough to give you money to make a book. But you know who did?

coco cake land BTS book

THIS BOWL CUT LADY! YOU MAY KNOW HER AS THE CHINESE PUMPKIN, or LYNDSANITY! This lady who is doing a photoshoot casual-bare-foot-style wearing her Cherry Bombe t-shirt for good luck. This lady who no longer has that bowl cut, but has sorta chin-length hair, and is feeling happy and good and healthy these days. That lady. She did that.

meringue cake

coco cake land BTS book

These photos were taken last summer in July 2017, on an insanely hot day in a thankfully air conditioned studio, with my awesome and incredible photographer friend Lori as my assistant and spirit guide, with Kendrick playing. These photos were meant to become the cover of my book – the concept was “PARTY SCENE!!!” Bright, colourful, with all the hilarious cake buddies laid out and ready to party. But, in the end, the crew at Roost Books decided on something different and went with the cake that I had felt all along was destined for cover stardom – the turquoise bunny cake, the one I made for my beloved niece Brookie on her fifth birthday – that exact cake, the one that was eaten and enjoyed, with candles plunked into the buttercream and the broken notes of an off-key “Happy birthday” absorbed into the layers, that cake made with love and affection made it to the cover! All the way to the top, baby!!

cococakeland bunny cake

And here’s an in-real-life photo from that birthday party with that cake, at my parents’ home: me, Brookie and BunBun:

lyndsay and brookie with cake

coco cake land BTS book

I’ve relayed to a few people the story of when I finally saw my book for the first time. I was coming home from the gym, covered in sweat, my mind occupied with something else. I saw a manila envelope poking out from my mailbox and my heart jumped. I unlocked the front door, sat on the nearest step and just held it on my lap, just so afraid to open it… I think I was scared to feel disappointed, that after all these years and time and hope that somehow it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I wanted to be proud of it, I needed to be proud of it, in order to stand behind it. I finally tore open the envelope. Just stared at the cover in awe, running my fingers along the smoothness, the newness!!! I slowly cracked it open, fragile as an egg. And then it hit me so hard, yes of course I did some shrieking. I just laid on my bed and carefully went through each page and marvelled and laughed and shrieked some more… it felt like my whole life was in there, cakes made for my family, friends, my dearest son. Teddy and Rich pop up like hidden Easter eggs throughout the book. I cried. I felt happy, and proud.

coco cake land BTS book

cake slices party scene cococakeland

lyndsay sung

I think this photo Lori took of me TWINNING with my pineapple-wearing-sunglasses cake might be one of my favourites ever. It’s kind of a weird Weekend at Bernie’s-ish photo and I look more than a little puffy-cankles but these snaps were taken at the end of a long day when we were finally feeling loose and totally idiotic and silly. I’m so happy this picture made it into the book!

coco cake land book

To my readers, fans, clients and internet friends – thank you so much for your support! It really really means everything!  I also just want to thank Roost Books SO MUCH and thank the fine people who work there (Sara, Jenn, Liz, Audra, Daniel, Jess, Claire) for all of your hard work, kindness and support in helping me make this book. A life dream turned into reality, and it has become a huge part of the story of my life, a good and happy part.

family photo hawaii

Of course, huge huge thanks to my dearest family and friends, and to my Rich and my sweet nutbar on wheels, Teddy. I am so looking forward to sharing this book and celebrating its existence!! xo Lyndsay 

Elmo Cake!

elmo cake cococakeland

It’s been a hot minute (7 years??) since I last made an Elmo cake, but my sweet lil niece Sydney (who I affectionately refer to as my “white niece”) turned two years old in July and she is wild about Elmo!! Who isn’t?? What’s not to love – red fur, a voice like a chipmunk on acid, and a real joie de vivre attitude!

sesame street cake topper

Apart from the tweaked out blazing pupils, my favourite part of this cake is the Sesame Street cake topper – and of course, hearing my adorable niece’s little voice saying “ELMO! ELMO!” as soon as she saw this fuzzy friend!

elmo cake cococakeland

elmo cake cut

And a snap of Elmo cake IRL! Happy birthday sweet lil Sydney! xo Auntie Lyndsay

Coco Cake Land Book One Week Countdown!

buttercream flower power coco cake land book

flower cake slice coco cake land

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN! One week until Coco Cake Land: Cute and Pretty Party Cakes to Bake and Decorate … well, you know… comes outta the cake book CLOSET and hopefully flies off the nearest book shelf in a fine bookstore near you!!! Hehe. To celebrate “one week to go,” I’ve got another giveaway on my Coco Cake Land Instagram – for a copy of my book, and this SUPER CUTE TOTE BAG I had made because I am a maniac and I LOVE MERCH! I have always loved a merch table. Setting things up in a cute little way and meeting and greeting and chit chatting. And sometimes selling things, like band t-shirts or records. So, I decided to make some limited edition (ie, I couldn’t afford to print very many) Coco Cake Land themed merchandise!! I’ll do a proper post on the merch in the weeks to come, hehe!

buttercream flower power coco cake land book

coco cake land book

This past week has been truly exciting in my fragile little mind, as all of my dear blogger pals and Insta friends have been posting about my book, and really seeming to LIKE the book… and seeing early reactions from fans, friends and followers has been SCARY but also very encouraging and supportive! My Sweeatpolita sprinkles giveaway party train has been rolling along with lots of great fellow blogger buddies taking part in helping me give away the book AND the custom sprinkles mix… seeing my friends’ posts, and seeing their Coco Cake Land style cakes has touched my heart SO much!!!! To read the kind words of my friends and colleagues… I am trying to soak in every minute of this exciting time! I cannot wait to see my book on a store bookshelf for the first time. Oh man. So many cool firsts.

coco cake land

You can find this buttercream flower power cake project in my book under the “Pretty” section!! :P If you’d like to preorder my book, you can purchase through Amazon for the US and international orders, Chapters Indigo in Canada, and the book will be widely distributed so DEFINITELY check and order through your local favourite indie bookstore if you live in the US or Canada!! Ok I better lie down now after all this excitement! xo Lyndsay 

Pikachu Cake!

pikachu cake by cococakeland

pokemon cake topper

What can I say? You either know this nerd, or you don’t – you are either down with the POKEMON or you exist in a quiet, secluded and gentle vacuum untouched by the cultural phenomena of the last two decades. I existed lightly in this vacuum until my son Teddy turned the magical age of five, and started Kindergarten. Then all of a sudden, the Pokemon firestorm began. I still haven’t had to shell out one cent for any pack of Pokemon cards for Teddy, but truly I would if he wanted them that badly… I feel lucky that Teddy is perfectly satisfied with his tattered Ziplock bag of who-knows-what Pokemon. I’m glad he’s not overwhelmed by the obsession to keep up with his classmates, who will now be referred to as the “Pokemon Joneses.”

pikachu cake by cococakeland

Pokemon characters make cute cakes though, non??? Hehe. Oh, and to the uninitiated – this yellow fellow is not NAMED Pokemon, which was my rookie mistake. This dude is the ringleader and his name is PIKACHU. PEEK-AHHH-CHOO. The Pikachu cake mouth was really bugging me and I made quite a few of them before I settled on this optical illusion black crown/pink rock fondant combo. But, as usual, I feel the piece de resistance of this cake is the paper POKEBALL CAKE TOPPER! It really drives home the overall theme, lol. I sat at the table and verrrrry carefully made the topper using my trusty circle punches and Sharpies! The ears are simply cut out yellow card stock, coloured in on both sides. I made fondant ears, but since this was a hot-ass day in July, I decided paper ears were a safer bet for sticking up and staying put!

kawaii pokemon cake

Theo is my son Teddy’s buddy, and one half of what is known as The Theodore Experience – he goes by Theo, Teddy goes by… Teddy. Two sweet Theodores! Thank you Mia for asking me to make this! Happy 6th birthday, Theo! Hope you loved your Pikachu cake! xo Lyndsay aka Teddy’s mom 

Coco Cake Land Book + Special Sprinkles Mix Giveaway!!!

coco cake land striped cake

coco-cake-land-book-giveaway-spread-1

coco cake land book giveaway

Two. WEEKS. TIL. PUB. DATE!!! Two weeks from now, my sweet lil Coco Cake Land book will be on the bookshelves of actual stores, and in the laps of actual people!!!!! To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of my book, PLUS a jar of my very own custom Sweetapolita sprinkles mix!!! You can’t buy this mix, you can only win it through my Instagram giveaway, and the Instagram giveaways of some of my closest blogger buddies! Oh shnikey!!!

coco cake land striped cake

A few months ago I was having din din with Steph and Molly when Molly was visiting Whistler. They were helping my panicked self brainstorm some cool-guy ideas for book launch time… Steph suggested a Coco Cake Land sprinkles mix… AND HERE WE ARE, BABY!!! Rosie of Sweetapolita has been a cake blog friend of mine for years and years – I made circus animal cookies from her book back when her book came out in 2015!

coco cake land custom sprinkles mix

coco cake land custom sprinkles mix

CUTE!!! Sweetapolita based the colours and vibe off of my book cover!! YES! After a few iterations of sprinkle mix, the buttercream-covered thumbs up was given, and the sprinkle mix was created!

coco cake land book

I literally chose the hottest day of the summer so far to bake and frost this striped Lyndsanity sprinkled colour blaster of a Swiss Meringue buttercream frosted cake!!! I was 90% crying in the hot hot heat of my muggy kitchen while frosting this, then photographing it… ! The recipes for this vanilla cake and my version of Swiss Meringue buttercream can be found in… yep, you guessed it – MA BOOOQ.

coco cake land

cake flag coco cake land

When I was making the cake topper, honestly the only thing that came into my head was GIVE IT AWAY NOW, hehe, a rickdickulous reference to a very old and rather embarrassing song that I used to listen to back in grade nine while trying to be very edgy and cool. To enter the giveaway check out my Coco Cake Land Instagram for more, and to enter to win!!! Hehe!

coco-cake-land-book-sprinkles-1

I want to also give a HUGE sprinkly thanks to Rosie and her crew over at Sweetapolita for making this happen!! xo Lyndsay 

Vanilla Raspberry Lilikoi Cake

vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake

vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake

Ahhhhh I love this pretty pinky striped vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake! I made this for a true original, my friend Phanie, who I have written about before – her blog Gang of Five, her IG Stories, she just lays it all out there. I find myself watching her Stories like I’m watching a reality show… she is a prolifically talented mother of three, one of those people who are really excellent at everything they set out to do creatively. She has been so kind to me, too, throughout the years, and her photos have become part of our family memories – from photographing Teddy at 6 months old, to her annual holiday photo shoots, to even taking photos of me before I had my surgery for breast cancer. Every year she invites me out to her birthday party and I can never attend, but this year I was determined to make it, and to show up with a beautiful cake – just because, to show this lady that she means a lot to the people in her life, and that she is special, worthy, amazing, and thought of often by many. I think she is so brave, and powerful, in showing the insides and outs of her family life, her relationship, her parenting, her creativity, the exhaustion of being a working mom with an atypical job.

vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake

vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake

vanilla raspberry lilikoi cake

Motherhood can be absolutely nuts sometimes. It can lift you up to the greatest heights of happiness and it can rip you down to absolute nutrageous insanity. It is beautiful, it is hard, it is so wild, being a mom!

slice of striped cake

Phanie and birthday cake

I LIVE FOR SNAPS LIKE THIS. GLOWING CANDLES ON ONE OF MY CAKES AND A GORGEOUS SHIT-FACED QT STANDING ABOVE IT. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY and I am so glad to know you, Phanie Pack! For more of Phanie’s work, or to her hire her for photography or other creative pursuits, check out her website The Pauhaus! xo Lyndsay 

Animal Cakes Mania!

animal cakes by coco cake land

bunny cake by coco cake land

The faces of my animal cakes have evolved over the years and I feel like I have so many more animal cakes up my sleeve! That, and Instagram story GIF cakes, like the notorious KAWAII PEACH BUTT cake. The pink kitty cake I made as a donation to a nearby school’s spring fair cake walk, and the white bunny I made for my dear friend Miko of Coral and Cloud, AND Aster and Clove, her newest venture – an amazing online shop for now, with visions of a storefront space in the future. (I imagine I’ll be helping to bus tables/wash dishes/take orders there in the future, hehe)…

miko-bunny-birthday-cake-2

pink-cat-flower-crown-cake-blog-1

Miko is quite an amazing force, and in many ways our lives have traveled along similar trajectories, from riot grrl/ feminist bands to music journalism to small business, to motherhood! Miko has been such a good friend to me, I turn to her for advice often as she is not only super creative but has a managerial/business brain, too. With this bun bun cake, I wanted to make her a cute and delicious kawaii cake to put a smile on her “forever 25″ youthful beautiful face!! You should really click on her over to Aster and Clove and just revel in the lovingly curated cuteness in which her and her biz partner Wendy have created. You’ll definitely find some good gifts on there.

miko-bunny-birthday-cake-3

I’m powering through these next few weeks getting ready for some fun and exciting giveaways and parties in celebration of my BOOK LAUNCH! So for now I’ll just leave you with the faces of these kawaii animal cakes! Happy Birthday Miko! xo Lyndsay 

Coffee Toffee Strawberry Chocolate Cake Recipe

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

I made this cake for my dearest oldest sister Leanne aka Gyoza Girl Eats, pretty much thee number one fan of Coco Cake Land and supporter of all my crazy ideas over my entire lifetime. My only regret is the time I bit her on the leg when we were kids. SORRY SIS!!! This bonkbonks cake literally has it all: coffee toffee strawberry chocolate with all the textures (and flavours) I love, hehe. And magically, they all worked together! Coffee buttercream, homemade salted toffee shards and toffee crunch pieces, strawberry buttercream and moist dark chocolate cake layers, it kinda reminded me of a triple ice scream scoop. With sprinkles on top of course. I also decorated it with freeze dried strawberries and a light scattering of edible tea flowers that I picked up in NYC when I was hanging with the awesome Diana of Jewels of New York! I know, I know – so many components to this cake. WILDCARD.

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

There are definitely a few components to this coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe, but you could make the toffee and the chocolate cake layers the day before, then assemble everything the day of. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the very end just before serving, as the moisture from the buttercream will soften the crunch of the berries. You could also swap out for actual strawberries too of course! Or raspberries, you nut!! The toffee recipe is my absolute fave because 1. It’s easy as hell 2. it’s dangerously delicious and 3. it’s from the hilarious and awesome Erin Gardner‘s book, Erin Bakes Cake, a super fun and creative “choose your own cake adventure” book packed with her tried and true recipes, but also using lots of grocery store ingredients to create eye-catching cool designs! If you love the taste of a triple scoop cone with texture, sweet and salty components, tangy fruit vibes and CHOCOLATE, think about making this!

slice of striped cake by cococakeland

Coffee Toffee Strawberry Chocolate Cake

16-20 slices

For The Cake

Adapted slightly from The Barefoot Contessa
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used two shots of espresso topped up with hot water equal to 1 cup)

For The Toffee

Recipe from the Erin Bakes Cake cookbook!
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
   

For The Coffee Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure coffee extract
  • pinch of salt
 

For The Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup high quality strawberry jam, such as Bonne Maman 

 

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans by spritzing with vegetable oil and lining with parchment paper circles. 

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Make The Toffee

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until golden and bubbly – this may take anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes. Pour onto prepared baking sheet.
  3. Allow the toffee to cool completely before breaking into smaller jagged pieces for the garnish, and also chopping it up into fine, crunchy toffee bits for the filling!

Leftovers can be sprinkled onto ice cream, used in another cake or stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks!

Make The Coffee Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, coffee extract and pinch of salt on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.

Make The Strawberry Buttercream and Assemble Cake

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and jam on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Making sure the cake layers are completely cooled, place the first layer on a cake board or cake plate, using a dab of coffee buttercream to adhere. Using a serrated knife, trim off any dome that may have formed (save for snacking.) Add a generous dollop of coffee buttercream and spread over the layer using an offset spatula. Evenly sprinkle a large handful of toffee bits on top and gently press down into the buttercream.
  3. Trim the second layer as needed and place cut-side-down on top of the first layer, pressing gently to adhere. Spread a generous amount of strawberry buttercream on top of the layer, again adding the toffee bits.
  4. Add the final trimmed cake layer, cut-side-down, on top of the strawberry buttercream, pressing gently to adhere.
  5. Using the coffee buttercream, frost the the entire cake using your offset spatula. Use a cake smoother to smooth the sides and top if desired. Chill the cake in freezer for ten minutes to set the buttercream.
  6. Add a final coat of coffee buttercream to the cake, smoothing to your desired finish.
  7. Using a piping bag fitted with your favourite open star tip, pipe the entire top of the cake with strawberry buttercream drop stars. Add larger angular toffee bits on top as decoration, as well as freeze dried strawberries, sprinkles and edible tea flowers, if desired!
  8. Serve cake at room temperature. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three days, bring to room temperature before enjoying!

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

Look at that SLICE! Crunchy sweet and salty toffee bits all mingled up into creamy buttercream and dark choco cake… Ahhhhhhhh. Happy baking, cake buddies!! xo Lyndsay