Earl Grey Cream Pavlova

earl grey cream pavlova recipe

earl grey cream pavlova recipe

Another Mother’s Day is upon us and with each year, my attitude towards motherhood shifts, changes, settles happily and uproots again. I am loving this current year of being Teddy’s mom – the excitement of starting school, the beginning of after-school activities like art class with one of my favourite Vancouver ceramic artists and freaking adorable micro footie soccer (I can’t stop smiling watching the games. Hordes of four and five year olds moving like schools of fish chasing a ball). Teddy’s Kindergarten year has flown by so quickly. My heart hurts as his limbs get longer but my heart is so full at the same time. As I am aging and dealing with residual health issues, I am getting farther away from the idea of having a second child and I’ve gone through so many emotions over this. Some days I am so gloriously happy that I only have one child, and our little family of three is my greatest joy. Other days I Instagram-vortex gender reveal videos (such happiness! The cheers, the tears!) and find myself longing for another baby. There is a lot of grieving in infertility, and in aging itself. The years passing, and life experience gained, love and loss, all of this make you stronger and wiser! I really am grateful for so many things.

earl grey cream pavlova

earl grey cream pavlova

Milky earl grey tea is my comfort and I wanted to translate that into a simple dessert. Hence, this earl grey cream pavlova dotted with macerated raspberries and strawberry slices, crispy meringue kisses and beautiful dried edible flowers. While there are a few components to make, each step is easy and hopefully won’t cause you any stress. Whip the egg whites with sugar, spread on parchment paper covered baking sheet, pipe the remaining meringue into kisses. Mix fruit with some sugar and lemon to get the berry juices flowing. Steep heavy cream overnight with earl grey tea bags, then whip into thick lightly sweet clouds. Assemble and serve! Isn’t it pretty??

edible flowers pavlova recipe

edible flowers pavlova recipe

I made this twice, and the first time I used egg whites from a carton out of sheer laziness – don’t do this! Crack fresh eggs and you will find your billowy fluffy stiff meringue will come together so much easier. I also tried making a reduced raspberry sauce for some pretty drippiness and vibrancy – what I ended up making was raspberry flavoured fake blood/ketchup! I opted instead for the very easy macerated berries effect which gave me the juicy drippiness I was after! Note: make the meringue the evening before and steep the earl grey tea overnight as well.

pavlova slice

Earl Grey Cream Pavlova

10 slices

For The Pavlova

  • 6 large egg whites, freshly cracked and separated. Reserve yolks for another use (I made vanilla pudding)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (Blend regular white sugar in a food processor until fine)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For The Macerated Berries

  • 1 cup of mixed berries - I used raspberries and thinly sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

For The Earl Grey Cream

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 3 Earl Grey teabag satchels (or 6 teaspoons loose leaf tea)
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
 

Make The Pavlova

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a completely clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed for one minute to froth it up and build some body. Then, whip on medium-high speed for 8 to 10 minutes total – once soft peaks begin to form, start adding the lemon juice, and the sugar one teaspoon at a time. You should have stiff, glossy peaks. A stiff meringue = a happy pavlova.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, pile the majority of the meringue onto the center of the parchment paper covered baking sheet. Using an offset metal spatula, spread the meringue into a large dinner plate sized round.
  4. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star or round tip with the remaining meringue. Pipe meringue kisses surrounding (but not touching) the central meringue, or pipe another parchment-covered baking sheet with kisses.
  5. Place in bottom rack of oven. Do not open the door to check on the meringue at any point! Bake for ninety minutes; when the baking time is up, turn the oven off and let the pavlova and meringues cool completely inside the oven without opening the door. You can even bake this in the evening and turn off oven before going to bed, leaving overnight.

Macerate The Berries

  1. Combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of salt in a small bowl and let the mixture sit until things get juicy and shiny, about 30 minutes.

Make The Earl Grey Cream

  1. In a large glass jar with a lid, steep the earl grey tea in the heavy cream overnight in the fridge. You can also use a large glass covered with plastic wrap.
  2. Once steeped, remove the teabags and give them a good gentle squeeze to get all that earl grey milky flavour out. Your cream should now be very slightly light brown from the milky tea.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the earl grey cream and sugar until firm peaks appear. Do not overmix.

Assemble The Pavlova

  1. Gently place the completely cooled meringue on a large round plate.
  2. Dollop a generous amount of earl grey cream on top, using an offset spatula to gently spread the whipped cream to the edges of the pavlova.
  3. Using clean hands, place slices of macerated berries all over the whipped cream, or for a more rustic look simply spoon berries on top of the cream. Use a small spoon to drizzle some of the berry juice on top.
  4. Add organic edible flowers or dried tea flowers (I used pink carnation petals, dried blue cornflowers and dried purple globe amaranth flowers).
  5. Add crispy meringue kisses.
  6. To serve, use a sharp knife and cut into slices and add an extra spoonful of macerated berries and their juices to each slice.
  7. Leftover pavlova can be stored in the fridge loosely covered in plastic wrap but note that the pavlova and the meringues will lose their crispness factor!

pavlova edible flowers closeup

earl grey cream pavlova recipe

le creuset pink kettle

Happy Mother’s Day to all those mamas, grandmas, aunties, caregivers and amazing mother figures out there. To any of you struggling in any facet of motherhood or hopeful motherhood, you are not alone. Thank you to Le Creuset for generously sending me this super cute BonBon pink Classic Whistling Kettle! It’s pink colour brings me joy in the mornings as I’m making up my milky earl grey. xo Lyndsay

All The Piping Tips: Buttercream Flower Piped Cake

it's alive buttercream cake

buttercream flower piped cake

It’s ALIIIIIVVEEEEEE!!! That’s all I could think of as I was piping this hilariously overdone buttercream-covered cake. Like the cake was going to be all like “SMELL YA LATER, LYNDS!” and shuffle off the table and open the door into the great unknown, leaving a snail trail of frosting in it’s wake. I made this wild and wonderful buttercream flower piped cake for a local art gallery’s dance-a-thon as part of a prize pack. To be totally honest, I had all of these buttercream colours already made up in fresh buttercream from the day before so it was a perfect excuse to put the extra buttercream to good cakey use. I had volunteered at my good friend Amber’s work, a seniors care facility, to present a cupcake decorating workshop for some awesome senior ladies! The women had a blast as I showed them how to pipe rosettes, buttercream grass and even a buttercream rose cupcake. Spending time with the seniors really made me miss my own grandma. Sigh. She was such a cool lady. She was a librarian, an avid reader and a great cook and baker – I just know she would’ve freaking LOVED seeing my cake book finally come to fruition!

spring flowers cake

This cake also BLEW UP on Instagram which I did not expect. IG is so weird. One moment they’re shittin’ on ya and cockblocking all of your content, then the next they’re blasting your cake pic all over everyone’s algorithm, haha. Anyway… I hope the winner of this zany cake partied as hard as this cake parties! xo Lyndsay 

Cherry Bombe Jubilee Cake Of Insanity!

cherry bombe jubilee cake

cherry bombe jubilee cake

Happy Cherry Bombe Jubilee day! I made this Cherry Bombe Jubilee cake of insanity to celebrate! Last year in 2017, I had such a life changing, hilarious and inspired time attending Jubilee in NYC, I met so many incredible women and got to speak on a panel with some top dog food bloggers that I adore. You can read my Cherry Bombe Jubilee diary here! This year, I am going as a straight up mega fan/attendee. I’ll definitely write another Jubilee diary in the coming weeks after I’ve chilled out back into Chinese Pumpkin Vancouver mellow zone!

cherry cake cococakeland drawing

I set out to draw this cake idea I had … stripes and colours inspired by the wonderful Cherry Bombe cookbook, plus cherries of course. Working with red buttercream can feel slightly illegal but I had to roll with the inspiration, hehe. Buttercream roses, drop stars, raspberries, brightly hued maraschino cherries, fresh raspberries and STRIPES.

cherry-bombe-cookbook-1

If you don’t have this baby yet, you should snag a copy. I find the cookbook both useful and super inspiring, so many diverse recipes by a huge range of super talented chefs, cooks, writers and food lovin’ women, and the design alone is beautiful.

cherry cake slices

buttercream and cherries cake

Honestly, as I started decorating this I thought, yeesh, this cake maybe is a little too insane, the very opposite of subtle. Buttttt I am a bit of a wild nut and in the end, I think it turned out pretty sweet!

cherry bombe magazine cake

A slice for you…

cherry bombe jubilee cake slice

Annnnnnd a slice for you!

slices of pink cake

No, sadly I did not bring this cake on my lap on a stinky overnighter plane all the way to NYC on my red eye flight from Vancouver. But, I am hoping to be back in New York around Coco Cake Land book launch time – in which case, NYC buddies, can I borrow an oven and a stand mixer???

cherry bombe magazine cake

cherry cake slices

Here’s to sweet new friendships, inspiring women, delicious food and the power of community! xo Lyndsay 

Winking Flower Crown Cake For Genius Kitchen

buttercream flower crown cake cococakeland

Wink wink! “It’s Coachella Season” buttercream flower crown cake, my latest cake for Genius Kitchen! I missed the party boat for Coachella, and now I’m too old and too comfortable to want to get blazed in the desert with huge crowds, lots of dust, too many good looking people and too many overflowing port-a-potties. I prefer to watch my holograms in the comfort of my own home, but hey twenty years ago I woulda been all over that. My first huge outdoor concert was of course a very OG 1994 Lollapalooza. I remember being so stoked to see Shonen Knife on the side stage. I got a t-shirt, of course. Back in the early 1990s, it was terribly rare to see an Asian person in a band (Smashing Pumpkins James Iha!) so to see a whole trio of Japanese twee garage-pop WOMEN rockers playing, that was extra-rare.

buttercream flower crown cake cococakeland

I went to Lollapalooza the following year with HOLE!!! and Sonic Youth headlining. Hehe. Ooooh right I went to the first Lilith Fair too because feminist 4 Lyfe. The laaaasssst outdoor festival I went to and probably will ever go to was Pemberton Festival in 2008, with Jay-Z and Tom Petty performing… I got free tickets though because my friends were also playing on a different stage. Admittedly, that was a hilariously fun but once again, where is my couch, soft fleece blanket and snacks?

flower crown cake cut

I wouldn’t recommend taking a buttercream cake to the desert unless you truly love being covered in sticky sugary insanity, but if you want to celebrate the wild child flower crown (sexual?) freedom of Coachella, here’s the cake to make! Winky blinky eyes inspired by my sweet friend Katherine Sabbath! PS, I just watched the Snoop Dogg duet with the Tupac hologram from 2012. I don’t think I’ve ever watched it fully before, just saw photos of it back when it made the news. It made me instantly sad and I went on a lite Tupac google. Can’t believe he was only 25 years old when he was killed. They really getcha with the hologram when it disintegrates into a million stars at the end too, dust to dust, ashes to ashes – SADNESS. But dry your tears… you can check out the Flower Crown Cake Tutorial here! xo Lyndsay 

Purple Cat Cake For Olympia!

cococakeland purple cat cake

purple cat cake cococakeland

I feel so lucky to have such good people in my life. Erika and Robyn are two of those fine folks, and my friendship with Erika has blossomed like a Georgia O’Keefe flower over the years, fuelled by our mutual love for snacks, celebrity lesbian power couples (K-Stew, Beth Ditto, Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Paulson/Holland Taylor etc etc) and obsessing over names for potential future babies. Erika and Robyn NAILED IT with the name Olympia! Powerful, strong, original PLUS you get OLY out of that for major nickname cuteness/coolness! And Oly is indeed so so cute and cool. Softly ginger haired, with the face of a thousand expressions lit by huge bright long-lashed eyes, she is the joy of her two excellent moms. For her 1st birthday, I made this purple cat cake! Gluten-free, even!

purple cat cake

I decided to mix it up with my piping tips, and went for good old classic 1M open star tip, a personal fave, the original swirl tip, the tip that launched a thousand home cupcake businesses. I think this little purple cat cake friend turned out as CUTE AS CAN BE, perfect for an adorable sweet little Oly.

happy buttercream cat cake

Happy birthday, Oly!! And big congratulations and love to Erika and Robyn for ruling motherhood! xo Lyndsay 

Kawaii Sun Cake!

kawaii sun cake by cococakeland

kawaii sun cake by cococakeland

I know, I know. The cuteness is ALMOST TOO PAINFUL. This cake has arrived just in time for SPRING SUNSHINE. Keep it up, sky!! A few years ago I made this kawaii sun cake design for Handmade Charlotte and I thought I was SO CLEVER with the Pocky stick sun rays. Then I was like, Pocky…? CALL ME. Can I get dat Pocky money?? Can I get some Pocky sticks in a big old shipped box to just, like, have a 6 month supply of those crispy chocolatey sticks ‘o’ fun!? But no, Pocky chose to ignore my ass (I think I sent them one message years ago, haha). But I still think Pocky sticks are such a cute and simple idea for making a sun cake! (Pocky, you can still call me, lol.)

sun drawing for cake

The wonderful Wilton Cakes brand invited me to be a part of their brand re-launch – pretty darn cool. The only requirement was YELLOW – to go with their cute yellow re-branding – and my good old pal kawaii sun cake came back to my mind. I used a classic 1M piping tip to pipe the entire cake, and fondant for the facial features, though you could totally pipe the face on, or use candies! My cookie stick sun rays idea hit me like a bolt of cake-covered lightning. I wrote it down really fast and then drew a little pic so I’d remember. Chemo brain layered on top of mom brain is not cool, guys. My memory is medium-terrible now, but thank goodness for a sketchbook with an X crossed out on every single page!!! (emoji laugh til cry face)!

CUTE SUN CAKE by cococakeland

cookie stick by Wilton

The cookie sticks obviously take more time than plunking a chubby Pocky into the side of a cake but I LOOOOOOVE how these sun rays turned out!! Totally not too Sonic Youth 90s sunflower at all, like I was worried about! I used a large teardrop-shaped cookie cutter and made classic sugar cookie dough. I added a teensy bit of gel colouring to make them yellow. You could also totally pipe the cookies with buttercream too – I liked the clean look of the cookie shape itself, and HELL NO I wasn’t going to do royal icing just this time, haha, although that would give it a beautifully clean finish too (and add an hour or so to your cake-making!)

kawaii sun cake by cococakeland

CUTE SUN CAKE by cococakeland

Wilton also wrote up a fun blog post interviewing some of their favourite cake and cookie creators – you can read all about my inspiration and words of cake advice here, along with some other amazing cakers and bakers!! Here’s to more happy and sunny days ahead… xo Lyndsay

One Bowl Chocolate Square Bear Cake

square bear cake recipe

pink square bear cake by cococakeland

I know. I just can’t stop with the kawaii faced animals… so I made you this buttercream frosted square bear cake!  Fluffy vanilla buttercream and a moist dark chocolate single layer square cake, mixed in one bowl, poured into the cake pan and baked. But surprise – this little bear buddy was baked in my new Panasonic 3-in-1 Steam Oven! I’m not sure if you’ve sensed it, but I feel like microwaves are making a comeback. They are kind of the secret thing that many kitchens use, whether it’s to melt butter or make chocolate ganache or any number of other uses. We have never had a microwave as a family, much to my dear mother-in-law’s annoyance! For reheating meals, we always put a pan in the oven, preheat the damn thing, bake for ten minutes or so and hope for the best… or we would reheat on the stovetop, and soil a pot or two in the process. I kinda dreamed about the ease of something like a microwave but couldn’t mentally commit. Until I met this sweet little friend.

panasonic steam oven

I have made steamed Chinese buns daily using the handy dandy and ridiculously easy Steam function. I’ve used the Microwave function to re-heat my miso veggie bowl leftovers for lunch, which I used to eat cold out of the fridge like a sad sack. I like to call our new Panasonic 3-in-1 Steam Oven THE MAGICAL BOX! Hehe. And perhaps most excitedly, I baked my one bowl chocolate cake recipe in it using the Oven function and it baked as though it was cooked in a traditional oven. I’m excited to share this square bear cake recipe and tutorial with you!

buttercream frosting cake

Bake and cool your cake completely. Crumb coat the cake, and then fill a piping bag fitted with a multi-opening grass tip with the rest of the buttercream to make the bear’s fur.

grass tip for fur

Pipe the entire cake – sides and top! Make the fondant pieces – a white muzzle, two black eyes, a little black nose and pink cheeks and ears. I use a wooden BBQ skewer cut to size to insert into the ears for placing into the cake.

bear cake by coco cake land

Press down all the facial pieces to adhere and slide the two ear skewers into the top of the cake!

square bear

This little square bear is an easy, no-carve way to make a sweet little animal cake for your next party or celebration! Slice into small square and enjoy!

square bear cake

One Bowl Chocolate Square Cake

16 slices

For The Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 400 ml can of full fat high quality coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • drop of pink gel food colouring

For The Decorations

  • 2 inch ball of white fondant
  • 2 inch ball of black fondant
  • 3 inch ball of pink fondant
  • wooden BBQ skewer cut to size
  • Piping bag fitted with a large multi-opening grass/fur tip

Make The Cake

  1. Press the OVEN setting to preheat the Panasonic 3-In-1 Steam Oven to 350 degrees. Spritz an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan with vegetable oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place into the pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, coconut milk, vegetable oil and pure vanilla extract and mix until combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, using an offset spatula to level the batter.
  5. Place into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake and inspect it to make sure it comes out clean with only moist crumbs.
  6. Let cake cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

 

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and pink gel food colouring on low speed to combine.
  2. Once combined, beat the buttercream on high speed for about 3-4 minutes until frosting has doubled in volume.

Decorate The Cake

  1. Using an offset spatula, frost the cake with a layer of buttercream, smoothing as you go. You can use a cake bench scraper if you wish.
  2. Fill the piping bag with the remaining buttercream. Pipe the entire cake with fur.
  3. With clean and dry hands, make the white fondant muzzle by rolling out fondant to about 1/4 inch thickness. Punch out a circle shape using a large circle cookie cutter or rim of a cup. Gently pull the shape into an oval muzzle and set aside onto parchment paper.
  4. Roll out a small amount of pink fondant and use the opening of a clean piping tip to punch out little circle shapes for the cheeks. Set aside. Pull off a 1/2 inch piece of pink fondant and mix with 1/2 inch piece of white fondant, creating a lighter pink shade. Using the original pink, form bear ears using your hands. Add “inner ears” using the light pink fondant, using a tiny amount of water to adhere the inner ear to the pink ear. Insert wooden skewers into each ear and set aside.
  5. Roll out the black fondant and use the opening of a larger clean piping tip or a small circle cookie cutter to punch out two large circles for the eyes. Set aside.
  6. Pinch a tiny piece of black fondant into a small oval for the nose.
  7. Place the facial pieces onto top of the cake to make the bear face.
  8. Insert the ears into the top of the cake!

 

square bear cake recipe

square bear cake recipe

panasonic steam oven

This post was sponsored by Panasonic Canada’s 3-In-1 Steam Oven, aka the counter top appliance that has given LIFE to our family, haha! I feel like this oven could be your future game changer too so go check out the magic at Panasonic Canada. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Coco Cake Land baking and caking! xo Lyndsay

Unicorn Cake: A Tale Of Two Horns

kawaii unicorn cake by cococakeland

unicorn cake by cococakeland

WHO CORNED IT BETTER!? A tale of two horns, The Case Of The Buttercream Kawaii Unicorn Cake by Lyndsay Sung. I dunno why, but for some reason the unicorn cake has always been my nemesis. My kryptonite, the sparkling green mega-crystal that has doomed me into stress levels unknown to womyn. Yes there are a gazillion mystical unicorn cakes out there and the original design by Jenna Rae Cakes is indeed AWESOME! It gives all the necessary hints of a unicorn – swirls and twirls of dreamy buttercream hair, the sometimes phallic horn(y) horn, ears and for the face – two simple lines for eyes, sometimes eyelashes – but without providing a full face. I really wanted to design a unicorn cake in my own style – and the hard part was – THE MOUTH. Now I know why none of these cakes have mouths. Doing a uni-mouth on a round cake is hard!! It’s a horse snout, so there needs to be a semblance of snout-ness… but a snout can also sometimes skedaddle into pig face territory … another unicorn cake fear of mine…

kawaii unicorn cake by cococakeland

The one above, was my first unicorn attempt in quite a while, made for an amazing old client of mine who happens to have the coolest kids. Five-year-old Banksy requested a rainbow unicorn cake for his birthday, and I would never deny making a rainbow unicorn cake for a kid named BANKSY! So while this was my first unicorn in several months, I DO have one in my upcoming cake book Coco Cake Land but his little face will be a surprise until the book is released, hehe. I wanted to try a top-of-the-cake unicorn face and a different piping style for the fur. So, once again I took to my sketchbook:

unicorn drawings

A lil dainty smile for my friend Uni???

unicorn drawings

Or, no smile, like this No Mouth Joe? (They also look kinda like the cutest Carmen Miranda haired unicorns.)

unicorn drawings

Teddy tried his hand at a unicorn too – CUTE!

kawaii unicorn cake by cococakeland

I tried several looks for this guy, no mouth, mouth, different nostrils, etc etc… frantic texts to my sister with a bunch of photos asking her to choose… Sister’s response: “You’re overthinking this.” But in the end, No Mouth Joe it was!! The more I look at this guy’s face, the more stoked I become. He is pretty darn cute. And again, “no mouth” sometimes feels “cuter”, Hello Kitty style, than mouth…?

unicorn's buttercream mane

No Mouth Joe’s beautiful buttercream mane!

smiley unicorn cake!

NEXT up, a month or so later, I got an email from ANOTHER favourite old client Rose – her daughter Ava was turning ten and requested… yup, MY OLD PAL UNICORN! I took it as another chance to fiddle with the design and have some fun with the face.

unicorn cake by cococakeland

Once again, I had finished everyyyything to my satisfaction, until the face/mouth combo. I took the teensy mouth off, put it back on, took it off, then put it back on – I thought the smiley face was pretty cute! Then I decided to try an extra smiley unicorn cake with the happy overjoyed closed eyes, hehe.

smiley unicorn cake!

In the end, I think I love this one too!!!

puffy letter stickers

Also: YAY for short three letter names so I can use my fave new puffy pink neon letter stickers from the Japanese dollar store!!

unicorn's buttercream mane

And a buttercream rosette and drop star mane never to be forgotten, with a dash of sprinkles. Sigh. I’d love to know what your favourite one is – No Mouth Joe, or Smiley Eyes?? Either way, this was a fun exercise in cake design! I have a feeling the next one will look different again… and so ends the first saga of A Tale Of Two Horns… xo Lyndsay