Oh Deer – Kawaii Pink Deer Cake For Saya

cococakeland deer cake

Oh deer – I’ve let another few months slip by without posting a single thing to my blog. I had a very busy November and early December – three trips!! And a very busy Coco Cake Land Autumn. Mix that all up with some existential cake career angst. And now here we are, practically deep December as soon as we blink our eyes into tomorrow. Our Christmas tree is up and sparkling and accidentally extra tall. I laced the Christmas lights around the beautiful-scented thing myself – and when I got to the very bottom, all proud of myself, I realized there was no plug-stickie-things to plug into the extension cord, just the… female side (ugh, I do not know electrical plug terminology) of the string of lights?? I make no sense but neither do these Christmas lights. So I haphazardly jammed another string of random lights from maybe the early 2000s into one of the upper strings, dangling down the back of the tree, trying to achieve plug-in status. I achieved it! The whole time Teddy kept saying “just let DAD do it” haha… nope. I PERSEVERED! Then, we played “Night Club” (Teddy’s idea) and at “Night Club” you get to do whatever you want (ok…??) so we had nachos for dinner and watched the Charlie Brown Christmas movie. If you’re at all feeling the Christmas Blues this season, watch a little Snoopy Flash Beagle to cheer up your mind.

kawaii deer cake

pink deer cake

I made this sweet faced little pink deer cake friend for one of my sweet faced little friends – adorable Saya who turned nine years old in September. It’s funny, right now I feel like the Sahara Desert in terms of cake designs and ideas. Like painfully dry of any cake creativity. I wonder if my cake mojo will return? It always has in the past… a surreal and mildly stupid story: I was in San Francisco with my dear mom last weekend, it was her 75th! birthday wish to see Hamilton The Musical - and I was in the hotel room mindlessly watching the Food Network (I don’t have cable so flipping through garbage-goodness TV like Say Yes to the Dress is a real treat) and there’s yet another holiday baking challenge of some kind on the food channel, but this time it’s for cupcake pull-apart cakes. And the example they chose to show for what a cupcake pull-apart cake was somebody’s version of my cake, the very hungry caterpillar cupcakes party train from 2009!!! I laughed out loud and Home-Aloned my face with my hands – bizarre that I should be watching this random show and see my cake design cited like that. I’m sure some lowly paid production assistant just did a quick google and grabbed the image off the internet.

pink deer cake

Ah, to be as casual-smiley as this pink deer cake! I should take a page from its pink buttercream emblazoned face. Zen Christmas, everyone!! xo Lyndsay 

Jiji The Cat Cake For Totoro Week!

Jiji the cat cake cococakeland

Jiji The Cat cake red bowtie

It’s #TOTOROWEEK – also known as the week leading up to Halloween, as created by my blog bestie Steph of I Am A Food Blog! For the past several years, we’ve been making Totoro themed food and cakes just for the Totoro heck of it. Phewf, I got in just under the wire with this kawaii Jiji The Cat furry buttercream cake! I’ve been wanting to make a black cat cake ever since we got our sweet beloved kitty, Rex. Rex is five years old, and he’s from the local SPCA. He was a mangy skinny thing when we first met him – and he was ravaged with fleas and patches of missing fur all over him. Now he’s a slightly plump, sleek little panther who is almost brutally loving. Like he sleeps on my neck, or on the top of my head like a hat, or on top of my legs like a leg prison, and he’s always purring. You can scoop him up like a rag doll and he never complains! He is a sweetheart. Teddy made him a perch out of cardboard boxes and a glue gun – Rex loves it, though I am scared that it may not be the sturdiest, lol… Jiji the cat is not from Totoro, but Jiji is from Kiki’s Delivery Service, another Miyazaki film – so I gave myself some creative license! :P (I could also have made this into a soot sprite!)

black cat cake halloween

black cat cake halloween

Have you ever made black buttercream? The secret is to use black cocoa powder. It has a slightly bitter and licorice-y taste in my opinion – so make sure to counter it with either melted, cooled chocolate and enough sugar. I also used maybe half a teaspoon of black gel colour – way less than I would normally have to use if I didn’t do the black cocoa powder! Another tip for getting your buttercream black is to let it sit for an hour or so to darken, even overnight. When I started piping Jiji he was a dark greyish shade, but he was a pleasant shiny black by the time I was finished photographing him! I didn’t really have a total plan for this Jiji the cat cake – the face I kind of made up on the fly, and I gave him DILATED PUPILS simply because I was worried you wouldn’t be able to see the black fondant eyes on top of the black buttercream! The bowtie was my albatross – I made it a few different times out of fondant, but then I thought it looked weird just perched on Jiji’s chin, like a red beard-bow goatee mashup:

Jiji the cat cake

I dunno, what do you think?? So I ditched the fondant attempts… I thought about making a fondant topper to insert into the cake, but the size of the bow would’ve been too heavy and wouldn’t have anchored into the cake very well. CRAFT PAPER TO THE RESCUE!

red bow tie cake topper

I cut out a long strip of paper, folded both sides to meet in the center, used scotch tape to adhere and punched out a little red circle using my trusty craft circle punch for the center. I taped it onto a thin straw (I will never buy plastic straws again in my life – GO GREEN – but I had these leftover from my wedding from 2007!)

inserting the red bow tie topper

I inserted the red bow topper into the front of my kitty cake.

Jiji The Cat cake red bowtie

rex the cat with black cat cake

SUPER CUTE! I love how this furry Jiji the cat cake turned out! And LONG LIVE TOTORO WEEK!!!! (click on the “totoro week” tag below to see all the past Totoro week cakes!) xo Lyndsay 

Teddy’s Buried Treasure Cake With Kiddoz Cookbook!

buried treasure cake

kiddoz cookbook cake

kiddoz cookbook chefclub

Have you ever baked with your child? AKA, have you ever BLOWN YOUR TOP in the kitchen because of the flour and sugar sandstorm, the cracked eggs all over the counter, the spilled milk… hehe. Ahhh but thank goodness for this awesome Kickstarter project: the cutest new cookbook for kids – KIDDOZ! It’s an interactive cookbook and colourful measuring cup set, featuring hilarious cartoon characters and illustrated step-by-step instructions, just for kids! Teddy and I had a blast making a buried treasure cake from the book.

baking with kids

kiddoz cookbook measuring cups

The book’s instructions are all adorable step-by-step illustrations, using the faces of the characters as the measurements – so for example, Carlton the cat = 1/3 cup of sugar – but Teddy would read it as “one Carlton of sugar, mom!!” There’s also QR codes (I had to google what those were called, it’s that black and white square thingie that you point your phone at “for more information”, haha) on each page so you can watch VIDEOS of each project being made! Interactive, indeed!

buried treasure cake

I winced in a little bit of mental pain as Teddy cracked the eggs for this (DELICIOUS!!) cake – lots of eggshell bits, but we fished them all out –  the buried treasure cake itself is a very simple recipe, and it bakes up like an angel food cake. Our cake rose up beautifully in the oven but then slumped as it cooled – I think we should’ve baked it for longer, which we will do next time – but it gave us some creative problem solving to do!!

kiddoz cookbook chefclub

chocolate gold coins treasure

I helped Teddy cut away the centre of the cake to make room for the $38 worth of chocolate gold coins I bought for this project, ha… (more on this later…!) He had a blast dumping the coins in and packing the top pieces of cake back onto it.

kiddoz cookbook chefclub

The chocolate mascarpone frosting was SCRUMPDIDDLYUMPTIOUS – I helped Teddy smooth out the frosting a bit, as the cake was somewhat fragile and we worried it would tear a little. (It didn’t!)

Teddy decorating his cake

Teddy had a blast dumping (literally) the Oreo crumbs onto the cake for dirt! He chose two Playmobil characters as “diggers” and then added a big old pile of sprinkles, and sticks of Pocky. I had to restrain myself from doing any of the cake decorating – but I also loved seeing Teddy’s very liberated “freedom of decoration” mindset!! I am jealous of his ease in the casual dumping of Oreo crumbs and random placement of sprinkle piles and Pocky sticks…

happy baker

Proud of his cake!!!

playmobil topped cake

buried treasure cake

And the final product! It was so much fun cutting into this cake and seeing the sparkly gold coins inside!

buried treasure cake

playmobil cake

We brought the cake to my sister’s for her birthday, and Teddy’s cousins went wild over the cake, and the Kiddoz cookbook! The amount of coins we used ended up being a little bit of overkill, I think bought seventy or so in the bulk bins at a grocery store – BUTTTTT, I brought the leftover cake and any untouched coins home, carefully wiped each gold coin free of cake debris, and have set them aside for use for another cake! SMART MOVE, ME!!

chefclub-kiddoz-cookbook-3

The KIDDOZ cookbook not only has a whole sweets section, but also a savoury section too! We’ve got PIZZA CAT, the ladybug quiche, magic butterfly cake, and the waffle castle on our to-do list! I was kind of cutely amazed how excited Teddy was about his new set, and he was chuckling his way through the cookbook at all of the little cartoon antics on each page, and marvelling at all the recipes he wanted to make.

kiddoz measuring cups cookbook

Thank you so much KIDDOZ for sending Teddy and I this awesome set! He loved it, and we can’t wait to make more of the recipes! You can learn all about the KIDDOZ interactive cookbook and measuring cups set Kickstarter campaign here! Purchase it now for the Kickstarter price of 32 euros (about $25 USD). Happy baking with kids, my friends! xo Lyndsay This post was sponsored by Kiddoz, but all enthusiastic opinions are all my own! 

Abstract Buttercream Painted Cake

abstract painted buttercream cake

painted cake cococakeland

Some days I feel so STUCK in my own aesthetic. While I love creating animal cakes and piping buttercream and coming up with super duper kawaii faced creature cakes, I also long to bust outta my cake box. This is what I love about Instagram – coming across new cake decorating techniques and being awe-inspired by fellow cake designers! When I first came across Amanda’s cakes, I fell in loooove with her clean, vibrant and artful style, and immediately hit the Follow button. Then when I saw her recent online Abstract Buttercream Painting Course I bought it IMMEDIATELY. (I also happened to catch it at 50% off – she often has discount sales so follow her for announcements!) This was perfect timing, as I was doing a sponsored Insta post with iDeal of Sweden (a cool phone accessories company!) and wanted to try and make one of their phone case designs into an abstract buttercream painted cake.

cake canvas

cake drawing inspiration

The abstract-y painterly phone case I chose, and the quick drawing I made!

SMBC colours

Mixing swiss meringue buttercream colours!

SMBC colours

This really felt like painting – I used a plastic easy-to-clean placemat for my palette. For tools, I used my offset spatula, palette knives in a few sizes and paintbrushes designated only for cakes.

hand painted cake by coco cake land

abstract buttercream painted cake

The phone case, and the finished product! Fluffy vanilla cake layers and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. I don’t want to give away all of Amanda’s lovely secrets from her class, so I recommend taking it and supporting her with your dollars if you can – but I will say, as I tell my son Teddy, making art or drawing things or creating is always a work in progress. It’s never too late to learn new things! So, initially when you add the first stroke of colour you might think you’re making a big old mess. But hang in there, keep painting and being thoughtful with your buttercream painting placement – and I think it’s helpful to start with a drawing, too!

abstract buttercream painted cake

abstract buttercream painted cake

I added tiny sprinkles to the cake too, to emulate the splatter marks of the phone case.

abstract buttercream painted cake

slice of cake

painted cake cococakeland

I cannot wait to try more buttercream painted cakes! Other techniques I’d love to try but haven’t – chocolate spheres, gold leaf, GALAXY CAKE, watercolour cake, Katherine Sabbath classic ice cream dripping cake, Katherine’s rainbow marshmallow blob covered cake… ! I’d also love to learn about chocolate making, French pastries, bread making… I better get started. Life is flying by! xo Lyndsay 

Happy 10th Birthday Collage Collage!

rainbow striped buttercream piped birthday cake

Happy tenth birthday Collage Collage!!!!! A.K.A. one of the greatest shops in all of Vancouver, where you can find the most adorably and thoughtfully curated children’s books, art supplies, ceramics, children’s and adult art classes, MY BOOK, and so much more. This whole brilliant idea belongs to my dear friend Erin Boniferro, one of Vancouver’s sparkling lights.

rainbow buttercream piping cococakeland

rainbow buttercream piping cococakeland

collage collage cake toppers

I frigging love a handmade cake topper. You know I do. So, it seemed to make absolute sense to craft one up to celebrate the cutest and craftiest store around. You need sharp-ass scissors for something like this – no clunky, dull scissors. I free-handed the letters (and used my mini circle punch to punch out a perfect “O”).

handmade craft paper birthday cake toppers

I frigging love a stripe. And I frigging love a vibrant colour. Oh, and cake. And I frigging love piping bags piping their cute little drop stars and blobettes all over everything. (On your own blog, you can DO BAD GRAMMARY things like start sentences with And!) Jimmy-jam that all together and you get this colour blast of a celebration cake x 2 – two bright and beautiful cakes to celebrate the bright and beautiful Collage Collage! 

striped and piped cakes

Little horses! An ode to the shop, which sells tiny cute fancy animals. I *almost* plopped the horses into the cake but then thought “overkill.”

handmade 10 craft paper cake topper

10!!!!!!!

happy birthday collage collage!

10 AGAIN!!! If it’s your own blog, you get to post two almost identical pictures in a row!! NEAT!

happy birthday collage collage!

I mean, wouldn’t this duo (or a trio of something similar) be so cute for a wedding?? And now, here are some beautiful party pics by my other super talented friend Lori Kiessling! 

happy birthday collage collage!

collage collage birthday cake

Erin wears amazing rainbow stripes! The cake is rainbow stripes! MIND SYNERGY!!!

saya lyndsay crafting

Birthday party day! Collage Collage is notorious for their very fun crafts inspired by artists and illustrators. It was so much fun hanging out with Saya and adding to this Bruno Munari-inspired mobile collaboration.

saya crafting

teddy crafting

Me trying to get Teddy all stoked on THIS FUN PROJECT! But to be perfectly honest, he was on the train to Grump Town and spent most of the party playing video games on Rich’s phone… aiyahh.

collage collage exterior

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is Collage Collage x Coco Cake Land YEAR ONE back on my ancient blog. Love ya forever, Collage Collage – the hugest congrats to Erin and her amazing staff for powering through to ten amazing years. CC everything for life! xo Lyndsay 

Cake Walk Cakes for Teddy’s Carnival!

pink candy cake cococakeland

cake walk cakes unicorn cake

Time is flying as usual and it’s already the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. Teddy’s school community ROCKS and this year I got a little more involved in the school carnival, taking on the role of Jolly Jar co-coordinator (LOL) because the jolly jar booth didn’t have anyone to coordinate it this year, and the kids fricking LOVE this booth (it is jammed with a huge lineup as soon as the bell rings at 3pm). What the heck is a jolly jar, you ask? It’s a jar ‘o’ fun that is decorated in a (hopefully) creative way, filled with fun things (candy usually, little toys or crafting materials or a gift card etc) that are sold for $3 each as a fundraiser for the school, and there are prizes for most creative jars! For three weeks prior to the carnival, the kids bring in their decorated jars and they all stand around and oooh and ahhh over their favourites and dream about which ones they want… and it’s just so CUTE. The jolly jar booth can never die!!! Anyhoo, I made two cake walk cakes once again! I went for a “blast of candy” design once again, and then decided to unicorn-it-up for the second cake.

cake walk cakes cococakeland

cake walk cakes

unicorn-cake-cake-walk-2019

Does a unicorn say “neigh?” I was going to write “I AM MAGICAL” but then I didn’t want that somehow to be misconstrued as someone thinking I was saying that about my own cakes – braggarts be damned. If the cake was for adults, “HORNY” would’ve been mildly funny for one millisecond, but maybe not. Sometimes I still think my unicorn looks like a pig with a shower cap on, but perhaps I am just overly critical, hehe. I will forever love school carnivals (I still remember our singular precious school carnival at my elementary school – now I know why there were never very many, THEY ARE A LOT OF WORK! KIDS, YOUR PARENTS ARE WORKIN’ OVERTIME LITERALLY FOR YA!) and cake walks are what dreams and nightmares are made of (the nightmare of not winning a cake… SAD! But hopefully your friend will share cake with you.) xo Lyndsay

Willy Wonka Candy Cake

willy wonka candy cake

willy wonka candy cake

I made this Willy Wonka candy cake a few months ago to help promote a video gaming app – and darn it, I thought it turned out so candy-cute! I’d never made a candy cake (made popular by my pal Katherine Sabbath – did you know I have an interview with her on my long-gone but maybe resurrected in the future cake column Sugar Crush?) – I’m always somewhat anal/minimal when it comes to topping my cakes with accoutrements so I played it very cool with this one. I didn’t want to overwhelm it and just slam a whole bunch of candy, willy-nilly, all over it. Every candy was placed in an anal-retentive way (cake design is the ONLY place I am type A. I am very casual and a highly tolerant person in general…)! How bout those golden Canadian chocolate loonies, eh?

willy wonka candy cake

Ahhh, candy. I love gummy candies more than I should, but I generally don’t even keep them around the house because I’ll just destroy them. However, GUMMY VITAMINS provide the same chew factor! Yes, I know I can only have a few at a time… dang it. What’s your candy kryptonite??  xo Lyndsay  

Icing On The Cake Book!

striped sprinkles cake

icing on the cake book

Do you love insanely gorgeous photos of cakes? Do you love no-fail recipes, and delicious desserts? Do you love Tessa Huff?? Do you love step by step INSTRUCTIONS that give you the PIPING POWER CONFIDENCE to turn your cake into a frosted masterpiece???? Okay. Then you may just love my dear friend Tessa’s newest cake book Icing On The Cake! (I would insert an affiliate link there if I knew how to do that. Internets???)

icing on the cake book

Tessa already knocked it out of the cake park with her first bestseller, Layered. I truly feel it is today’s Cake Bible.

icing on the cake book

icing on the cake book

The photos and recipes were so dang beautiful that Icing On The Cake book even managed to bring me out of my baking hibernation!!! I based the cake on one of her decoration ideas in her book, and used her perfectly delightful vanilla cake and swiss meringue buttercream recipe!

icing on the cake book

Congrats T on this wicked cake book!!! A real treasure to add to my collection! xo Lyndsay