International Women’s Day Cake

international women's day cake - coco cake land

“Mom!! Try to poo a lot so then you’ll have a baby!” Teddy said this to me yesterday out of the blue. Just imagining what his furiously-working-overtime little 4-year-old brain is parsing together about how babies are made makes me laugh/smile/cry… He’s been asking for a baby sister for a year or so now. “Time to get pregnant in your tummy, ok mom??” is another tidbit he’s thrown at me, as if I can snap fingers (or labia) together and out of my vagina flies a fully formed baby girl. Other things Teddy has said lately: I’ll tell you what you are! You’re just the bun of a hot dog! or Go away, ya bum clown!!! (referring to, what I can only guess is human butt cheeks dolled up in clown makeup.) Things Teddy doesn’t know/remember/understand: his mama had breast cancer, and may or may not have any viable eggies, and is also 40 years old, an age by which reproductivity takes a deep nosedive. His mama has already tried implanting one frozen embryo into her uterus, but it swam away and didn’t want to stick. She has two more frozen embryos on ice, and will try implanting those sometime soon, but the longer she is off of her Tamoxifen, the more terrified she is of cancer coming back.

international women's day cake - coco cake land

Today is International Women’s Day, and it feels more pertinent than ever. How did women’s vaginas ever become reduced to being called a pussy? Do vaginas look like hairy little cats somehow? The vag is one powerful organ. Oh, a pussy? Yeah, babies come out of those – vaginas are basically superhuman. So I made a cake for the vagina today. xo Lyndsay 

Rosie The Riveter Buttercream Rose Cake + Teen Vogue

pink rose face cake - cococakeland

I named this cake Rosie after Rosie The Riveter, feminist icon, We Can Do It, yes we can. Protest cakes continue – because resistance can be aesthetically pleasing, it can be kawaii, it can be a buttercream rose cake. Check out thelittle video I made for this on Instagram!

buttercream rose cake - cococakeland

In related news: Teen Vogue featured me on their Instagram as part of their Shine Theory series! (I had to google what Shine Theory was… oops.) They had come across my Pussy Grabs Back cake series. Have you been following what Teen Vogue has been up to these days? Some pretty feminist and political stuff. Check out their article “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America”for starters. Kinda rad that they would feature this here 40 year old Chinese weirdo cake/art lady mom from Canada! When they first contacted me for an interview, the first question was your age. Oh shit, I’m actually 40?? But Teen Vogue still feels relevant to even ME! Weeks went by and the post never went up, so I figured they must’ve forgotten about it. But then it went up … and just so strange and pretty cool to be featured, there are literally millions of women doing amazing things everywhere – little old ME??

buttercream rose cake - cococakeland.com

Michaela asked me a bunch of questions so I thought I’d include the full interview here in case anyone was interested, a lot of it’s about my Instagram account –  because I do often get questions about how to build your Instagram/blog, and what apps I use etc… So here it is. What inspires me… mom style … my favourite Instagram accounts and why, etc!

Teen Vogue: Where do you get your inspiration for Instagram?

Me: Colour, comedy, consciousness and cuteness inspire my Instagram.

What would you describe your aesthetic as?

Artfully messy colourful minimalism!

What is the purpose of your Instagram account? 

Initially to share my cakes – but it’s become a place of community, support and connection – I’ve met lots of my Instagram buddies in real life now which is so great. Instagram is like the pen-pal-ing of this decade. I feel like I could go get coffee and pastries with so many people all around the world now.

Has being on Instagram presented you with any great opportunities?

I’ve worked with some nice brands – so monetarily, yes – but connection may very well be the coolest part that I’ve experienced.

Do you spend a lot of time editing your photos and what apps do you use? 

Not really. I sometimes use VSCO Cam but more often I lazily edit right in the Instagram app. Most of my photos are also taken with my good old iPhone 6s!

Your tips for creating a great feed and building a following?

The feeds I like are ones that seem genuine, somewhat jokey, sometimes serious, with beautiful content and funny or compelling writing. My tips for creating a great feed – go with your gut, don’t try to fit into anyone else’s mould – be yourself and enjoy it. I think if you enjoy it, it comes across. Follow people you actually like, and interact with them because you want to. That’s the way to build a loyal following, is to be loyal and interested yourself.

What or who inspires you?

Strong, creative women inspire me, and those who are in positions of influence who use their voice for a greater good, who don’t shy away from being controversial or losing followers. I recently did a cake series based on “Pussy Grabs Back” and lost hundreds of followers. But over the same few days I gained hundreds more, and those are the ones you treasure, the ones who follow you because of who you are, not simply because your feed is “pretty.” My family inspires me with their compassion, empathy, love and support. Women who have inherent and specifically interesting fashion sense inspire me (especially cool moms!)

What is your favorite subject to talk about on your feed?

It truly ranges. When I was going through breast cancer, I would share some of my brutal days. I’d talk about my fear of impending infertility, or the loss of my hair and sex drive. Other days, I’ll talk about how shitty and difficult and hellish it is to make macarons! Yep, it’s a real mixed bag.

What are your biggest passions?

My family and friends; baking and photography. I also love fashion but I rarely indulge anymore, my style has toned down. I tend to wear the same few outfits over and over in different iterations.

What would someone be surprised to find out about you?

Perhaps that I’m a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2015 while in my 30s. Do not ignore any changes, big or small, in your breasts (or anywhere in your body). Be vigilant. I found my cancer early and because of that I saved my life.

Who are your favorite accounts to follow?

I like people who not only post beautiful or interesting content but who share something of themselves too, people that feel genuine, and who don’t shy away from expressing their views. And of course there are the just-damn-cool women I like to follow, whether they are brilliant creators or hilarious people – @cherrybombemag, @katherinesabbath, @designsponge, @mollyorangette, @manrepeller, @linda_lomelino are some of my favourites.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

My son. Hands down. He is the coolest little 4-year-old shreddin’ hilarious sweetheart dude and I love him to bits.

What do you hope to achieve with your Instagram?

I don’t know exactly – to meet more cool friends around the world, and to continue to grow it into something I’m proud of aesthetically and that comes from my heart.

buttercream rose cake animation

rose cake - cococakeland

Thanks Teen Vogue for the feature… and thank you cake pals as always for following along… “stay woke, bitches!!” (as the teens would say, hehe) xo Lyndsay 

Nasty Woman Pussy Grabs Back – Protest Cakes

pussy grabs back cake

pussy grabs back cake

the future is female cake

nasty woman cake

I was 20 when I found the official word feminism. I realized I had been a feminist all my life. I was in my second year of university, and I enrolled in a Women’s Studies class, along with two of my close friends. My eyes were opened. At first, my feminism was one of anger – I was determined to be right and considered it my job to “change the outlooks” of my sisters, my mother. I remember getting my mom a Christmas present –  Feminism In Our Time, an overview book. My hair became pixie-cut short. I came home from college no longer wearing a bra. I remember my mom joining me in a Take Back The Night march. She has always supported me, quietly, though perhaps then she knew this was a part of growing up – to question our surroundings, to fight what we feel is unjust. Now, two decades later, I’ve settled into my own kind of feminism, which is – just being me. Now I know a little better – feminism comes in so many forms. Now, I am a mother and a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. A baker of cakes! Raising my son to be respectful, thoughtful, open and independent – I hope he turns out like my husband – a strong, kind, compassionate and loving man, a feminist himself. My activism is a different kind than it used to be, yet I see its value and power – it’s informed by my past, present and hope for the future. My voice is attached to this blog and to my work, to my cakes. Stand together. Do not stay silent or be complacent. My form of protest may be audibly more quiet but no less strong. Pussy grabs back. xo Lyndsay 

10 Years! Pineapple Wedding Cake

pink pineapple topped wedding cake by Coco Cake Land

Happy 10th wedding anniversary to US! No, not me and Coco Cake Land. Me and my husband and main squeeze of 16 years… yup… license to drive (each other CRAZEE)! We got married on a sunny crisp cold day in January, snow on the ground and our wedding was vintage Hawaiian themed. I decided to create a cake inspired by our original wedding cake – this pink pineapple wedding cake! Vanilla bean cake layers and black currant jam filling.

letterpress wedding invitation

pink pineapple topped wedding cake - cococakeland.com

pineapple wedding cake by ganache patisserie

The OG pink pineapple wedding cake, made by Ganache Patisserie here in Vancouver. It was mango, with the cutest chocolate pineapple on top.

married couple

Basically such children back then! 10 years ago. Sheesh.

lyndsay wedding day

Not a bad looking lady, amirite?

wedding day cats

Our dearly missed kitties, Coco and Taco!!! Taco was a jumbotron, 20+ pounds of glory. Wedding day pics by our amazing friends Jonetsu! 

10 year wedding anniversary

pineapple wedding cake - coco cake land

RT, I love you so very much. Not even a pink cake topped with a pineapple can express how much. Happy 10th wedding anniversary – as your Grandma remarked on our wedding day: “may the winds be fair, may the sailing be smooth, with the only squalls coming from the next generation.” xo Lyndsay

My Dad’s 73rd Birthday Cake

party on top - Coco Cake Land

ganache drip cake - Coco Cake Land

Play hard, play fair, play clean. CLEANSPORT. This was a slogan to one of my dad’s myriad of business ideas, I believe this one was around 1990?? A dry-cleaning business for the local NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks. That slogan in particular has stuck in my brain for decades. My dad Gerry also had a titanium bicycle company. And a car memorabilia shop in Yaletown, way before Yaletown became this hub of fancified capitalism that it is today. But Gerry was a produce man for most of his working life, fruit and vegetable purveyor, the beloved jovial VP, just as he is now a pickle ball man in his retired life (and a dealer of pickle ball paddles!). No pickles involved however – just a woofle-type plastic ball, oversized paddles and a badminton court inside a community center gymnasium, the squeak of clean sneakers and many enthusiastic seniors. I also recall, while helping him clean out the garage of our childhood home before my parents sold it, coming across business proposals from other folks, including a “smoothies and wraps” restaurant to be housed at the Vancouver airport. People were always hitting him up with business ideas, just as I have run several past him over many years. Dad, remember the clunky red Mercedes Benz that some guy gave to you, to try and repay a loan?? Hehe.

ganache drip cake - Coco Cake Land

ganache drip cake - Coco Cake Land

My dad is 73 years old, an age that sounds on paper to be rather ancient. But when I think of him, he is the jokiest, and kindest and most generous of people. He is perpetually cool as a cucumber, in his Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses, or matching his sock colour to his shoes. Fresh Gerry Style! My dad has had his fair share of health problems, including emergency open heart surgery in 2010 to repair a torn aorta. He was on the ski hill at his volunteer job. He keeled over but was still able to talk. Two doctors happened to be close by and diagnosed him quickly and urgently. It was the 2010 Olympics, so the ski hill was a no-fly-zone – he was whisked down the mountain on a rescue sled then flown straight to the hospital in Vancouver, where he was then rushed into an operating room. I remember coming to the hospital, only my sister had had a chance to see him before he went in – I was so scared, tears pouring down my face as we huddled in the waiting room. We were eventually told to go home, as the surgery wouldn’t be completed until 2 in the morning. I slept at my mom’s place, but barely slept a wink – the phone rang at 230am, my mom spoke to the surgeon. Dad had survived.

ganache drip cake - Coco Cake Land

wintry cake scene - Coco Cake Land

Admittedly, I worry about my dad every day. But every day I also feel so lucky to still have my parents in my life, and for Teddy to know his Poh Poh and Go Go, and to love them and laugh with them. Every birthday cake I get to make, for any one of my loved ones, no matter their age – I feel like there’s a million micro-feelings baked into each one, unseen, but felt by me. Particularly when candles are lit, and the first clumsy bar of amateurs singing Happy Birthday begins – it fills my heart.

I saw Moana over the holidays with my sisters and all our kids, and I wept through the entire thing. I’m not sure if it was brought on by the fertility drugs I had started taking, but there is this awesome grandma in Moana who is a total nut and just so totally wise and cool. The type of grandma I aspire to be! From the moment her death is foreshadowed with an unsteady wobble of a cane, my eyes welled up. I ached for my own grandma, and missed her so much. My Poh Poh was the coolest of the cool and I think about her and miss her a lot. This movie, I tell ya. It has heart. It has the music. It’s got jokes and beauty and an awesome headstrong powerful young girl at the forefront. TEARS!!

wintry cake scene - Coco Cake Land

Additional all Italics side note: only a few months ago Rich and I started watching Downton Abbey, because I like to be at least five years behind on my culture maven-ing and au courant-ness. Every episode I scream at the TV “WHY ARE YOU GETTING DRESSED UP SO INSANELY FOR DINNER WITH JUST YOUR OWN FAMILY!???” and also, the concern of a maid or valet leaving or being fired (or being imprisoned) – “whatever are we to do???” Idea: DRESS YOURSELF. YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR OWN PYJAMAS I KNOW YOU CAN. I realize by the third season the storylines are getting a little iffy and rickdickulous and supremely soap-opera heavy but it’s my main source of distraction right now, so let me live. If I could be anyone on Downton it would be Mrs.Patmore, BTW. She throws around salmon mousse and vichyssoise and souffles like a casual dream, and damn she can plate! Do you see those beautifully refined cakes, trays of perfectly cooked fish, raspberry mousse? Woman is a fine food stylist and has the best sense of humour. 

bird's eye view cake - Coco Cake Land

vanilla-chocolate-drip-cake-4

cake close up - cococakeland.com

vanilla buttercream cake - coco cake land

teddy playing guitar

Gerry Sung is the man indeed. Here he is, being amused by Teddy performing “onstage.” I love you so much Dad! Happy happy birthday! Here’s to staying healthy, and happy fun times in 2017! xo Lyndsay 

Fuck Cancer Cake 2

breast cancer awareness cake - coco cake land

fuck cancer cake - breast cancer awareness

Fuck cancer and the demonic horse it rode it on. It rode into my life almost two years ago now, which is hard to fathom – in a way, it took 18 months out of my life. But in another way, it gave me more reason to live, and it gave me the opportunity to look at my life differently. Going through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment has become part of my life story, whether I like it or not – and I’m sure other survivors can relate to this, but often it just seems like it was all a surreal and horrific dream, a chapter book happening to someone else.

Buttercream roses - Coco Cake Land

breast cancer awareness cake - coco cake land

October is breast cancer awareness month – and I “celebrated” it last year by creating a post all about my breast cancer, as told through cake. I wanted to make something again this year – and all of a sudden an idea struck me, because I wanted to do a fundraiser of sorts. So I started the #fuckcancercake weird little cake campaign on a whim on Instagram with the idea that for every Fuck Cancer cake created in the month of October and posted on Instagram, I would personally donate $5 (along with my initial donation of $100) towards The Lipstick Project – an incredible organization here in Vancouver that provides massages and manicures to those living in hospice and their caregivers.

fuck cancer cake - breast cancer awareness

fuck cancer cake - breast cancer awareness

I remember walking down to my local manicure place, the friendliest Vietnamese ladies who knew my story, saw me go from long hair to no hair, and were so kind to me! Just getting that fantasy hour of pampering, and a fresh manicure and pretty polish, made me feel a little more put together, a little less bald, a little more human. Looking down at pretty hands. So I know how sometimes a little thing like getting your nails painted or a massage can uplift a person’s spirit, if only temporarily.

fuck cancer cake - Coco Cake Land

There’s still time for you to make your own, too – I hope you will join me in my Fuck Cancer Cake campaign! It’s actually pretty fun, because you get to make something pretty while also using SWEAR WORDS. Check out some of the #fuckcancercake projects that have sprouted forth too! This one by my dear cake friend Style Sweet Ca. And this super sweet blog post by Sincerely Syl. You can also make a donation directly to the Lipstick Project here. Thanks as always for reading… xo Lyndsay 

In Memory Of John Dumont

in memory of John Dumont

in memory of John Dumont

This cake is so bright in colour, joyful, and I loved making it, hoping it would put a smile on the recipient’s face. But now when I look at pictures of it, I can’t help but have tears in my eyes. I made it for John, on his 41st birthday, just two and a half months ago. John passed away this past week on September 1st, one year after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer – sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. John was a dear friend of my sister’s, and the decades-long best friend of her husband, so I knew John over many years, but not closely – I’d see him at a party or at my sister’s house. It was only after his cancer diagnosis that we became friends via email, as those diagnosed with cancer often do – you tend to gravitate towards each other, grasping through the haze and daze of fear, strength, doubt, sickness, hope.

turquoise drippy cake - coco cake land

In our emails he would always ask ME how I was doing, even though I knew he wasn’t feeling well himself. I would check in with him and see how he was feeling, or try to send messages of encouragement. He once told me he was inspired by me and happy to see how strong I was feeling. I remember crying after reading this, just so hopeful that he would be okay.

turquoise drippy cake - coco cake land

The last time I saw him was just after he was diagnosed, and we ran into each other at the cancer agency. I was in for my daily radiation appointment and he was there with his wife Trixie. He was a tall man, dark haired, athletic, handsome, and I recognized him immediately through a sea of shell-shocked patients. We hugged, with tears in our eyes. Why us? A shared fear and a sense of support. The unknown can be a gutting place. I have always admired Trixie too – strong, blunt, funny and beautiful. John was such an awesome person, adored by so many. I remember him being easy going, incredibly likeable, the type of person you like to be around. He was a powerhouse athlete – a star basketball player, and in more recent years, a marathon runner – he qualified for, and ran the Boston Marathon only three years ago. He was an amazing husband, and incredible father to three growing boys.

turquoise drippy cake - coco cake land

In memory of John Dumont

Rest in peace, John. You will be missed by so many friends and loved ones. To read more about John, visit here. To support John’s family and contribute towards a fund dedicated to the future education and endeavours of his three sons, please visit Support John Dumont. xo Lyndsay 

Fancy Candy Drippy Cake!

drippy modern candy cake - Coco Cake Land

Have you ever finished decorating a cake and you step back and you SQUEAL LIKE A TEENAGED GIRL AT A SLUMBER PARTY because you’ve fallen deep in love with your own creation?? But then you CRY INSIDE when you have to give it up even though you wish you could shellac it, mount it on the wall, snuggle it like a favourite stuffie. Take it for a walk and feed it. Anyhoo. This cutie beauty drippy cake is certainly one of my new favourites, made for my sweet pal Phanie’s son Moses. I love her post about his party, and his birthday, and about him. I love the emphasis on simplicity, doing just what the kid wants.

teal drippy fancy candy cake - Coco Cake Land

teal drippy fancy candy cake - Coco Cake Land

I’ve always been a fan of vibrant colour – I sure love how the bright hue of that teal buttercream, and how the shiny crispy fancy candy shines on top of the cake!

drippy chocolate ganache party cake - coco cake land

drippy chocolate ganache party cake - coco cake land

I’ve been doing trades with Phanie for years now – cakes for photos. It’s my favourite kind of bartering. She did my recent set of photos and she also wrote this about me on her own blog – sheesh. What a lady.

modern candy cake - coco cake land

Make a drippy cake – here’s some of my drip drop tips! 

drippy modern candy cake - Coco Cake Land

fancy candy cake - Coco Cake Land

Happiness is a drippy cake. And this:

birthday party kids - Coco Cake Land

Look at this sweetness – photos taken by Phanie. Sunny Spring day, green grass, fresh air and a gaggle of close friends, smiles and laughter. It is pure magic how a cake suddenly elevates anything into a celebration to remember.

cutting into cake - Coco Cake Land

Happy 7th birthday, Momo! And thank you Phanie for your friendship! I am lucky to know such a caring, hilarious and thoughtful soul. 

Chocolate cake recipe

Buttercream recipe

Chocolate ganache recipe