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!
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
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.
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.
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!
A slice for you…
Annnnnnd a slice for you!
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???
Here’s to sweet new friendships, inspiring women, delicious food and the power of community! xo Lyndsay
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!
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 birthday, Oly!! And big congratulations and love to Erika and Robyn for ruling motherhood! xo Lyndsay
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…
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 Landbut 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:
A lil dainty smile for my friend Uni???
Or, no smile, like this No Mouth Joe? (They also look kinda like the cutest Carmen Miranda haired unicorns.)
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…?
No Mouth Joe’s beautiful buttercream mane!
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.
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.
In the end, I think I love this one too!!!
Also: YAY for short three letter names so I can use my fave new puffy pink neon letter stickers from the Japanese dollar store!!
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
A few weeks ago on my Instagram Stories I posted my very first fondant covered Totoro themed cake, which I made for my little baby nephew Brody. Now, on his TENTH birthday – I’m still making him his birthday cakes – like this Yo-Kai Watch Jibanyan cake! Yep, who?? What?? Honestly it’s so hard to follow the trends of the elementary school child these days, but now that my own little guy is five years old I often hear about this kind of stuff – Pokemon this, Yo-Kai Watch that, ding dong this, bing bong that … I can’t really keep up. I just pretend to know a little bit about Pokemon. I haven’t bought one damn Pokemon card pack for Teddy yet and I’m determined to keep it that way, haha! He has his little tattered collection of cards in a plastic Ziploc bag (I think he has like 15 cards)…? I must admit though, Pokemon are damn cute and about 80% of them would make adorable cakes!
I’ve made sooo many cakes for my nieces and nephews over the years – it’s so fun to look back at my progression and the CUUUUTE pics of my my nieces and nephews over the years. This Kermit cake I made for Brody when he turned four, and then this Angry Birds cake when he turned five… (I love looking back at these posts too because suddenly Teddy pops up in there… life is crazy…) It was around Brody’s Angry Birds cake that I started transitioning more into making buttercream cakes versus fondant covered ones. I still love the clean designed look of fondant but, let’s be honest, buttercream is so much yummier!
As always I draw out my designs before I attempt them on my cake. This is SO helpful for me to do – once I have the basic sketch then I end up playing around with sizes for the ears, eyes, mouth etc on the actual cake. I just keep adjusting it until I think it looks pretty cute, hehe. People have asked me why every page in my sketchbook has a giant X through every page… am I THAT HARD ON MYSELF that I X out all my drawings?? Um, no. My five year old Teddy drew an X on every page so I would have “more room to draw.” Four spaces to draw instead of one space. THOUGHTFUL, right? Hehe.
I was also told by Teddy to NOT FORGET THAT BITE THING out of the side of Jibanyan’s ear. Okey doke. He told me why this wild-eyed orange cat had a bite outta his ear but… sometimes moms glaze over this type of information.
Happy tenth birthday Brody! I can’t believe you’re in the double digits!!! xo Auntie Lyndsay
Oh man. I’ve made a few Totoro cakes in my cake life but this blue Totoro cake has gotta be one of my favourites. In January 2015 I was supposed to make a cat cake for Tracy, for her niece’s birthday. I had just found out I had breast cancer. I still wanted to go ahead and make it because I hate not fulfilling commitments and didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was crying because I was so overwhelmed and stressed out but thought, oh I can do still do this, I can make this cake. But I really couldn’t, and my dear sister recognized that, and she helped me cancel it and of course everyone understood. Now, it has been three years since that time. I haven’t really written about it yet because in so many ways it feels so overwhelming that I don’t even know where to start, and I feel so grateful for the last year of 2017 I’ve had, of feeling healthy, and enjoying life with my husband and son and getting to do some fun traveling and camping together. To feel like I have my creativity back, and life not dominated and dictated by injections, doctor’s appointments, blood work and dreaded trips to the cancer agency – I never want this feeling to end. The freedom of getting to worry about silly small things, and not big scary things, just for a while, to continue this nice patch of life without too many harsh bumps in the road. Yes, I finally got to make Tracy a cake, for her niece Kelly – this crazy-eyed kawaii blue Totoro cake! It did feel full-circle to make this for her – it reminded me of 2015, and made me feel extra grateful for today.
It is a gift for me to feel healthy, strong, happy and creative. It’s not an every day every moment set of feelings, and to be a little carefree is a little risqué, because cancer is a horrible beast and it is my greatest fear (apart from ORCA WHALES, yikes.) Yet it feels so good to live life normally.
Hooray for birthdays! Never forget that every one is worth celebrating. Even the ones where your hair is turning grey and the deep lines show up on your face, and your boobs (or one and a half boobs) hang down jusssst a little lower. Breathe it all in! xo Lyndsay
I’ve made a few rainbow caticorn cakes in the last coupla months, inspired by my OG rainbow caticorn cake I made for Saya back in the fall. Since my first initial post, I was fielding a few emails from excited bakers and moms who wanted to try it out – so I changed the post into a rainbow caticorn tutorial of sorts with a few handy dandy tips. This cutie pie I made amongst the crush of Christmas madness back in December for my sweet pal Phanie’s daughter Chloe’s birthday. The excellent thing about having a cake making skill is that you can trade this for other goods and services. So since Phanie is an amazing photographer, I traded Phanie two cakes for a holiday family portrait sesh. The other cake I made was for Phanie’s son Malcolm’s birthday, on Boxing Day. We had just hosted Christmas Day dinner at our place the night before and were dashing off to Whistler on Boxing Day so I did not get proper photos of the super cute bunny with a “carrot” nose cake I made for Malcolm… You can see a few incredibly sweet snaps of Malcolm’s bunny cake with carrot nose here. I’ve written about my admiration for Phanie before on this blog – she has her own blog called Moses Moses Moses in which she writes in detail about the actual trials and tribulations and great joys of life – raising her children, making art, trying to maintain a sense of self, the struggles and frustration, highs and lows, and bittersweet joy of motherhood. She lays her heart bare in her posts, something I wish I could do more. I feel like I waffle between “OH LOOK AT THIS CUTE CAKE I MADE” and “I HAD CANCER AND CAN NO LONGER HAVE CHILDREN” and “R.I.P. PATRIARCHY”… I haven’t quite found my Goldilocks-approved just-right, but for now I also think that is ok… xo Lyndsay
Y’all yeti for this? I don’t think you’re ready for this yeti. I don’t think you’re yeti for this jelly. I made this hee-lariously cute kawaii yeti cake for my sweet pal Nancy – I made her son Wolfgang’s wolf cake back in October – she messaged me asking if I would be interested in doing a yeti cake and YES OH YES I WAS INTERESTED.
I drew several yeti cakes before I settled on this guy. Still, I am always such a stress ball when I’ve never made a cake with a particular design before – even though it looks straightforward, there were things to consider – blue face plate on top of the fur? Blue face plate on the crumb coat? Smiley mouth? Tuft of buttercream fur bangs? Was it going to LOOK like a yeti, or look like a snowball with a blue face?? Sometimes I give myself a low-grade fever working on cake until it comes out the way I wanted it to. I will even fiddle around with eye and cheek placement because I feel there’s an exact moment when something goes from not kawaii to kawaii … :P
After I finished the cake and Nancy had picked it up, I was cleaning up some of Teddy’s toys and came across a QUATCHI stuffie! The old adorable-faced sasquatch from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics – and thought, oh man that would’ve been cute, a white and blue Quatchi style cake… but I am happy with how my yeti cake turned out! Happy birthday Kit Ming and thank you again Nancy for the great cake request!! xo Lyndsay