Drip Drop: How To Make A Drip Cake

how to make a drip cake - Coco Cake Land

how to make a drip cake - coco cake land

Oh, the glorious beauty of the drip. My first experience with the drip was years ago, seeing this beautiful dark chocolate raspberry cake by Rosie of Sweetapolita. What makes the drip so appealing? I love its artful streaks, and the drama of the drip – it certainly has a painterly quality, a nod to modern art. And of course, the Australians brought the drip to worldwide attention – Katherine Sabbath (have you read my interview with Kat? It’s a goodie!) and Nikki of Unbirthday Bakery are two of the women who helped kick off the drip cake revolution – I swoon over their insanely colourful cakes, bursting with chocolate shards, meringues, buttercream dollops, sprinkles and fresh flowers in a rainbow of colours.

instax photo of pink drippy birthday cake

pink chocolate ganache drip cake - Coco Cake Land

I’ve made a few drip cakes in the last few years too – notably this birthday beauty, which was my homage to Katherine Sabbath, and then this chocolate peanut butter and jam drip cake! I hadn’t ever coloured white chocolate ganache before – I had tried it once and my ganache completely separated and looked like barf- white chocolate ganache behaves differently than my usual ganache recipe, I have since learned! I made this vanilla bean buttercream pink drippy ganache cake for my wonderful friend Phanie of the Pauhaus! I loooove how she styled the party for her mom’s 60th birthday!

unbirthday inspired drip cake with flowers - coco cake land

raspberry and flowers drip cake - coco cake land

Here are my top tips for how to make a drip cake: 

1. Treat your ganache gently. Use high quality white chocolate such as these white chocolate “wafers” – set 1/2 a cup of them in a small, shallow bowl. In a small sturdy saucepan, heat up 1/4 cup of heavy cream to a low boil, being very careful not to scald it. Carefully pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, making sure the chocolate is covered by the cream – let this sit for ten minutes undisturbed. Then, using a small wire whisk, slowly mix together until a creamy ganache forms. Add a tiny amount of gel food colouring to achieve a coloured ganache – I used Americolor electric pink.

2. You want to cool your ganache down enough to make it “drip-able.” If you used it straight away, it would be too hot and would melt the buttercream, plus it would be way too runny. You want the consistency to be thick enough to drip but not too thick that it’s set and won’t drip at all. I like to power-chill my ganache in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

3. Once your ganache has cooled down, test out the dripping consistency using a small spoon. If it’s still very runny and warm to the touch, chill it for a few more minutes until it’s cooled down.

4. Work on a cake that has been chilled. This way, the buttercream is set and you avoid any chance of a warm ganache melting your buttercream.

5. If you want to have more control over your drips: apply the drips first, one by one, with a small spoon. Using a cake turntable might be useful here – turning the cake as you go around it applying the drips. LESS IS MORE when first applying the drips – start with a tiny amount, say 1/4 teaspoon, and watch how far the drip travels – if you want a longer drip, add a little more ganache to the top of the drip – if you want a shorter drip, use a smaller amount of ganache on your spoon for the next drip.

6. Once you’ve applied each drip with a spoon, then you will want to cover the top of the cake with ganache. Pour the ganache a small amount at a time to the centre of the top of the cake, carefully using an offset spatula to gently coax the ganache to the edges without dripping down.

7. Love the wildcard look of ganache drips falling wherever they may? Simply pour the ganache on the top of a chilled cake, and use your offset spatula to spread it to the edges – and let the drips fall over the sides of the cake! Beautiful chaos!

8. Before you add anything on top of your drippy top, make sure the ganache has set first – you can set it by power-chilling it in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes. Once your ganache is set, you can pipe little blobettes of buttercream on top, add fresh edible flowers (such as garden pansies, pictured!) and fresh fruit. The decorating possibilities are endless!

unbirthday inspired drip cake with flowers - coco cake land

vanilla bean buttercream pink drip cake - coco cake land

Are you on the drip cake train?? My favourite drip cakes:

I love Cakes by Cliff - SO artfully pretty, he is an office worker by day and a cake designer by hobby – he was the first person I saw doing an upside down drip! Clever!

My pal Jenn of Bakedown Cakery – her drips are the most symmetrical I’ve seen and she loves loads of colour, chocolate and florals for toppers.

This dreamy teal and fuchsia jam packed cake by Unbirthday Bakery!

This ice cream cone cake is one of Katherine’s Sabbath’s iconic numbers, I think!

Tessa’s peanut butter caramel popcorn cake!! DRIPS!

Betsy of Nine Cakes made this watercolour-like painterly cake!

This gold drip cake and a mini video that shows you how to make it! Must try.

Have fun dripping it up, cake pals! xo Lyndsay 

Pink Rainbow Cake + Balance

pink cake on horse cake stand - coco cake land

pink rainbow cake slices - Coco Cake Land

Balance. A tense, tip-toe walk on a tight rope pulled taut, between two buildings, holding onto a pole. Working through the changes in my body, the build up of white chalky pills disintegrating down my throat, tiny particles floating and clinging to invisible cells, maybe doing their job, maybe not. I feel like tamoxifen is drying me out like leathery old skin left to bake in the sun.

pink rainbow cake by Coco Cake Land

Balance – I had a spurt of creative energy last week. I baked macarons, this crazy rainbow cake, and stayed up late icing rainbow and ice cream cone sugar cookies til my eyes blurred. I have so many projects to work on, yet I just needed to make something purely for fun.

rainbow cake slices - Coco Cake Land

The balance between expending energy for work projects or purely creative pursuits or DRUMMING (I’ve become obsessed with drumming these days – just the urge to bang on things and play loud music too) and making meals, grocery shopping, keeping the house tidy-ish and giving all my love to my son and husband and trying to stay mentally well and physically moderately-fit, plus social friend times or family celebrations or dinners, and then that continual messy house thing… which always makes me want to Marie Kondo the crap out of our house and just purge, purge, purge, and give away 80% of my son’s toys… Wanting to do more in every aspect of my life. And then always, in the back of my mind, continually conscious of the fact that my cancer could recur. Every day I come to the acceptance that I can’t do enough or everything or do all the things I’d like to do for my home, family, work and self. It’s a daily reminder, a daily acceptance.

pink rainbow cake - Coco Cake Land

Balance. I’ve been continuing to lace up my pink runners to sweat it out at the gym. I’ve been kale-ing up my diet (along with handfuls of gummy candy, sheesh). I’ve been reading lots (Lucky Peach, Barbara Pym, I read the first Elena Ferrante Neopolitan novel…) and just trying to keep the laughs alive. Balance – how do you achieve it? How do you keep from going mental? xo Lyndsay 

Cute and Loosely Super Mario Kart Cupcakes + Flashback To My First Fondant Cake

kawaii star topped cupcakes - coco cake land

The days are long but the years are fast… isn’t that what they say about having kids? My little Teddy is growing up so fast. I think it’s a pain in every mother’s heart to watch it all go by so quickly, yet still so painfully, fatigue-inducingly slow. I remember when my sweet nephew Brody was born – the first grandchild of our family – the love! I never knew you could love a nephew or a niece like that. It’s after Brody was born, and he was such a sweet cool little dude, so easygoing … when I thought – well geez, maybe I could have a kid, too! 

kawaii star topped cupcakes - coco cake land

Want to see the first fondant cake I ever made? Well it was for Brody’s 1st birthday party, a Totoro themed mega bash. My sisters and I, and my husband Rich, spent days preparing, creating felt backdrops and mini Totoros and banner, and I made a Totoro themed cake and many cupcakes to match. That cake was made with lots of love – but holy crikey, looking back at it – deep pain! I remember being so nervous covering the cake with fondant, my first time doing so. Now I’ve got it down to a mild science – but I remember those sweating palms, and tearing the fondant, and shouting a lot of expletives. But that’s the beauty of starting somewhere!

kawaii star topped cupcakes - coco cake land

Brody’s second birthday party cake was much better. Owlie themed! Too cute. Third birthday? Adorable, if I do say so myself! LOL! Underwater fishie themed. Fourth birthday was a Kermit cake. Fifth birthday was this awesome Angry Birds cake!

kawaii star topped cupcakes - coco cake land

Sixth and seventh birthdays I can’t remember, oops. Hehe! My intention this year was to make him something a little more spectacular but my energy can plummet like a valley from hell so I went with simple, sweet and cute light blue buttercream vanilla lightly based on Super Mario Kart cupcakes…. and a few kawaii star paper toppers. Plus this fat puffy yellow star with the kawaii eyes…

super mario kart themed cute cupcakes - coco cake land

My sis Leanne aka Gyoza Girl Eats is an amazing mama. Three kids, and I remember when she had Brody, Tanner and Piper three children under the age of 3. Bonkers. But she works so hard, and has raised three super cute, sweet, thoughtful and smart (ok, also occasionally wildly insane) children. One day hopefully those little monkeys will look back and think, damn, I had a cool Auntie who loved me! Both my sisters support me in everything I do, and have been here for me through the ups and downs of life. I’m so lucky to have my sisters!  xo Lyndsay 

super mario kart themed cute cupcakes - coco cake land

Mom’s Pink Birthday Cake + Star Wars??

pink party cake with sprinkles - coco cake land   pink party cake with sprinkles - coco cake land

We all gathered for Chinese food for my mom’s 71st birthday last week at New Town Bakery, where the bau sits nestled and warm in huge steamers, the staff run around in bright orange shirts (that matches the decor) and the jook runs freely, piping hot. You can peek into the kitchen to see 6-8 Chinese cooks in white paper hats standing at stations, the clang of giant utensils against woks mixed with the hot steam of frying in the air.

I brought this cute and frilly pink cake to New Town and we sang happy birthday amongst the cluttered dishes and balled up soiled napkins and general chaos of having six kids under 7 out for dinner. We sang Happy Birthday loudly and proudly, the server brought a set of mismatched plates from the 80s and a giant serrated knife for the cake.

pink party cake with sprinkles - coco cake land

A few days later, my husband and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary on January 13th, also marking 15 years together as a couple. WHAT!? Yes, our relationship is like a pimply teen, stretching its gangly legs towards adulthood. A decade and a half and its flown by like changing channels, these are the days of our lives. Naturally, we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens to celebrate.

my kid's mini dinosaurs and a pink party cake - coco cake land

Here are my thoughts, which I’ve decided to randomly share like a teen YouTuber doing a reaction video, on my cake blog. STAR WARS SPOILER ALERT, nerds! Back away! SPOILER ALERT!

Rey. Damn, she is awesome. Whip-smart, powerful, strong – the one scene in the whole movie that made me choke up is when she hears the young child crying, and she follows the voice down the stairs and discovers it’s her own memory of being abandoned as a young girl. Since then, she’s fended for herself in the dry desert landscape of Jakku, spending full hard-labour days scavenging metal and parts from old ships to trade for meal portions. I love the look of that space-future vacuum-packed food portion she receives, and you feel her hunger, her thirst. PLEASE PLEASE don’t have her captured and chained up in a Jabba the Hutt-induced slutty slave costume in future movies. PLEASE JUST LET HER BE COOL and feminist and not sexualize her.

Man, Star Wars has a lot of sadness. Dead parents, abandoned children, children taken from families to be trained to kill as storm troopers. I asked Rich afterward, how are storm troopers not totally depressed? What do they have to live for, why do they even get up every morning? Or do they live out of fear? Do they have any teensy glimpses of happiness at all? I guess they’re basically suicide bombers, their only reason to be is to kill. In the movie, they do get blasted and pegged off like swatting flies and their lives are shown to be meaningless. I hate how easily and non-chalantly people (even the bad guys) are killed in movies.

Finn. Love it. A deserter, and he steps up to be a rad character. Also, he’s not white. The whole movie is racially diverse (and creature-diverse!) and gender-diverse, everyone just chit-chatting away with each other and flying X-wing fighters and dinking around behind computer screens – gals, guys everyone competent. From a very base level approach, if I were a young girl or boy watching this movie, it would appear to me that anyone and everyone can do anything – the women can annihilate, fly planes, slide down giant sand hills, kick serious storm trooper ass and it’s natural and normal for either gender. Of course Han Solo has some incredulousness towards Rey’s abilities but it’s sort of like new order trumps old order – in this Star Wars, it’s the white gal, the black guy and the giant furry oversized bear-dog that cruises off into the galaxy as the heroes.

I liked how the dialogue wasn’t boringly serious but had some real zingers. Overall the movie had a campy feel, almost veering on Spaceballs – like when Kylo Ren loses his MIND after Rey escapes and is slashing the place up with his glowing red man-stick and it shows the hallway with two storm troopers about to come into the room and then realizing Kylo Ren’s having a spazz attack and being like – Oh hell no, and backing away…

Leia. Sadly, General Organa kind of sucked. I didn’t feel her General-ness, and I found Carrie Fisher’s acting to be stiff as a board; her acting was so glaringly bad against Harrison Ford’s effortless Han Solo. Yes, older woman can be powerful (She’s a General!), sexy (Han’s love interest), strong (General!), motherly (aching for the loss of her son, also motherly to Rey). I was getting a community amateur theatre vibe from her bad acting and to me it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Han Solo. SPOILER ALERT, nerds! I’m still in shock! Nooooo! Why kill off the coolest vintage character? Every time he’s on the screen, there’s some jazzy funny dialogue or he’s goofing with his main squeeze Chewie or just being altogether charismatic. Now who is going to stop horrible Kylo Ren? Wood board Leia?? Kylo Ren is beyond a jerk to me now! I felt some empathy for him when he removed his helmet for Rey. But not now. Argh. Also, as my friend Steph and I noted: THE BRIDGE. DON’T GET ON THAT CRAZY ASS SKINNY BRIDGE WITH THE 1000 FOOT DROP AND NO SIDE RAILINGS.

Chewbacca. Guy can do a lot with howling. I felt like he should’ve been a LOT more sad and in deeper pain after Han. Same with Leia!! The love of your life is gone! One forlorn look off in the distance is not good enough!

Poe Dameron. Dude’s voice is like smooth chocolate by a warm fireplace spread with a bearskin rug. I feel like he was lit BEAUTIFULLY like a matinee idol in those first scenes! I clapped when his character came back. Obviously I knew he couldn’t be dead yet but still, the clap came. Side note: I’ve come across some very interesting fan art featuring Poe and Finn smooching and more. LOVE IT!

BB-8. Thank GOD for this cute little guy! The round and chubby little droid that could provides some cuteness relief from all the terror. He’s the loyal dog.

C-3PO. As annoying as ever! I’ve never liked him. He’s the Big Bird of Star Wars! His only redeeming quality is that he’s shiny gold in colour.

The orange wrinkly fish faced lady Maz Kanata. I get that she’s supposed to be the wise black reggae free-bird lady, a motherly figure, a strong female presence to encourage and guide Rey. Yoda-ish? Her and Yoda could get married and have babies, some green, some orange.

Captain Phasma. A terribly boring character with a wickedly cool outfit, and a bummer that she is relegated to a trash compactor joke…

The big freaky hologram Tales From The Crypt guy. Ugh, just ugh. Pure evil! Andy Serkis has certainly pigeon-holed himself as far as roles. Gollum gone giant and WAY more evil.

The entire set design and production was so amazing, so 80s, so perfectly in line with the original Star Wars movies. All I remember about The Phantom Menace etc was the booooring long over-explanatory dialogue and the lack of good story. The Force Awakens was just simply a FUN movie with a good old fashioned story with characters you can glomp onto and invest in and fall in love with. I know, I know – it’s also a bloated capitalist BILLION DOLLAR MARKETING POT BELLIED PIG MACHINE and it’s disturbing how omnipresent it has become in our culture, product and merchandising ram-jammed down our throats. But if you go into it with open arms, a child’s heart and the hope that you might simply be entertained, you certainly will be.

pink party cake with sprinkles - coco cake land

And back to my beloved mom… She babysat Teddy for us so Rich and I could sneak off for a night of romance a.k.a. go to Metrotown to see the new Star Wars in 3-D. I was even too full to get popcorn. Every year on our anniversary, I like to bring out our wedding photo albums and guest book, and look through the stack of photo booth pictures Rich and I have taken through the years – from our first photo strip, as smooth baby-faced early 20-somethings, through a range of haircuts, styles, facial hair, glasses, no glasses, wrinkles, grey hairs  and present day ones with the addition of Teddy. I had read our guest book earlier in the day and noticed that my mom had never signed our wedding guest book! So she signed it when we were at the movies, and here’s the last line:

“Love you both! Happy happy anniversary, Love Mom!

PS: May the force be with you!”

Chocolate Nutella Cake + 2016 + Yahoo Food’s Blogger Of The Year!!!

nutella chocolate ferrero richer cake - coco cake land

2016, the year we start teleporting through magic screens and Jetson around the skies on interplanetary highways and robots pretty much rule the earth. 2016, the year in which life continues to resume. Flashback to last week, Christmas holidays: Christmas casual at my mother-in-law’s place in Victoria for the holidays, her place is so cozy and comfortable you could melt into those reclining chairs and stay a lifetime. I was wearing jogging pants and a cozy sweatshirt, letting it loose in no bra and just finished a huge plate of Thai food takeout while watching TV. Classy times. Thumb-scrolled over to Facebook and clicked on my Coco Cake Land page. Notification: “Yahoo Food has tagged you in a post, 8 hours ago.” What’s this, I thought? Perhaps they shared my unicorn ginge house…

A click, then a yelp/gasp/confusion: YAHOO FOOD’S BLOGGER OF THE YEAR: LYNDSAY SUNG OF COCO CAKE LAND stared at me in the face. What in the jogging pants Thai food hell?????

chocolate nutella ferrero richer cake - coco cake land

Yep, that’s right. We food bloggers are real people. Jogging pants wearing, food-eating people. Some of us have one and a half boobs. But seriously, to be recognized like that… after this past year that has been crammed full of cancer and loss. I was so surprised, but so happy. And I felt inspired to keep blogging. So thank you, Yahoo Food, for making me feel proud of my posts this past year and for giving my mother the chance to mass-email everyone she knows with the link. I am pretty stoked to be a part of an incredible community of sweet bloggers, many whom I can call my friends. Pretty pretty neat, and can I just say once again with gratitude and excitement – “Ya-muthah-effing-hoooooooo!!!!” I’m glass-half-fulling 2016.

chocolate nutella cake - coco cake land

And this chocolate nutella cake! Yes, this one – I made it for my husband for his birthday in December. He loves chocolate hazelnut so I crammed as much choco-haze goodness into this as I could. The filling is straight Nutella, with chocolate ganache drip and everyone’s favourite nutty party balls (Ferrero Rocher) on top.

chocolate hazelnut nutella cake - coco cake land

I love you RT! Thank you for looking after me this past year, and for being the coolest dad to our Teddy. And to my wonderful readers and friends – Happy 2016! Thank you for being here and I truly wish you all the best this year! xo Lyndsay 

Happy Birthday Dad! Mint Malt Ball Chocolate Buttercream Drippy Cake

chocolate drippy cake with mint malt balls

Is everyone eating kale already? Or are we still cool to push “holiday weight gain 2015″ to a deeper level?? How about we think about chocolate a little with this mint malt ball topped chocolate buttercream drippy cake? I made this jumbotron chocolate beast for my wonderful dad’s birthday.

chocolate drippy cake with mint malt balls

Let me give you a taste of the magic that is my dad: Gerry Sung. He used to work in the fruit and vegetable wholesale business until he retired. He loves Hawaii so much his email signature is “Aloha.” He wears Hawaiian shirts all year round, and has a bulging collection of vintage Hawaiian shirts, many that were his own father’s. He looks tough and possibly Asian-gangster-like sometimes but he is the most generous and big-hearted person, with a hilarious sense of humour. He liked to terrify my sisters and I’s potential boyfriends when we were in high school. After retiring, he volunteered doing mountain safety patrol on the local ski hill for over a decade until he collapsed one morning on the mountain, only to be flown via helicopter to Vancouver hospital and straight into open heart surgery for a tear in his aorta. He survived this surgery, which had a 20% survival rate. He is a rock. A strong, broad-shouldered, forever-moustached Chinese rock. He is an encyclopedia of cars and loves Porsches in particular. He loves spam musubi, all meat, every dessert, all treats, and my cakes, especially. He laughs at all my jokes, and I laugh at his. He is an amazing grandpa, and dad. He “likes” every one of my posts on my Instagram, and turtle thumb-types emails to me from his iPhone, like this recent one:  “Just wanted to tell you how much I love you and I am so happy you are such a toughie battler and are doing well. Love dad. Aloha”

chocolate drippy cake with mint malt balls by coco cake land

Yeah. Gerry Sung rules the school. PS – here’s how the cake looked after my son wanted to help decorate! Love you so much, dad!!! xo Lyndsay 

Birthdays and Purple Party Cakes

purple buttercream party cake - coco cake land

In our rainy neck of the woods, November is a dark month. Daylight evaporates by 5pm and when the air isn’t chilly buns cold, we are pelted with rain which sometimes feels as though it may never end. While Vancouver is postcard-beautiful (from the outside, anyway) on a sun filled day, the constant wet weather can drown you. Guns n Roses basically got it right when Axl howled “cold November Rain”. November is the month my father-in-law died suddenly, 5 years ago. November is also my birthday month. Goth from the womb, I must’ve been born on a rainy day. I feel like a ghost this year. Like the last year went by both incredibly slow, during my painful days of chemo, and exceedingly fast – here I am, about to turn 39. That is a crazy number to me, only because I feel my 30s went by in a lightning flash. I don’t feel “39″, but I’m not sure what 39 is meant to feel like? To an older person, it’s a young number; to a teen, it’s ancient. I don’t think I feel fundamentally different than I did when I turned 29, although when I turned 29 I fretted away that I was getting old. And now, a decade went by like a weekend.

purple buttercream party cake

Having cancer has changed me, but maybe not as much as I thought it would. I don’t know if this is because sometimes, thinking of myself as a cancer survivor is surreal to me – I had cancer? Days, weeks, months went by, almost a year. Everyone is back to doing their daily things, and I’m expected to roll into living life once again too. The blog world continues to turn over constantly, seasonality marked by a flood of holiday recipes and flavours and I’m trying to care about it again but sometimes it’s overwhelming and too much. Cancer has made me slow down when my old self was a fast-moving, immediacy-thirsty person. Patience with myself, my abilities, and trying to get through some days without feeling slumped-over blue. A book helps. My mindful meditation podcast helps. The body heals – it wants us to survive, it does everything in its power to help us heal. The mind carries the scars.

rainbow cake slice - coco cake land

As we age, do we ever feel different, or actually old? It’s an odd feeling to see the exterior of our physical selves grow, change, wrinkle, sag. Like I never imagined I would look down and my hands might look exactly as I remember my mom’s hands when I was a child – wrinkly knuckles and long fingers with an E.T.-ish quality (although I don’t recall my mom having hairy fingers like I do. DAD!!) You tend to imagine you’ll be 25 forever, or whatever the magical age is. I liked 31-33, personally. I look back at photos from that time period and my body is much more fit than I ever gave it credit for; my skin looks finely oiled, lipstick and bangs, pre-baby body. We women are duly hard on ourselves! So now my body looks quite different, but I stop to appreciate it. Like sometimes I just can’t believe I’m still alive. It’s a feeling I’m sure I’ll be processing til the end of my days. xo Lyndsay 

Buttercream Birthday Cake For Saya + The End Of Radiation

pretty in pink buttercream birthday cake

pretty pink cupcakes - coco cake land

Cocktails and Dreams … I don’t know why these photos remind me of the name of the bar in the final scene of Cocktail the movie but they do … Tom Cruise is so uncool maybe he’s about to get cool again? Kind of like how a few years ago, street fashion had frigging Doc Martens on the rise and I thought “OH GEEZ NO.” And now I’ve warmed up to them and now I feel like “oh God no. I want a pair.” Then I also think: “WHY did I get rid of all of my Doc Martens in the 1990s?” Although I had a horrid pair of (at the time, very cool) blueberry 12 hole Docs. I’ve been reading the excellent book Women In Clothes before bed and it’s really been jogging my clothing memory. I’ve gone through so many purges of clothing over the decades, so many different looks. I like how honestly the women answer how clothing and style and how they look to the world affects them. What I wear and how I look definitely burns like a marshmallow fire on my subconscious, and being hyper-aware of my changing looks these last 8 months having gone through breast cancer treatment has made me all the more conscious, and self-conscious. To not be able to control my outward appearance – to give in to the look of bald Fugazi Mom or Erykah Badu turban queen, or simply the tired, pale grey shapeless egg woman, I am excited to turn to clothing and fashion to help express myself once again. My hair is in true thick and growing-in, puffball status right now and I am gleeful, excited of its potential. My face colour has returned and I’ve been continuing my daily exercise, which seriously makes one’s skin glow. With every pump of the arms of the elliptical machine, blood rushes to the face, sweat clears out pores.

raspberry pink birthday cake

pink birthday cake and cupcakes - coco cake land

I made this raspberry-dotted vanilla buttercream birthday cake (with strawberry jam filling) for my dear friend Miko’s daughter Saya’s 5th birthday. I haven’t been baking much lately but I really wanted to make something for Miko – her family has supported me so much through my cancer treatments over the last 8 months, from bringing me meals, to presents and treats, to even getting me a DVD player and a stack of DVDs so I could watch uplifting movies like Totoro while recovering from chemo. I was so happy to be able to make something special for Saya!

raspberry pink buttercream birthday cake

I will always love the simple buttercream birthday cake. Especially in pastel cute colours and a hand-tossing of sprinkles. You can read my post on how to frost a cake here! 

raspberry pink buttercream birthday cake

This past Monday I finished my last radiation appointment. Last zapping of the boob. My husband sent me the cutest text: “So exciting! I can already imagine the John Hughes freeze frame when you fist pump on your way out the door! Love you!” I am happy. I have knocked off three big components of my breast cancer treatment: surgery, chemo and now radiation. I can’t believe I’ve done it, sometimes. I remember sitting in the surgeon’s office back in February and hearing the long list of treatments I would be going through, all so foreign and scary and unknown. I had no idea how I would feel or who I would be or what I would look like when it was all done. While I still have Herceptin infusions for the next 8 months and Tamoxifen (a targeted hormone therapy drug treatment) for the next 5 years (although I’ve spoken with my oncologist about holding off on it until after I try implanting a frozen embryo) … I feel like Lyndsay Sung is coming back to life. And it’s a good feeling. xo Lyndsay