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
Circus Party Cake!
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All The Piping Tips: Buttercream Flower Piped Cake
I can hardly bear the cuteness of this flower crown bear cake. I can hardly bear my own horrific bear puns. But that is ok. Because: CUTE BEAR! Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, dark chocolate cake with little fuchsia pink rosettes, green leaves and a dash of crunchy rainbow sprinkles. I’ve been adding little pink cheeks to EVERYTHING lately and it has kicked the kawaii factor through the kawaii cake roof. Plus there’s something so cute about a Hello Kitty face, ie NO MOUTH?? Not that I’m trying to silence my bear friend or anything…
I have a LOT of cakes to post in the next while! For 2018 I wrote a “loose goal” of posting twice a week (HA) and gee whiz, looks like I posted once in January. I’ve been doing a little bit more Coco Cake Land Instagram-ing than usual with some Instagram Stories videos – Instagram continues to be my favourite medium but there is SO much frustration and irritation happening on IG for many of my blogger and small business pals. My approach to Instagram continues to be the same – I just don’t want to crap out any old pic to throw up there so I tend to wait until I have something cute or new, or I feel I have something to say. But, I have begun to understand and utilize Stories a bit more and the potential for on-the-casual cake decorating videos on there seems like fun – I gotta thank Miranda from Whistle and Flute for being my Stories Life Coach! She shot a video of me making a Totoro cake which you can view on my Stories Highlights. Anyhoo, Stories feels much less stressful than setting up a big old rig for a YouTube channel, which I’ve thought about but kinda feel too lazy and OLD for, to be honest! I like the casual-ness of Stories and it seems great for showing some simple techniques. As far as cake making goes, I’m supposed to be “Zen Cupcake” these days and not take on too many cake orders… but now and then, I’ll get an email from an amazing old customer or good friend inquiring about making a cake… it’s hard to say no, especially when the ideas are fun. But, I gotta keep my cool and keep it enjoyable. I don’t want to burn out like the Great Coco Cake Depression of 2010…
What are your thoughts on social media? Hatin’ it hard or addicted as hell? I love it for so many reasons but the addiction is powerful. I have taken to leaving my phone downstairs to charge at night. I call it “leaving the devil spawn downstairs.” I’m currently reading my way through the Harry Potter series and I just started Book 3. I thought Book 1 was… ok. Book 2 I was slogging through and lite-complaining about it and then ALL OF A SUDDEN I WAS SO RIVETED in the last 40 pages!! Haha. The advice I was given is that the series shifts and changes in Book 3 and it becomes your everything. I am excited for this feeling… Ok, I’m going to edit some more cake photos to put up on the blog now… sometimes I think about only posting my content on the blog and forgetting SM (social media, ahem)… but it’s kind of like hoarding a CD on a clunky old stereo when you can listen to Apple Music…? Wow, the good old days of Blogspot and 80k page views!xo Lyndsay
2018, eh? This year marks the ten year anniversary of this here blog. Ten freaking years – a whole decade of sugar, flour, butter, all gussied up into cakes cakes cakes galore. I wonder how many cakes I’ve made in ten years? I am both disturbed and delighted by this. I really had no idea this was going to become my career, and now, ten years later, the same year my BOOK comes out, I’m still chugging along. A published book, something I’ve dreamt of my whole life, from when I was a nine-year-old writing goth pegasus-murder stories, to high school where I was writing… probably murder stories, to my 20s, where I would garble out non-fiction Gonzo-style writing and interviews (thank God the internet didn’t really exist back then) to my 30s, where I found a place to write (about cakes, not murder) on my blog. Will I be a 60 year old woman with a white haired bowl cut and oversized Marni blazer, still making cakes? Perhaps I will then turn back to writing about murder and become Canada’s first Chinese Agatha Christie.
I made this whimsy-packed rainbow sprinkles birthday cake wonder for my dearest Dad, Gerry Sung is the man, the man with the plan and the love of vintage cars, saddle shoes and more fashionable jackets than my sisters and I combined. I’ve written rather extensively about my Dad before, and anyone who has been a longtime-ish reader of my blog knows that I am very close to my family. I am so lucky to have my parents in my life, and to have them live close by. Sometimes I have this urge to go back to my old childhood home, open the heavy front door, call out “Hi Mom!!” as I walk in. Take my shoes off, enter the kitchen. Open the fridge to find some milk, rummage through the pantry for cereal or old-ass cookies or even seaweed gummy bears or some other healthy “treat” my mom would have at home. Go up to my room, lie in my childhood bed, look at the posters on my wall, play one of my cassette singles and admire the eggplant purple paint which I chose myself because being a brooding moody teen is cool. Different eras roll by, and now I’m in the basement pushing around Peaches ‘n Cream Barbie next to He-man in a plastic Corvette, pulling up to Castle Greyskull, fighting with my sisters. Then, it’s grade 9 and I’m wearing huge hoop earrings and backwards overalls and doing dance routines on the black and white checkered floor. Dinner will be spaghetti and meatballs with iceberg lettuce salad. Homework will be completed, and bedtime will ensue, and I will feel safe in my home with my parents and sisters close by and life isn’t even a concept in my mind because when you’re young you can’t see past the following day. Oh how I miss our old house.
Now, January 2018 is here. As a child, I could never imagine being 41, with a family of my own. As I was putting the Christmas decorations away today, Teddy said “I don’t want to put the tree away!!” and I remarked to him, “Didn’t it seem like yesterday that we put the tree up? Didn’t it all go by so fast??” xo Lyndsay
Cheers To Life: Maui + 1 Year Since Cancer Diagnosis
My dear friends Helen and Hannah are wonderful partners in both life and art. They recently won an esteemed Mayor’s Art Award here in Vancouver, and they launched Multiple Elementary, their book which “explores the elementary school classroom as a site of invention and reception of contemporary art practices.” Helen and I have had a long history of friendship – from farting around together at art school, to producing music/video art shows and to writing and performing in our old fantasy new wave synth-metal band Le Petit Mort. I wanted to celebrate her and Hannah’s most awesome achievements, and while my funfetti-layered cake didn’t quite start out as the SPRINKLEBEARD cake, it turned out to be kind of the cutest cookie monogram sprinkle beard cake possibly ever, hehe. Advice: just keep piling on the sprinkles and pray that your recipient likes them.
It was a rainy, dark and cold night in Vancouver and I thought I would have to draggggg Teddy out to Helen and Hannah’s book launch, but oddly, he was excited to go. Usually after school on a weekday he is the grumpiest of super-fatigued sloths, and understandably so, as I’ve seen him run laps around the playground at Kindergarten just for shits and giggles. But no, he turned out to be the ruling-est, most agreeable 5-year-old to ever grace an art book launch on a stormy wet and dark Wednesday evening…
Teddy helped hand out cake slices, he happily ate his slice sitting on the art gallery floor, and apparently during Helen and Hannah’s talk he was misting himself with his special and beloved “spritzing” Spiderman water bottle. When I asked him about this the next day, he simply told me “I wanted it look like I was sweating.”
Congrats Helen and Hannah on all of your success! Here’s to many more face-misting art openings and book launches!! xo Lyndsay
I made this cutie pie wolf cake for the dang cutest little guy named Wolfgang for his laser-tag birthday party back in October. I was in a pretty bad creative slump, post-book-completion. I thought I might give up cakes all together, I was kind of hating on the internet, and felt ready to try something totally different. I wasn’t sure what … you know all those books about careers and following your dreams and doing what you love doing?? I tried to think about what it was that I loved. Was it too late for med school? LOL. Should I try and get a job at some digital ad agency? Should I get a job in a kitchen chopping vegetables? Should I go back to teaching art to kids?? But then, through the making of this cake, I realized… well shit. I actually am doing what I love. I love drawing. I love baking and being super-anal about my cake designs. I love making kids happy. I love photography and food styling, and I love writing… So… thank you Nancy, for asking me to make this and coaxing me out of my cake hibernation!
HOW CUTE IS THIS GUY!? Happy birthday Wolfie! xo Lyndsay
MEOW MIX! I’ve got lots of cakes to share in the coming weeks, including this furry yellow buttercream cutie cat made for sweet little Rosie, two-year-old Vice President of Collage Collage! Rosie loves cats, she loves yellow. Together, with her namesake flower crown? Flower Crown Cat Cake, headed to the feline version of Burning Man or Coachella or wherever love conquers all flower crowns appear most these days. The last time I wore a flower crown was for my Auntie’s wedding in the 1980s. I wore a powder pink dress, my face was a Chinese chipmunk and I fell asleep at the banquet reception, face on the table, a live band playing Could I Have This Dance. I remember that flower crown being very pokey. I am guessing today’s flower crowns are less pokey, but I will never know, because at 41, my flower crown wearing days are very over, unless I join the local theatre troupe.
Equipment used to make this rosey baby: a large multi-opening grass tip to pipe the fur, fondant for the face, a petal tip for the roses, and a leaf tip for the green leaves.
I made this GORGE pretty in pink cake for my food blogger pal Samantha of My Kitchen Love. Before I tell you more, may I bore you with some life inner monologue?
My “cake career” has had so many ups and downs, and has morphed and changed with the tides over the course of a decade plus. In 2008 it started out as a document of the trials and tribulations of learning how to bake, a newness and excitement to the medium. Then, I started making a few cakes for friends, then clients… documenting it all on my blog. Some of those cakes were pretty cute, which brought more and more traffic to my blog, and then… knock knock on the blog door… outside interest – the lure of paid posts, money?? For making and creating what I loved doing anyway? NOICE… So turning the cake baking and photography and styling into jobs via sponsored work and creating recipes for different brands… chugging away at that for a while (well, you know, amongst prenatal depression and breast cancer treatment)… and then it hit me: INTERNET EXHAUSTION. Seeing sponsored work creep into every crevice, and watching it encroach every orifice of Instagram. Feeling angry and complicit in the capitalist-machine of making work for brands and feeling like a sell-out, loathing the ugly side of the internet… INTERNET DEPRESSION … and trying to find my place of happiness again amongst the madness. Would I quit the internet, finally? What would I do next?? What would my next “career” be, having invested so much time and energy into CAKES for over ten years?
So… after being SO SURE I would never make cakes for people again… I’m finding a soft and gentle comfort in… making cakes for people again. I’ve come full circle back to the tiny cake biz but this time – “JUST CHILLIN’” is my motto. “ZEN CUPCAKE” is my meditation. Making cakes for birthdays … there’s an innocence to it, or a purity somehow – I imagine the sweet little face of the birthday girl or boy as their cake is set before them, glittering candles and Happy Birthday… and that JOY – ahhhhh. And, through finding the gentle joy in baking for the art and enjoyment of it again, I’m feeling re-inspired…
Back to this pretty in pink cake. I made it for Amanda, Sam’s sister-in-law, to celebrate her 40th birthday! I loved every moment of making it, from drawing it out first, to borrowing Teddy’s felts to colour it in, to mixing the batter. The cakes baking in the oven, and that encompassing warmth and comforting smell fills the kitchen. Then, whipping a sticky cloud of meringue for a creamy pink vanilla buttercream, slowly adding pieces of unsalted butter as it whirls around into a creamy thickening soup – and that MAGIC MOMENT when the thick soup beats up into the most dreamy of frostings, the taste of melty vanilla ice cream on a summer day, all ready to be spread and piped onto soft layers of vanilla cake.
I loved building this beauty! Pink and white stripes, ruffles and drop stars and fresh raspberries, filled with Bonne Maman raspberry jam (my fave)! and sprinkled with Sweetapolita sprinkles! White chocolate ganache drips, too.
Although making this lovely cake helped me personally to come back to the world of the living (THE INTERNET)… and to rediscover creating something that I was proud of and excited about – this cake met a very very very sad end. The next day, Sam messaged me saying the waitperson at the restaurant they were eating at DROPPED THE CAKE. Dropped it on the very face of it’s anal-retentively-piped, fretted-over surface!!!!! Not one person got to eat even an iota of cake. The pain, the agony, the INNER TURMOIL!!!!! My immediate reaction was to offer to make another one for the poor birthday girl… but Sam messaged me saying her two lil twin girls were going to bake the make-up cake. Which, is so sweet and special.
So, here lies Pretty In Pink cake – a special cake that helped along one person’s mental health (MINE), made another person’s night hell (WAITRESS) and propelled two sweet little twin girls to make probably the BESTEST cake ever for their awesome Auntie. Rest In Peace, cakey… and Happy Birthday Amanda! xo Lyndsay