Animal Cakes Mania!

animal cakes by coco cake land

bunny cake by coco cake land

The faces of my animal cakes have evolved over the years and I feel like I have so many more animal cakes up my sleeve! That, and Instagram story GIF cakes, like the notorious KAWAII PEACH BUTT cake. The pink kitty cake I made as a donation to a nearby school’s spring fair cake walk, and the white bunny I made for my dear friend Miko of Coral and Cloud, AND Aster and Clove, her newest venture – an amazing online shop for now, with visions of a storefront space in the future. (I imagine I’ll be helping to bus tables/wash dishes/take orders there in the future, hehe)…

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Miko is quite an amazing force, and in many ways our lives have traveled along similar trajectories, from riot grrl/ feminist bands to music journalism to small business, to motherhood! Miko has been such a good friend to me, I turn to her for advice often as she is not only super creative but has a managerial/business brain, too. With this bun bun cake, I wanted to make her a cute and delicious kawaii cake to put a smile on her “forever 25″ youthful beautiful face!! You should really click on her over to Aster and Clove and just revel in the lovingly curated cuteness in which her and her biz partner Wendy have created. You’ll definitely find some good gifts on there.

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I’m powering through these next few weeks getting ready for some fun and exciting giveaways and parties in celebration of my BOOK LAUNCH! So for now I’ll just leave you with the faces of these kawaii animal cakes! Happy Birthday Miko! xo Lyndsay 

Coffee Toffee Strawberry Chocolate Cake Recipe

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

I made this cake for my dearest oldest sister Leanne aka Gyoza Girl Eats, pretty much thee number one fan of Coco Cake Land and supporter of all my crazy ideas over my entire lifetime. My only regret is the time I bit her on the leg when we were kids. SORRY SIS!!! This bonkbonks cake literally has it all: coffee toffee strawberry chocolate with all the textures (and flavours) I love, hehe. And magically, they all worked together! Coffee buttercream, homemade salted toffee shards and toffee crunch pieces, strawberry buttercream and moist dark chocolate cake layers, it kinda reminded me of a triple ice scream scoop. With sprinkles on top of course. I also decorated it with freeze dried strawberries and a light scattering of edible tea flowers that I picked up in NYC when I was hanging with the awesome Diana of Jewels of New York! I know, I know – so many components to this cake. WILDCARD.

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

There are definitely a few components to this coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe, but you could make the toffee and the chocolate cake layers the day before, then assemble everything the day of. Add the freeze dried strawberries at the very end just before serving, as the moisture from the buttercream will soften the crunch of the berries. You could also swap out for actual strawberries too of course! Or raspberries, you nut!! The toffee recipe is my absolute fave because 1. It’s easy as hell 2. it’s dangerously delicious and 3. it’s from the hilarious and awesome Erin Gardner‘s book, Erin Bakes Cake, a super fun and creative “choose your own cake adventure” book packed with her tried and true recipes, but also using lots of grocery store ingredients to create eye-catching cool designs! If you love the taste of a triple scoop cone with texture, sweet and salty components, tangy fruit vibes and CHOCOLATE, think about making this!

slice of striped cake by cococakeland

Coffee Toffee Strawberry Chocolate Cake

16-20 slices

For The Cake

Adapted slightly from The Barefoot Contessa
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used two shots of espresso topped up with hot water equal to 1 cup)

For The Toffee

Recipe from the Erin Bakes Cake cookbook!
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
   

For The Coffee Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure coffee extract
  • pinch of salt
 

For The Strawberry Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup high quality strawberry jam, such as Bonne Maman 

 

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans by spritzing with vegetable oil and lining with parchment paper circles. 

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Make The Toffee

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until golden and bubbly – this may take anywhere between 7 and 10 minutes. Pour onto prepared baking sheet.
  3. Allow the toffee to cool completely before breaking into smaller jagged pieces for the garnish, and also chopping it up into fine, crunchy toffee bits for the filling!

Leftovers can be sprinkled onto ice cream, used in another cake or stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks!

Make The Coffee Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, coffee extract and pinch of salt on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.

Make The Strawberry Buttercream and Assemble Cake

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and jam on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Making sure the cake layers are completely cooled, place the first layer on a cake board or cake plate, using a dab of coffee buttercream to adhere. Using a serrated knife, trim off any dome that may have formed (save for snacking.) Add a generous dollop of coffee buttercream and spread over the layer using an offset spatula. Evenly sprinkle a large handful of toffee bits on top and gently press down into the buttercream.
  3. Trim the second layer as needed and place cut-side-down on top of the first layer, pressing gently to adhere. Spread a generous amount of strawberry buttercream on top of the layer, again adding the toffee bits.
  4. Add the final trimmed cake layer, cut-side-down, on top of the strawberry buttercream, pressing gently to adhere.
  5. Using the coffee buttercream, frost the the entire cake using your offset spatula. Use a cake smoother to smooth the sides and top if desired. Chill the cake in freezer for ten minutes to set the buttercream.
  6. Add a final coat of coffee buttercream to the cake, smoothing to your desired finish.
  7. Using a piping bag fitted with your favourite open star tip, pipe the entire top of the cake with strawberry buttercream drop stars. Add larger angular toffee bits on top as decoration, as well as freeze dried strawberries, sprinkles and edible tea flowers, if desired!
  8. Serve cake at room temperature. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three days, bring to room temperature before enjoying!

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake

coffee toffee strawberry chocolate cake recipe

Look at that SLICE! Crunchy sweet and salty toffee bits all mingled up into creamy buttercream and dark choco cake… Ahhhhhhhh. Happy baking, cake buddies!! xo Lyndsay 

Matcha Totoro Cake

matcha totoro cake

matcha totoro cake

The world, and the internet, sometimes feels like such a cruel little pinch in the nards. But – I really feel like you get what you give in life… ahem, I know that might seem like life is shitting on my head because, you know, breast cancer and all … but somehow, I am still just as posicore about life as I was before going through cancer. I think it boils down to this special phrase in which my mom instilled in me as a young child of the 1980s: “IT’S ALL IN THE ATTITUDE, LYNDSAY!” It’s a catchphrase that I have since taught to my almost-6-year-old son Teddy. This is not to say that you can’t have a day or moment where you are like “EVERYTHING IS HOT BOILED STINKY GARBAGE” but, for the most part, I try to keep it positive. I try to practice the values in which my parents raised me on – kindness, generosity, community, family.

matcha totoro cake cococakeland

Shortly after I had announced to family and friends (and even strangers of the internet) that I had been diagnosed with cancer back in 2015, a wonderful woman named Krista showed me an act of kindness and generosity. Her family has been through their own share of health struggles, yet they are such good and positive people. Krista also follows my Instagram and often leaves the sweetest comments- and back in October when I made this Matcha Frankenstein Totoro cake, she loved it so much – so I STORED THAT INFORMATION IN MY MIND AKA MY PHONE that when her birthday rolled around in June, I would make this for her. You can find the matcha buttercream recipe on this post, and the vanilla cake recipe will be in my book! :P Here’s to more beauty, goodness and friendship in the world, and waaaaaaay less nard-pinches. PS – if you want to see how to make this Totoro cake, check out my Instagram Stories here! xo Lyndsay 

Kawaii Pineapple Cookie Cake

kawaii pineapple cookie cake recipe

kawaii pineapple cookie cake recipe

Okay. To be honest I had no idea what I was going to do on top of this giant chocolate chip cookie heart cake. Initially I thought I would put it in my bag and pipe it in all sorts of gorgeous vibrant colours like teal, turquoise, pink, green, etc – my niece’s favourite colours are very mermaid-y. But, she also loooves pineapples so I thought I’d turn this heart shaped cookie cake into … a kawaii pineapple cookie cake!!! It’s always tricky getting the face to look cute. Something about the skinny chin of this pineapple, the kawaii faces are usually extra round. I played around with the eye and mouth placement for a while and then settled in on this little guy.

pineapple cookie cake by coco cake land

I basically just dumped an entire chocolate chip cookie dough into this 9 inch heart shaped pan, baked it for around thirty minutes and then let it cool completely.

cookie cake slice

Kawaii Pineapple Cookie Cake

20 pieces

For The Cookie Cake

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons Maldon salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips

For The Buttercream

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon yellow gel colour

Bake The Cookie Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter your 9 inch heart cake pan. 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Scrape down the side of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract until incorporated, about one minute.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix for another ten seconds or so until a cookie dough forms.
  5. Using a spatula, place the batter into the greased heart cake pan, using an offset spatula to press the batter down into the heart shape.
  6. Bake for 28-30 minutes until the cookie has lightly browned on top. Let cool completely before frosting.

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and gel food colouring on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.

Assemble The Cookie Cake

  1. Once the cake has completely cooled, carefully run and offset spatula along the edges of the cake to loosen. Have a large flat plate or cake board on hand, with an additional cake board or serving plate ready. Place the flat plate or cake board on top of the heart cake pan. Swiftly but deftly flip the cake so the cookie slides out onto the flat plate. Now, add a dab of buttercream to the cake board or serving plate and place that on top of the cookie. Flip the cookie again.
  2. Fill a large piping bag fitted with a French open star tip such as Wilton 4B with the yellow buttercream. Starting from the bottom, pipe rows of drop stars going up in rows all around the sides of the cookie cake. Pipe the entire top of the cookie cake, being careful to fill in any gaps with more drop stars so none of the chocolate chip cookie is visible.
  3. Roll out a small amount of pink fondant and punch out rosy cheeks using the round cutter side of a piping tip. Roll out black fondant and punch out two large eyes, and using your hands, make a smiley mouth. Add two white fondant dots to the eyes if you like!
  4. Using green craft paper, cut out a pineapple stem-like shape. Attach the green paper to a wooden BBQ skewer and place into the cookie cake!
  5. Slice into even portions and enjoy!

kawaii pineapple cookie cake recipe

cookie cake by cococakeland

cookie cake slice

I love my heart cake pan – I’ve made lots of variations of heart cakes and I even made this cute Valentine’s mouse cake using this pan, as well as the good old Instagram heart emoji cake! What would you make using the heart cake pan? (I know some of you are thinking a butt cake. You wouldn’t be wrong. I see it too. ) Happy kawaii pineapple cookie cake baking, my friends!! xo Lyndsay 

Cake Walk Cakes + The Winner! (Finally!)

kitty cake by coco cake land

pink candy cake walk cake

cake walk cakes by cococakeland

If you are one of the seven actual readers of this blog, you may recall last year’s SADDEST CHILD IN THE WORLD GREAT CAKE WALK DEBACLE OF 2017 which turned into the GREAT CAKE WALK THEMED TEDDY’S BIRTHDAY OF 2017 BY WHICH HIS MOM MADE ALL THE CAKES FOR THE CAKE WALK THEMED BIRTHDAY. 

cake walk cakes by cococakeland

cake walk cakes by cococakeland

Last year, Teddy wasn’t at school yet, but we went to the carnival to get him all excited about his future school. This year, the school carnival was OUR EVERYTHING, weeks of anticipation, selling raffle tickets, making a “jolly jar” and getting royally PUMPED UP for the big day. The big day arrived, and it poured rain, but the children did not give a sh*t because it was SCHOOL CARNIVAL!! I volunteered during the school day to set up, cutting hot dog buns and putting cans of soda on ice, and of course I made the two cake walk cakes above – a pink candy “EAT ME” cake covered in sprinkles, colourful malt balls and caramel chocolate pieces, and a friendly faced kitty cat cake! The school community is amazing – parents and students made almost two hundred cakes for the cake walk, a killer feat! I also volunteered at the cake walk station (obviously, hehe)… taking tickets. Please see below for the excitement of a kid who finally wins the cake walk.

cake walk winner

cake walk winner

cake walk winner

Please ignore the penile-balloon that is pointing excitedly at these sprinkle-covered brownies that Teddy chose as his cakey prize!

cake walk winner

(Again, pardon the giant balloon dong)…. Teddy has absolutely loved his first year at elementary school. I of course am crying on the inside and outside that his first big year of Kindergarten is coming to an end. I’ve enjoyed easing into being a part of this great school and community and it makes me so happy to see how much Teddy has thrived at school. I know this is all going to go by in a blink of an eye, right? Grateful to be around to experience it all with him. xo Lyndsay 

Minty Green + Blue Buttercream Flower Cake

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It is a pretty rare occasion that I do a cake order these days but I couldn’t resist my pal Jenni’s message, a birthday cake request for her dear mom: “She’s obsessed with ‘white cake’, like the normal-est kid birthday cake bought from Safeway kind”… so I made my favourite vanilla cake recipe and went buttercream-rose-wild in her mom’s fave colours for the top – minty green, shades of blue.

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I totally get that nostalgic love for birthday cakes of yesteryear. I’ve always loved a sheet cake. I have no snobbery when it comes to cake, or any food. I will eat “low” and I will eat “high.” There is life and stories attached to every morsel. Even a tray of microwaved airplane food, a limp dish of squeaky chicken and carrots in a starchy sauce, or a cold, dry bun under a square plastic lid with a hard pad of salted butter and a flimsy plastic knife to spread it with, and a rectangle of chocolate sheet cake for dessert, eaten on an overnight flight home from NYC, triggers a memory for me – I spent one summer after high school working at the airport in the catering department, a huge warehouse factory pumping out meals and snacks for the airlines, 24 hours a day. You had to wear hairnets and gloves and aprons. I spent an entire eight hour shift once hulling and slicing strawberries – that was considered a good job at the airport! The worst job was “wear-wash” – the dish pit. If the supervisors didn’t like you, you were assigned to this area –  I had one shift there the whole summer, hehe. Sauna-hot, a conveyer belt full of dirty trays would rush towards you. Nozzle in hand, you’d have seconds to power-spray all of the old food bits at random, scraps of food and water splattering your face and neck, soaking your apron. It was there when I realized how horrifically wasteful airplane food was, as so many trays would come back barely touched. Shitty food begat non-eating, non-eating begat monumental waste. With my airport summer job money, I purchased my first stereo, with detachable speakers and double cassette and a three-disc CD tray. Many a mix tape was born out of that stereo.

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Happy birthday Jenni’s mom!!! xo Lyndsay 

Gudetama Cake For Genius Kitchen

gudetama cake

lazy egg gudetama cake

lazy egg gudetama cake

It’s Gudetama, the lazy egg yolk guy! Dripping over the sides of the cake! How do you like your eggs? I am a 6-7 minute soft boiled egg lady, sliced onto avocado toast, topped with whatever greens I have in my fridge and a sprinkling of chili flakes or Pollock-spurts of sriracha. Gudetama reminds me of the future-humans in that movie Wall-E where their legs are basically jelly because they are so sedentary. Admittedly Teddy has been watching a lot of one to two minute clips of Gudetama each night while he brushes his teeth. Poor Gudetama gets his butt poked by egg shells til he cries, he gets boiled up in hot bowls of soup, black pepper is ground onto him … wait, maybe this is the most masochistic little egg yolk in the world. I made this surprise-inside Gudetama cake for my wacky cake column over on Genius Kitchen – you can find the full recipe for the cakes here, and the tutorial and Gudetama cake story here! xo Lyndsay

Bunny Cake! Bunny Cake!

bunny cake

how to make a bunny cake

Every time I make a bunny cake it goes a little bit differently. Riffing off my own bunny from a few months ago, I went furry face this time, and added a buttercream rosette/drop star crown with piped leaves and a light touch of sprinkles! This bunny was not planned, in fact it was an emergency bunny cake which I started baking at 12pm and finished at 3pm, to drop off to one of my favourite little gals, my best friend Tara’s daughter Nola, in time for her bunny themed 8th birthday party! I will never get over the cuteness of a child seeing their birthday cake for the first time. It’s safe to say it is like the PRIMO NUMBER ONE REASON I make cakes. Cake is frigging joy. Joy is a reason for living. Cake is life.

bunny cake by coco cake land

Also… I shot a “how to make a bunny cake” video! Enjoy watching the magic of iPhone time lapse making it look like this cake only took 42 seconds to make! :P

Happiest birthday to my dear friend Tara’s (not really so little anymore) one! xo Lyndsay