SHEEEEEET CAKEEEEEE! The ultimate crowd pleaser at a family reunion, 100 guest-list birthday party, high school graduation, etc… often procured from megastores and supermarkets, frosted hastily by power-professionals churning them out by the icing-from-a-bucket dozen. Except this one is a perfectly cute little square, topped with a garden of buttercream roses, made on a very hot day in July, made to celebrate the adorable and awesome Amy Ho’s new baking book: Blooms And Baking! Amy is so talented – one look at her Instagram and you will fall under her whimsical, fantastical spell of perfectly rendered cupcakes, cream puffs, cakes and cookies. Blooms And Baking is jammed with beautiful photos, recipes, step-by-steps and decorating tutorials, all focused on adding unique floral flavours and design to your desserts!
Blooms and Baking!!! Amy of Constellation Inspiration is such a gem. I also love how she combines her Chinese heritage, her love of flowers and cakes and everything cute, into her amazing blog and Instagram.
Since I am on a deep plant-based tear right now, I gently swapped out just a few ingredients to make this a vegan buttercream rose cake! I used Ener-G brand egg replacer instead of one large egg. Note on egg replacers: I find that some egg replacers thicken up your batter toooo much – Bob’s Red Mill was a bust for me. But Ener-G stays loose and doesn’t make your batter into a thick gummy blob. Amy’s one bowl chocolate cake bakes up into a moist, springy delight, and topped with a myriad of buttercream roses?? You’ve got a flower-power winner.
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Piped Buttercream Roses
For The One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- egg replacer equivalent to one large egg
- 1 cup cold coffee
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For The Buttercream
- 1 cup of vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Melt Organics buttery sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- splash of plant milk if needed
Make The Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Spritz a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan with vegetable oil and line with parchment paper if desired.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the egg replacer, coffee, oil and vinegar and mix until no streaks of the flour mixture remain.
- Scrape down the side of the bowl to make sure no clumps remain.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- Bake the cake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
Make The Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and vegan butter on high to combine, about one minute.
- Add the icing sugar and pure vanilla extract. Pulse mixer on lowest speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Divide buttercream amongst bowls to colour individually for buttercream roses, drop stars and leaves.
Decorate The Cake
- Make a whole whack load of buttercream roses!
- You will need a large flower nail, parchment paper squares, piping bags and a few petal piping tips – Wilton #103 or #104.
- Cut 1×1 inch squares of parchment paper.
- Watch Amy pipe buttercream roses here!! Instead of a cupcake, add a dab of buttercream to a piping nail. Stick a piece of parchment paper on top of it. Then, create the center bud of the rose – then the petals!
- Freeze all of your buttercream roses until firm, about twenty minutes, before placing them onto your completely cooled cake.
- Fill in the gaps and holes with drop stars and piped leaves.
Happy baking, piping and eating, cake pals! xo Lyndsay
Do you like a rainbow top hat made of buttercream??? You are in luck!! Though I wouldn’t recommend wearing this on your head. However, if you wanted to make this rainbow buttercream cake for your next Pride or birthday party, I would definitely approve. A big old rainbow thumbs up.
I made this rainbow buttercream cake to celebrate PRIDE – it’s got all the classic hit colours of the rainbow flag, all piped in various cute shapes. I used my favourite piping tips – 1M open star tip, 4B multi pronged open star tip annnnnd my friend #234 fur/grass tip to pipe this rainbow beauty. Here’s another rainbow cake I made last year for Pride in a different colour palette. The options are endless for your rainbow buttercream cake!
Did you know I have a YouTube channel??? Yeah, I didn’t either. You can watch me frost this cake in a tiny dinkly iPhone video in hyperspeed below! Maybe there will be more extensive (and possibly more professionally filmed, hehe) videos in the future!
Happy piping, cake friends! xo Lyndsay
A BLUE Arctic Fox, no less! I realized I never shared this “How To Make A Fox Cake” Youtube video tutorial I made with CBC Arts! So here ya go!
Happy fox-cake-making! xo Lyndsay
Three cheers for homemade bubble tea! My sister gifted us with a do-it-yourself bubble tea kit, including these awesome reusable metal straws. Having just had bing soo at a local Asian desserts spot, I washed the cups out with hot soapy water like a NERD so our homemade bubble tea would look just like the shops. For some weird reason, Rich, Teddy and I ALL LOVE a banana-flavoured thing. Real banana, faux banana, any old banana flavour – we are fans! This banana milk bubble tea is so simple to make, it’s really just a banana milkshake smoothie type thing, and you can control the consistency by adding ice, or adding more ice cream, or more milk. Plus, you can even easily make this vegan by using oat milk and plant based ice cream! So yes, blending up a bunch of ingredients in a smoothie is very simple. Making the “bubbles” aka pearls aka tapioca PARTY BALLS is also very easy! The dried brown tapioca pearls kind of look like little rabbit turds. BUT FEAR NOT! Once you cook them, they will look like… glutinous black tadpoles. BUT FEAR NOT AGAIN! Once you soak them in a simple syrup, and then spoon them into the bottom of your cup, then fill with delicious icy creamy banana milk, they become those chewy-sweet satisfying bubbles once again. Hehe.
Banana Milk Bubble Tea
For the pearls
- For each serving, 3 tablespoons of dried tapioca pearls
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
For The Banana Milk
- 3 medium bananas, ripe, unpeeled and frozen
- 3 cups + of whole milk (or plant based milk)
- 3 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream (or plant based ice cream)
- Ice cubes, if desired
Make The Pearls
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from heat and allow to thicken and cool.
- In a small saucepan, boil water. Add the dried tapioca pearls, and cook on medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so pearls don’t stick to the pot.
- Drain the pearls in a colander over the sink; let cool slightly.
- Add the cooked pearls to the simple syrup, allowing them to soak up the syrup, about twenty minutes. I put mine in the fridge for this time period.
Make The Banana Milk
- Place the ripe, frozen bananas, milk, ice cream and ice, if using, in a high powered blender and… BLEND!
- Add more milk if you want a looser consistency, or more ice if you want a more slush-like consistency.
- Spoon syrup-soaked pearls into the bottoms of three large cups.
- Pour the banana milk on top, plunk in a reusable bubble tea straw and enjoy immediately!
Pearls should be eaten within a few hours of being cooked, so just cook enough for each serving. You can find dried tapioca pearls online or in bubble tea shops. You can also experiment and add in grass jelly or any other favourite bubble tea add-ins! Happy blending! xo Lyndsay
What is your favourite bubble tea? We very recently put on masks and scarily hit up THE MALL to get bubble tea at Chatime with Teddy’s cousins. Everything with Horrible Covid feels terrifying until you do it. The first time I went grocery shopping in March, I had so much anxiety. Now, wearing masks in stores and sanitizing your hands constantly is this terrible new norm. The mall was fairly sparse, most people were wearing masks and staying far apart from each other. We parked right by the food fair entrance and whisked in to pick up our taro slushes with pearls and banana milk teas with pearls… little hits of normalcy, my first bubble tea in many months! It also reminded me… that I never posted this DEEEELICIOUS Yuanyang coffee milk tea cake I made in the Fall! Sheesh.
I wanted to make a special cake to commemorate my sweet friend Cynthia‘s brilliant cookbook A Common Table – a drool-worthy book seriously slam-jammed with every delicious thing you want to eat, comfort food with Asian and Southern (!!) twists. Cynthia has a recipe for Hong Kong style coffee tea in her book – brewed coffee, and milky tea made with condensed milk, combined to create a caffeine blast of flavour! This cake features coffee milk tea soaked vanilla cake layers, coffee milk tea swiss meringue buttercream, crispy cute meringue kisses and fresh raspberries!
I love the little milky tea bits speckled throughout the buttercream. The buttercream has a few steps, but the tea flavour is so lovely – you steep the tea in melted butter, strain the butter and re-chill the butter until it’s roughly room temperature. It’s a butter-steeping trick I learned from the amazing Tessa of Style Sweet! Another trick I’ve discovered when making swiss meringue buttercream – swoop up a bit of the whipped meringue right before adding the butter. Pipe the meringue into kisses onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and voila – you’ll have crispy cute textural decorations for the top of your cake!
Yuanyang Coffee Milk tea Cake
6-inch round 3 layer cake - serves 10 to 12
For The Coffee Milk Tea
- 2 cups water
- 4 Ceylon or English Breakfast tea bags
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup strong coffee, hot
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
For The Vanilla Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
For The Coffee Milk Tea Buttercream
- 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup loose ceylon or English breakfast tea leaves (or four tea bags)
- 1 cup egg whites (about 7 to 8 large eggs)
- 2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure coffee extract
- 2 tablespoons coffee milk tea mixture
- pinch of salt
For The Decoration
- Fresh raspberries, gently washed and dried
- Meringue kisses
- Piping bag fitted with open star tip filled half way with coffee milk tea buttercream
Make The Coffee Milk Tea Soak
- Steep tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the baking soda, then the coffee.
- Stir in the evaporated milk and the sweetened condensed milk. Add more sugar to taste, if desired.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of coffee milk tea for adding to the buttercream.
Make The Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line three 6 inch x 2 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine.
- Pour in the melted butter and oil.
- Gently stir everything together until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean with only moist crumbs attached.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Make The Buttercream
- In a medium sauce pan on low to medium heat, combine the butter and the loose tea leaves until the butter melts. Reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let the tea steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain the butter through a fine-mesh-sieve set over a bowl and refrigerate until it reaches softened butter consistency – 20 to 30 minutes.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisking to combine.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and place it over medium-high heat.
- Place the stand mixer bowl on top, creating a double-boiler effect (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water.)
- Whisking intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) on a candy thermometer.
- Carefully move the mixer bowl back to the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white and sugar mixture on high speed for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches medium-stiff peaks. The mixture should have cooled down now to room temperature.
- If making meringue kisses, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with up to one cup of meringue. Pipe drop stars on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake until dried out and crisp.
- On the stand mixer, swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla paste, tea infused butter and remaining 1 cup of butter about a tablespoon at a time.
- Once incorporated, add the coffee extract, pinch of salt, then the first tablespoon of coffee milk tea and turn the mixer to medium-high and beat to combine; add the final tablespoon and beat on medium high until buttercream is thick and lustrous.
Decorate The Cake
- Place a 7 inch round cake board or cake platter of your choice on a cake turntable. Add a dollop of buttercream, then place the first cake layer on top, levelling if need be. Using a pastry brush, soak the layer with coffee milk tea. You can be fairly generous with the soak – you don’t want it to soak so much that it loses structure, so start with one layer of soak, let it seep into the layer then add additional soak layers.
- Once the layer has been soaked, spread a generous amount of coffee milk tea buttercream on top. Repeat with the next two layers.
- Frost the entire exterior of the cake, using a cake bench scraper to smooth. Chill first layer of buttercream in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and add a second layer of buttercream, again using scraper to smooth, if desired.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip with remaining buttercream (any leftovers can be used for future cupcakes!).
- Pipe drop stars on the top of the cake, nestling fresh raspberries and meringue kisses amongst the piping, in a pattern that pleases you. Reserve additional berries and meringues for serving!
Serve this cake up with … yup, ADDITIONAL CUPS OF YUANYANG COFFEE MILK TEA, if you so desire! Hehe. You could even chill your cups of coffee milk tea and add pearls! (I just learned how to cook them, super easy – I’ll post about it soon!) I want to congratulate Cynthia on such a beautiful book – not only are the recipes so crave-worthy, Cynthia’s writing is so soothing, and the photography just as comforting!
Happy baking, cake pals! and PS – my favourite bubble tea is roasted milk tea with pearls, taro slush with pearls, or BANANA milk tea with pearls … xo Lyndsay
How ya doing? … I know. It’s the most innocuous, casual times question in the normal world. But we’re not in the normal world right now. I thought I’d post a cake from many months ago… just to post something pretty. Something to gaze at, something colourful! I hope you are all doing ok!
A combination of abstract painted buttercream and “put it in your bag and pipe it” buttercream piping, a birthday cake I made for my mom’s good friend, back when you could celebrate birthdays and be together with no invisible threat of illness. Carefree cake-eating days, they were…
Sending lots of love to all of you, and a hope that all of this may be better soon… xo Lyndsay
Kawaii Chewbacca cake!!! I made this cake for my newest nephew, baby Elliott, future Star Wars mega fan, ha. Cute right?? Well lemme tell you… this Chewbacca cake started off the opposite of cute. In fact, he started off as a big old cake-stuck-in-the-pan mess. I forgot to spray my cake pans with my usual vegetable oil spritz. Just dumped the old batter into the pans… and of course it baked right on to it. It took some woman power to wedge the round cake out, but in doing so, a whole chunk of it broke apart. But, if at first your cake looks like a piece o’ poo, persevere! Push through! And you may end up with this guy:
Kawaii Chewbacca cake is essentially my Wilton sports ball cake pan baked up with two other layers of chocolate cake, crumb coated in chocolate buttercream then piped in Chewbacca’s frontal cowlick hair growth pattern. Teensy white teeth, and a black strip of fondant with white fondant rectangles on top to mimic his bandolier strap (I obviously googled the strap name, I am not that Star Wars deep-nerd.)
Ah, my old friend Jabba the Hutt cake, from May the 4th be with you!
So who’s next in the Coco Cake Land Star Wars kawaii cake series?? Kawaii Bib Fortuna?? Lol. (I googled Bib Fortuna cake actually and found nothing. NOTHING! But I totally get it. No one wants to eat that sadistic, ill-skinned face with red eyes and his extended gooey duck penile head wrap-around feature. Or more specifically – “He is a member of the Twi’lek species, humanoids distinguished by the pair of long tentacular appendages that protrude from the back of their heads.” xo Lyndsay
Happy 2020! I’ve been hibernating in a deep January funk, but clawing my way out as teensy signs of Spring appear in our neighborhood. Back in November, my favourite Donna emailed me asking me if I would like to create something for Cherry Bombe Jubilee Seattle. After telling her that I was feeling a bit scared of America, she assured me Trump wouldn’t be at Seattle Jubilee and that I must come! Hehe. The first idea I had in mind was for a giant beautiful buttercream-piped sheet cake. But, I had to test that idea out at home first before building it across the border… buttercream sheet cake testing began! I settled on vanilla cream cake with a vanilla milk soak, topped with swiss meringue buttercream piped in rosettes, drop stars and leaves dotted with cherries and raspberries. CUTE!
When you work from home, sometimes you end up baking in your jam-jams. This cake weighed quite a bit, so lifting it several times meant I could skip the gym.
BUT HOW TO PLATE IT?? I needed it to look modern, colourful and beautiful – it was Cherry Bombe Jubilee, after all – the food is always gorgeous and delicious so I was definitely feeling the pressure. The cake had to be chilled so I could get a clean buttercream cut – but not TOO chilled as I didn’t want the cake to dry out. Hence, the vanilla milk soak.
Option one: clean and simple.
Option two: raspberry for tang factor, and sprinkled freeze dried raspberry for texture and tang.
I sliced many little pieces of cake to test… man I have a lot of cute plates!! I decided on the single raspberry and freeze dried sprinkles… it had such a nice flavour blast. So off I went to Seattle! For the week prior I had been blasting a whole lotta Hole, Nirvana and … the Singles movie soundtrack, hehe, to mentally get in that Seattle headspace. I also wore my Doc Martens to Seattle because – GRUNGE.
My awesome helpers in Seattle – Sid and Chloe!!
All set up at my table, ready to sling cake! I met so many cool, kind folks!
Hehe. Yes I did call it Holy Sheet Cake.
Amazon Home Lounge!! With my sweet pal Antonia, holding a pair of cherry dingle balls.
The wonderful Book Larder was there too and they had my books for sale along with many other incredible cookbooks by the powerhouse crew of authors at Jubilee.
And look at this friendship!! I think Kerry must have 6,000 in real life friends, everyone wants to hang out with her and know her – I always feel lucky when she shines her beautiful light my way, cause she’s the coolest and such a huge supporter of little people big world cake people like me.
The upside down!!! Look at those tiny compostable plates! And I went with the juicy berry blast with a sprinkling of crisp freeze dried raspberries.
I also got to attend a very delicious dinner hosted by Open Table at Rene Erickson’s Bar Melusine. Look at those beautiful tile floors!! I mostly gabbed it up with my main cutie pal Donna, who feels like one of my American cousins, and my cool pal Antonia from Amazon. Rolllled out of dinner, got dropped off at my hotel and snoozed the night away. Twilight was playing on the telly as I packed up all of my goodies from Cherry Bombe Jubilee Seattle – pots and pans from Amazon, silver wrapped sticks of precious Kerrygold butter, beautiful cookbooks purchased from Book Larder and a bag ‘o swag. Another super duper fun Cherry Bombe event…! Chinese pumpkin is blessed once again.