Kawaii Reindeer Cake Tutorial

reindeer cake tutorial

cutest reindeer christmas cake

The holidays are here, so I’ve created this kawaii reindeer cake tutorial to celebrate! When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Claus and his mighty team of reindeers HARD, probably much longer than many other teens (I MEAN CHILDREN) very well should have. When my sisters and I would come downstairs on Christmas morning to peek at our presents, there would be a conspicuously scrawled note left next to a glass of milk and a plate of half-eaten cookies, and geez wasn’t it all just a coincidence that Santa’s handwriting looked exactly like Dad’s hand-writing, if Dad happened to be writing with his left hand and was mildly illiterate??

kawaii reindeer cake tutorial - coco cake land

My son Teddy is semi-freshly five years old, now subject to the whispers of fellow Kindergarten classmates or older-grade buddies who might tell him that… GASP… Santa and his reindeer are not real!!! I’m kind of on the fence about how majorly to tout the “Santa is coming, you better be good” stuff – I found myself telling him that “Santa has all sorts of helpers” but I didn’t really know where I was going with that. All I know for sure is that the holidays are the best ever when you’re a kid. We grew up in a close family and each of us loved Christmas, with sweet memories of my mom’s signature white snow-flocked tree (which is back in style!) sparkling with lights and baubles and homemade decorations, Christmas carols, cartons of creamy egg nog in the fridge, hilarious family times with beloved cousins and friends, my Grandma’s Christmas-time only chocolate chip butterscotch pudding cookies washed down with a cool cup of milk. This year, I thought I’d come up with a new holiday dessert for our family – the kawaii reindeer cake! The whole time I was photographing the cake, Teddy kept coming into the kitchen to see when I was done – of course I promised him a piece of cake and the mini bottle of milk with the cool straw, if he remained out of my workspace, haha – he loves the taste of his “milky.” I fell in love with how the reindeer cake turned out! It’s fun and easy to make and is certain to bring some smiles, chuckles and giggles to your holiday. Teddy loved it, and gobbled up his piece and slurped up his milk as happy as can be.

kawaii reindeer drawings

To begin with, I baked a classic yellow cake in three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans. Then I made a very simple chocolate buttercream frosting: 2 cups of unsalted butter are beaten on high speed until light and fluffy, the bowl is scraped down and 3 ¾ icing sugar is added, along with ¼ cup high quality cocoa powder and two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Beat this on low speed until combined, then crank the mixer to medium-high speed until it has doubled in volume. Note that the chocolate frosting will darken in colour as the cake sits.

chocolate frosting yellow cake

Once your baked cake layers are completely cool, fill and frost your cake with the chocolate buttercream.

chocolate frosting yellow cake

Frost your cake to the crumb coat stage.

chocolate frosting yellow cake

Use the remaining buttercream to fill a piping bag fitted with a large multi-opening tip – I use Wilton #234. Starting from the bottom of the cake and working your way upwards, pipe strands of buttercream fur in lines.

chocolate frosting yellow cake

Cover the entire cake in chocolate buttercream fur! Take a break if you need to! Crank those holiday tunes!

chocolate frosting yellow cake

fondant pieces

Using fondant or your favourite candies, assemble the face. For the eyes, I used pre-coloured black fondant rolled out and cut into circles using the circle edge of a piping tip. The muzzle is made by punching out a piece of white fondant with a medium circular cookie cutter and gently pulling it into a more oblong shape. The reindeer antlers are made of fondant held up by wooden BBQ skewers cut to size. I mixed a small amount of cocoa powder into the fondant to create brown ears!

reindeer cake tutorial

christmas piping bags

To add some festive berries and leaves, make a small batch of simple vanilla buttercream -½ cup unsalted butter, 1 cup of icing sugar, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Divide into bowls and tint using gel food colouring. Place the red buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip and the green buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small leaf tip. Pipe little red dots for berries, and add some green foliage with the green buttercream! You could also use sprigs of fresh rosemary, or pipe small buttercream roses.

cutest reindeer christmas cake

cute christmas cake

This kawaii reindeer cake would be the cutest addition to your holiday party or Christmas Day dinner!

tiny bottle of milk

reindeer cake tutorial

kid eating cake

kid drinking milk

slice of yellow cake chocolate frosting

This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada! Check out this super cute video they made for the holidays that inspired by reindeer cake tutorial, and visit the Dairy Farmers of Canada YouTube channel to see how you can incorporate delicious quality Canadian milk into your holiday season!

Thank you for supporting the brands and products that keep Coco Cake Land slipping into the future! Happy Holidays, my dear readers! xo Lyndsay 

Cookie Monogram Sprinkle Beard Cake

sugar cookie monogram cake

sugar cookie monogram cake

sugar cookie monogram cake

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.

pals and cake

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…

sugar cookie monogram cake

Coco Cake Land cake slice

Multiple Elementary art book launch

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.”

sugar cookie monogram cake

Congrats Helen and Hannah on all of your success! Here’s to many more face-misting art openings and book launches!! xo Lyndsay 

A Wolf Cake For Wolfgang

cute wolf cake by coco cake land

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!

cute cake flag

cute wolf cake by coco cake land

drawings of cute wolves

cute wolf cake by coco cake land

wolfgang with wolf cake

HOW CUTE IS THIS GUY!? Happy birthday Wolfie! xo Lyndsay 

Buttercream Piped Mushroom Cookie Cake Toppers!

mushroom cake

cutest cookie mushroom

kawaii mushroom cookies

Everyone loves a kawaii toadstool mushroom! Now you can make an adorable easy sugar cookie mushroom cookie or two, and plunk them into the cutest woodland party-time cake. I’ve partnered with Becel to showcase their new Becel Sticks! Pre-measured, casual times, no need to bring to room temperature – one more reason to be “zen cupcake” this holiday season. I’ve been enjoying the meditative nature of piping buttercream on sugar cookies these days and aiyeee these shroomies just turned out so cute!

Mushroom Cookies Tutorial

Mushroom Cookies Tutorial

Buttercream Piped Mushroom Cookies

Buttercream Piped Mushroom Cookie

Buttercream Piped Mushroom Cookie

kawaii cookies

mushroom cake

toadstool cookie cake

toadstool cookie cake

buttercream piped toadstool cookies

Buttercream Piped Mushroom Sugar Cookies

1 dozen cookies

For The Cookies

  • 1/2 cup Becel Sticks (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For The Buttercream

  • 1 cup Becel sticks (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) red gel food colouring

For The Decorations

  • White candy pearls
  • Piping bag fitted with a multi-opening grass tip
  • Piping bag fitted with a small open star tip

Make The Cookies

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Becel and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs and the vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour until a dough forms; do not overmix.
  4. Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap; form into a flat disc, then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Punch out mushroom shapes using a large mushroom cutter, or use large and small mushroom cutters for cute variance!
  6. Carefully lift the cut shapes and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees °F.
  8. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, turning pans halfway to ensure even baking, until cookies are lightly browned. Let cool completely on wire racks before frosting!

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the Becel, icing sugar and pure vanilla extract on high speed until light and fluffy and doubled in volume, about two minutes.
  2. Divide buttercream evenly into two medium bowls. Tint one bowl with the red gel food colouring, mixing until combined.

Decorate The Cookies

  1. Set the completely cooled sugar cookies on a clean work surface.
  2. Fill a piping bag fitted with a multi-opening grass tip with the red buttercream.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small open-star tip with the white buttercream.
  4. Pipe the top of the cookie mushroom cap with the red buttercream in short spurts.
  5. Pipe the bottom stem of the cookie mushroom with white buttercream drop stars.
  6. On the piped mushroom cap, carefully add the white candy pearls in an even and eye-pleasing pattern.
  7. To decorate a cake with these cookies, press the cookie gently into a buttercream-topped cake, anchoring each cookie using a hidden wooden BBQ skewer cut to size to help hold up the cookie.

kawaii mushroom cookies

mushroom cookie topped cake

Kawaii Mushroom Cake

This post was sponsored by Becel. Cool times fact: Becel Sticks can replace butter 1:1 in so many of your fave baking recipes. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Coco Cake Land chugging along! Happy baking! xo Lyndsay 

Maximum Overdrive Birthday Cake

maximum overdrive birthday cake

maximum overdrive birthday cake

maximum overdrive birthday cake

Maximum Overdrive birthday cake also known as: I turned 41! In my crotchety old mind I thought I was referring to this Sly Stallone movie all about ARM WRESTLING. But I guess I was actually referring to this Stephen King schlock-a-block 1980s movie Maximum Overdrive – all about when machines attack?? Perhaps this is a good time to mention that when I was young, I was a dorky little Stephen King obsessed child-nerd, devouring those monstrous tomes of cheap thin paper, scared as hell under my hot-bulb lamplight but Couldn’t. Stop. Reading. The. Delightful. Garbaggio! (This horrific short story still freaks me out when I’m swimming in lakes.)

slices of party cake - coco cakeland

slices of party cake - coco cakeland

So this cake … I was hemming and hawing over whether I felt like making a cake for my birthday … for the past few years all I’ve wanted to do is swim my face in a vat of crispy-fried garlic lime pepper Phnom Penh chicken wings and my favourite carrot cake from Whole Foods. But, it’s also fun to make a cake with no expectations. So, on the morning of my birthday I went for it! LOL. I had been wanting to make Molly’s funfetti cake since forever, and thought: TODAY IS THE DAY, FUNFETTI! If you happen to follow me on stinky old Instagram you might’ve seen me document the decorating… it started off really so casual cute, until I started literally throwing sprinkles at the sides. I am annoyed at sprinkle-siding. I kind of enjoy exactitude in my cake presentation so just willy-nilly-ing the sprinkles was bugging me. Because of that, I thought “Oh maybe adding hot pink white chocolate ganache drips will help.” The drips turned out sloppier than my intentions because they dripped onto a sprinkle which made the drip make hard rights and hard lefts, making them non-straight. So then I thought, “Well oh shit. I guess I will pipe one million drop stars to this beast.” At this point, it became Maximum Overdrive Birthday Cake, with adorable rainbow-sprinkle white cake layers, creamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and my fave raspberry jam!

funfetti party cake - coco cake land

funfetti party cake - coco cake land

triangle slice of cake - coco cake land

Funfetti Cake With Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Ganache Drips

16 slices

For The Funfetti Cake

Recipe slightly adapted from Molly's recipe! 
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil
  • 1 tb pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (note from Molly: use only artificially coloured cynlinders, not nonpareils, sanding sugar, or anything naturally coloured)

For The Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 to 8
  • large eggs)
  • 21/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 21/2 cups unsalted butter, room
  • temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

For The Ganache

  • 1/2 cup best quality white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pink gel food colouring

Decoratives + Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Fresh raspberries

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the oil and the vanilla extract.
  3. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry mixture and the milk in two or three alternating batches and mix until just barely combined, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until they’re evenly distributed. Distribute the batter evenly among the cake pans, spreading it out evenly using an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 22-24 minutes for cakes.
  5. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make The Buttercream

To ensure that the metal bowl of your stand mixer is completely clean, dry, and free of grease, give it a quick wipe out with a halved lemon, then rinse and dry it thoroughly.

  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg whites and the sugar on low to combine into a sugary slurry.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Set the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a kind of double boiler, making sure the mixer bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Heat the egg and sugar mixture until it reaches 160ºF on a thermometer or is hot to the touch, whisking occasionally. (This usually takes me about 5 to 7 minutes.)
  4. Carefully return the metal mixing bowl to the stand mixer, with the whisk attachment in place. Now, bring the mixer up to high speed and beat the mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, until you’ve created medium-stiff peaks and it’s a billowy, sticky, cloudy meringue. Whipping the meringue will also help cool down the bowl.
  5. Swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment. Make sure your meringue has cooled sufficiently before adding the butter—the bowl shouldn’t be hot, just slightly warm, if that. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time, until all the butter is incorporated—it will look like a thick soup at this point.
  6. Add the vanilla extract, if using, the vanilla bean seeds, along with the pinch of salt (and any small amount of gel color if so desired), then bring the speed up to medium-high and beat until a fluffy, silky, magical buttercream has formed, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Leftover buttercream can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature and gently beat again to re-fluff!

Make The Ganache

  1. Place the white chocolate chips in a small bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat up the heavy cream over medium heat until hot but not boiling, about two minutes.
  3. Pour the heavy cream over the white chocolate chips, ensuring full coverage. Let sit undisturbed for ten minutes.
  4. Gently whisk to combine. Add a tiny drop of pink gel food colouring if desired, whisking carefully.
  5. Power-chill ganache in the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes, checking for “dripping” consistency. If need be, continue to chill, checking every two minutes, until “drip-able.” – not too runny, not too thick.
  6. Leftover ganache can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature for dripping consistency.

Assemble The Cake

Once cake layers are completely cooled, begin assembling! 

  1. Place a dollop of buttercream on a cake board or cake plate. Place the first cake layer on top. Level your layers if need be using a serrated knife. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip with buttercream. Pipe circles of buttercream on the outer exterior of the layer, leaving room for a generous amount of jam in the center. Fill the center with jam of your choice.
  2. Place the second layer on top, and again create a buttercream dam, then filling it with jam. (I rhymed!)
  3. Place the final layer on top, cut side down. Using an offset spatula, frost the entire exterior of the cake. Use a cake bench scraper to smooth the sides, if you have one.
  4. Chill the cake in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes. Then, proceed with a second layer of frosting. Frost another generous layer of buttercream all over the cake. Use the cake bench scraper once again to smooth the sides.
  5. Place one cup of buttercream each into two separate bowls. Tint each bowl with the gel colour of your choice – I used electric purple and turquoise. Use a small spatula to mix each to combine. Place each colour in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip of your choice, for piping drop stars.
  6. Once the ganache is totally cooled but still drip-able, use a small spoon to scoop up tiny amounts of ganache to form the drips. I add the tiniest drip first to make sure the consistency is how I like it. If the drip goes down too fast, let it cool longer. If the drip gets stuck and doesn’t move, add more ganache to the same drip. Add drips to the entire cake, if desired.
  7. Take a handful of sprinkles and pat against the bottom sides of the cake, going all the way around to add sprinkles. Throw sprinkles at the sides of the cake.
  8. On the top of the cake, pipe drop stars in alternating colours and sizes, adding fresh raspberries and sprinkles where you see fit. Enjoy!

funfetti party cake - coco cake land

slice of funfetti cake

family birthday pic

Happy 41st Birthday, me!! Love, me. :P  

Flower Crown Cat Cake

flower crown kitty cake - coco cake land

flower crown kitty cake - coco cake land

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.

flower crown kitty cake - coco cake land

flower crown cat cake - coco cake land

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.

flower crown cat cake - coco cake land

flower crown cat cake - coco cake land

AND PLEASE LOOK AT THIS SWEET PHOTO! Happy Birthday sweet Rosie! Thanks dear Erin! xo Lyndsay

Pretty In Pink Cake Faceplant

pretty in pink stripey cake

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?

cake details

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?

pretty in pink cake

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…

pink raspberry stripey cake

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.

prettiest pink 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.

pink drippy cake

pink striped swiss meringue buttercream

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.

pink striped swiss meringue buttercream

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

Matcha Frankenstein Totoro Cake

matcha frankenstein totoro cake

matcha frankenstein totoro cake

“IT’S the most … wonderful time… of the YEAR!” Yep, that’s right – TOTORO WEEK! Where a coupla kooky fun loving blogger buddies get together and make some Totoro stuff to flood the internet, including my main blog squeeze, Steph of I Am A Food Blog! This year, I decided to combine a Halloween kawaii-spooky vibe with Totoro, inspired by cookie queen Vickie… and since I was going for an “undead” green vibe, it seemed right to make a Matcha Frankenstein Totoro cake! Also: SQUARE Totoro equals extra cute Totoro!

matcha frankenstein totoro cake

matcha frankenstein totoro cake

halloween matcha cake

For this cake, you will need two piping bags both fitted with either a multi-opening/grass tip, or you can use drop-star tips if you have that on hand. If you only have one piping tip, no problem! Just rinse the matcha buttercream out before piping the plain vanilla buttercream for Totoro’s signature tummy. Of course, you can always omit the decoration and just have yourself a matcha cake with matcha buttercream – but you wouldn’t do that to me, would you?? :P

halloween totoro cake by coco cake land

Matcha Green Tea Cake

16 pieces

For The Matcha Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
  • 1 cup whole milk

For The Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Matcha Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder

Fondant or Candy or Chocolate buttercream for decorating

  • White and black fondant for decorating (black comes in these little 4 ounce packages)
  • Or use black liquorice, or chocolate buttercream
  • You can also use paper to make the ears – cut the shape and tape onto wooden skewers!


Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8 inch square cake pan by spritzing with vegetable oil and lining with parchment paper. 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and matcha powder.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry mixture to the bowl in three additions, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Gently mix until incorporated, about one minute.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and use offset spatula to level the batter.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking at 30 minutes for doneness, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Make The Buttercream(s)

Make both buttercreams at once! We’ll make the entire batch of buttercream ingredients called for above, remove half of the buttercream from the bowl, then add the matcha powder for the second half. Matcha more efficient! :P 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 2 cups of unsalted butter on high speed until fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar and two teaspoons pure vanilla. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel, and turn the mixer on low speed to incorporate ingredients.
  3. Once ingredients have melded somewhat, turn the mixer on to high speed, beating until light and fluffy and doubled in volume.
  4. Remove half of the buttercream and place into a medium bowl.
  5. Add the matcha green tea powder to the stand mixer bowl, cover with towel, and beat again to incorporate.

Decorate Totoro!

1. Once the cake is completely cooled, use a serrated knife to carefully level the cake.

2. Place a dab of buttercream on a square cake board or appropriately sized plate. Place the single layer matcha cake on top, pressing down slightly to adhere.

3. Using an offset spatula, frost the matcha cake with a layer of vanilla buttercream, smoothing the sides as you go.

4. Chill the cake briefly in the fridge or freezer, about 10 minutes.

5. Fill the first piping bag fitted with a multi-opening grass tip with the matcha buttercream. Pipe the sides of the cake with “fur” – hold the piping bag at a 90 degree angle against the sides of the cake and squeeze piping bag, creating fur. Cover the sides with fur!

6. Looking down at the top of the cake, pipe a semi-circle of matcha buttercream fur, basically leaving a half-circle for Totoro’s vanilla tummy.

totoro cake tutorial

7. Pipe the entire top of the cake with the matcha buttercream:

totoro cake tutorial

8. Using the vanilla buttercream, fill in the tummy with fur. Store any leftover buttercream in the fridge, covered, for another use, for up to 1 week.

totoro cake tutorial

9. Now onto the fondant! Make 3 inch long pointy white ears. Cut a wooden BBQ skewer in two and insert each piece into an ear. Roll out the fondant. Using the clean edge of a piping tip, cut out circle shapes for the eyes in both white and black. Use a tiny drop of water to adhere the black circle to the white circle for the eyes. Hand shape a nose, and using a sharp paring knife, cut out the shapes for whiskers and the “stitches.” Punch out semi-circle shapes for the tummy markings.

totoro face

10. Insert the ears into the top of the cake, and add all of the fondant bits!

matcha frankenstein totoro cake

totoro cake tutorial

When my little tired guy T came home from his longo bongo day at Kindergarten and saw the Totoro cake, he started crying, he was so sad that Totoro had a cut!! “I wanted to see the WHOLE Totoro, mom!!!” (gulp… I ate that piece, son… :P )

totoro matcha cake by coco cake land

Now slice in to a little square piece of earthy matcha-tea buttercream heaven. Happy Totoro week, my friends! xo Lyndsay

totoro matcha cake by coco cake land

All of my past Totoro week posts:

My Neighbor Totoro cake tutorial using a round cake pan!

CATBUS! Get on da bus

Blue Totoro cake! Eat this guy

Totoro cookies using an R2D2 cookie cutter!

This year’s Totoro week posts: (will continually update)


Chocolate Rice Krispie Square Totoro from Sincerely Syl!

Such a genius hack for making tamago from The Pig And Quill! Plus, it’s TOTORO!

THE BESTEST TOTORO COOKIES YOU WILL EVER SEE! Vickie is incredible! They are black sesame, too!