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.
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
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.
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.
Kawaii Pineapple Cookie Cake
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.
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.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Scrape down the side of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract until incorporated, about one minute.
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.
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.
Bake for 28-30 minutes until the cookie has lightly browned on top. Let cool completely before frosting.
Make The Buttercream
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
Slice into even portions and enjoy!
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
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.
Please ignore the penile-balloon that is pointing excitedly at these sprinkle-covered brownies that Teddy chose as his cakey prize!
(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
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.
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.
Happy birthday Jenni’s mom!!! xo Lyndsay
by tag - not 0, greater than 1
All The Piping Tips: Buttercream Flower Piped 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
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.
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
Another Mother’s Day is upon us and with each year, my attitude towards motherhood shifts, changes, settles happily and uproots again. I am loving this current year of being Teddy’s mom – the excitement of starting school, the beginning of after-school activities like art class with one of my favourite Vancouver ceramic artists and freaking adorable micro footie soccer (I can’t stop smiling watching the games. Hordes of four and five year olds moving like schools of fish chasing a ball). Teddy’s Kindergarten year has flown by so quickly. My heart hurts as his limbs get longer but my heart is so full at the same time. As I am aging and dealing with residual health issues, I am getting farther away from the idea of having a second child and I’ve gone through so many emotions over this. Some days I am so gloriously happy that I only have one child, and our little family of three is my greatest joy. Other days I Instagram-vortex gender reveal videos (such happiness! The cheers, the tears!) and find myself longing for another baby. There is a lot of grieving in infertility, and in aging itself. The years passing, and life experience gained, love and loss, all of this make you stronger and wiser! I really am grateful for so many things.
Milky earl grey tea is my comfort and I wanted to translate that into a simple dessert. Hence, this earl grey cream pavlova dotted with macerated raspberries and strawberry slices, crispy meringue kisses and beautiful dried edible flowers. While there are a few components to make, each step is easy and hopefully won’t cause you any stress. Whip the egg whites with sugar, spread on parchment paper covered baking sheet, pipe the remaining meringue into kisses. Mix fruit with some sugar and lemon to get the berry juices flowing. Steep heavy cream overnight with earl grey tea bags, then whip into thick lightly sweet clouds. Assemble and serve! Isn’t it pretty??
I made this twice, and the first time I used egg whites from a carton out of sheer laziness – don’t do this! Crack fresh eggs and you will find your billowy fluffy stiff meringue will come together so much easier. I also tried making a reduced raspberry sauce for some pretty drippiness and vibrancy – what I ended up making was raspberry flavoured fake blood/ketchup! I opted instead for the very easy macerated berries effect which gave me the juicy drippiness I was after! Note: make the meringue the evening before and steep the earl grey tea overnight as well.
Earl Grey Cream Pavlova
For The Pavlova
6 large egg whites, freshly cracked and separated. Reserve yolks for another use (I made vanilla pudding)
1 cup superfine sugar (Blend regular white sugar in a food processor until fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For The Macerated Berries
1 cup of mixed berries - I used raspberries and thinly sliced strawberries
Preheat the oven to 200 °F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a completely clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed for one minute to froth it up and build some body. Then, whip on medium-high speed for 8 to 10 minutes total – once soft peaks begin to form, start adding the lemon juice, and the sugar one teaspoon at a time. You should have stiff, glossy peaks. A stiff meringue = a happy pavlova.
Using a rubber spatula, pile the majority of the meringue onto the center of the parchment paper covered baking sheet. Using an offset metal spatula, spread the meringue into a large dinner plate sized round.
Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star or round tip with the remaining meringue. Pipe meringue kisses surrounding (but not touching) the central meringue, or pipe another parchment-covered baking sheet with kisses.
Place in bottom rack of oven. Do not open the door to check on the meringue at any point! Bake for ninety minutes; when the baking time is up, turn the oven off and let the pavlova and meringues cool completely inside the oven without opening the door. You can even bake this in the evening and turn off oven before going to bed, leaving overnight.
Macerate The Berries
Combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of salt in a small bowl and let the mixture sit until things get juicy and shiny, about 30 minutes.
Make The Earl Grey Cream
In a large glass jar with a lid, steep the earl grey tea in the heavy cream overnight in the fridge. You can also use a large glass covered with plastic wrap.
Once steeped, remove the teabags and give them a good gentle squeeze to get all that earl grey milky flavour out. Your cream should now be very slightly light brown from the milky tea.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the earl grey cream and sugar until firm peaks appear. Do not overmix.
Assemble The Pavlova
Gently place the completely cooled meringue on a large round plate.
Dollop a generous amount of earl grey cream on top, using an offset spatula to gently spread the whipped cream to the edges of the pavlova.
Using clean hands, place slices of macerated berries all over the whipped cream, or for a more rustic look simply spoon berries on top of the cream. Use a small spoon to drizzle some of the berry juice on top.
Add organic edible flowers or dried tea flowers (I used pink carnation petals, dried blue cornflowers and dried purple globe amaranth flowers).
Add crispy meringue kisses.
To serve, use a sharp knife and cut into slices and add an extra spoonful of macerated berries and their juices to each slice.
Leftover pavlova can be stored in the fridge loosely covered in plastic wrap but note that the pavlova and the meringues will lose their crispness factor!
Happy Mother’s Day to all those mamas, grandmas, aunties, caregivers and amazing mother figures out there. To any of you struggling in any facet of motherhood or hopeful motherhood, you are not alone. Thank you to Le Creuset for generously sending me this super cute BonBon pink Classic Whistling Kettle! It’s pink colour brings me joy in the mornings as I’m making up my milky earl grey. xo Lyndsay
It’s ALIIIIIVVEEEEEE!!! That’s all I could think of as I was piping this hilariously overdone buttercream-covered cake. Like the cake was going to be all like “SMELL YA LATER, LYNDS!” and shuffle off the table and open the door into the great unknown, leaving a snail trail of frosting in it’s wake. I made this wild and wonderful buttercream flower piped cake for a local art gallery’s dance-a-thon as part of a prize pack. To be totally honest, I had all of these buttercream colours already made up in fresh buttercream from the day before so it was a perfect excuse to put the extra buttercream to good cakey use. I had volunteered at my good friend Amber’s work, a seniors care facility, to present a cupcake decorating workshop for some awesome senior ladies! The women had a blast as I showed them how to pipe rosettes, buttercream grass and even a buttercream rose cupcake. Spending time with the seniors really made me miss my own grandma. Sigh. She was such a cool lady. She was a librarian, an avid reader and a great cook and baker – I just know she would’ve freaking LOVED seeing my cake book finally come to fruition!
This cake also BLEW UP on Instagram which I did not expect. IG is so weird. One moment they’re shittin’ on ya and cockblocking all of your content, then the next they’re blasting your cake pic all over everyone’s algorithm, haha. Anyway… I hope the winner of this zany cake partied as hard as this cake parties! xo Lyndsay
My Dad’s 70th Birthday + Pineapple Wearing Sunglasses Cake!