Strawberry Sheet Cake

Strawberry Sheet Cake Rosette Piping

 

strawberries

strawberries-2

INTRODUCING, COCO CAKE LAND SALMON MOUSSE!! Jk, jk – this is not salmon mousse. In fact, it is a light and fluffy pink tinged strawberry sheet cake piped rather OCD-like in strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. The cake base recipe is from A Cozy Kitchen, except I didn’t roast my strawberries, I just puréed them – but be like her and don’t be so lazy like me!! Can we expound on the delightfulness of a sheet cake? Holy sheet, you just pour the batter in to one pan and set it and forget it. Dump cake 2017, but not really. I like how the rosettes fancified up the sheet cake too.

Strawberry Sheet Cake Rosette Piping

I tried several piping method before settling in on classique rosettes – I attempted a cute fan pattern, but the fan pattern looked like … yeah, salmon mousse. Happy Birthday, Amber and Ashley!! xo Lyndsay 

Macerated Strawberry Pavlova

Strawberry Pavlova Coco Cake Land

Summah, babies!! Sorry, I’ve been listening nonstop to Two Dope Queens and it has been affecting my casual times Canadian vernacular. Listening to a current podcast is very 2017 of me which I am somewhat proud. Starting Breaking Bad Season 1 Episode 1 is very 2008 of me, which I am also proud, because millions of people have said to me “WHAT??! You’ve never seen BREAK-ING-BAD??” like I’m a Chinese tree dwarf with no cable (spoiler alert: I don’t have cable.) I know the reason why I never watched it before: SHIT IS INTENSE!! I had nightmares and woke up in the middle of the night mind-spiralling about the moral and ethical dilemmas in the show. K, the acting is REMARKABLE. I’ve watched three episodes so far, hehe. Ten years lattttterrrrrr! Back to baking now: strawberry pavlova! Doesn’t the word macerated just feel so medieval, so macabre, so masochistic?? No need to be so dramatic, guys. It’s simply fresh straw-babies (HELP) covered in sugar and a gentle squeeze of lemon left to sit until it becomes this juicy syrupy topping. Ice cream, pavlova, whatever you need, maceration will be there.

Strawberry Pavlova Coco Cake Land

This is the perfect summer dessert because: LAZY EASY CRUNCHY CRISPY CHEWY SWEET CREAMY FRUITY TANGY fuggedabout it plonk it down slice in and serve seconds, should there be any left. To be honest, I could eat an entire pavlova like I was emotionally eating Hawaiian pizza.

Macerated Strawberry Pavlova

12 messy slices

For The Macerated Strawberries

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

For The Meringue

  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 

Prepare Additional Ingredients

  • If using, pit some fresh, sweet cherries, rinse some blueberries or blackberries, pluck a few organic edible petals.

Macerate The Berries!

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the sliced strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of salt to cover the berries. Let stand at room temperature until syrupy and juicy.

Make The Meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and pinch of salt in and beat on high speed until firm.
  4. With the mixer on high speed, slowly add the granulated sugar until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the vanilla.
  6. Using a spatula, carefully dollop the meringue mixture onto the parchment paper, spreading it with an offset spatula into a semblance of a disc, about a 9 inch pillowy round.
  7. Bake the meringue in the oven for 11/2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside the oven to dry out further and cool completely in the oven, about an hour or two.

Make The Whipped Cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar in, then add the vanilla and continue to whip until stiff creamy peaks form.

Assemble The Pavlova

  1. Carefully remove the baked and cooled meringue from the parchment paper and place on serving plate or cake board.
  2. Generously dollop billowy whipped cream on top, spreading the whipped cream to the edges of the meringue.
  3. Spoon the macerated strawberries on top, adding any other fresh fruit you might like.
  4. Finish with a few edible flowers or mint leaves, or leave as is!

Strawberry Pavlova Coco Cake Land

Happy summer-ing, babies! (sorry) xo Lyndsay 

Chocolate Caramel Mac Nut Tart

chocolate caramel mac nut tart

chocolate caramel mac nut tart

slices of mac nut tart

Back in March 2017, my entire family took a very special trip to Maui – my mom, my dad, my sisters, husbands and all of our kids, a trip a few years in the making, as my dear dad hasn’t been able to travel due to health issues and had finally gotten the okay from his docs that he could take a trip! We went to his most beloved place, the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Someone recently said to me that “Hawaii is the theme of your family” and that’s pretty much true – whether it was my dad’s Hawaiian themed 70th birthday party, or my own wintry vintage Hawaiian themed wedding on a snowy day in January – and, just this past Father’s Day, Hawaii themed!! Because why not.

Hawaiian Themed Father's Day spread

I made my sweet friend Alana’s chocolate caramel mac nut pie recipe, fried up some Spam musubi and coconut shrimp – I got too tired to fry up chicken so I ordered delivery! As soon as I read Alana’s recipe I knew I wanted to make it for a special occasion such as this!

Palm tree Maui

Palm tree dangling in the warm tropical breeze of Maui.

Maui sunset

Maui Sunset!

Shave ice Maui

Wildcard shave ice combo: POG, grape and Melona, with vanilla ice cream on the bottom!

Maui sunset

More sunset!

Pineapple Maui

Pineapple party!

Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop

(The inspiration for wanting to make a chocolate mac nut pie – Leoda’s pies in Maui! So so delicious and totally worth a trip there)! Here is Alana’s definitive Maui guide which will help you plan your next vacation! PLUS: of course, Alana of Fix Feast Flair’s chocolate caramel macadamia nut tart recipe! The only thing I added was a dusting of Maldon salt for a sweet and salty textured addition, and I made regular whipped cream instead of mascarpone – but I loved the tangy creme fraiche flavour in both the caramel and the ganache! So good! Thanks so much Alana for the recipe! Sigh. Dreaming of Hawaii once again… xo Lyndsay 

Mocha Dacquoise Cake

mocha dacquoise cake recipe

mocha dacquoise cake recipe

I’ve been arm-pit deep in the final weeks of crunch-time book production, my friends. I’ve been reshooting lots of cakes and coming up with news ideas on the fly and just slam-jamming it all at my wonderful editor and just hoping I’m on track. That squeal of ridiculous excitement when I nail an idea in my head butts up against crippling self-doubt – all wrapped up in a future-book with a publishing date of August 2018, more than a year from now – but I know it will creep up on me, and knowing what my life has been like in the last decade, I wonder what this year has in store for me. On the opposite end of cake book madness, I’ve been deep into savoury-ish cooking these days – some of which I’ve been documenting on my *new* Instagram account, Snackblaster! I can’t tell if I’m going to start a new food blog dedicated to snacks and weekday meals. In the meantime: I went “early-1990s-is-cool” with this mocha dacquoise cake I made for my dear sister’s birthday!

mocha dacquoise close-up

The crispy chew of the chocolate meringue, with rich chocolate ganache and the melty creamy goodness of coffee swiss meringue buttercream, and the juicy acidic tang of raspberries makes this mocha dacquoise A-OK, light yet rich. I love the intense flavour of freeze dried strawberries and couldn’t resist a light sprinkle of them for both colour and texture too.

Mocha Dacquoise Cake

12-16 slices

For The Chocolate Meringue

Meringue recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup high quality Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar

For The Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces good quality semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped

For The Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 cup of egg whites (about 7 to 8 large eggs)
  • 2¼ cups of granulated white sugar
  • 2½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure coffee extract

For The Decoration

  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Freeze dried strawberries
  • Fresh rasbperries
  • Organic edible flower petals

Make The Meringue

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper – using a marker, trace two 9 inch circles on the underside of each paper. In a large bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. With mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Gently sift in the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa mixture in three additions, carefully folding after each addition until mostly incorporated – mixture may deflate a little but don’t panic! :)
  3. Transfer meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a large open circle tip. Starting just within the marked circles, pipe meringue in a large swirl/coil, starting from the outside circle and ending in the middle. Bake for 2 hours. Once 2 hours are up, turn off the oven and allow the meringues to dry out completely – I had them in there for another 4 hours.

Make The Ganache

  1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the cream on medium heat until it has almost reached a low boil and steam is rising. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the chocolate, ensuring the chocolate is covered with the cream, and let it sit untouched for ten minutes.
  3. After ten minutes, gently whisk together into a thick, glossy chocolate ganache.
  4. Allow to cool until thickened enough to be spreadable, about 1 hour, or power-chill it in freezer for 30 minutes to quicken the process, being careful not to freeze it!

Make The Buttercream

  1. Ensure the metal bowl of your stand mixer is completely clean, dry, and free of grease. A quick wipe out with a halved lemon, then rinsed and dried, will be sufficient.
  2. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and the sugar and mix on low to combine into a sugary slurry. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place on the stovetop on medium-high heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to make a double boiler situation, ensuring the mixer bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Heat the egg and sugar mixture until it reaches 160°F 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 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; make sure your meringue has cooled sufficiently before adding the butter—the bowl shouldn’t be hot, but more neutral/warm.
  5. Swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment. 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. Add the coffee extract, then bring the speed up to medium-high and beat until a fluffy silky magical buttercream has formed, about 2-3 minutes.

Put It All Together

  1. Remove the dried meringue discs from the parchment paper and set the first disc on a cake board or serving platter.
  2. Using an offset spatula, spread the meringue disc with one half of the cooled and thickened ganache mixture.
  3. Frost the top of the ganache with a generous amount of the coffee buttercream.
  4. Carefully place the second meringue disc on top of the coffee buttercream, pressing in gently to adhere.
  5. Spread the second half of the ganache on top of the disc.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large multi-pronged French open star tip with the coffee buttercream and pipe drop generous drop stars on top of the ganache.
  7. Decorate with fresh raspberries, a light dusting of cocoa powder, crushed pieces of freeze dried strawberries or raspberries and torn edible flower petals!
  8. Cake will last a few days in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long – I think it tastes delicious cold from the fridge, the meringue remained both crispy and chewy. You can make it ahead, just reserve the decorations and add right before serving.

mocha dacquoise cake recipe

mocha dacquoise cake recipe

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Two Ways

pink strawberry buttercream recipe

strawberry meringue cupcakes by coco cake land

It’s kinda the right time for strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, guys. This strawberry buttercream gets a power-blast of deep juicy strawberry flavour from a double whammy mix of strawberry puree AND freeze dried strawberry powder, the use of which was inspired by Yossy’s beautiful raspberry cake. Side warning: freeze dried strawberries are a little bit like crispy crack cocaine, they make your morning cereal WAY special.

strawberry buttercream recipe

With strawberry season around thy little corner in mind, here is a very delicious strawberry swiss meringue buttercream recipe for you – ready to be piped in soft pink ice cream clouds on top of your favourite cupcake base, or slathered on a layer cake decorated with fresh berries, edible flowers and mint leaves.

strawberry swiss meringue buttercream recipe

party time berry cake

half eaten strawberry cupcake

fork of buttercream

strawberry swiss meringue cupcake

summer berry pink party cake

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

6 cups

For The Buttercream

  • 1 cup of egg whites (about 7-8 large eggs)
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) freeze dried strawberry powder

Make The Strawberry Purée

  1. Wash and hull 1 pint of fresh strawberries.
  2. Puree strawberries with 1/8 cup sugar and a pinch of salt until smooth.

Make The Strawberry Powder

  1. Using a kitchen scale, measure out one ounce of freeze dried strawberries to make two tablespoons worth of powder (or, use approximately 1 cup freeze dried strawberries.)
  2. Process in a food processor until finely powdered. Let the strawberry dust settle for a minute before opening the food processor up.

Make The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. In the metal bowl of a stand mixer, whisk to combine the egg whites and sugar.
  2. Set the bowl resting on top of a small saucepan filled half way with water on high heat; do not let the metal bowl touch the water.
  3. Allow the egg white and sugar mixture to heat up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius), stirring mixture occasionally with whisk.
  4. Carefully remove metal bowl and place onto the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  5. Whip the mixture on high speed for 8-10 minutes until glossy, fluffy stiff peaks appear and bowl is cool to the touch.
  6. Swap out the whip attachment for the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium, begin adding pieces of room temperature butter to the mix, a few at a time. I just hold the 1 pound block of butter and slice cubes off it off into the meringue.
  7. Once the butter is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high until a thick, creamy buttercream has formed.
  8. Turn the mixer down to medium-low and slowly add the strawberry puree, then the strawberry powder.
  9. Beat on medium-high again to incorporate. Buttercream can be stored for up to 1 week in the fridge; bring to room temperature and gently re-beat before using.

strawberry swiss meringue buttercream recipe

summer berry pink party cake

In other cakey news: 

I love how Molly goes ovaries-out when she conducts her recipe testing. Carrot cake gets the Yeh treatment!

The prettiest colour palette on these ADORABLE piped flower cookie cakes by Alana!

The sprinkles-as-chic-short-hair-cut is the cutest/coolest… by Kat, of course!!

THIS MOCHI ICE CREAM vid via Tasty Japan. I copied down all the ingredients and can’t wait to try it!

Bye for now, buddies! xo Lyndsay 

Banana Coconut Cream Pie With Salted Caramel

cream pie heaven

dreamy coconut cream pie

Banana coconut cream pie might very well be the food of the angels. (The banana angels?) Can you picture it? So much dreaminess, like angels swan diving into tropical whipped cream coconut clouds. Throw a little drizzle o’ salted caramel on there and everything feels alright in the world for a quick cream-pie minute.

banana coconut cream pie recipe

carnations

banana coconut cream pie with salted caramel

I kinda love how caramel sputters and spurts in a crazy almost-boiling-over madness. I feel like a weird-scientist when I’m making it. 

slice of pie

I made this with a classic pate brisee crust but you could switch it out to the ever-easy graham cracker crust and you’d be just fine, if you’re feeling anti-pie-dough. I also love the added texture of a graham cracker crust in a cream pie. Or, go grocery-store-frozen-pie-shell – there’s no judgement when the hankering for cream pie is nigh! I wanted to add toasted coconut curls to this but the grocery store was out – another nice addition for a little textured crunch! Just add the toasted coconut right before serving so it stays crunchy.

banana coconut cream pie with salted caramel

Banana Coconut Cream Pie With Salted Caramel

12 slices

For The Pie Crust

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook - makes enough for two single crust pies - divide dough in half, wrap tightly in plastic and store in freezer for up to 1 month, thaw before using. 
  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
   

For The Filling

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • 2 medium bananas, firm and just ripe (not speckled/mushy!)

For The Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 

For The Salted Caramel

Recipe adapted from Layered by Tessa Huff of Style Sweet Ca

  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make The Crust

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt, pulsing for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Add the cold butter, and pulse until mixture comes together enough to still have large pieces of butter – a few seconds.
  3. With the machine running, slowly add the ice water through the feed tube in a steady stream, until dough barely holds together. Pieces of butter should still be visible and dough might seem a bit crumbly, but do not add too much water – 15-20 seconds.
  4. If dough doesn’t hold together and is too crumbly, add an extra tablespoon of cold water and pulse for a few seconds.
  5. Tear off a large, long piece of plastic wrap and place on your work surface.
  6. Carefully place half of the dough onto the plastic wrap, forming it loosely and lightly into a flattened disk of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Do the same with the second half of dough, and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
  8. Remove the dough disk from the fridge; on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Place dough into a 9 inch pie plate, pressing gently. Trim off overhang, and crimp pie dough edge with a fork (or a classier pattern!)
  10. Prick the dough all over with a fork, and brush with beaten egg, if using.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  12. Freeze pie shell until firm, about 20 minutes.
  13. Line chilled pie shell with parchment paper and blind-bake using pie weights, rice or dried beans.
  14. Bake pie shell for about 15-20 minutes, then remove the pie weights, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden.
  15. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

Make The Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a friendly simmer (do not boil) and cook, whisking intermittently, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Whisk a quarter of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.
  4. Add the remaining hot milk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid any “cooked egg yolk situation.”
  5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until a custard forms. It will thicken quite a bit and there will be bubbles – about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer filling to a clean medium bowl.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the filling to avoid a “skin” forming (gross but true.)
  8. Power-chill the mixture in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until cooled.
  9. Slice two just-ripe bananas and layer them in the bottom of the pie shell – the bananas also help the crust stay crisp, acting as a barrier between the pudding and the shell.
  10. Once the pudding is cooled, pour the mixture on top of the banana slices.

You may have some leftover but it makes a perfect pudding snack for your next snack attack.

Make The Whipped Cream

  1. Place the metal bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  2. Attach metal bowl to base and attach whisk.
  3. Place heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
  4. Dollop on top of the coconut filling and use an offset spatula to spread whipped cream to the edges. Or, use a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip to pipe happy little whipped cream stars all over the pie.
  5. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

Make The Salted Caramel

  1. Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, stirring to combine.
  2. Heat over high heat, swirling the pan, until the sugar turns a medium golden amber colour – 8-10 minutes.
  3. You don’t want it to get too dark as it takes on a burnt flavour (which many people like!) so remove from heat once you’ve gotten to medium golden amber.
  4. Very slowly, add the cream in a slow stream, whisking at the same time – be careful as the mixture will bubble up, but soon calm down.
  5. Add the butter, salt and vanilla, stirring to combine.
  6. The caramel will thicken as it cools – you can speed the thickening process by refrigerating it or power-chilling it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. Once it’s completely cool, have it on standby to drizzle over slices of pie as it’s being cut. Yeah boyeeee.

slice of cream pie - cococakeland.com

banana coconut cream pie recipe

slice of cream pie - cococakeland.com

Creamy coconut pudding atop sliced bananas, with pools of salted caramel nestled in vanilla whipped cream – DREAMSVILLE!!

Also, delicious things happening on the internet: 

Loving this sneaky way of making ultra-flaky buttery biscuits!

This rose rose cake by Molly – like a ROSE HOT DISH! So cute.

This late night Welsh Rarebit – Steph is so good at coming up with her cravings on the fly.

Meyer lemon and raspberry cake!

Michelle’s dinosaur fossil cookies – clever and fun!

banana coconut cream pie with salted caramel

Happy cream pie-ing!! xo Lyndsay 

Buttercream Ribbon Rose Cake

how to pipe a ribbon rose

ribbon rose cake - coco cake land

SPRING! In my neck of the woods, this means cherry blossoms blooming, lil green leaves sprouting up everywhere and sanity-saving sunny days of playing outside. Perhaps it means taking up running again and getting some fitness up in this muffin top??

ribbon rose cake - cococakeland.com

pink ribbon rose cake

It definitely means busting out the piping bags for some extra pretty Spring-in-your-step cakes. I love the look of the buttercream ribbon rose cake – the ribbon rose is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a tight little ribbon of buttercream that forms an adorable mini rosette. This whole mint green/peachy rose look is giving me a serious 1990s Laura Ashley vibe/Cabbage Patch Kids/Anne Geddes mega vibe which of course I’m very into…

mother's day cake ideas

slice of cake

I was just telling Teddy about what it means to make someone that you love feel good. He was telling me that for Easter, he would give me the Easter eggs which he didn’t like the look of… so I said what would really be special is if you gave me the one that was actually the one you really liked. Then I started telling him about the time when my sisters and I were kids, and Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage in 1982, those rock-hard-faced dolls were the most coveted toy of Christmas that year, each with a signature scrawl on their butt. My sister Shelley wanted a brown-haired one, that was her big wish – I wanted a brown haired one too… but when we tore into those wrapped tell-tale boxes, my sister ended up with a red-haired one and I got the brown-haired one. HUGE TEARS erupted from my sister as she was so sad she didn’t get her brown-haired one… I immediately went over to her and told her she could have mine (even though I really wanted the brown haired one too!) and I ended up with little ginger Arianna with the carrot-orange braids. This is probably my first memory of being empathetic and compassionate, at 6 years old. NOT TOO SHABBY, LITTLE ME!

ribbon rose cake slice

A few weeks ago Teddy and I made strawberry ice cream from scratch, and the frigging waffle cones too. Other things we’ve made together include pancakes, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, banana chocolate chip muffins… he loves cracking eggs, even though I’m holding my breath every time he does it (entirely non-gracefully, with large shards of shell embedded in yolk and whites). I want to give him these baking experiences, and to show him that things don’t have to come from a store, and to spend time with him in the kitchen (also so he thinks my job is cool, hehe). I’m guessing 20 years from now he will look back and appreciate baking with mom… :P

cuisinart stand mixer

Yellow Vanilla Cake with Pink Buttercream Ribbon Roses

12 slices

For The Yellow Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk

For The Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Buttercream recipe from Layered by Tessa Huff/Style Sweet Ca
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 

Special Equipment

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 7×2 inch round cake pans by spritzing with vegetable oil (or rubbing with unsalted butter) and parchment paper lining, trimmed to size. 

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until combined. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the flour, until combined and a batter forms, about 30-60 seconds. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans; bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
  6. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar.  Whisk them together by hand, just until they are combined so that the egg whites don’t begin cooking by themselves.
  2. Fill a sauce pan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.  Place the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture on top to create a double-boiler. The water should be kept at a simmer but should not touch the bottom of the bowl.  The double-boiler acts as indirect heat for the egg white mixture.
  3. Occasionally stirring, heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 155 to 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  The mixture should be very hot to the touch and the sugar should have dissolved.
  4. Once the egg white mixture is hot, carefully return the bowl to the stand mixer.  Fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for about 8-10 minutes.  When done, the meringue should hold shiny, medium-stiff peaks and be cooled to room temperature.  Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
  5. Swap out to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, begin adding in the room temperature butter a couple tablespoons at a time. I pretty much just “cube as I go” with a sharp paring knife, cutting little pieces into the meringue bit by bit.
  6. Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract.
  7. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until silky smooth, creamy and shiny.
  8. Remove 1/2 cup of buttercream for tinting a peachy pink shade; I used maybe 1/8 teaspoon total of pink mixed with peach gel food colouring.
  9. Add about 1/8 teaspoon total of leaf green and sky blue gel food colouring to the rest of the buttercream and mix for another minute on medium speed to incorporate colour.

Assemble The Cake

  1. Once cake layers are completely cooled, level your layers with a serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion to remove any cake domes.
  2. Place a dab of buttercream on a cake board or cake plate and place the first layer, cut side up, in the center, pressing down to adhere gently.
  3. Using an offset spatula, frost the layer with an even layer of buttercream.
  4. Place the next cake layer on top, cut-side-down, pressing gently down to adhere.
  5. Frost the next layer as you did the first layer.
  6. Place the final cake layer on top, cut-side-down, pressing down gently to adhere. Make sure all your cake layers are in an even stack.
  7. Begin frosting a crumb coat of buttercream starting from the top of the cake and working your way down and around the sides. Use a cake bench scraper to smooth as you go.
  8. Chill the cake for 20 minutes in fridge or freezer to set the crumb coat.
  9. Remove cake from fridge and do a final coat of buttercream, using your cake bench scraper to smooth.
  10. Place the remaining green buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small leaf tip and set aside.
  11. Place the peachy-pink tinted buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a petal tip (such as Wilton #104).
  12. Using the flower nail, pipe a dab of buttercream on top, then place a parchment paper square on top to adhere to nail. Using the petal tip, hold the piping bag with the tip’s wide side down. Squeeze out buttercream at the same time as you turn the flower nail to create a tight little ribbon rose; you can make them smaller by doing less rotations or larger by continuing to pipe more rotations.
  13. Remove the rose and parchment paper and place on a tray; once you’ve done all your roses, chill the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes to set the roses.
  14. The roses will now be pretty much frozen and easy to handle – gently place the roses on your cake in a border-like pattern, spacing them evenly.
  15. Using the piping bag fitted with the leaf tip, pipe leaves all around the ribbon roses (or in any pattern which you like!)

ribbon-rose-cake-4

slice of buttercream rose cake

red cuisinart stand mixer

This post is sponsored by the new Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer! When Cuisinart Canada invited me to create my favourite baking memories, I made this bunny cake, and now this childhood Cabbage Patch Kids inspired cake. In the run up to Mother’s Day on May 14, Cuisinart Canada is celebrating time spent and shared in the kitchen – they’re encouraging people to share their favourite baking memories and to bake new memories too. You can enter to WIN your very own stand mixer in Cuisinart’s Bake New Memories contest. They’re giving away SIX of ‘em. Submit a short story of a baking memory or a recipe photo including the hashtag #bakenewmemories and you will be entered into a random draw for a Cuisinart Precision Master™ Stand Mixer and the Grand Prize of a “Cuisinart Kitchen”! Full contest rules and HOW TO ENTER here! Thank you Cuisinart for sponsoring this post!

Pink Bunny Cut Up Cake!

pink bunny mini cut up cake - coco cake land

pink bunny cut up cake

Aiyahh. How cute are these funny little pink bunny cut up cake buddies? I wasn’t sure if a sleeping bunny might be a little on the creepy side. But I rolled with it. This tutorial is going to show you a few things. One – how to colour your own shredded coconut. I’ll just tell you right now. Do you have a large ziplock bag? Do you have some pink gel food colour or regular old watery food colouring? Do you have shredded coconut? Combine all that in your ziplock bag and shake it like your life depended on it. Before you know it, you will have PINK TINTED coconut. It’s that easy, snowball.

pink bunny cut up cake

Two: how to make two round cakes TRANSFORM into the cutest (maybe too steely-eyed?) chill bunnies just relaxing on a plate, being all cool bow-tie casual. A coconut-covered bunny cake brings back both fond and hilarious memories for me  - it was my mom’s go-to cake concept in the 1980s, and my sisters and I had plenty of bunny cakes with gumdrop noses and licorice whiskers to go along with ye olde pizza parlour/bowling birthday parties.

pink bunny cut up cake

easter bunny cake

Initially I was going to bake two 9 inch round cakes and make one single bunny cake, based on the awesome tutorial I found from Homan At Home. But then I got charmed with the idea of making mini bunny cakes, so I ended up getting three mini bunny cakes out of the two 9 inch round cakes. If you wanted to make one larger bunny cake, the basic idea is identical – you’ll save one round cake for the bunny’s face, and the second round cake gets “cut up” into two ears and a bow-tie, respectively.

cut up cake tutorial

Here I’m punching out 4 inch rounds to make 3 mini bunny cakes.

cut up cake tutorial

Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the bunny ears from the round cake. I cut the first bunny ear, which is the oblong leaf type shape, and stacked it on top of the other side of the cake, using the first bunny ear as a template of sorts. Then, the middle part becomes the bow tie!

cut up cake tutorial

cut up cake tutorial

Arrange the cake on a plate with the cut-up pieces so you get the idea of the shape.

cut up cake tutorial

Frost the top and sides of the round cake with a good helping of pink buttercream (recipe below!).

pink coconut cake

Now, cover the cake with the shredded pink coconut – I found the best way to do this was to pour the shredded coconut onto the same sized plate, then sort of “dip” or dunk the frosted cake into it, patting the coconut in with my fingers. The coconut sticks easily to the buttercream. For the sides, I rolled the cake like a wheel in the coconut and it stuck perfectly.

bunny cake

Position the bunny ears to your liking!

bunny cake

Nestle the bowtie right up in there.

red cuisinart mixer

Colour the reserved vanilla buttercream a happy shade of green! (recipe and instructions below).

bunny cake

Fill your piping bag with an open star tip and pipe away! I piped the sides and top in the little drop star pattern.

pink bunny cut up cake

I finished the bowties by placing a large malt ball candy in the centre. I used store-bought fondant for the eyes, nose and inner ears – but grocery store candies and shoestring licorice will work great too!

Pink Coconut Bunny Cut Up Cake

For The Coconut Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 400 ml can of high quality coconut milk (not reduced fat)

For The Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • dash of milk
  • gel food colouring in electric pink and leaf green

For The Pink Coconut + Decor

  • 4 cups of unsweetened shredded white coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink gel colour (or use grocery store food colouring in small 1/4 teaspoon increments until desired colour is reached)
  • For the eyes, nose and inner ears, I used store-bought coloured fondant - though I realize many don't have those things on hand, which is where grocery store candy comes in handy! (I rhymed.) Starburst works great for a little pink nose, just warm it up in your hand first to make it more pliable! Any round circular candies work great for eyes, and black shoestring licorice is the classique choice for whisker action!

Make The Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with vegetable oil; cut out parchment paper circles to line pans. 

  1. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, shredded white coconut, salt and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the pure vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on low until gently but thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl; do not over mix the batter.
  5. Divide batter evenly into prepared 9 inch cake pans. Bake in the middle rack of the oven, turning pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely in pans on wire racks.

 

Make The Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the icing sugar is incorporated. Add the vanilla and dash of milk.
  3. Now, crank that dial to maximum and let it whip into a fluffy buttery sugary frosting.
  4. Remove about 1/3 of the buttercream out of the stand mixer bowl and place in a separate medium bowl. Add the pink gel food colouring to the stand mixer bowl and beat on high until the colour has incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula, colour the reserved buttercream with the desired amount of green gel food colouring – I used 1/8 teaspoon to get light green, and a little more for the slightly darker shade.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip (I used a small French multi-pronged open star tip) with the green buttercream and set aside.

Assemble The Cake

  1. Remove the cooled cakes from their pans. Using a serrated knife, level the cake, then follow the instructions as noted above in the photos!

pink bunny cut up cake

bunny with bowtie cake

I’m pretty excited to make the full sized version of this guy for Easter dinner with my family! If you have a major hate-on for coconut, you can using buttercream to pipe the fur using either a multi-opening grass piping tip or any star piping tip. Happy bunny making, my friends! xo Lyndsay 

red cuisinart mixer

This post is sponsored by the new Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer! When Cuisinart Canada invited me to create a favourite baking memory, my mom’s bunny cake was the first thing that popped into my head and I’m pretty stoked on how my take on them turned out! In the run up to Mother’s Day on May 14, Cuisinart Canada is celebrating time spent and shared in the kitchen – they’re encouraging people to share their favourite baking memories and to bake new memories too. You can enter to WIN your very own stand mixer in Cuisinart’s Bake New Memories contest. They’re giving away SIX of ‘em. Submit a short story of a baking memory or a recipe photo including the hashtag #bakenewmemories and you will be entered into a random draw for a Cuisinart Precision Master™ Stand Mixer and the Grand Prize of a “Cuisinart Kitchen”! Full contest rules and HOW TO ENTER here! Thank you Cuisinart for sponsoring this post!