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  

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)

I Am A Food Blog’s TOTORO INARI SUSHI!

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!

Banana Bundt Cake with Bourbon Caramel

sour cream banana cake recipe

slice of banana cake

bourbon caramel sauce banana cake recipe

This banana bundt cake recipe comes from my pal “Call Me Cupcake.” I’ve known sweet Linda Lomelino for almost a decade now – we’ve both been on the damn internet that long, and I’ve watched her popularity explode, and rightly so: she is so crazily talented, baking and photographing everything in her home in the tiny town of Halmstad in Sweden. Her beautiful “through a glass, darkly” flush-with-romance-yet-modern photography style has been emulated the world over, times infinity – and she shares both recipes and gives away some of her styling and photography secrets in her book third (!) book My Sweet Kitchen. Back when I was feeling more ambitious with my blog (LOL) I interviewed Linda, which you can read here – I still love her answers!

banana bundt cake recipe

The cool thing about My Sweet Kitchen is that Linda shows her work in progress. There are “before and after” pics of a cake first photographed, then styled differently, then with more bits and bobs added, then edited on the computer to fix white balance or contrast or further saturate colours. It shows the same photograph with different depths of fields, showing how you can make an image with that coveted blurry background, or have everything in focus. My initial idea for this post was to do some before and afters – but dammit, the befores were just SO ugly I couldn’t bear to stink up my precious blog with the pics! Haha. Thank goodness the light changed in my kitchen, creating some interesting shadows, and that I added some pretty edible flowers and berries to my cake. Photographing BROWN ON BROWN is very difficult to make appealing, hehe.

banana bundt cake recipe

Linda Lomelino My Sweet Kitchen book

Linda’s book got me thinking about my own photography and styling idiosyncrasies – I have tried and tried to expand out of my “white minimal” background and “lots of white space” vibes but IT IS HARD! Ha. I need more practice in getting outta my photography comfort zone. Anyhow… this banana bundt number is simple and good. Perfect dunked in coffee or alongside a milky tea, and taken to the next level by that bourbon caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I put little slices of the cake in Teddy’s bento box school lunch for the week and he came home with his sandwich half eaten but the cake all gobbled up.

banana bundt cake recipe

Banana Bundt Cake With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

12-16 slices

For The Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 very ripe medium bananas

For The Bourbon Caramel Sauce

  • 2/3 cup light Muscavado sugar (I used light brown sugar) firmly packed
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
 

Make The Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large Bundt cake pan that holds about 2 1/2 quarts.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients over the butter mixture and add the sour cream. Mash the bananas and add them. Stir until the batter is smooth and holds it shape. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Use a spoon or offset spatula to level the top of the batter, and tap the bottom of the pan against the tabletop to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 40 minutes, checking for doneness, and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs.
  6. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and leave out overnight to develop the flavours.

Make The Caramel

  1. Heat the sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium-high to high heat, stirring occasionally, until everything has melted.
  2. Add the cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and bourbon.
  3. Drizzle some of the sauce over the cake and serve the rest on the side while the sauce is still warm.
  4. Add decorative edible flowers and berries for colour, if desired.
  5. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to serve, to take it over the top!

banana bundt cake recipe

Recipe from My Sweet Kitchen by Linda Lomelino! Happy baking! xo Lyndsay 

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