Kawaii Ghost Graveyard Cake!

kawaii ghost cookie cake

kawai ghost cookies

It’s HALLOWEEEEEEEEN month!! Hooray! To celebrate, I made this kawaii ghost graveyard cake to get everyone in the Halloween mood, hehe.

wilton halloween cookie cutters

Wilton Halloween is chock full of awesome cake and cookie decorating supplies to help you get your trick-or-treat on! As soon as I saw the ghost cookie cutter set and the tombstone cookie cutter set, a lightbulb went off – I wanted to make an extra cute ghost graveyard cake with floating ghostie sugar cookies! PLUS… I added Halloween coloured stripes, and used a grass piping tip to make the grassy green ground of a graveyard! I know Halloween cakes are often black, with blood ‘n stuff. But I wanted to keep it Rated G cuteness with this cake! Hey, it still has the goth factor though – little ghosties mixing and mingling above their gravestones.

kawaii ghost graveyard cake

ghost sugar cookies

I also used Wilton lollipop sticks to make cookie lollipops in order to anchor the cookies into the cake! Once you cut out the cookie dough into your desired shape, gently press the stick down into the cookie and bake as normal. You can also “glue” the cookie stick on once the cookies are baked and cooled using royal icing! To ice the cookies, I used Wilton meringue powder to make a very easy and quick royal icing – here’s a good Wilton video showing you how to do it! I always eyeball the consistency – you will want to have two different icing consistencies, one stiffer consistency for outlining the cookie, and one looser consistency for flooding the cookie. All you do is add tiny amounts of water until a looser consistency is achieved. TINY is the operative word here!

kawaii ghost cookie cake

kawaii ghost cake cococakeland

I baked my favourite chocolate cake recipe into four 7 x 2 inch round cake layers, then filled the cake with orange, grey and white vanilla buttercream to match the exterior of the cake. I used Wilton’s Color Right system to colour my buttercream!

halloween cake slice

TIPS FOR YOUR SUGAR COOKIES: 

1. Your sugar cookie dough should always be cold – most recipes call for it to be refrigerated at least a few hours before using. After you cut out your shapes, freeze the shapes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to firm up again for about 15-20 minutes before popping in the oven. This step will help the cookies keep their shape!

2. Royal icing dries out quickly! Always cover royal icing bowls and piping bags filed with royal icing with damp paper towels to keep it moist when you’re working! For piping outlines and for the ghost faces and tombstone lettering, I used a very small open circle tip – Wilton #2. To flood the icing, I used a spoon to dollop the looser icing into the centers of the cookies and I used a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges!

3. Once the cookies are iced, sometimes you want to POWER DRY them! I found that my oven was still somewhat warm (but cool enough that I could touch the racks) so I placed the cookies in the barely-warm oven to dry up a little quicker. I also put the oven light on too to try and dry them.

ghost graveyard cake

TIPS FOR BUTTERCREAM STRIPES:

1. After you’ve crumb-coated your cake, make sure you add a lot of buttercream to the second layer! You will be pulling away much of the buttercream with your striped cake comb, but if you don’t have a thick enough layer on there, you won’t achieve smooth stripe lines. Once you’ve scraped the striped comb around your cake a few times, freeze your cake for 15 minutes to set.

2. Use piping bags fitted with small open circle tips to fill the coloured stripes. Scrape with a cake bench scraper, and then HEAT UP your bench scraper (place under hot water then dry it) and scrape a few mores times for a very smooth layer. Be careful not to scrape TOO deeply and too much, as you will eventually hit the crumb coat (this has happened to me MANY times!).

3. Practice! My first striped cake was a total fail, and I questioned my whole profession, haha. But, like any new technique, you gotta practice. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Watch VIDEOS of how to do it – here’s a good one, How To Create A Buttercream Striped Cake by Whitney of Sugar + Sparrow Cakes! 

ghost sugar cookie cake toppers

Thank you Wilton Cakes for sponsoring this post! Although I’ve been compensated, all opinions are my own, and those who know and love Coco Cake Land know how much I love to use Wilton products in my cake decorating! Happy Halloween cake decorating, my friends! xo Lyndsay 

Kawaii Harry Potter Cake!

kawaii harry potter cake

kawaii harry potter cake

hedwig the owl cake topper

It’s my kawaii Harry Potter cake!!! I made this kawaii Harry Potter cake for my dear friend Mia’s son Theo’s seventh birthday. My journey to being a Potterhead has been, ahem, decades long. Almost twenty years ago my then-boyfriend Rich was plowing through the series (which, when I look back, was rather adorable) and he encouraged me to read them, insisting I would love it. I’ve always had an issue with crappy design. I LOATHED the very first book covers of Harry Potter – HP was too cartoony, the colours were heinous and too geared towards kids (I know it’s a kids book, lol). But, I started it anyway… and never got beyond maybe the first two chapters and just said FUGGEDABOUTIT Harry. Fast forward to 2018 – my mom had just finished the entire series and gifted a whole set of them to Rich and I for our wedding anniversary! I decided to give it another go. Even still, it took until Book 3 to really get into it for me – I would start and finish other books in between like a jerk. But I finally fell in love.

kawaii harry potter cake

Harry is truly a hero. He perseveres through so much and grows up for the first decade of his life without knowing love. TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET y’all. His first trepidatious forays into friendship – and becoming an honorary member of the Weasley family… then, finding out Siruis is his stepfather and finally feeling like he has a father figure in his life and then … JK ROWLING, ya KILL Sirius?? But Harry continues on. I lost it when in Book 7 he visits the graveyard where his parents are buried. Then, when Harry sees his mom for the first time after he’s “killed” and she tells him how brave he has been… just sobbing. I am now reading the illustrated version of Book 1 with Teddy and he is LOVING it.

harry potter fondant pieces

Fondant glasses, lightning bolt scar, smile! I ended up giving Harry one winking eye instead.

harry potter cake tutorial

I carefully pressed the fondant pieces into the buttercream, and made teensy fondant ears anchored by wooden skewers.

harry potter cake tutorial

Gryffindor scarf!!! My trusty furry favourite, Wilton tip #234 to the knitting rescue.

harry potter cake tutorial

BALD HARRY!

harry potter cake tutorial

Okay, this was the part I was STRESSED about. Piping his hair with chocolate buttercream!

harry potter cake tutorial

Finished!! Harry was a bit of a flat-head but he didn’t seem to mind.

hedwig the owl cake topper

Then of course we needed Harry Potter themed cake toppers! I drew a kawaii Hedwig and my attempt at Harry Potter font for “Theo” – hehe.

behind the scenes photoshoot

Behind the scenes of my “photo studio!” This is the closest I would let Teddy get to the cake, lol.

kawaii harry potter cake

HARRY POTTER CAKE!!!

half eaten harry potter cake

And… Harry post-surgery. It was a lot of fun coming up with this Harry Potter cake design, and my mom has already asked for it for her birthday too! Honestly I meant to post this in July but – SUMMER happened. However, back to school = back to Hogwarts – so this seems appropriate too… What’s your favourite book in the series? I think Book 7 was my favourite, though I also liked book 6 aka the Voldemort origin story. (Once again, Happy birthday Theo!!)  xo Lyndsay 

Hand Painted Tie Dye Cake!

hand painted tie dye cake

 tie dye cake tutorial

I finally tried edible paint! My dear niece Kensie turned ten years old (WAHHH) and I wanted to make her something special for her kids’ party. It ended up being a hand painted tie dye cake, as Kensie is super into tie-dye right now. It was so much fun and yes, it really is like painting. I think it turned out really cute, kind of 60s wallpaper loose Marimekko cookie canister or something… ! I did not practice beforehand, which might’ve been a wildcard move. I had never used edible paint before, nor was I sure it would even stick on or paint smoothly onto my buttercream “canvas”… but all went well!!! In fact, just before I made up the buttercream, I read the Sweet Sticks edible art paint FAQ and read that it only sticks to dry buttercream – I was about to make swiss meringue, but opted for my simple vanilla buttercream recipe instead! Yay for a tiny bit of forethought! :P

tie dye painted cake tutorial

tie dye cake batter

I used four 7 x 2 inch round cake pans, and divided my vanilla cake batter into four separate bowls, colouring each with a gel colour. Then, with the help of my friend Erin Bakes, I sort of just plopped each batter on top of each other! Then I lightly banged the pans to level out the batter.

tie dye cake batter

Using a toothpick, I made a few lines through the batter to create a “swirly” pattern.

tie dye cake batter

baked tie dye cake layers

The baked cake layers! They turned out pretty cute! You can see a cake video of me stacking, filling and frosting the cake here on my Coco Cake Land Instagram! 

hand painted tie dye cake

If it’s your first time painting a cake, make sure you use “crusting” dry buttercream so the paint absorbs. Start with a chilled cake, too! Chill occasionally if needed while working on the cake, because as the buttercream softens, the paintbrush can muck up the buttercream. After I finished painting, I used a large French open star tip to pipe big drop stars on the top of the cake for a border, and sprinkled it with my favourite Sweetapolita sprinkles!

tie dye cake cococakeland

The cake all ready for the birthday girl and her guests! :)

Kensie with birthday cake

Kensie with birthday cake

My adorable niece! I think this was when I told her there *might* be a surprise inside! :)

tie dye cake insides

Surprise! Tie dye!! Pretty on the inside!

tie dye cake insides

A nice slice of tie dye cakey fun!! I can’t wait to try more cake painting! I used Sweet Sticks edible art paint, and if you’re in Canada, Scoop n Save carries it! Happy cake painting, cake pals – and happy birthday Kensie!! xo Lyndsay 

Homer Simpson Cake For Sydney

homer simpson cake tutorial

simpsons cake tutorial

homer simpson cake tutorial

My adorable, blond, curly haired white niece Sydney turned three! For a few months there she was asking me for a Peppa the Pig cake, which I was game for (although, even though I’m an experienced cake designer, I still worried it would shuffle over into peen territory)… but then, about a month ago it changed – to a HOMER SIMPSON CAKE! YESSSS! Sydney loves The Simpsons, and refers to them as “yellow people” (as a yellow person with a sense of humour, I can enjoy this) – and how cool is my three year old niece to request a Homer cake?? Haha.

homer simpson drawing

I’d never made a Homer cake before so off to the drawing board (sort of literally) I went. Rich had the brilliant idea to use the round cake pan for the top of the head, as it’s a prominent Homer feature!

homer simpson cake tutorial

I baked the chocolate cake recipe from my book, dividing the recipe into two 6×3 inch round cake pans and my round sports ball cake pan. Once baked and cooled, I cut the round cakes into four layers total, and filled and frosted the cake with yellow tinted vanilla buttercream.

homer simpson cake tutorial

I think I did three coats of buttercream on this in between frosting coat chills in the freezer – I wanted to get Homer very smooth!

glazing homer simpson donuts

Homer had to have hot pink glazed donuts! But because I am medium-crappy at making donuts, it was Tim Horton’s to the rescue! I sent Rich and Teddy to the corner Tim Horton’s (lol, we live in a city neighborhood) and they came back with plain cake donuts, which I then glazed myself using a simple glaze of icing sugar and a TINY splash of milk. The key to donut glaze is that it takes WAY less liquid than you would think. Start with the tiniest dribble amount and add dribbles as you go to get that thick glaze consistency, otherwise it gets too watery-looking and see-through. Wait until the glaze sets up for a minute before adding sprinkles.

homer simpson cake tutorial

I tried many variations of round fondant eyes for Homer!! He looked pretty freaky for a while, maybe with some light “escaped convict tweaked out on street drugs” vibes… But in the end, I was happy with his big round cartoon saucer eyes! I anchored the top “beret” donut on his head using a hidden wooden skewer!

homer simpson cake tutorial

I was so happy with how Homer turned out!! And Sydney loved it and was literally jumping up and down when she saw it! I glazed extra donuts and brought those on the side, so each kid at the party could have half of a donut!

homer simpson cake cut up

Homer cake aftermath! I love cake aftermath pictures, hehe. Happy Birthday Sydney!! xo Auntie Lyndsay 

Buttercream Piped Rainbow Cake For Pride Month

buttercream piped rainbow cake

rainbow cake cococakeland

The buttercream piped rainbow cake might very well be one of my favourite cakes to make – each time they turn out differently, but they are always MAJORLY BLASTED WITH COLOUR! To celebrate Pride Month, I teamed up with a crew of excellent cake makers on Instagram to create #freshtakesonrainbowcakes! Hashtag alert! I know, I know. I love making up hashtags. My best hashtag ever though has got to be #putitinyourbagandpipeit, hehe! Makes me chuckle every time…

stacked cake layers

Loved how these rainbow layers looked all stacked up with different shades of vanilla buttercream! I think you could stop right there if you wanted! Rainbow naked cake?? I used the vanilla cake recipe from my book and divided the batter into five bowls, tinting each a different shade. For both the cake layers and the buttercreams, I used gel colours from both Americolor and Wilton brand. My favourite vibrant gel colours are Americolor “electric pink” and “electric purple” – I also love mixing teals, turquoises and sky blue together as well as leaf green and a touch of yellow to make it a bit more fluorescent.

rainbow-cake-blog-june2019-4

rainbow cake cococakeland

For the buttercream piping, I used Wilton petal tip #104 to make the roses, Wilton #234 for the furry drop-pom-poms, and Wilton tips #20, #22 and #32 for the drop stars and rosettes! I used a small leaf tip to fill in any gaps as well.

rainbow slice

sliced rainbow cake

Make sure to check out the awesome rainbow cakes of Erin Bakes, Sugar Hero, Style Sweet Ca and Rox Star Bakes! Happy Pride month, year, and every day! Vancouver has their Pride celebrations in August – for the past few years, Teddy and I have marched as allies at the Dyke March, and I feel grateful that we get to live in such a great community. I am also proud to raise Teddy in a way that values and normalizes gay, straight and everything-in-between relationships – love is love, and love is what matters most. xo Lyndsay 

Watermelon Cat Cake!

watermelon cat cake cococakeland

It’s a watermelon cat cake! SURE WHY NOT! I teamed up with my Internet pals and brilliant dessert creatives Vickie Liu and Samantha Chiu to form #cutefruitclub – we made kawaii, fruit-inspired desserts to kick off Summer! I’ve been wanting to try a “watermelon” cake for a while, but I wanted to give it a Coco Cake Land vibe – so I made it into an animal, of course! Hehe. Want to know how I made this guy? Read on, reader!

watermelon cake batter

Start off with your favourite vanilla cake recipe (or, try an actual watermelon-flavoured cake recipe like this one from my pal Sugar Hero) and tint it a deep fuchsia/pink colour (I used a mix of electric pink and fuchsia gel colours). Sprinkle in some chocolate chips for “seeds.” Divide your batter evenly between three 7 or 8 inch round cake pans! Bake and cool completely before beginning to frost your cake.

watermelon cake

Make a big batch of vanilla buttercream (you can find my tried and true recipes for both vanilla cake and buttercream in my book!), dividing the batch. Keep about 2/3 cup uncoloured (white), and tint 3/4 cup a nice bright green (I used leaf green). Tint the rest of the buttercream the same colour as the cake batter – a nice bright pink! (yes, I know watermelon is technically red, lol). Fill your cake layers and frost the entire exterior of the cake with the pink buttercream. Then, fill a large piping bag fitted with a large multi-opening tip with the pink buttercream. Fill a small piping bag fitted with a smaller multi-opening tip with the white buttercream, and a small piping bag fitted with a multi-opening tip with the green buttercream! Starting with the green piping bag, pipe the “green fur watermelon rind” (hehe) around the bottom of the cake. Next, pipe the “white fur watermelon rind.” Then for the pink fur, I piped upwards in lines, going all around the cake until it was completely covered. For the top, I started at the edges and worked my way inward.

watermelon cat cake cococakeland

Make the fondant face! I used pre-coloured black and pink fondant to make the kitty face features. Use your hands to shape two white triangular ears, anchoring them with wooden BBQ skewers cut to size. Press the fondant pieces into the cake – then add chocolate chips for watermelon seeds!

slice of pink cake

watermelon cat cake cococakeland

If you wanted to bypass the cat face part of this cake (BUT WHY), simply pipe the entire cake and add “seeds” by pressing in chocolate chips (swirly-side-down) into the entire cake!

watermelon cat cake cococakeland

CUTE, AMIRITE??

watermelon cat cake cococakeland

Slice in to your watermelon cat cake friend and enjoy, *wink *wink. Perfect for Summer birthdays – or, make it for that weird and amazing friend in your life who would appreciate a watermelon cat cake, hehe. Don’t forget to check out the #cutefruitclub hashtag on Instagram to see what fruity concoctions we’ve come up with! Happy start of Summer, cake pals!! xo Lyndsay 

Buttercream Blossom Cake For Wilton Cakes

buttercream blossom cake

I frigging love how this bright and colourful buttercream blossom cake turned out! My friends at Wilton Cakes invited me to do a guest post for their blog, along with an Instagram takeover. I wanted to make something vibrant and summery! I made a “cake duo”, and I will post the second cake on my blog as well – it’s also a fun one!

two smooth buttercream cakes

party time blossom cake

These pink blossoms with candy sprinkle centers are the cutest and actually very easy! I combined the blossoms with some piped drop stars and rosettes, along with some candy melt “dots” straight outta the bag (you could use any type of round candy! I love the simple shape of the candy melts, like polka dots). Click on over to the Wilton blog (or my Instagram takeover!) for the whole step by step buttercream blossom cake tutorial, including all the tools you’ll need to create this cake.

buttercream blossom cake

Happy June already, cake pals! xo Lyndsay 

Jabba The Hutt Cake

jabba the hutt cake cococakeland

Last minute Jabba the Hutt cake for Star Wars Day, aka – MAY THE FOURTH BE WTH YOU. We are in deep, deep Star Wars obsession around our house these days – Teddy is six years old turning seven. Teddy has been anticipating May 4th for months now – so we had a little Star Wars party (which turned into maybe almost birthday-party-calibre… oh dear)… I was excited to try something new to bake, and well, I’ve always been fascinated by the diabolical Jabba the Hutt (and his greasy, cheese-dripping Spaceballs brother, Pizza the Hutt)! Jabba, the giant slug lord gangster who chains up Princess Leia as his slave – but she gets her revenge by choking him to death by the very chain he enslaved her with… jeez, Star Wars is dark. So, I drew up a Jabba sketch with my cake pans in mind and came up with this Jabba, which could easily be turned into just a classic SLUG cake, if the occasion happens to call for it. SLUG PARTY!

star wars day food ideas

boba fett and friend

Teddy and his cousin Brookie! (aka Boba Fett and Pre Vizsla – I had no idea who these characters were but now our house is GRIPPED by Star Wars)

jabba the hutt cake tutorial

I started with dividing a lemon cake batter into two six by three inch round pans, and one half of my Wilton sports ball pan (I’ve used this for so many cakes and not ONE of them has been a sports ball, hehe!). I then trimmed my six inch round cake layers in half, and reserved one for cutting into triangle-like shapes to mimic Jabba’s tail.

jabba the hutt tail

jabba cake

star wars jabba cake

For the tail, I layered three triangles on top of each other – and built up the frosting to give it a curved shape. The frosting is a lemon creamcheese frosting, tinted lightly with leaf green and brown gel food colours.

star wars jabba cake

This is my second coat of frosting – I did the first coat, power-chilled it in the freezer, then added another layer!

jabba the hutt fondant eyes

Next, I worked on Jabba’s facial features! The snakey eyes, nostrils, long mouth and gross tongue are key to giving him the Jabba look. More importantly, piping the wrinkly lines around his eyes really gave him the Jabba look! I used a small open circle tip for the eye wrinkles.

jabba the hutt cake cococakeland

For his stubbly arms, I used a medium open circle tip and piped it right onto the cake (it took a few tries to get it in the right place!) If I ever make Jabba again, I’ll experiment with piping the whole cake with the wrinkly lines – Teddy is on an anti-buttercream tirade these days so I wanted to do as little frosting as possible! :P

jabba the hutt cake cococakeland

Slice o’ Jabba the Hutt cake!! Serve him up with some blue milkshakes and Star Wars sugar cookies! We also did a pool noodle light sabre craft and we watched Revenge of the Sith, which was INTENSE. Yikes. Definitely screen it before showing it to your younger and/or sensitive kids, something I wish I had done, oops. However, Teddy didn’t seem bothered by it, even though there are some ugly scenes (Chancellor Palpatine is EVIL, FYI! I loathe him and his horrifically freaky face, he destroyed Anakin and Padmé’s lives!!!) including the gruesome fiery almost-death of Anakin, who then gets a brutal-looking operation which turns him into Darth Vader… I think I was clearly more traumatized by this movie than my six-year-old!

slice of lemon cake

Hope you enjoyed this simple Jabba the Hutt cake tutorial! MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU! xo Lyndsay