Wink wink! “It’s Coachella Season” buttercream flower crown cake, my latest cake for Genius Kitchen! I missed the party boat for Coachella, and now I’m too old and too comfortable to want to get blazed in the desert with huge crowds, lots of dust, too many good looking people and too many overflowing port-a-potties. I prefer to watch my holograms in the comfort of my own home, but hey twenty years ago I woulda been all over that. My first huge outdoor concert was of course a very OG 1994 Lollapalooza. I remember being so stoked to see Shonen Knife on the side stage. I got a t-shirt, of course. Back in the early 1990s, it was terribly rare to see an Asian person in a band (Smashing Pumpkins James Iha!) so to see a whole trio of Japanese twee garage-pop WOMEN rockers playing, that was extra-rare.
I went to Lollapalooza the following year with HOLE!!! and Sonic Youth headlining. Hehe. Ooooh right I went to the first Lilith Fair too because feminist 4 Lyfe. The laaaasssst outdoor festival I went to and probably will ever go to was Pemberton Festival in 2008, with Jay-Z and Tom Petty performing… I got free tickets though because my friends were also playing on a different stage. Admittedly, that was a hilariously fun but once again, where is my couch, soft fleece blanket and snacks?
I wouldn’t recommend taking a buttercream cake to the desert unless you truly love being covered in sticky sugary insanity, but if you want to celebrate the wild child flower crown (sexual?) freedom of Coachella, here’s the cake to make! Winky blinky eyes inspired by my sweet friend Katherine Sabbath! PS, I just watched the Snoop Dogg duet with the Tupac hologram from 2012. I don’t think I’ve ever watched it fully before, just saw photos of it back when it made the news. It made me instantly sad and I went on a lite Tupac google. Can’t believe he was only 25 years old when he was killed. They really getcha with the hologram when it disintegrates into a million stars at the end too, dust to dust, ashes to ashes – SADNESS. But dry your tears… you can check out the Flower Crown Cake Tutorial here!xo Lyndsay
I know, I know. The cuteness is ALMOST TOO PAINFUL. This cake has arrived just in time for SPRING SUNSHINE. Keep it up, sky!! A few years ago I made this kawaii sun cake design for Handmade Charlotte and I thought I was SO CLEVER with the Pocky stick sun rays. Then I was like, Pocky…? CALL ME. Can I get dat Pocky money?? Can I get some Pocky sticks in a big old shipped box to just, like, have a 6 month supply of those crispy chocolatey sticks ‘o’ fun!? But no, Pocky chose to ignore my ass (I think I sent them one message years ago, haha). But I still think Pocky sticks are such a cute and simple idea for making a sun cake! (Pocky, you can still call me, lol.)
The wonderful Wilton Cakes brand invited me to be a part of their brand re-launch – pretty darn cool. The only requirement was YELLOW – to go with their cute yellow re-branding – and my good old pal kawaii sun cake came back to my mind. I used a classic 1M piping tip to pipe the entire cake, and fondant for the facial features, though you could totally pipe the face on, or use candies! My cookie stick sun rays idea hit me like a bolt of cake-covered lightning. I wrote it down really fast and then drew a little pic so I’d remember. Chemo brain layered on top of mom brain is not cool, guys. My memory is medium-terrible now, but thank goodness for a sketchbook with an X crossed out on every single page!!! (emoji laugh til cry face)!
The cookie sticks obviously take more time than plunking a chubby Pocky into the side of a cake but I LOOOOOOVE how these sun rays turned out!! Totally not too Sonic Youth 90s sunflower at all, like I was worried about! I used a large teardrop-shaped cookie cutter and made classic sugar cookie dough. I added a teensy bit of gel colouring to make them yellow. You could also totally pipe the cookies with buttercream too – I liked the clean look of the cookie shape itself, and HELL NO I wasn’t going to do royal icing just this time, haha, although that would give it a beautifully clean finish too (and add an hour or so to your cake-making!)
Now I want to talk a little bit about how obsessed I have become with this incredible movie. I am NOT a superhero movie fan. There are zillions of them it seems, and not one of them in the last several years has peaked my interest (except Thor, which was pretty entertaining, hehe). There is so much power and agency in Black Panther! The women are FIERCELY strong and their intellect and equality is a given. The production value and Afro-futurist design of the sets is bonkbonks. There is comedy, there is terror, there is deep sadness, there is JOY! I cried throughout the movie. One thing I’ve realized is, I am a feeler of my emotions at every level. If I want to BAWL my way through Black Panther in the movie theatre, I will do so. I will use my popcorn butter-soaked napkin to lap up the salty tears of GIVING MYSELF OVER to a film. I need to horse-blinder myself when I go to a movie I’m thrilled about seeing – I will take it all in so hard and feel it with every ounce of me. When T’challa returns home to Wakanda, the first time we see Wakanda as they are flying overhead – TEARS. When T’challa gets buried in the magical red dust and drinks the purple flower juice and reaches the spiritual plane where his just-passed father is – TEARS COURSING DOWN MY FACE. Don’t even talk to me about Queen Mother Angela Basset and little sister Shuri’s face when T’challa (SPOILER ALERT) gets thrown over the freaking waterfall to his death. I died a little with them too. Then, when they FIND him barely alive packed in ICE!??? TEARS!!!! Another part that ripped my heart out was when T’challa carries a dying Kilmonger up out of the darkness to see the Wakanda sunset as he dies. You realize Erik never stood a chance in life, and how life could have been so different for him had he been raised in Wakanda. I’ve fallen in love with each of the characters, and the (ahem, BEE-YOO-TIFUL actors who play them. The google runs deep, very deep. Can I just gaze at Lupita N’yongo’s gorgeousness forever? Can I duplicate every one of Michael B Jordan’s sartorial LOOKS? The guy has the BEST SWEATERS and he has influenced my current fashion style. Exhibit A:
I have passed my obsession for Black Panther down to my little 5 year old. He is way too young to watch this movie yet but I have relayed every single detail of the story to him. He is currently saving up for this Black Panther Lego set. And this past weekend we did painted cardboard portraits and of course he made a BLACK PANTHER MASK.
Here is my 73 year old mom at Black Panther 3D, and me, a 41 year old Chinese Canadian woman and mother and feminist, enjoying the shit out of the best movie-going experience I’ve had in a long ass time (um, I saw it again with my husband a few days later, hehe). It just feels so glorious that this movie is doing YUGE BOX OFFICE numbers right now – a film that celebrates the power and beauty of Africa. My favourite article contextualizing BP within the current cultural landscape is this one: The Audacity of Black Panther. Ok, have you seen it yet?? xo Lyndsay
Squeeeee! You know when you do a happy dance and punch the air in VICTORY when you make something you’re excited about? My kitchen got a whole lotta air punches when I finished this kawaii HERSHEY’S EGGIES flower crown bunny cake! EGGIES are so adorable with their pastel speckled crisp candy shells and creamy chocolate centers – a perfect textural addition to a creamy buttercream cake!
This cake is a lot of fun to work on and it’s easy to pull off! Start off with an 8 inch round layer cake baked using your favourite recipe. My simple vanilla buttercream recipe is 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature, 4 cups of icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Beat this on high speed for three to four minutes until fluffy. Frost and fill your cake, give it a crumb coat, power chill it in the freezer for 10 minute to lock in the crumbs, and then add a final smooth coat of vanilla buttercream. For the flower crown, divide the remaining buttercream into three bowls – about a 1/4 cup each into two small bowls, and the remaining into another bowl. Tint the smaller amounts with gel colouring: leaf green and violet. The larger amount will be tinted with pink gel colouring. With gel colouring, a little goes a long way so start with a toothpick’s tip amount!
Fit your piping bags with a leaf tip, a #104 petal tip for the roses and a small French multi-pronged open star tip. If you are new to piping flowers, here is a good video on how to make a buttercream rose - I do a similar method except I place a dab of buttercream then a square of parchment paper on my flower nail first, then I freeze the roses in the freezer until firm, making them easy to handle and place on my cake! Or, you can skip the flower nail altogether and simply make beautiful little rosettes as part of your flower crown! Piping a leaf is very easy, just squeeze and release the piping bag and a leaf shape will form.
I rolled out pre-coloured fondant and punched out circle shapes using the bottom edge of a piping tip. I hand-shaped the little pink nose and the mouth. For the ears, simply roll two pieces of white fondant, flatten, add the pink inner ear using a tiny amount of water to adhere, and then insert a wooden BBQ skewer cut to size into each.
To start decorating, place the eyes, cheeks, nose and mouth onto the cake, pressing gently into the buttercream to adhere.
Place the bunny ears into the top of the cake. Now we will make the EGGIES flower crown! Bring your buttercream roses out of the freezer (if using) or have your piping tips ready!
Begin making the crown – place an Eggie into the buttercream, pressing in to stick. Add a buttercream rose.
Now, you can go where the rhythm of the crown takes you – I like to try and keep the EGGIES, flowers and leaves somewhat balanced by spreading out the colours and textures. Pipe a drop star, a rosette, a squiggle of green leaves – the leaves are great for filling in any empty spaces between EGGIES and flowers!
And… STOP! When it’s time to serve the cake, you can reserve extra EGGIES to place into the top of each slice so everyone gets a colourful candy addition to their cake slice!
I hope you give this flower crown bunny cake a try – of course if would be so cute for an Easter dessert, but it would also shine like a bunny diamond for an upcoming birthday. This post was sponsored by HERSHEY’S Canada! Share your own creation this Easter and you might be recognized with an EGGIES Star. Be sure to use #eggiescreations when you post. Thank you for supporting the delicious brands that keep Coco Cake Land’s cake boat afloat! xo Lyndsay
Party Like It’s 1994 – Pink Rosette Cake + A High School Reunion
Ok I’m holding pretty good on my promise to slam up some more content on my BLOGEROO! I started a new column over on the jam-packed delicious food website Genius Kitchen! I put a call-out on my personal Facebook page asking for name suggestions for the column because at the time, my brain was frazzled and I could not think of anything clever for a column name that encompasses pop culture, celeb gossip (hehe) and all things au courant. My friends went WILD with suggestions. My personal Def Leppard-inspired suggestion was Pour Some Sugar On Me… but here are my favourites from my friends/relatives: Frosted Tips, Batter Chatter, Another One Bites The Cake, Beat It (I felt this could be misconstrued, LOL), Wake n Cake (perhaps a little too weed-friendly), Cake On Me (A-ha reference!), Cake n Bake, ‘Zertgeist (so random), Dessertations (offered by my British friend Cam), Cake Pop (my fave) and the winner … Cake Life!
I wanted a new challenge in 2018, and I’ve written cake tutorials and freelanced many times in the past but not since my diagnosis have I really written for another website – in fact, my editor Hannah had initially written to me during 2016 while I was still in treatment and I only just found her email a few months back! I’m so glad to have re-discovered her email and to start back into freelance writing a bit. So welcome to Genius Kitchen Cake Life, with your host… ME! :) My first cake is this Love-Day-friendly Instagram Heart Emoji cake, based on… yep, the purple super smile heart in Instagram Stories, hehe!
You may be looking at this pastel pink and green stripey cake with its ruffly buttercream border and be thinking to yourself: “what a charming baby shower cake!” Hashtag #NOPE this is my husband Rich’s 40th birthday peppermint striped cake!!! There is a short window between my birthday in November and his birthday on December 21st where I am “technically on paper” two years older than Rich. It is a time of much heckling, talk of robbing cradles, lite cougar-ing, etc. It’s also when Christmas and the holidays ramp up with appalling speed, each year coming up faster than the last. I love how this cakey beauty came out!
It was a dark chocolate cake with casual times peppermint buttercream. I used this chocolate cake recipe which is my go-to favourite! Do you know how to make buttercream stripes? I will show you how, with some delightful iPhone photos, k?
First of all, fill two piping bags with your desired stripey colours. I went with a peppermint buttercream tinted minty green and pastel pink. Snip the ends off of each piping bag.
Using a cake turntable, pipe alternating rows of colours, nestled close together. Don’t worry if it looks incredibly ugly at this point. It’s a “work in progress”, as I am always saying to my son Teddy when he’s attempting to draw something!
Use a cake bench scraper to smooth the stripes, going around and around until you are satisfied with its stripey-ness. If there are any little buttercream holes or gaps, fill them in by piping a little blob on top of the hole and going around again with the cake bench scraper. Spread buttercream along the top of the cake and get it as smooth as you like. Then, pipe an alternating shell border using your favourite open star tips with the buttercream. I used a Wilton 1M and Wilton 4B. I loved how this border effect turned out – extra ruffly and cute!
Then, if you are feeling crazy, make three lasagnes filled with roasted tomatoes and roasted caramelized sweet onions because your man loves pasta.
Make a fondue! Fill your guts with cheese and the best chip dip ever! Drink an ice cold Fanta and five or six chocolate Lindt balls because you are at your dad’s party and no one’s really watching you!
Happy birthday to my amazing husband. Love you so much! xo Lyndsay
The holidays are here, so I’ve created this kawaii reindeer cake tutorial to celebrate! When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Claus and his mighty team of reindeers HARD, probably much longer than many other teens (I MEAN CHILDREN) very well should have. When my sisters and I would come downstairs on Christmas morning to peek at our presents, there would be a conspicuously scrawled note left next to a glass of milk and a plate of half-eaten cookies, and geez wasn’t it all just a coincidence that Santa’s handwriting looked exactly like Dad’s hand-writing, if Dad happened to be writing with his left hand and was mildly illiterate??
My son Teddy is semi-freshly five years old, now subject to the whispers of fellow Kindergarten classmates or older-grade buddies who might tell him that… GASP… Santa and his reindeer are not real!!! I’m kind of on the fence about how majorly to tout the “Santa is coming, you better be good” stuff – I found myself telling him that “Santa has all sorts of helpers” but I didn’t really know where I was going with that. All I know for sure is that the holidays are the best ever when you’re a kid. We grew up in a close family and each of us loved Christmas, with sweet memories of my mom’s signature white snow-flocked tree (which is back in style!) sparkling with lights and baubles and homemade decorations, Christmas carols, cartons of creamy egg nog in the fridge, hilarious family times with beloved cousins and friends, my Grandma’s Christmas-time only chocolate chip butterscotch pudding cookies washed down with a cool cup of milk. This year, I thought I’d come up with a new holiday dessert for our family – the kawaii reindeer cake! The whole time I was photographing the cake, Teddy kept coming into the kitchen to see when I was done – of course I promised him a piece of cake and the mini bottle of milk with the cool straw, if he remained out of my workspace, haha – he loves the taste of his “milky.” I fell in love with how the reindeer cake turned out! It’s fun and easy to make and is certain to bring some smiles, chuckles and giggles to your holiday. Teddy loved it, and gobbled up his piece and slurped up his milk as happy as can be.
To begin with, I baked a classic yellow cake in three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans. Then I made a very simple chocolate buttercream frosting: 2 cups of unsalted butter are beaten on high speed until light and fluffy, the bowl is scraped down and 3 ¾ icing sugar is added, along with ¼ cup high quality cocoa powder and two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Beat this on low speed until combined, then crank the mixer to medium-high speed until it has doubled in volume. Note that the chocolate frosting will darken in colour as the cake sits.
Once your baked cake layers are completely cool, fill and frost your cake with the chocolate buttercream.
Use the remaining buttercream to fill a piping bag fitted with a large multi-opening tip – I use Wilton #234. Starting from the bottom of the cake and working your way upwards, pipe strands of buttercream fur in lines.
Cover the entire cake in chocolate buttercream fur! Take a break if you need to! Crank those holiday tunes!
Using fondant or your favourite candies, assemble the face. For the eyes, I used pre-coloured black fondant rolled out and cut into circles using the circle edge of a piping tip. The muzzle is made by punching out a piece of white fondant with a medium circular cookie cutter and gently pulling it into a more oblong shape. The reindeer antlers are made of fondant held up by wooden BBQ skewers cut to size. I mixed a small amount of cocoa powder into the fondant to create brown ears!
To add some festive berries and leaves, make a small batch of simple vanilla buttercream -½ cup unsalted butter, 1 cup of icing sugar, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Divide into bowls and tint using gel food colouring. Place the red buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip and the green buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small leaf tip. Pipe little red dots for berries, and add some green foliage with the green buttercream! You could also use sprigs of fresh rosemary, or pipe small buttercream roses.
This kawaii reindeer cake would be the cutest addition to your holiday party or Christmas Day dinner!
I’ve been on a bit of piping train lately CHOO CHOO -if you can’t tell! I’ve always loved vintage buttercream piping techniques but I am really into this buttercream rose meringue kisses cake with its mix of modern meringues and “old timey” piping vibes. Crispy chewy sweet meringues give such a nice textural element to this cake, along with not-too-sweet buttercream.
I used my Swiss meringue kisses recipe for the pretty meringues. With meringue making, you want to go low and slow. Don’t open the oven to peek at their cuteness while baking, as any sudden temperature changes will crack your meringues. I like to bake them at night, and then after the baking time is up, I’ll turn off the oven and leave them in overnight to thoroughly dry out.
These meringues were particularly dry and crisp but still chewy – the perfect dryness to accompany buttercream roses. If possible, place meringues on a buttercream cake only a few hours before serving, to prevent any wilting of the meringues and to help retain the meringue crispness.
I like my buttercream “not too sweet” – my go-to simple vanilla buttercream recipe is two cups of unsalted butter at room temperature, four cups of sifted icing/confectioner’s sugar, two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and a teensy pinch of salt. Beat the butter, then add the icing sugar a little at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla and salt. Beat this on high until the buttercream has doubled in volume.
I tend to be wildly overzealous with the leaf tip piping bag but I kinda like the look – it gives it both a leafy and ruffly look, and the leaf tip is awesome for filling in any “bald” spots. If I’m already on a piping roll, I like to use up any extra buttercream by piping tons and tons of buttercream roses to save in the freezer for future use. Lay them out on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes; then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.
Happy baking, cake pals!! xo Lyndsay
Eeks! Pink Heart Mouse Cake + Spell Your Cupcakes Love