And just like that, we are completely slammed with holiday vibes. This year I’m determined to keep it ZEN CHRISTMAS and chill out. Each night I’ve been sitting on the couch and just zoning out on the twinkly Christmas tree lights and warm glow of lamps and dreaming about trying to keep the holidays as simple and enjoyable as possible. I’ve got a loose cannon gingerbread house with Teddy on the horizon (ZEN CHRISTMAS), as well as buttercream piped sugar cookies in zany colours (I love doing this) which we give out to neighbours and friends, and we will host and attend a few beloved seasonal parties. (This pink reindeer cake might be a fun holiday project to make with a friend, loved one or kiddo!). Christmas around our house also means Rich’s birthday, which falls on December 21st – and every year we do an aroma-mania of a raclette party – stinky but oh so delicous cheese melted goo-ily over roasted potatoes, with crisp tart little mini gherkins and pickled onions on the side. Just writing that sentence has prompted me to get into my gym clothes, hehe.
My pink peppermint buttercream chocolate reindeer cake is over on my column for Genius Kitchen! Find the whole pink reindeer cake cuteness here! Wishing you all a warm, peaceful and enjoyable holiday season, however you celebrate – whether it’s takeout Chinese and holiday movies or a candlelit feast of days worth of cooking… happy holidays and may you get through December with your mind, body and spirit intact! xo Lyndsay
My Dad’s 75th Birthday Sock Hop + Striped Buttercream Comb Cake!
I sure was glad I decided to wear my blue denim jumpsuit for this Halloween jack-o-kitten cake photoshoot down in Seattle last month. I have gotten lightly obsessed with jumpsuits and I’m a little bit mad at myself for falling prey to fashion trends but let me tell ya, jumpsuits are COMFY AS HECK. The only thing not comfy as heck is when you have to pee (which I have to do quite a bit) so you’re left peeling down the entire jumpsuit and basically being topless when you have to use the bathroom. Also, on a past occasion I did accidentally dip my jumpsuit strap into the toilet bowl. Yes there was already pee in the bowl. Washed the shit outta that though.
It was a gentle and cool day working with both awesome Antonia from Amazon Home and Stephanie, the lovely photographer. I admired Stephanie’s gorgeous grey-streaked hair immediately. My black hair is getting rather white and silvery itself – it’s alarming some days to find strands of white hair on the floor and realize it is mine. White eyebrow hairs have been bristling up through my caterpillar brows as well. I admire them with fascination, but with no desire to pluck them.
It was a real treat to work with a photographer, as usually it’s me at home alone in my kitchen with natural light, podcasts or music and me snapping away overhead.
Kawaii-faced Jack-O-Kitten the Halloween party cat!
With cakes made specifically for food styling/tutorials/photoshoots, often when I’m working at home, because I often do tutorials or visual work just for Instagram and not for a client or customer, I’ll do a “cake face/off” and scrape off the frosting and re-frost several times in different iterations over many weeks until the cake can no longer take it. So, finding a home for kawaii Jack-O-Kitten was the sweetest of all – Stephanie’s son Lucas’s birthday was a few days after the photoshoot! I simply jammed the cake slice back into place (I only took one bite so my fork didn’t soil the rest of the cake, lol) and piped over the top of the seams so Jack-O-Kitten was whole again. Stephanie stored the cake for a few days and then sent me this picture of Lucas and his sis. Adorable.
It’s Gudetama, the lazy egg yolk guy! Dripping over the sides of the cake! How do you like your eggs? I am a 6-7 minute soft boiled egg lady, sliced onto avocado toast, topped with whatever greens I have in my fridge and a sprinkling of chili flakes or Pollock-spurts of sriracha. Gudetama reminds me of the future-humans in that movie Wall-E where their legs are basically jelly because they are so sedentary. Admittedly Teddy has been watching a lot of one to two minute clips of Gudetama each night while he brushes his teeth. Poor Gudetama gets his butt poked by egg shells til he cries, he gets boiled up in hot bowls of soup, black pepper is ground onto him … wait, maybe this is the most masochistic little egg yolk in the world. I made this surprise-inside Gudetama cake for my wacky cake column over on Genius Kitchen – you can find the full recipe for the cakes here, and the tutorial and Gudetama cake story here! xo Lyndsay
Every time I make a bunny cake it goes a little bit differently. Riffing off my own bunny from a few months ago, I went furry face this time, and added a buttercream rosette/drop star crown with piped leaves and a light touch of sprinkles! This bunny was not planned, in fact it was an emergency bunny cake which I started baking at 12pm and finished at 3pm, to drop off to one of my favourite little gals, my best friend Tara’s daughter Nola, in time for her bunny themed 8th birthday party! I will never get over the cuteness of a child seeing their birthday cake for the first time. It’s safe to say it is like the PRIMO NUMBER ONE REASON I make cakes. Cake is frigging joy. Joy is a reason for living. Cake is life.
Also… I shot a “how to make a bunny cake” video! Enjoy watching the magic of iPhone time lapse making it look like this cake only took 42 seconds to make! :P
Happiest birthday to my dear friend Tara’s (not really so little anymore) one! xo Lyndsay
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