Coco Cake Land Book + Rainbow Inside and Out Cake

Today we're super-stoked to share an excerpt from our friend (and former Poppytalk contributor), Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake Land's new cookbook (out today), called appropriately, Coco Cake Land, Cute and Pretty Party Cakes to Bake and Decorate. 

We've been fans of Lyndsay's baking ever since we tried some of her delicious mini cupcakes at a local craft show many moons ago, and have since enjoyed her many Bake O'Clock blog posts as a contributor here on Poppytalk, and have loved watching Lyndsay perfect her craft and see her small business grow throughout the years.  So we couldn't be prouder to help launch her adorable new book today which I'm sure will be become a staple in every home baker's library.  Let's take a look!

Rainbow Inside and Out Cake
From Coco Cake Land by Lyndsay Sung © 2018 Lyndsay Sung. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

I made this cake with a big idea in mind: that goodness can prevail in the world. This cake represents positive light and energy, goodness worldwide, acceptance of all people, hope, and change. It works marvelously for any special celebration, whether it’s a tenth birthday party, a coming-out party, or a wedding. It is magic on the inside and out.

For the Cake Base
1 recipe Vanilla Cream Cake (recipe below)
Five 7 by 2-inch round cake pans

For the Cake Decoration
1 recipe (6 cups) Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe below)
¼ teaspoon each gel food color in purple, blue, green, yellow, and pink

5 disposable piping bags (no piping tips)
Cake turntable

1. Prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the cake batter according to the recipe instructions. Divide the batter evenly between 5 medium-size bowls. Color each bowl of batter with one of the gel colors and pour each colored batter into its own prepared cake pan. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake for 15 minutes and check for doneness. Continue baking and checking every 2 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean. Let the layers cool completely on wire racks.

2. Following the rainbow’s ROYGBIV concept, level, fill, and frost the cake to the crumb coat stage using uncolored buttercream. I like to start with the purple layer on the bottom, then blue, green, yellow, and pink as the top layer. Chill in the fridge or freezer until the frosting is set, about 30 minutes.

3. Divide the remaining buttercream evenly into five medium-size bowls. Tint each bowl of buttercream with its own gel color, folding the gel color in with a spatula or spoon. Swiss meringue buttercream doesn’t absorb gel color as well as simple buttercream, so you may need a little more than you think to achieve vibrant colors. Or you can keep the color scheme pastel—still very cute!

4. Fill each piping bag with a different color of buttercream. With scissors, snip the end off each bag, about ½ inch from the tip.

5. Pipe the cake. Place the cake on the cake turntable. Starting from the bottom of the cake, pipe the buttercream around the sides in even horizontal rows, slowly turning the cake as you pipe. Begin with the purple buttercream for the first row and work your way up the cake with blue, green, yellow, and finally pink, in the order of the rainbow—the same sequence as your stacked cake layers.

6. Now, take your cake bench scraper and position it at a perpendicular angle against the cake. Begin smoothing the buttercream, turning the cake as you go and scraping the excess frosting into an empty bowl. Make as many turns of the cake as you need in order to create the smooth rainbow stripes. If you find there’s a hole, add a tiny amount of the missing color and smooth it again to fill.

7. Finally, pipe the top of the cake with buttercream “kisses” (or, as I call them, blobettes). Use the rest of the buttercream in varying colors to cover the top of the cake, alternating colors as you see fit.

Crafty Finishes
Rainbow Topper

To make the rainbow topper, use a 3-inch circle punch to punch a circle from a piece of pink craft paper. Cut the circle in half using scissors. From yellow, green, blue, and purple craft paper, hand cut semicircles in descending sizes. Glue the pieces onto the pink half circle to form a rainbow, leaving the pink as the top edge. Then, with sharp scissors, cut out a little half circle from the bottom purple row to form the U-shaped base of the rainbow. Tape the rainbow to a wooden skewer and insert it into the center of the cake

Vanilla Cream Cake
I love this not-too-sweet vanilla butter cake. It uses cake flour, but gets a sturdier-crumb boost from 4 large eggs and 1 cup of heavy cream. Frost it with Simple Vanilla Buttercream and rainbow sprinkles, and you’ll be whisked through space and time back to a heavenly childhood dream.

Makes three 8 by 2-inch round cake layers or around 28 regular-sized cupcakes (cupcake liners filled two-thirds full)

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1¾ cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream (33% milk fat)
1 cup whole milk (3.25% milk fat)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8 by 2-inch round cake pans as described on page 000.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cream and the milk.
With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Keep alternating as you add the mixtures, finishing with the dry ingredients. I mix for about 30 to 60 seconds total—you do not want to over-mix this batter, but be sure the ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, checking for doneness at 20 minutes. The cakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops of the cakes are light golden brown.
Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The complaint I often hear about Swiss meringue buttercream is that it’s “too buttery” and sometimes simply tastes like whipped butter. I fiddled for a long time with the sugar-to-butter ratio for this buttercream. It’s not a standard ratio, but it’s my favorite iteration, producing a frosting that is silky, creamy, sweet, and buttery, like dreamy vanilla ice cream. Crack and separate fresh eggs for this. You can store the unused yolks in the freezer—mix each yolk with ½ teaspoon of sugar—for future use in ice cream or custard recipes.

Makes about 6 cups

1 cup egg whites (about 7 to 8 large eggs)
2¼ cups granulated white sugar
2½ 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

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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.


If your Swiss meringue buttercream turns into a soupy disaster, try placing the whole bowl in the fridge for about 5 to 10 minutes to cool it down a bit, then bring it out and try whipping it again, first on low speed, then bringing it up to high speed. Or try adding a few more chunks of butter to the mix.
If your Swiss meringue buttercream becomes a gross-looking, curdled mess, try lightly heating the whole bowl over a low-boiling pot of water for 1 minute, just to get some heat back in there. Once it’s warmed up a teensy bit, try mixing it again. You will be amazed at how a bowl of seemingly awful-looking buttercream can actually be saved and whipped back into a gorgeous, fluffy, satiny, creamy frosting.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer. Bring it back to room temperature and gently rewhip before using.

Here’s a list below where you can find Lyndsay's new book, along with upcoming events:
coco cake land book cover


You can join Lyndsay at Collage Collage on Saturday August 18th from 12pm to 2pm for the launch of Coco Cake Land: Cute and Pretty Party Cakes to Bake and Decorate! There will be cake, crafts, and of course her book! Plus, the first ten people to pre-order and attend the event through this link gets a special SURPRISE gift curated by Lyndsay!
More events TBA!


NYC OCTOBER 3 at WORD BOOKSTORE Brooklyn more info TBA!

Congratulations Lyndsay!

Jan Halvarson


Coco Cake Land said...

Thank you Jan SO much!!!!!!! So happy to see you in person SOON! XOXO

Jan Halvarson said...

Thank you for sharing Lyndsay - your book is adorable!