One Cake to Rule Them All: A Valentine Birthday Cake.


My mom’s birthday is two days before Valentine’s Day. Every year, I make her a cake, and I try to make it exciting and different each year. Last, year, I did this one. This year, I decided to use these heart pans that my aunt gave me that I had yet to use, and was always hoping for a reason to use them. Well, what better reason than a birthday cake for my favorite lady, which also happens to be right around Valentine’s Day??

I went with an easy coconut cake, because that’s my mom’s favorite. I actually used Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water this time though, in both the cake and the icing – something I’d never done before, but it wound up working out fabulously.

coconut water

living la vita coco.

I baked the cake in the heart-shaped pan, and it just looked so cute, cooling on the rack, in all it’s heart-shapey-ness.

i heart this cake.

i heart this cake.

Next, I frosted it with the coconut water frosting. It was very….white.


white iced.

Next, I added fresh coconut to the sides.

coconut siding.

coconut siding.

Then, I started decorating. First the border and the main flowers, all in pink, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

pretty in pink.

pretty in pink.

Then, I added the birthday wish, in dark chocolate.

they say it's  your birthday.

they say it’s your birthday.

And finally, I added a few more minor embellishments.

cake: complete.

cake: complete.

Once the cake was complete, I brought it over to my mom’s house to surprise her. She in turn, made me take half of it back home, like she always does. 🙂

one half of this will be mine.

one half of this will be mine.

Happy birthday and Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom. Hope you liked your (half of) cake! 😀




heart-shaped box.

I was tasked to make a box, entirely out of chocolate, for a class I’m taking. We were given free rein on what it could look like, we just had to be able to construct it out of chocolate. I thought long and hard about my box, and what form it should take and came up with a couple of ideas, but nothing that really struck me. So, I let my hand be my guide, sat down with a piece of cardboard, and just started drawing.

The result? Why, a heart-shaped box, obviously.

Kurt Cobain would be proud.

It’s like I said before, when left to my own devices, my confectionery creations seem to spew forth from some alternate level of consciousness. In this case, out spewed a heart-shaped box, complete with broken heart lid.

this heart was made to be broken.


And on the inside….

a heart full of love (and chocolate).


My teacher really dug it (maybe he’s a closet Nirvana fan – he’s only got about 3 years on me, I think). He had only good things to say, particularly about my modeling chocolate flowers (see “flower power“). But he did ask if there was any significance to the broken heart lid. Sure there is – it’s easier to get inside a heart that’s broken. And inside is where the good stuff lies. 🙂

get your heart on.


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I am not and have never been a fan of VD. I just don’t get it. It’s not because I’m bitter from spending it alone  (going on year 14 of being “coupled” on V-Day), nor do I have any Valentine’s Day horror stories. All in all, my V-Day history is a rather pleasant and even enjoyable one. The part I can’t stand is the “faux romance” it perpetuates. Contrary to the skeptical facade I put forth, I am and have always been a hopeless romantic. I believe in fate, destiny, and what is meant to be. I see signs pointing toward true love in everything. As I got older, I just learned to hide it better. Valentine’s Day on the other hand, is not a holiday for real romantics – it’s created for those who don’t know what romance is – for those who need to be reminded of what it means to be romantic. And son, if you need to be reminded, than you’ve got bigger problems than a teddy bear and saran wrapped heart full of chocolates could ever solve.

Anyway, as a creator of confections, however, I am required to embrace the holiday of hearts, and in that regard, I actually do. My love for baking Valentine’s Day goodies is inversely proportionate to my loathing of the holiday itself. In fact, it was Valentine’s Day cupcakes for an old boyfriend that opened the door to the land of confections for me to begin with. And I’ve upheld that tradition, and created something special for Valentines Day every year since.

This year, I bring you the two-tone heart sugar cookie.

cookies worth hearting.

  I mean, if you are going to give something to that special someone, make it something sweet, for the love of pete. Besides, you can enjoy it in the present.

 Just like love.

a little heart goes a long way.

PS.: If I don’t at least get some sweets for Valentine’s Day, it’s over. 😉