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Near the end of the school year was Teacher Appreciation Week for the wonderful teachers at my kids’ school who dedicate so much time and energy to providing a loving and happy environment in which to learn.  I wanted to treat them with a special cake with hints of the upcoming summer.

The cake is a pineapple-coconut cake made with coconut milk and a can of pina colada mix added to the batter.  To cut the sweetness of the cake, i filled it with a generous layer of light coconut cream mousse with a few pineapple bits folded in.  Topping it off is a vanilla-rum Swiss meringue buttercream.  I made some flowers out of homemade marshmallow fondant; the butterfly wings were piped from royal icing and left to dry overnight, then added to a puff of yellow buttercream for the body.

It was the least I could do to show these fabulous teachers how much they are appreciated…not just for one week, but all year long!

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