Christmas Coconut Cranberry Cake

Christmas Coconut Cranberry Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

This cake screams the Christmas and winter season and with a mix of tart and sweet it’s a must try.

Yield/Serving: 8-10; 3 – 6” cakes
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cranberry Cake

• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp coconut extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
• ½ cup fresh cranberries, halved
• 2/3 cup coconut milk
• ½ can of jellied cranberry sauce (175 ml)
Coconut Buttercream
• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ½ jar of marshmallow topping (106 ml)
• 1 tsp coconut extract
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Assembly
Cranberry Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line three 6” round cake pans and spray with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment; beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
4. Add in eggs one at a time followed by coconut extract.
5. In a separate large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt.
6. Add dried and fresh cranberries and mix into flour until evenly dispersed.
7. Add flour in 3 even portion into the butter mixture with 2 portions of coconut milk in-between until incorporated.
8. Split mixture in the three pans and slam on countertop removing air bubbles.
9. Place in oven and bake for 45 minute or until tops have just turned golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 40 minutes and remove from pans and place on cooling racks for 1 hour.
11. Pour cranberry sauce into a bowl and mash and set aside.
Coconut Buttercream
12. Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.
13. Add in the marshmallow topping and mix for a minute and add coconut extract.
14. Add in confectioners’ sugar in three portions until buttercream comes together.
15. Even out the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife.
16. Place first cake on a cake plate and buttercream followed by some cranberry sauce on top and spread using an offset spatula. Ensure the liquid has been removed.
17. Then place the second cake followed by more buttercream and cranberry sauce and finally the last cake on top and set aside.
18. Put on the crumb coat of buttercream and place in fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
19. Once firm place the finally coat of buttercream and then create swirls with your spatula.
20. Sprinkle coconut on top and press coconut all around the sides of the cake.
21. Tidy the edges and serve.
Sugared Cranberries
1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat stir until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add in cranberries and coat with mixture.
3. Using a slotted spoon remove from mixture and let dry on a plate for 1 hour minimum.
4. Place sugar on a plate and roll cranberries through.
5. Decorate cake with sugared cranberries.
6. Serve.

Tips
• Make the frosting ahead of time and just take out of fridge prior to baking, about 4 hours minimum.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Once again I am in love with these fruit cakes, especially as this one is so seasonal and is one of my favourite fruits. This cake came together very easily and since you don’t have to worry with perfect frosted edges, it makes it that much more a pleasure to decorate. The cake was tart and sweet and I have now found my ideal buttercream frosting. I will try this on a vanilla or chocolate cake and see how it turns out. There was a firmness that made frosting such an ease that I have my fingers crossed for my next cakes. This was a hit and half the cake was gone in no time. I made a second cake the next day for Christmas dinner for a church members families Christmas dinner and it was liked. I have to make this again for myself soon as I only had one slice myself and then the top I cut off as a quick taste.

Winter Forest Cake

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A four layered cake that is a wonderful addition to the Christmas and holiday season gatherings.

Yield/Serving: 4 – 6” cakes
Prep Time: 45 min.
Cook Time: 35-45 min. per cake
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Gingerbread Cake
• 1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
• 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp five spice
• ½ tsp ground clove
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ¾ tsp cinnamon
• 1 large egg beaten
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 2 tbsp fancy molasses
• 1/3 cups hot water
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg white
• 2/3 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp blue sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. white sprinkles
Simple Syrup
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Frosting
• 1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature
• 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tbsp milk, more if needed
• Blue food colouring
Decorations
• Pocky, chocolate covered flavour (red box)
• Teal melting chocolates
• Blue melting chocolates
• White melting chocolates
• Snowflake sprinkles
• Blue sprinkles
• Blue, silver & white non-pareils
• Blue sanding sugar

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg whites and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
8. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Gingerbread Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, five spice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
5. Whisk in eggs, oil and molasses.
6. Slowly add in water until just combined.
7. Pour into one pan and smooth smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
10. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Funfetti Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one pan.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg white and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture until just combined and then add milk and mix.
8. Fold in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into one pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and finally food colouring and combine until well incorporated.
Tree Decorations
1. Place wax paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt various coloured molding chocolates in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Once chocolate has slightly cooled pour in a piping bag.
4. Place Pocky sticks onto wax paper and pipe trees out and place decorations on top and then place in the fridge to set up.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Apply simple syrup to each layer of the cake and let absorb.
3. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
4. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
5. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Place gingerbread layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
7. Top with final layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
8. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
9. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake.
10. Apply sanding sugar to the cake.
11. Remove trees from the fridge and place in the top of the cake from the middle going back.
12. Add the snowflake decorations.
13. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
14. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
15. Serve and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first cake at 4 layers and I was so happy with how it turned out. I will say one more layer would require wooden dowels placed inside the cake no matter the size of the cake. I spent a lot of time insuring my crumb coat firmed up and applying the final coat properly. If found applying the sanding sugar a little tricky; but for my first attempt I get the hang of it eventually. Cutting into the cake and seeing perfect layers with frosting in between was a wonderful treat. The cake was moist with three different flavoured cakes there is something here for anyone.

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner-Starter: Beet Carpaccio

Beet Carpaccio – Candy Coated Culinista

A vegetarian carpaccio what a unique idea.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 4 large beets, peeled
• 2 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• 1 lemon
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tbsp plain-yoghurt
• 1 handful dill, ends trimmed

Assembly
1. Wash and peel beets and then using a mandolin finely slice the beets and place in a large bowl.
2. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a good pinch of sea salt and then squeeze half of a lemon.
3. Toss together and ensure each beet is well coated as this will tenderize the beets.
4. Using a small bowl, whisk mustard, Worcestershire sauce, yoghurt and the remaining lemon juice and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
5. Arrange beets over a large serving platter and sprinkle dill over top.
6. Drizzle the dressing and serving extra dressing on the side.
7. Dollop some yoghurt on a serve (if desired).

Tips
• Use gloves if you don’t want beets stained hands. I didn’t use gloves; but I didn’t mind.
• The recipe called for arugula I used dill instead due to availability.
• Serve with warm crusty bread, goat’s cheese.
• Use heirloom beets eg white, golden, Chioggia (candy cane)beets and swap out the balsamic vinegar for a herb vinegar so the beets won’t get discoloured.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The smell of this starter was irresistible; the fresh dill filled the air with the tangy mustard yoghurt dressing. This is a great way to start a Christmas dinner. I would have this salad any time of year. I don’t have beets all the time; but when I do I remember how much I love these things especially raw.

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