Carrot Apple Easter Cake

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a carrot cake for Easter dinner and this recipe is one I come back to over and over again even with a few tweaks here and there.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” round cakes plus 6 cakelets
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: approx. 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level: Time-consuming

Ingredients
Carrot Apple Cake

• 2 ½ cups un-sifted all-purpose flour
• 2 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup oatmeal crisp maple nut cereal, crushed
• 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
• 2 granny smith apples, peeled and shredded
• 1/3 cup fruit mix, chopped
• 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Buttercream
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 (250g) package cream cheese, softened
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Zest from 1 tangelo

Assembly
Carrot Apple Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the shape of the pan on pieces of parchment paper.
3. Spray the pans with vegetable oil spray and place parchment paper inside the baking pan.
4. Using a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and cereal and mix and set aside.
5. In a large bowl beat sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil and eggs.
6. Shred carrots and apples using a food processor.
7. Add the carrots, apples and fruit mix until just combined.
8. Incorporate the dry ingredients, using a whisk until just combined.
9. Mix in the nuts.
10. Pour the batter into the three pans and cakelet pans and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Let cook in pans to cool and then let cool on a wire rack.
Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream
1. Using and electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine butter and cream cheese.
2. Add in confectioners’ sugar followed by vanilla extract and continue to mix.
3. Lastly add tangelo zest.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first layer on the bottom layer and spread some cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place the next layer over and spread more cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
5. Place final layer over and cream cheese spread buttercream frosting over top and along the sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake entirely.
8. Decorate as desired. I made a swirl pattern on top; added some sprinkles and added some Easter coloured M&M’s.
9. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• If you are making cream cheese buttercream omit 1/3 granulated sugar from the carrot apple cake, as there is enjoy confectioners’ sugar in the frosting to compensate. Otherwise, keep the full amount of sugar in.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Okay so I so love a carrot cake and adding in the apples was just perfect. This cake had a little bit of a Christmas cake feel with the nuts and fruit mix. I loved the amount of cream cheese in this frosting as it didn’t tasty too tangy and the tangelo flecks added a little extra something. I tried a new piping technique on top and it turned out wonderfully with a little bit of sprinkles scattered about. This recipe is really a process of love as it’s time-consuming; but so worth it.

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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Semolina Almond and Blood Orange Syrup Cakes

Semolina Almond and Blood Orange Syrup Cakes – Candy Coated Culinista

A chance to use blood oranges in my baking … yes please.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 18 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Modern baking

Ingredients
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
• 1 cup natural Greek-style (thick) yoghurt
• ¼ cup light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp finely grated blood orange rind
• 1 cup fine semolina
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1 tsp baking powder, sifted
• 1/3 cup almond meal
• 2 blood oranges, thinly sliced
• 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar, extra
• Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
Blood orange syrup
• ½ cup blood orange juice
• ¼ cup water
• 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease 12 x ½ cup capacity muffin tin.
3. Using an electric mixer place eggs and caster sugar in bowl and whisk on high for 3-4 minutes or until pale and thick.
4. Add yoghurt, oil, vanilla, orange rind, semolina, flour, baking powder and almond meal and fold to combine.
5. Spoon mixture into tins and top each with an orange slice and sprinkle with extra sugar.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden or a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
7. Allow cakes to cool slightly in tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
8. To make blood orange syrup, place juice, water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat.
9. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.
10. Spoon the blood orange syrup over the cakes and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am really enjoying cakes with semolina and almond flour. I adds a more sophisticated element to the cake and the vibrancy of the blood orange syrup made these cakes outstanding. Still a little too much sugar; but that seems to be a theme in this book. I made some mini cakes of varying sizes to test out the cake as I knew this was one I’d want to make again and again and the mini cakes turned out great.

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

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Last year there was a Halloween potluck at work and I was told I was bringing something. I did not intend to participate in the potluck; but when my Tombstone Chocolate Brownies turned out so well I felt encouraged to make my most complex cake yet.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30-45 min.
Difficulty level: Medium; but time consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Cake

• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup Dutch pressed cocoa powder
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Buttercream
• 2 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 6 tbsp heavy cream
• Orange food colouring gel
Marshmallow Fondant
• 1 bag or marshmallows
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• Food colouring, preferably gel or powdered, not water based colouring
• Flavourless oil, like canola – to use while kneading

Assembly
Vanilla Bean Cake

1. Oven to 350°F.
2. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
7. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
10. Let cool completely.
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
1. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
5. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
6. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
9. Let cool completely.
Buttercream
1. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
2. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
3. Taste the buttercream and if it still tastes too much like butter add the third cut of confectioners’ sugar.
Marshmallow Fondant
1. Using a microwave melt the marshmallows and water in 30 second intervals at a time.
2. Set aside once melted.
3. Using an electric mixer add ¾ of confectioners’ sugar to the mixer followed by the marshmallows.
4. Mix together on low speed using the paddle attachment.
5. The mixture will start to come together.
6. Pour our fondant onto a clean surface and work in the remaining ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar for about 5 minutes, until the fondant is soft and shiny. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
7. Add food colouring and continue to knead for another 5 minutes. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
8. Dust surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out fondant. Move fondant around as you roll so it won’t stick to one spot. At this point you can cut out the shapes you require with decorating tools, cookie cutters or roll out into a long sheet to cover cake.

Tips
• If fondant keeps sticking to your hands add a little oil to your hands.
• If making fondant ahead: roll into a ball, cover with a little oil, and double wrap in cling wrap. Fondant will last for a couple of weeks in this state.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
After this attempt, I am more confident in my cake decorating skills. I still need to take a proper decorating class as my fondant was a semi fail; but I’m quite proud of myself. Not to mention my co-workers were wowed, and complimented me on my skills. The cake itself was light and fluffy and the buttercream frosting turned out so well I was actually surprised. I attempted to apply a fondant; now my issue wasn’t the actual fondant but my application and it kept getting to warm for me to apply it. So I had to give up and revert back to my tried and true buttercream.

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese & Honey Frosting

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese – Candy Coated Culinista

A one-bowl recipe so simple it will fast become a Thanksgiving staple.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Now & Again

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup buttermilk or plain yoghurt
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
• 1/3 cup canola oil or neutral oil
Frosting
• 170 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp sour cream
• ¼ cup honey
• Pinch of kosher salt

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray 9” pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and set pan aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking soda.
4. Add eggs, sugar, buttermilk or yoghurt, applesauce and oil and whisk gently until combined.
5. Using a rubber spatula scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface so it is even.
6. Bake until it is barely firm and a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
7. Set cake aside on a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
8. Remove from pan and parchment paper.
9. Place on cake plate and set aside.
10. To make frosting: in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, honey and salt and whisk aggressively until cream cheese is slightly aerated. Use a handheld mixer or stand mixer if desired.
11. Spread frosting over top of cake and serve.

Tips
• Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised with this simple recipe. It smells and tastes like autumn and is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. The mix of the seasonal flavours and the addition of the applesauce kept ths cake moist. The icing didn’t turn out as I expected even though I followed the recipe, or this is a looser icing. I added some buttercream frosting to the mix to firm it up. This cake will not travel will with the icing as is. I recommend if you are bring the cake somewhere, make the frosting, put it in a container, and dress when you arrive at your location. Otherwise, I will be making this again and just altering the frosting for myself personally.

Tropical Fruit Cake

Tropical Fruit Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A delightful summer cake recipe to wow guests and friends alike.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Cake

• 1 Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks along with some for garnish
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ packed cup plus 1 tsp light brown sugar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2/3 cup sunflower oil
• 1 ½ ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp salt
Frosting
• ¼ large ripe mango, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Topping
• ½ banana, cut into slices
• ½ large ripe mango, cut into long thin strips
• 55g pineapple flesh
• Scooped out seeds of 1 passionfruit
• 3 tbsp flaked coconut

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease springform pan with non-stick spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
3. Place pineapple in a food processor and pulse until fruit is crushed.
4. If starting with fresh pineapple place in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 4-5 minute; ensuring it doesn’t boil or too much liquid evaporates. Then transfer to large mixing bowl. (If using canned pineapple skip this step)
5. Using an electric mixing with the whisk attachment place eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix.
6. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until creamy; then on medium speed pour in oil in a slow steady stream until combined.
7. Add to the bowl of cooled pineapple along with mashed bananas and finely coconut and combine.
8. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt together into the wet mix and using a spatula fold until combined.
9. Pour cake into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on wire rack for about one hour then turn onto a serving platter, carefully remove the parchment paper and set aside to cool completely.
Frosting
11. Place mango into food processor and process until it becomes a puree. Pour into bowl and set aside.
12. Add butter and cream cheese to the food processor (no need to wash the bowl) and process until smooth.
13. Add confectioners’ sugar, pulse to combine, then add mango puree.
14. Pulse again until evenly mixed and scrape into a bowl.
15. Keep in the fridge covered for 2 hours as it need time to thicken before frosting the cake.
16. Spread thick layer of mango frosting over the top and sides.
17. Place fruit in a small bowl, mix gently and spoon onto top of cake in the center.
18. Pressing flaked coconut into the sides of cake and serve.

Tips
• Cream cheese frosting can be made a day ahead.
• Unfrosted cake will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container. One frosted best eaten the same day. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for two day max and just bring cake back to room temperature before serving.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is another amazing recipe from this book. I am not the biggest fan of Ottolenghi savoury cookbooks primarily because of how hard it is to source those weird ingredients and I have two on my shelf. I am so so happy I took the gamble and gave Sweet a shot. My only let down was the mango frosting; which split even though I followed the directions exactly. The frosting split the moment the mango puree hit it and it really bothered me. I decorated my cake with coconut chips to add a little more texture and effect and lessened the amount of sugar by half. (I only used ½ cup of granulated sugar and omitted the ½ cup light brown sugar). This cake was divine and reminded me of a spin on a Christmas fruitcake; but white instead of the usual brown and laden in liquor. The reviews were great everyone loved it and I was told this was one of the best cakes I’ve made (Thanks Sweet). I really enjoy these fruit based desserts rather than the cakes with all the thick frosting atop. Once I figure out the frosting situation or just omit the mango puree portion this will be in my top five recipes.

Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake)

Vineyard Cake (aka Cleopatra Cake) – Candy Coated Culinista

A gourmet cake that’s so light and unique it’s a absolute must try.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 60 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Cake

• 4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¾ tsp salt
• 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tsp)
• Finely grated zest of 1 oranges (2 tsp)
• Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla pod
• 4 large eggs
• 1 ¾ cups Carte d’Or or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise wine, at room temperature
• 3 ½ oz seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise
Sugar Crust Topping
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 3 ½ oz seedless red grapes, washed and halved lengthwise

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease and lightly flour the angel food cake or chiffon cake pan, tapping away excess flour.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment add sugar, butter, olive oil, lemon zest, orange zest along with vanilla seeds and beat for minutes at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one by one letting them incorporate before adding the next.
5. Turn down to low speed and add a third of the flour mixture followed by half the wine.
6. Repeat with the remaining flour and wine finishing with the final third of flour continuing to beat at a low speed.
7. Once combined pour into pan and scatter grapes on top.
8. Bake for 20 minutes.
Sugar Crust
1. While the cake is in the oven immediately start on the sugar crust.
2. Place butter and sugar into a small bowl and beat into a thick paste using a wooden spoon.
3. When cake has been in oven for 20 minutes, remove from oven and scatter sugar crust onto cake into small pieces. Then add grapes evenly on top and place back in oven.
4. Immediately lower oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for 40 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Tips
• The cake must be made in an angel food cake or chiffon pan. The cake is so large this is the only pan that can ensure an even bake. A Bundt pan will not work as you want the sugar crust and grapes to remain on top when it is served.
• The cake will keep for 5 days in an air-tight container.
• To make this non-alcoholic add grape juice, like I did.
• I added my grapes to the sugar crust mixture. Either way works out well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This cake is a total hit and I can’t gush about this enough. Now some wouldn’t think this is a great idea for a cake adding olive oil, grapes or wine; but this cake is sheer magnificence. I subbed out wine for a concord grape juice to make this a non-alcoholic version and it tasted just as wonderful. My taste tester loved it and tucked in upon receiving their slices; which was 10:45 in the morning I might add and my other guest enjoyed it with Sunday dinner. I had to purchase a new cake pan for this recipe as I have never made an angel food cake before. I didn’t think I could make this and then I got lucky and found a cake pan. I will be making this recipe again for sure and I may try a different fruit and juice combination.

Cranberry Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love cranberries, so much so I purchase enough cranberries in the winter season to last me all year until the winter season comes by again. They will go in my daily smoothies and in cakes through of the year. I’m just drawn to these sweet & tart fruits and they get me every time. I found this recipe when I found Live for Cake on IG and since she is a fellow Canadian blogger I wanted to give this recipe a try.

Yield/Serving: 10, makes 4- 6” cakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Liv for Cake blog

Ingredients
Cranberry Orange Cake

• 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 tbsp tangelo & clementine zest
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ¾ cup coconut milk, room temperature
• ½ cup tangelo & clementine juice, fresh squeezed
• 1 cup fresh cranberries, coated in 1 tsp of flour
Cream Cheese Buttercream
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 tbsp tangelo zest
• 8 0z (150g) cream cheese, softened
• 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Decorations
• Fresh cranberries
• Orange slices, if desired
• Thyme sprigs, if desired

Assembly
Cranberry Orange Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray four 6” round pans with non-stick cooking spray and then place parchment paper at the bottom.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and zests until smooth.
5. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until mixture is pale and fluffy, approx. 3 min.
6. Reduce speed to low and alternate flour mixture with orange juice & coconut milk mixture beginning and ending with flour; fully incorporating each addition.
7. Coat cranberries in flour and gently fold into batter.
8. Spread batter evenly into the four tins, smooth the tops and slam on the counter to release any air bubbles.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out mostly clean.
10. Place cakes on a wire rack to cool for ten minutes and then turn out to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and zests until smooth.
2. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined.
3. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat on medium-high for 5 minutes and then reduce to low speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Assembly
1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
2. Apply the crumb coat and let set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
4. Using a large offset spatula make a pattern swirling on the sides and top.
5. Add a crown of cranberries. Add orange slices and thyme sprigs if desired.

Tips
• Swap coconut milk for dairy milk
• Use any type of citrus if desired. Use the same type of juice if you change citrus fruits.
• Use fresh or frozen cranberries. Fresh preferred though.
• Add orange slices when you are serving it immediately. If the cake is being given away like mine was. Wait until you are going to delivery it.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now I have never been a fan of cheese and pastries. If I make a carrot cake you better believe there is not cream cheese frosting. A cheese Danish I turn my nose up at and borderline gag and cheesecake is barely tolerable for me. With all this I really wanted to try a cream cheese frosting and the only cream cheese frosting I consumed without making weird face was a citrus cream cheese frosting many years back. My only alterations to the original recipe was cutting back on the sugar and using two types or citrus zest and coconut milk. The result were fantastic and for once I decided to make myself a baby cake to keep for myself in the house for Super Bowl Sunday. I gave the 3 layer cake away and kept my single layer to serve after all those wings and sausage rolls, fries and veggies. Sounds like an odd time to serve this cake; but you know what no one-minded one bit. The texture was great and I think if I have a cream cheese citrus frosting, light on the cream cheese I may be able to enjoy this from time to time and the decorations turned out quite nice.

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s my birthday and to celebrate I made my own cake. Now to most making your own birthday sounds like a horrible idea; but I love a challenge and wanted to see if I could make myself proud on my special day. Also if it doesn’t turn out I still have the dessert from the restaurant birthday celebrations.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” pans, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Funfetti cake layer from Dessert for Two

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 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 baking salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg whites
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. mini nonpareils
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp milk, more if needed
Decorations
• Coloured molding chocolate, pink, teal & white.
• Any other decorations you like sanding sugar, jimis, sprinkles, sugar gems, nonpareils – any size.
• Ivory, pink & purple food colouring.

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 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.
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. Stir in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into 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.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and combine until well incorporated.
Abstract Decorations
1. Place parchment paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt coloured molding chocolate in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Smear each colour of chocolate using the back of a spoon 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. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
5. Top with finals layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using three prep bowl add a little buttercream frosting and ivory, pink and purple food colouring or gel to each prep bowl and mix.
8. Using an offset spatula apply dabs of each colour along with the plain buttercream frosting.
9. Using a long offset spatula start icing the sides and top until smooth.
10. Smear a little butter cream to the back of each molding chocolate decoration before application to the cake. Add as many as you like.
11. Add other decorations.
12. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
13. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
14. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have learned I need to just buy egg whites in a container. I can only do so much with my leftover egg yolks. I can’t be making curds and double yolk eggs all the time. With this recipe the second time baking it I had and issue regarding the doneness of the centre. The cake tester comes out clean and yet when I trim the cake, it is not entirely cooked through; which is aggravating. That being said I am much happier with this recipe then one I tried from someone else. I have never seen cakes sink in the middle in all my time baking and that recipe did it and it made me waste a half dozen eggs; arghhh. I will have to be very careful with who I try baking recipes from now on. Maybe it’s an altitude thing; but I highly doubt that sadly. The Funfetti cake turned out great and I am a fan of the dessert for two’s blog as I have access to recipes for two people. So this gave me the layer I needed to jazz up a plain old vanilla cake. I am still having issues frosting cakes as I can’t get the frosting to move around the cake as freely as I’d like; even though the frosting is soft. It is definitely a hand and pressure applied issue; but this is leaps and bound better than any of my fully decorated cakes except for my naked cakes and birch bark and yule log. I think I have graduated from naked cakes to full on cake decorating now and this is a wonderful way to keep my 2018 cake decorating goals moving in the right direction. I didn’t intend on adding multiple colours to the frosting or my geode inspired decorations; but I just went with it and it looks great to me.

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log)

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Wow your Christmas dinner guests with this showstopper of a dessert.

Yield/Serving: 12-14
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming when decorating if this is your first time decorating

Ingredients
Sponge

• 4 large free–range eggs
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar , plus extra for dusting
• ½ cup self-raising flour
• 2 tablespoons quality unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
• 2 tablespoons sugar
Filling
• 8oz tin of sweetened chestnut purée
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp heavy cream
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 1 Crunchie bar, or 1 ½ oz honey comb
Buttercream
• 5 oz quality dark chocolate (70%)
• 11 tbsp unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
• 1 heaping cup icing sugar

Assembly
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. For the sponge, line a 12” x 10” baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Separate the eggs.
4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt.
5. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, then, one-by-one, whisk in the egg yolks until really pale and light.
6. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, add the vanilla bean paste, then fold everything together with a large metal spoon so you keep in as much air as possible.
7. Spoon the mixture into the lined baking sheet, gently and evenly spread it out, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through and springy to the touch.
8. Place a large sheet of parchment paper (18” x 12”) on a flat surface and evenly sprinkle over the sugar from a height.
9. While it’s still hot and flexible, turn the sponge out on to the paper.
10. Peel off and discard the baked piece of parchment paper
11. With one of the longest sides in front of you, fold up the excess paper, then roll up the sponge with the paper inside (as it cools, this will set the shape but prevent the sponge from cracking).
12. Leave to cool.
13. For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and cinnamon together.
14. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the honey.
15. To assemble, unroll the sponge so it’s flat, removing the paper.
16. Spread all over with the chestnut purée, followed by the cream, then smash and sprinkle over the Crunchie bar or honeycomb.
17. Re-roll and pop into the fridge.
18. Meanwhile, make your buttercream.
19. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove and leave to cool.
20. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until pale, then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and cooled melted chocolate.
21. Take the log out of the fridge, chop off a quarter at an angle – that’s the branch – and position it on your serving board like in the picture, using a splodge of buttercream to keep it in place.
22. Evenly cover the whole log with buttercream, then use a fork to decorate it.
23. Dust with extra confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of sea salt, shaved chocolate, sprinkles, plastic Bambi figures, whatever you like – go to town!

Tips
• Just have fun and don’t worry about the time.
• Make honey comb from scratch or use a crunchie bar. Jamie has a honeycomb recipe also which I haven’t included in this post.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I used Jamie’s recipe for the Yule log portion; but then I felt like I wanted to add a Christmas winter scene and went my own way on the topping (White chocolate hand-decorated bark) and adding the snow laden houses and tree cakes. I have been running ideas and concepts for this yule log through my head for a couple weeks now and I wanted to at least have a non-chocolate top, so I could have some if I wanted. I have officially made the best thing visually baking wise and I’m smiling ear to ear as I type this. I could almost cry at how happy I am with how this turned out; however weird that sounds. I feel like all of a sudden I have hit a next gear in my baking. I got to practice some techniques and enjoy my most favourite holiday. This is going to my God-Kids and their family for Christmas Eve tomorrow when I see them at church. I hope this makes up for the Elf on the Shelf sugar cookies they didn’t get; but saw on my blog and further questioned me as to “where are ours” and “can you make us some too”. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor of the Buche de Noel. I had the most terrible time finding chestnuts, and I had to go the route of water chestnuts and puree them myself. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the exact same taste; but I enjoyed it and I absolutely hate water chestnuts or so I thought. It will be very interesting to see if the God-kids like that or next time I need to put jam in instead. The water chestnuts added a crunch as the honeycomb melted into the whipping cream. I found the instructions a little hard to grasp when it came to the assembly of the log; but I had an idea and it worked out well as I made that failure cake roll a few months back. The amount of batter in the recipe I think wouldn’t have filled the pan size listed, as it didn’t for me. Other than that this is a wonderful end to a Christmas dinner with the family or with friends and it can be put in the fridge, so you don’t have to be baking this on Christmas day. I showed a few friends and they were thoroughly impressed as was I.

***Update. this was a smash with the God-Kids and the parents. I didn’t have to worry about the chestnuts and the flavour at all. The kids loved the crunch and ate away. They even ate the decorative fondant holly’s and poinsettias. A total winner all around and I was told if this is my Christmas present every year I will be more than happy. Will do. I think “Auntie” will be providing Christmas dinner dessert going forward.

Merry Chistmas

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

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