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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Christmas Leftover Winter Ragu

Winter Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

Have leftover Christmas meat and looking for a way to use it up. Make this winter ragu.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time:
Cook Time: 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
• 1 red onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 carrot
• 1 leek
• 1 stalk of celery
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Olive oil
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp Chianti
• 2 x 14oz can of plum tomatoes
• 14oz leftover cooked meat
• Extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Peel onion, garlic, carrot, wash and trim leek with celery and pick rosemary leaves and
2. Finely chop all adding to a large casserole dish over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bay leaf.
3. Cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
4. Now turn heat up to high and add in wine and let cook down for a few minutes and add tomatoes.
5. Fill each can half way up with water and swirl around and pour into pan.
6. Roughly chop or tear leftover meat, stir well and bring to a boil; breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
7. Reduce down to low heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, or until thick.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil to finish.
9. Serve with pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes or chunks of crusty bread for dipping.

Tips
• Use leftover meat of if Christmas was so good there were no leftovers, then use fresh ground beef.
• Serve with fried or creamy polenta, pasta or rice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I swapped out the wine for de-alcholized wine and it tasted just as rich and bold and the hue was a treat. Season with salt and pepper at the end; giving the ragu time to marry completely first.

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Ingredients
• 6 cups beef broth
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• Handful of Italian parsley, rough chop
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 7 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• One knob of ginger, minced
• ½ cup sugar snap peas, halved
• 2 tbsp, mint leaves
• 200g, 1 package of pre-cooked udon noodles
• 1 baby bok choy, halved down the length of the leaf
• 6 dashes, fish sauce
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Cook the udon noodles according the package then drain and set aside.
2. Using a large saucepan pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Add in celery, onion, parsley, green onions, garlic, carrots, ginger, snap peas, mint leaves and let cook for five minutes.
4. Add in the udon noodles along with fish sauce and apple cider vinegar and cook for five more minutes.
5. Turn down the temperature to simmer and add in the bok choy and let cook for 10 more minutes.
6. Serve

Tips
• Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian, vegan dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I usually love the soup I make; but so far the Asian inspired soups I haven’t really been a fan of. It tasted fine, but just not to my style.

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

I visited a different grocery story looking for ground turkey for my kofta’s and to my surprise I found Jamaican Ginger and Tumeric. I have never seen either of these in the store. Regular Asian ginger yes; but not its spicier cousin and the turmeric was a sign for my to go all in and try this ingredient I have had a love hate relationship with. Having a lifelong love affair with ginger, I thought it was an obvious choice to start trying to add turmeric into my diet alongside its “cousin” ginger. Now as easy as ginger is to enjoy for myself I just couldn’t get on board with turmeric. I have finally found a way to consume it and enjoy it along with all its benefits like aiding with ingestion and those all so important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities keep calling me back. Well this soup struck a chord with me in the most delightful way and I can now enjoy turmeric and its unique scent and vibrant colour.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 & ½ hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 2 knobs of turmeric, peeled and minced
• 900 ml vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash and place in a roasting pan.
3. Boil sweet potato and carrot in a medium saucepan.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a blender along with the sweet potatoes and carrots.
6. Add turmeric and vegetable stock and blend.
7. Pour into two bowls and serve.

Tips
• Add more turmeric if you like.
• Use a Dutch oven if you prefer.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did start with a relatively small amount of turmeric in my eyes; but the soup surely had that lovely and distinctive turmeric scent. The colour of this soup is my most favourite of all the soups I have prepared. It also kept the colour upon reheating. I could taste each ingredients and they came together very well. This will be another soup in my rotation. If you want a faster dinner use your blender. I used the blender for Christmas for the purpose of using it solely for cooking and not my daily smoothie. I started off using the immersion blender in the Dutch over but I couldn’t’ get the consistency and the find turmeric to blend nicely and smooth.

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a cold (knock on wood) and even now this hasn’t turned into a full blown cold yet and I’m thankful for that. I should have known my tonsillitis last week was perhaps a warning sign of things to come. So feeling a touch under the weather with a sore throat and slight cough, I had already picked up some soup essentials being preemptive. Now to make a new soup to help me feel better fast and nip whatever this in the bud.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: approx. 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 1 cup water
• Salt to taste, if desired
• Black pepper to taste, if desired
• a knob of ginger, if desired
• a little turmeric, if desired
• 3 leaves of kale
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash, sweet potato and carrot and place in a roasting pan.
3. Cover in extra virgin olive oil and roast for one hour and forty minutes, turning vegetable over halfway through.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a Dutch oven along with the sweet potatoes chopped.
6. Chop carrots and add one cup of water to a blender along with the carrots and blend.
7. Then add to the Dutch oven along with the vegetable stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and continue to simmer.
9. In a small frying pan, fry kale with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and once crispy drain on a paper towel.
10. Laddle soup into a bowl and top with crispy kale and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is really a bare bones recipe for me. I honestly didn’t even add salt or pepper as I wasn’t feeling it and I wanted to keep this soup pure. You can also add ginger and turmeric if you want also. I saved that for my tea on the side personally. I even managed to not add onions and garlic as that might have muddied up the beautiful colour of the soup; which was sweet and simple. Blending the carrots prior to adding them to the Dutch oven really helped with the consistency of the soup and I’m very happy I did. This really took no effort which is perfect when your down for the count. Nap while the veggies roast and maybe 10 minutes on your feet actually tending to the soup. Perfect.

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins – Candy Coated Culinista

I’m always the person friends and family ask “do you have this” to which I reply yes give me a second. I was never a Girl Guide but I’m always prepared for any eventuality. This includes a day trip out of town I brought healthy snacks and well of course I brought too many and my bananas started to look a little too ripe for me by the end of our day. With over ripe bananas on hand I had no choice but to bake something and a new recipe at that.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 to 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of margarine, melted
• 1 egg
• 250g yoghurt
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 3 ripe bananas, mashed
• 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
• 1/3 cup frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
• 1 cup self-rising flour
• ¼ cups golden brown sugar
• Extra sugar to sprinkle

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place muffin cups in muffin trays and set aside.
3. Over low heat melt butter.
4. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla extract.
5. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the shredded carrots and cranberries and set aside.
6. Using a large bowl whisk flour, sugar and add the bananas, carrots and cranberries.
7. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
8. Spoon batter into muffin cups two-thirds full and sprinkle with extra sugar.
9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a delicious combination, I just found it too sweet for my liking and I have reduced the sugar amount in my recipe above. I combined two types of muffins I enjoy into one and it turned out well. The burst of cranberries with each bite was a great surprise splash of tart.

Banana Carrot Apple Bread

Banana Carrot Apple Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Banana Carrot Apple Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been craving my super moist carrot cake; but as per my usual I hate repeating recipes over. This means I’m putting a spin on it with bananas.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• 1 cup mashed bananas ( 3 ripe bananas)
• ¼ cup fresh applesauce (1 red delicious & 1/3 cup water – blended)
• ½ cup golden brown sugar
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• ¾ tsp vanilla bean paste
• 2 cups grated carrots (4 carrots)

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a pan with vegetable oil spray.
3. In an electric mixer bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the bananas, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla paste.
5. Add wet ingredients into the electric mixer at medium-low speed alternating with the carrots until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from baking pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I finally got to grate some carrots using a proper grater; it made my life easy for sure. My arm still hurt but it was much easier which I was thankful for. I love making breads; but I always forget that the prep time is so much longer than cake for me. An hour into prepping and I was even saying to myself how long have been prepping. This cake was so moist I had to double check the doneness of it. It indeed was fully baked it was just that moist and dense. I could taste the different spices and it wasn’t sweet at all. My taste testers loved it and were very happy I thought of them and brought and saved them some bread. Even one taster that isn’t keen on fruits and veg in their baked goods even eagerly asked my to save a slice and it was enjoyed.

B is for … Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup

Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: B is for … Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup

A beautiful and vibrant combination of squash & apples.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 2 ribs of celery, chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 buttercup squash, seeded and sliced with skin on
• 4 tart green apples, peeled, cored and chopped
• 900ml vegetable broth
• Pinch of nutmeg
• Pinch of cinnamon
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced, to garnish

Assembly
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter along with onions, celery and carrots and let brown for about 6 minutes.
2. In another large saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the buttercup squash until tender.
3. Drain the squash and let cool for 10 minutes and then peel off the skin.
4. Add squash pieces to the onion, celery and carrot mixture.
5. Add in the apples and vegetable broth and bring to a boil and cover.
6. Once broth has boiled turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. At the 15 minutes mark add in the nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and continue to stir occasionally.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until all the vegetables & fruit have been pureed and the soup is smooth.
9. Garnish with apple slices and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my most delicious soup by far and the vibrancy of the soup just made me want to eat it even more. The kick of cayenne pepper adds an extra note to this tasty soup.

Super Moist Carrot Cake

Super Moist Carrot Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Super Moist Carrot Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe evolved from a recipe my second mom/big sister uses. She makes this carrot cake all the time and she finally divulged the recipe as she realized with two boys, she has no one to pass her recipes over to and her I am just begging for them. I took her recipe and of course C.C’d it, because I just can’t leave a recipe alone.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” round cakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: approx. 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 2 ½ cups unsifted 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
• 4 cups carrots, peeled and grated
• 1/3 cup Christmas fruit mix, optional
• 1/3 cup pistachios, optional
• 1/3 cup walnuts, optional
• 1/3 cup pecans, optional

Assembly
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. Add in the carrots and Christmas frit mix until just combined.
7. Incorporate the dry ingredients, using a whisk until just combined.
8. Mix in the nuts.
9. Pour the batter into the three pans and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Using a flexible cake knife, run it along the edges of the cake pan and then remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack.

Tips
• I’m not a fan of cream cheese frosting, but feel free to make a cream cheese frosting if desired.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
Yesterday when I saw my second mom she gave me a big thumbs up and said you did good. I told her I altered her recipe; which she could tell and she still enjoyed it. My dad called and gave me a glowing review – “This is the best carrot cake I have ever had, you did an amazing job” When he said this I just had to give myself a pat on the back.

My thoughts
When I started grating the carrots by hand using my little (the size of my hand) one sided grater; all I keep saying to myself was there’s got to be an easier way and why in the world would someone make this cake so regularly with all this working out. If I continue to make carrot cake I will need to invest in a box grater or something better than my tiny grater. As for the carrot cake I can’t believe my first attempt at a carrot cake turned out perfectly. I even changed and half batched up a recipe and altered it and it still turned out. I think I really knocked this one out of the park. The top was crunchy as the knife broke into it followed by a super moist interior. I am so proud of myself and beside the arm breaking grating I loved this cake and will make it once and awhile.

Kale, Radish & Carrot Sauté

Kale, Radish & Carrot Sauté - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale, Radish & Carrot Sauté – Candy Coated Culinista

Kale was left over from another recipe and I made a quick and tasty sauté.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 3
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 handfuls of kale, chopped
• 5 radish, sliced thinly
• 3 medium sized carrots, cut into match sticks
• 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp agave nectar

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat, using a cast iron skillet pour in the extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add in the kale, radish and carrots.
3. Let the vegetable sauté for a few minutes and then add the worcestershire sauce, sea salt and agave nectar.
4. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender, but not soft.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I always find kale a little chewy, but still this was delicious, and I got to use some vegetables I usually don’t cook with.

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