Naked Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

I made this cake for my first God-son’s birthday as usual I make him a cake. This time I’m trying to make a more fanciful grown up cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 9 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1 cup fresh blackberries
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and Irish Cream.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans evenly and cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
10. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
11. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
12. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
13. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
15. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
16. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
17. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
18. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
19. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
20. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is hands down the best cake I have ever made and I didn’t even have to cover up my work with frosting because it turned out so well. This is an attention grabbing cake and is worth all the time and effort for a special birthday cake. This had a wow factor and was loved by all. The cake was light and moist and the ganache was shiny and with the addition of the fresh fruits it cut the sweetness of the buttercream. I was very proud of myself and this has given me the confidence to tackle a proper layered cake. I had very high hopes and this turned out smashingly.

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

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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

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

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

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

On a high from making my first naked layered cake I had to make a white cake option so I could actually enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly Altered From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• Handful of red cherries
• Handful of fresh blackberries
• Handful of blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 60 minutes or more.
Buttercream
9. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
10. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
11. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
12. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
13. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
14. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
15. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
16. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
17. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
18. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
19. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The goal of this cake was to be a white cake with white chocolate ganache; but it turned out to be more of a yellow cake as it baked for an hour. I also learned there is no such thing as a white chocolate ganache (who knew) the composition of white chocolate is not conducive to a ganache and the consistency stays runny and never hardens. Lesson learned and I will have to figure out how to make a white coloured cake another time. This cake was so delicious and came from another recipe I made and will post another time. Once again this cake came out moist and I reduced the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the icing to my personal taste. This was given to accompany a birthday present and this time I enjoyed a slice myself. This recipe is now my layer cake base recipe and I can’t wait to build upon this recipe. It looked so wonderful on my cake plate which I never use because nothing is ever pretty enough to go on it in my eyes.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Since its Canada’s 150th birthday this was my push to do something I have never done before. This is the first time I have ever attempted to make a sugar cookie as I seem to have an aversion to rolling out doughs; whether cookie or pie. My cooking dreams have been filled of me making sugar cookies for two plus years now. Visions of these perfectly decorated cookies that I see in the shops and I just never tackled it in fear of a terrible finished product.

Yield/Serving: 16-20 cookies depending on size
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, and time consuming and much patience

Ingredients
Cookies
• ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
• ½ tsp baking powder
• Pinch of seas salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¼ granulated sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 3 tbsp of milk
Icing
Red Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp red food colouring
White Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk

Assembly
Cookies
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment.
3. Once the butter and sugar is fluffy and light and pale in colour, add in the egg yolk and extracts until well incorporated.
4. Pour in over half the flour mixture and combine and then add the remaining flour mixture remaining.
5. Add milk and allow the dough to come together.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Place parchment paper onto cookie sheets.
8. Sprinkle flour onto a marble pastry board or floured clean counter top and over rolling pin and roll out dough.
9. Cut out cookies and place on the cookie sheets.
10. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll and cut more cookies.
11. Continue step 10 until all the dough has been used up.
12. Place cookies on the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes.
13. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
14. Let the cookies remain on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

Tips
• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Sprinkle flour onto cookie cutters to minimize sticking.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made a test run recipe to see how everything would come together and I was almost annoyed. I knew I couldn’t use my own recipe as I have no clue how to make a sugar cookie and yet the recipe didn’t turn out well at all. The cookies were floury and I wasted way to much butter, egg yolks and flour; which is why I could make the meringue cookies recipe last week. I had 7 egg whites to use from all the fails for this recipe. Since I had already purchased two specialty cookie cutters from the U.S. months ago and I wasn’t going to waste that money; I just persevered. In the end I used another recipe and it still was too crumbly and the dough didn’t come together. Was it a humidity thing? Not today as it wasn’t humid; so I did my own thing and adjusted to my needs. For the next time I have to work on my finer lettering and decorating skills; but for my first go I’m happy with how it turned out. These are decent enough to give away to my friends for Canada Day celebrations. Everyone enjoyed the look of the cookies and even figured out the shape of Canada. The Ontario cookie shape was a litter harder to distinguish; even with my “x marks the sport” on Toronto where we live lol. Overall the Canadians did well in my book and these were not to sugary, which I liked. I’m excited to make another batch soon and keep refining my skills as I have 50 plus cookie cutters to my name and they’ve been in my cooking box for 7 years now unused sadly.

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby

Sweet Dutch Baby - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby – Candy Coated Culinista

This sweet popover eggy pancake also known as a German pancake can be easy turn from a breakfast treat to a savory meal much like a crepe. Just a few simple quality ingredients and you have an absolutely magical treat. This was apart of the Chatelaine Cooking Club see my picture here in the gallery of participants.

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

From Chatelaine (Altered the cooking time though)

Ingredients
• ¼ cup butter
• 4 eggs
• 2/3 cups 2% milk
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup tsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• Confectioners’ sugar
• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Raspberries
• kiwi

Assembly
1. Over medium heat melt butter in a 12” cast iron skillet.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
3. Using a large bowl whisk eggs and milk until uniform in colour.
4. Add in flour, sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until well combined.
5. Pour batter into the hot skillet.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and add fruit as desired.
8. Serve immediately.

Tips
• Watch closely in the last 5 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This tasted like an eggy pancake to me and it was just okay. I did like all the fresh fruit and confectioners’ sugar on top, but still it was just okay for me. I turned out well and I had no issues with the recipe, I wanted a little more fluffiness to it. I alerted the cooking time by turning the temperature down a little and extended as baking at 475°F for 9 to 11 minutes it only going to guarantee me fire alarm to go off and I wasn’t in the mood for that in the morning. I did notice the Dutch baby deflated quite fast much like a soufflé.

Cookie Decorating – Practice #1

Royal Icing Decorating - Candy Coated Culinista

Royal Icing Decorating – Candy Coated Culinista

Truth be told I am about 3 months late practicing how to decorate cookies. The plan was to make El Dia Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Sugar Skull cookies, as I love all things macabre and skulls being my focal point in this genre. There should have been a post November 1st 2013, but I had so many Halloween posts leading up to that day that I thought I should relax a bit. I also put a hold on it as I haden’t practiced or got myself all the tools needed, even though I had the sugar skull cookie cutters from my prize money for my Mini-Jumble Berry Tarts. Christmas rolls around and Bulk Barn is now selling pre-made gingerbread cookies and houses and royal icing. That’s perfect for me as I can just concentrate on the decorating aspect and not worry about making the gingerbread. I bought my supplies and what happens again, I have so many Christmas recipes and posts that I run out of time. Now it’s the first week in January and I am practicing now. The only good thing to my procrastination was that everyone in my life for Christmas either gave me cooking, baking or photography related presents and my second mom (she’s more like big sister and mom – my mom has always said if anything should happen to her this is my new mom) and that’s exactly how it worked out. Anyway back to the story, she and one of her sons (my god-son) gave me a unique measuring cup set that looks like seashells, as my god son thought they were unique just like his aunty C.C. and an icing pen set with all the decorating tips and the much needed offset spatula. Now I had everything I needed and I had no excuse, and I broke in my new icing set.

Supplies
• Gingerbread cookies
• Royal icing
• Sprinkles, quinns, coloured sugar (as decorations you like)
• Offset spatula

Assembly
1. Lay out cookies.
2. Pipe outlines around the edges of the cookie.
3. Let the outline set for 1 hour before flooding the interior.
4. Thin the icing in the microwave or add a little water at a time until runny.
5. Let the icing stand for 5 minutes to allow bubbles to rise to the top and then flood the cookies inside your outlines.
6. Use an offset spatula along with a toothpick to help the icing reach the edges.
7. Let cookies set for 1 hour and then pipe details or the next colour on top. Or when you have finished flooding the cookie sprinkle the sprinkles, quinns or coloured sugar on top immediately so they can adhere to the icing.

Tips
• I found it easier to work with the royal icing if it was slightly warm to get a more liquid consistency.
• Another option is to add water, a little at a time until the runny texture is achieved.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My first cookies was a real disaster, you can always tell your first when your practicing something new. By the second cookie I had the hang of it (I was expecting this to take me longer, but maybe my artistic background kicked it). For my first practice at cookie decorating I am quite pleased with myself. I just have to work on my flooding technique and using the offset spatula. I am now feeling more confident and by November 1st 2014 I will have that El Dia Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Sugar Skull cookies post up for you to try.

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