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

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St. Patrick’s Day Cake

St. Patrick’s Day Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

St. Patrick’s day is almost here and I have made a stacked cake for the occasion.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 6” pans & 1 – 8” pan, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 10 large eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp baking salt
• 1 ½ cups 2% milk
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 8 tbsp milk, more if needed
Creamy Caramel
• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Decorations
• Kelly green gel frosting
• Moss green food colouring
• Shamrock sprinkles
• Caramel

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of three pans.
3. Spray pans 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 large 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. Split the batter and add food colouring into two separate batches by hand and fold in.
9. Pour into three pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
10. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
12. Let cool completely.
Creamy Caramel
1. Place cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring with a metal spoon until combined.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature reaches 350°F using a candy thermometer and the mixture is a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from heat and working fast, add butter mixture in a thin steady stream, stirring to combine.
6. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until caramel has thickened slightly.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.
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.
Stacked Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Crumb coat each cake and place in fridge and allow to firm up.
3. Frost each cake layer and smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
4. Place first 8” vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
5. Then place a 6” layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Drizzle caramel over the edges of both cakes and allow to run down the sides.
7. Stack one 6” cake on top of the centre of the 8” cake and sprinkle the shamrock sprinkles over the buttercream portion.
8. Then pipe along the edges beside the caramel.
9. For the second baby tasting cake drizzle caramel along the edges and the sprinkle shamrock sprinkles and pipe along the edges.
10. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.
• Use caramel from a jar if desired. I had leftover caramel from my tarte tartin so I used that.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first stacked cake and this was on my goals list. I was for the most part happy with how the cake turned out besides the application of the caramel. I found it hard to get the proper consistency and then the drizzle factor along with not melting the frosting. For a first attempt I was quite happy, so I’m not going to sweat it too much. Guests enjoyed it and were impressed that I made the cake; which was nice; but of course I saw all the flaws. It did however taste good and once the special guest of the day realized I had baked a cake, she told one of the servers to take away the rest so her and her husband could enjoy a proper slice at home. That totally flattered me.

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

For my birthday this past weekend I made myself some birthday cookies. I wanted a simpler non-cake recipe to just make life easier on myself and this recipe fit the bill as I wanted a special cookie. I have had the Toronto Cooks cookbook since its release in the fall of 2014. I have my list of must makes and yet I haven’t actually tried a recipe yet because these are signature recipes from Toronto’s best restaurants; which means some of these ingredients may not be the easiest to find when I want or are a tad pricy. When I first saw this recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar (a place on my must visit list) I had no idea who Christina Tosi was; a year plus later and I she is a judge on Masterchef and when I revisit this cookbook I recognize her face and get some context. It’s funny how somethings come together like this because if I had made this recipe before I wouldn’t have appreciated the recipe as I didn’t know all that Christina Tosi is in the culinary world.

Slightly altered From Toronto Cooks

Yield/Serving: 16 big cookies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Inactive Time: 1 hour to 1 week
Cook Time: 18 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Birthday Cake Crumb
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 tbsp golden brown sugar
• 6 tbsp cake/pastry flour
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 2 tbsp confetti sprinkles
• 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Confetti Cookies
• 2 sticks butter, as room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp corn syrup
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup milk powder
• 2 tsp cream of tartar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles
• birthday cake crumb recipe

Assembly
Birthday Cake Crumb
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a silpat.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles on low speed until well combined.
4. Add in the oil and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients start to become moist and form clusters.
5. Drop clusters onto silpat and bake for 20 minutes, breaking up into cluster occasionally.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet completely before removing.
7. Place in an air-tight container.
Confetti Cookies
8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
9. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and corn syrup on medium-high speed for 2 – 3 minutes; scrapping down the sides as needed.
10. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 7 – 8 minutes; until the batter is fluffy and pale.
11. Reduce speed to low and add flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt and sprinkles.
12. Mix until dough just comes together; but no longer than 1 minute.
13. Scrape down the sides and add the cake crumbs on low speed, for about 30 seconds.
14. Using a tablespoon and scoop dough onto parchment paper 4” apart and pat the tops down.
15. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 1 week. (Do not bake a room temperature as they will not bake properly.)
16. Preheat oven to 375°F.
17. Baking one pan at a time bake for 18 minutes. The cookies should be a light brown and the tops puffed and crackled.
18. Remove from the oven and let remain on the parchment paper for 1 more minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
19. Repeat until all cookies are baked.

Tips
• An easy cream of tartar substitute is for every ½ tsp of baking soda use 1 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar.
• Crumbs will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or for 1 month in the freezer.
• Cookies will keep for 5 days in an airtight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe has lots of steps and requires some accuracy, yet it didn’t feel like it took that long; but it kind of did. The cookies itself were crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre. The cookie crumbs didn’t really form clusters but there were still a great crunchy addition to the recipe. The shelf life wasn’t 5 days as listed as I’m on day 4 of my leftover test cookie and it’s pretty hard. For me the shelf life is more at the 2 to 3 day mark; but they won’t last that long as all of my cookies were gone by day 2. However; if you like your cookies on the harder side then none of this will really matter to you I just prefer a softer cookie. I also didn’t use milk powder as this is an expensive ingredient that comes in big quantities so I skipped this ingredient and the recipe turned out good. I also thought I had cream of tartar on hand as this is a baking staple ingredient for me and I had actually run out. With all of the above being said this was a great recipe and easy to follow and even all of these adjustments the cookies still turned out well. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel comfortable enough in my baking that I can make adjustments on the fly and still expect good results or this recipe has a larger margin of error lol. In any event this is a great recipe I will be making again and I could see myself baking these as an alternative to a birthday cake again.

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs - Candy Coated Culinista

Confetti Cookies with Birthday Cake Crumbs – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Block Party Cupcake Decorating Practice #5

Halloween Block Party Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Block Party Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

I was outside taking pictures of my Cherry Yoghurt Bundt Cake and a few neighbourhood girls came by all inquisitive like asking “what are you doing?” So I told them I was just trying to get some natural light for my photos. They quipped how I took a lot of photos and that my cake smelled really good and if they could have some. I told them they’d of course have to ask their parents; but then it turned into them asking me to make them some cupcakes for their Halloween Block Party after running it by a parent and that they must be Halloween themed. Since I always have Halloween colours & decorations on hand as a skull lover and collector I said sure, when and what time. I delivered the cupcakes to the block party and the girls loved them and were very appreciative as well as the parents. I love when I can put smiles on little kids faces and I also got to meet a few neighbours.

Halloween Block Party Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Block Party Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake - Candy Coated Culinista

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake – Candy Coated Culinista

A holiday can’t pass without me trying to make something themed. It’s St. Patrick’s day so enjoy this minty, chocolately shamrock shake.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Chocolate syrup
• 1 scoop cookies & cream ice cream
• 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
• 1 tsp peppermint extract
• 6 drops green food colouring
• 1/3 cup 2% milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Shamrock sprinkles

Assembly
1. Pour chocolate syrup into a pint glass and set aside.
2. In a blender put in ice cream, peppermint extract, food colouring and milk and blend.
3. Pour milkshake into the pint glass.
4. Whip the whipping cream and put on top of the milkshake.
5. Add sprinkles and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this for Mr. C. and he really enjoyed it and he like hint of mint in the milkshake.

Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnuts - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Doughnuts – Candy Coated Culinista

Here’s a healthy version of doughnuts I made for the cooking club.

From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 28 doughnuts & 28 holes
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 3 hr & 15 min.
Difficulty level is: easy, but with lots of waiting for yeast to rise time

Ingredients
Doughnuts
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 8g quick-rise yeast
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/3 tsp salt
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Glaze
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tsp extract
• 2 tbsp sprinkles

Assembly
1. Using a microwave safe bowl warm milk for about 1 minute.
2. Pour milk into an electric mixer, with the dough hook attachment and add yeast and stir.
3. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
4. Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and also spray with cooking spray.
5. Add the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and salt to the yeast.
6. Beat at medium speed until well combined.
7. Slowly add the flour and increase the speed to medium-high, until the dough forms into a bal and pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 7 min.
8. Once to is formed place in the oiled bowl and spray more cooking spray on top and cover with a damp tea towel.
9. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about an hour.
10. On a floured surface roll out the dough to ½” thickness.
11. Using a cookie cutter, cut into 28 shapes and then use a smaller cookie cutter and cut out the centre to make your holes.
12. Transfer doughnuts and holes to the prepared baking sheets and cover one again with a damp tea towel and allow to double its size, about 45 minutes.
13. In a small bowl mix whisk together confectioner’s sugar and water and set aside.
14. Pre heat over to 350°F and bake the first tray in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about 10 min.
15. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 10 min.
16. Place the second tray in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about 10 min.
17. Stir the icing mixture and then dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze.
18. Decorate with sprinkle, immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These tasted pretty good; but I would probably lessen the cook time as the bottoms were a little too golden brown for my liking. I also only used 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar versus the 3 in the recipe as that seemed like too much sweetness going on with the sprinkles. I like the fact that they are healthier but sometimes I want my sweets to be fattening and unhealthy. That way it’s a truly a real treat

Cupcake Decorating Practice #1

Cupcake Decorating Practice #1 - Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Decorating Practice #1 – Candy Coated Culinista

I planned on making homemade cupcakes for my birthday post, but like usual I got too busy and too many things preoccupied my time surrounding my birthday. One of my closest friends from childhood and also one of my bridesmaids is a January baby also; just 6 days after me. I made sure that over the weekend I was going to makes cupcakes, whether homemade or box and just jazzed up. I ended up making a box cupcake and added sprinkles and flavoured extracts, and premade frosting. My goal here was to practice icing a cupcake with a decorating bag/piping bag. For my first attempt I used one of my Christmas presents from 2012 a Dessert Decorator (a cylinder tube with a plunger top) along with the Star Tip. I found this to be so easy that after my first try it came out pretty well. I made cotton candy flavored blue frosting as this is her favourite colour.

Supplies:
• Dessert Decorator/ Decorating Bag/ Piping Bag
• Decorating Tips
• Cupcakes
• Frosting
• Food Colouring
• Star Quinns

Tips
• I tried both decorating piping the cupcakes with no stream (tail) and with and I found that with a tail seemed to work easier. I would suggest just don’t give it too much of a lead until you’re proficient in decorating.

Assembly
1. Arrange cupcakes.
2. Prepare frosting and add flavourings or colouring as desired.
3. Fill the decorator.
4. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
5. Decorate with star quinns

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had a blast decorating these cupcakes and my friend was so excited when she saw them. She also loved that I remembered her favourite colour. I also gave a bunch to another friend (also a bridesmaid) and my second mom’s family. Mr. C said “great job hun” and of course I set aside some house cupcakes.

Cupcake Decorating Practice #1 - Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Decorating Practice #1 – Candy Coated Culinista

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