Tag Archives: baking

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's carrot cake with spiced cream cheese icing

Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is Simply Show-Stopping

Your carrot cake game will never be the same once you try Molly Yeh’s sensational recipe. The secret ingredient that sets this dessert apart from the other carrot cake recipes you’ve tried in the past? Cardamom-forward hawaij, a warm spice blend from Yemen that Molly adds to both the cake and the creamy frosting. The simple (read: genius!) rainbow carrot rosettes adorning the cake also lend a touch of whimsy. Don’t be surprised if your friends and family ask for a second slice… it really does, dare we say, take the cake as the recipe to bake this season.

Related: Carrot Cake Recipes in Every Form, From Cupcakes to Cookies

Molly Yeh's Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 3.

Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves:
6-8

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake
Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pans
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp hawaij (see Cook’s Note)
1 ½ cups neutral oil, such as canola
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 cups shredded carrots
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Spiced Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp hawaij
Pinch of kosher salt
Rainbow carrots, peeled into ribbons with a peeler, to decorate
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked, to decorate

Cook’s Note: Hawaij is a Yemeni warm spice blend that’s heavy on the cardamom and can be used to flavour baked goods, frosting or even sprinkled in coffee! You can make a substitute by mixing 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.

Related: Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Combine Into One Glorious Dessert

Directions:

Carrot Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment. Set aside.

2. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and hawaij in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Whisk in the vanilla.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Breakfasts to Get You Excited for Spring

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, and mix until about 90 per cent incorporated. Add the carrots and sesame seeds, and mix to incorporate (by this time, all of the flour mixture should be incorporated as well).

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Related: Easy Dessert Recipes That Take 15 Minutes or Less

Spiced Frosting
1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Then add the heavy cream, vanilla, hawaij and salt. Mix until combined and smooth.

2. Cover the cakes with frosting and stack. Use the carrot ribbons to roll into rose shapes and place on top of the cake. Decorate with the rosemary, and serve!

Looking for more standout dishes from the celebrated food blogger and Girl Meets Farm star? Start your day the Molly Yeh way with these breakfast recipes!

chocolate sandwich cookies

These Creme-Filled Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches Will Make You Feel Like a Pro Baker

Looking for a quick and easy summer baking idea? Say hello to this simple yet sophisticated homemade version of your favourite creme-filled chocolate cookies. They’re soft, chewy and best served with a cold glass of milk. To get that striking dark chocolate look and feel, try jet-black cocoa powder – don’t worry if you don’t have any though, traditional cocoa powder works great too. The real question is: Will you dunk, twist, or lick them?

chocolate sandwich cookies

Creme-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 5-8 minutes
Total Time: 15-18 minutes
Servings: 14 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg

Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup coconut oil
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for chocolate sandwich cookies

Directions:

1. For the chocolate cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream together brown sugar and butter until combined. Add egg and mix until fully incorporated, 1 minute. Turn off mixer, add the dry ingredients and start mixing on low, gradually increasing to medium until the dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes.

4. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough, roll between your palms to create a smooth ball and slightly flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets, bake for 5-8 minutes until the edges are set and the tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Assembly for chocolate sandwich cookies

5. For the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and coconut oil. Add the icing sugar and mix until creamy. Finally mix in the vanilla.

6. To assemble: Scoop 1-2 tsp of filling on to the bottoms of half the cookies and top with the remaining cookies.

chocolate sandwich cookies cooling on a wire rack

Like Sabrina’s cookie sandwiches recipe? Try her mochi donuts or her chocolate peanut butter skillet cookie.

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tarts With Mangoes Were Made for Summer

These tarts are quick and super easy to make. What’s more, they don’t require baking and are actually healthy. The shells are made with dates and mixed nuts and yogurt, saffron and mangoes are used to make the filling. They are the perfect dessert to complement your summer meals. Bonus: the recipe only calls for nine ingredients!

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tart With Mangoes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 Medjool dates
1 cup walnuts
½ cup cashews
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron
2 Tbsp mango puree (optional)
½ cup mango, chopped
Few Mint leaves (optional)

No-bake yogurt mango tart ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. For the crust: in a food processor pulse the dates, walnuts and cashews until the mixed nuts are coarse and the mixture has combined.

2. Press the mixture into four small tart pans (or one 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom). Chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Related: No-Bake Desserts You Need to Make This Summer

3. For the filling: in a mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt, honey, saffron and mango puree.

4. Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully remove it from the tart tin, placing each one on to a serving platter or individual plates. Spread the filling on top of the crust, top it with mango pieces, a few saffron strands and mint leaves if you desire.

No-bake yogurt mango tarts being assembled on kitchen countertop

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

Like Yakuta’s no-bake tart? Try her one-bowl flowerpot cupcakes.

Campfire s'mores ice cream being scooped into cone

This No-Churn Campfire S’mores Ice Cream Will Be on Repeat All Summer Long

Nothing says summer like making s’mores, am I right? This Baking Therapy no-churn campfire s’mores ice cream is super easy to make. It combines brown sugar graham crackers that soften to the perfect cake-like texture, sweet chocolate folded into a toasted marshmallow cream. This treat will definitely be on repeat all summer long. Added bonus: it only requires eight ingredients!

Campfire s'mores ice cream being scooped into cone

No-Churn Campfire S’mores Ice Cream

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream
3 cups mini marshmallows, toasted
8 sheets graham crackers
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
¼ cup brown sugar
Flaky sea salt
1 300ml can condensed milk
¼ cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Campfire s'mores ice cream ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer.

2. Spread the marshmallows in a single layer on a cookie sheet. With a blow torch or with the oven set on broil, toast the marshmallows until they are completely charred on the outside. Reserve 1 cup of marshmallows for later. Add the remaining marshmallows to the heated cream , stir until completely melted into the mixture. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and place in the fridge to chill, about 2 hours.

Person using a blow torch to toast marshmallows

3. Place the graham crackers on a cookie sheet in one single layer. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour directly over the graham crackers. Smooth into one thin layer and sprinkle flaky salt on top. Set aside to cool. Once cool, break up into small pieces.

Graham crackers laying on baking tray to make campfire s'mores ice cream

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk chilled cream mixture to medium peaks, may take a little longer to whip up. Stream in the condensed milk and whip until mixture is thick and creamy. Make sure not to over-whip.

5. Fold in the reserved toasted marshmallows and half of the graham cracker pieces.

Related: Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes for a Sweet Summer Treat

6. To assemble, grab your loaf pan, add in half of the whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle half of the remaining graham crackers and half of the chopped chocolate. Top with the rest of the whipped cream followed by the remaining graham crackers and chocolate. Cover with plastic and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Campfire s'mores ice cream ready for the freezer

Like Sabrina’s campfire s’mores ice cream? Try her no-churn ice cream cake or her no-fry fried ice cream.

Graduation cupcakes on countertop

Easy Graduation Cupcakes to Celebrate Your Loved One’s Success

Graduation — whether it be from high school, university or a toddler who just learnt to walk — is a great achievement. It calls for celebration and cupcakes are a great way to do this. This cupcake recipe has a perfect balance of tart summer raspberries and aromatic vanilla beans. They’re oh-so delicious and are decorated just for the occasion that’ll surely “wow” the crowd, big or small.

Graduation cupcakes on countertop

Easy Graduation Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup whole milk
24 raspberries

Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ tsp white food colouring (optional)

Assembly
12 mini peanut butter cups
12 chocolate squares
4 licorice candy strings (cut into 24 equal pieces)
12 Smarties

Graduation cupcake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cups.

2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients listed for the cupcakes (except the raspberries). Using an electric mixer or whisk, combine to form smooth mixture.

3. Using an ice-cream scoop or spoon, fill the cupcake tin with the batter. Push in two raspberries per cupcake and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once baked, let the cupcakes cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Graduation cupcakes being assembled

4. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream: using a mixer, whisk the butter and icing sugar together until light, pale yellow and fluffy. Add the vanilla, milk, and food colouring. Whisk for another 2 minutes.

5. Using a spoon, fill the piping bag with the prepared buttercream and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. Then, add a peanut butter cup (upside down) on top of each frosted cupcake.

Related: Best Homemade Doughnut Recipes Perfect for Any Celebration

6. Attach a chocolate square on top of the peanut butter cup using a small amount of buttercream. Dip one end of two cut licorice strings into the buttercream and place onto the centre of the chocolate square. Then place a Smartie on top using a little buttercream.

Graduation cupcakes on countertop

Like Yakuta’s cupcake recipe? Try her one-bowl flowerpot cupcakes.

Cookies and candy spilling over countertop

The Owner of Toronto’s Craig’s Cookies Shares His Secrets to Sweet Success

Cookies make everything better. Craig’s Cookies though? Those treat-stuffed morsels are a stamped, pink box of downright joy. It’s not just that they’re crammed with nostalgic childhood treats like peanut butter cups, shortbread or Snickers. It’s that each cookie is crafted with feel-good principles: love, inclusivity and the power of putting yourself out there. It’s no surprise that people are eating it up.

Craig Pike, the founder and namesake behind the famous Toronto cookie empire, epitomizes those traits. This sweet journey wasn’t his original life plan, but it grew organically — first from wanting to pay his phone bill and then from the unexpected joy it brought him.

“I saw how happy people got when their cookies were delivered to the door,” he says. “I’m a queer man who owns a business. My ethics and my morals and what I stand for are mirrored in the business. So while I was building the company and the brand, it was a no-brainer to try my best to make sure that it is a representation of who I am.”

The Early Days

The base of that business started five or six years ago when the actor and musician was out of work. To foot the bills he asked if anyone on Facebook wanted some of his potluck-famous cookies delivered. He fired up his Parkdale oven, busted out a top-secret version of his mom’s cookie recipe and hopped on his bike.

“One day I was at FreshCo in Parkdale buying butter for cookies and Pop Tarts were on sale. I thought that might be fun to put in a cookie. So I bought some Pop Tarts, put them in a cookie and it worked out,” he says. “So then I thought, well maybe if that works then anything would work. So we started with the Mars Bar and the peanut butter cup and the brownie — and now the sky’s the limit.”

Related: No-Bake Recipes Starring Peanut Butter, From Cookies to Cheesecake

Before Pike knew it, he was pumping out a dozen cookies every 12 minutes, selling his goods at local markets and eventually, at a six-month pop-up partnership with William Sonoma at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. “From there I had enough confidence to take a risk and open my first brick and mortar in 2018,” Pike says. “At that time, there were two employees: myself and one other person. The goal was a two-year lease and just go sell some cookies.”

Pike’s shop in Parkdale is a space inspired by his grandmother’s home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a place where he grew up. Pike chose simple blue tiling to represent the Atlantic Ocean (customers have since pointed out it’s also the perfect Cookie Monster blue) and he hand-picked all of the art on the walls. “It feels like you’re going your grandmother’s or your grandfather’s or your loved ones’ home,” he says. “And you get to have a cookie, you get to meet somebody who’s going to give you the cookie, have a little chat with them. The only difference is that you pay for it.”

For the Love of Cookies

Not even three weeks after launch, a local news outlet shared a video featuring Craig’s Cookies that exploded with 1.4 million views in a single week. Suddenly Pike went from selling $360 worth of cookies a day to more than $1,000 a day. He eventually opened up a location in The Village, followed by locations in Leaside and Leslieville during the pandemic. Now, Pike says he has 86 employees, he ships goods to all corners of the country and he is on track to sell $10 to $12 million worth of cookies in the next four years.

Today, there are more than 100 types of cookies to sample at Craig’s Cookies, all made from that same base recipe he learned in his mom’s kitchen. Pike unabashedly uses familiar products that are fun and delicious to stuff those cookies with, rather than coming up with recipes for fillings. Even the shortbread-stuffed cookies are made with chocolate shortbread cookies from Cookie it Up, which Pike first fell in love with on a flight at Billy Bishop Airport.

Pike also regularly hosts creativity sessions where employees can come into the kitchen and just experiment with whatever they want. It was during one such session that they may have finally cracked a birthday cake cookie, something he says customers have been asking for. Sour Cherry Blasters, Mini Eggs, Nutella, apple pie and a slew of other options can also be found on the rotating menu and of course there is a Pride cookie, which is available year-round and is a featured item during Pride Toronto.

Related: Steve Hodge Shares His Best Tips on How to Run a Successful Bakery

“There’s maybe one trained baker in our entire company,” Pike says of his employees and overall philosophy. “It’s a group of amazing, incredible people — a lot of them work in the arts — who love home baking, who just want to be part of a community that is inclusive and who just celebrate the joy and happiness of what a cookie can bring to somebody.”

An Artful Future

Looking back, Pike isn’t sure he would have grown Craig’s Cookies the way he did had the pandemic not forced him to. It wasn’t just that he had to find ways to pivot, it was also that his first loves, theatre and music, were also shut down. So he doubled down with cookies and looked into how far he could push the business while exploring wholesale opportunities, a frozen cookie dough and other potential ventures.

Pike says there’s a lot of room for growth, but he’s also at the point where he wants to ensure he has a grasp on the business and not the other way around. He’s an entrepreneur with no formal business training (one of his project managers recently insisted he learn about profit margins, for example) and he feels the company is at a point where he needs someone else to help him explore future potential. Until then, he’s not in a rush.

Related: Our Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes for a Better Week Ahead

Instead, he finally feels as though he’s in a place where he can fund other passion projects and give back to the community while exploring some of the other things he loves. That includes kicking off an arts organization in the fall and producing a play, expanding the Toronto choir he conducts and creating a youth program where underprivileged kids in the city can express themselves through theatre and music.

“Five years ago, when I was baking by myself in my apartment in Parkdale, exhausted, baking like a dozen cookies every 12 minutes for nine hours, to try to get some cookies to sell on the sidewalk, I was like, ‘There has to be a means to an end here,’” he recalls. “Because I’m an artist. I’m an actor. I’m a musician. Now the pandemic is kind of shifting and we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. But these initiatives are all possible because of Craig’s Cookies. All the hard work is coming to fruition in a really great way.”

Photos courtesy of Craig’s Cookies

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

What Baking Ingredients Are Best to Buy for Home Bakers

In today’s competitive home baking world, where aspiring pastry chefs think nothing of churning out macarons or elaborate, gilded creations traditionally bought in a bakery, there’s a certain sort of bragging rights in doing it all yourself—right down to the core ingredients. Sometimes, however, using those ingredients involve complicated methods, access to specialized equipment or a level of expertise that comes through years of tradition and are best left to the professionals.

Let’s take a look at some of these things that home bakers can buy from a local bakery (such as the ones on Project Bakeover) or grocery store, and a couple of items that are easy to make in your own kitchen.

Pastry Chef Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

See More: Expert Food Photography Tips for Baked Goods

Phyllo Pastry

Watching professionals produce phyllo by hand is a mesmerizing experience—achieving those gossamer-thin sheets without breakage requires a light touch and nerves of steel. Although there are recipes to make phyllo at home, it requires a fair amount of space and a knowledge of texture and timing that can be tricky. Buy a high-quality phyllo pastry instead, either frozen or fresh from a local Greek or Middle Eastern bakery or even a large chain supermarket. Be warned that phyllo dough dries out in a snap, so keep it covered as you work, and try to work quickly.

Deconstructed Baklava Butter Tart with fresh berries and mint

Get the recipe for Baklava Butter Tart Bake

Puff Pastry

Much like phyllo, flaky, multilayered puff pastry is a delight, and the basis for many last-minute appetizers, desserts or tarts. Achieving those layers, however, depends on a multi-step process where you fold and roll dough around butter repeatedly—a simple but time-intensive process that varies depending on the heat of your kitchen and your rolling speed. The freezer case at your local grocery store will hold puff pastry options, from flat sheets to pre-formed tarts, ready to bake with your best homemade fillings

Fondant

Although hacks abound to make fondant with melted marshmallows, the real deal involves a gelatin-based dough with glycerine and glucose that involves kneading and resting for rolled fondant or a candy thermometer and bain marie for poured fondant. Save yourself some time and effort, buy ready-made fondant and spend your energy making pretty hearts, delicate flowers or perfect petit fours.

Cookie Dough That Requires Specialized Presses or Decorating Equipment

If visions of ornately decorated cookies dance through your head, spurred on by Spring Baking Championship and images of a benevolent judge beaming at you, take a moment and consider how often you’re actually going to use this equipment. The best-laid plans to make pressed or extruded cookies and finish them off with a decorating kit more involved than a surgeon’s array of tools can go awry, especially in the heat of holiday planning. Consider borrowing these tools from a friend, buying a set to share with family or adding to this collection over the years rather than purchasing a complete kit with all the options right off the bat. And unless you’ve got very steady hands, icing that elaborate piping or calligraphy onto your cake might be best left to a local baker.

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract is far from difficult—it’s a basic method of pouring spirits over vanilla beans and letting time do the rest—but it’s included on this list due to the cost of ingredients versus buying a bottle in the store. For most people, a smaller amount of vanilla extract will last for months through the most frenzied of baking booms, so making it in bulk may not make sense for your household. Plus, once you factor in buying the alcohol and the vanilla beans, it may be worth spending your money on a high-quality store bought extract or paste (look for versions that contain real vanilla bean from reputable manufacturers, rather than “flavoured” extracts that can contain filler).

Vanilla and Calamansi Macaron stacked on a white tray

Related: Try These Vanilla Calamansi Macaron

“Handle With Care” Ingredients

If you’ve got little ones around or working in a cramped space, consider outsourcing some of your components to the pros. Heating sugar for caramels or candy creates a molten, sticky substance that requires vigilance and precise movements to avoid spills or spatters. The liquid nitrogen so beloved by cooking show contestants for instant ice cream requires knowledge of how to handle it and protective gear. You know your space (and yourself) best – if there’s a risk of injury when working with these items, think about buying a quality pre-made caramel, dulce de leche or candy for your baked goods.  

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Vegan bubbat on kitchen countertop

Traditional Mennonite Bubbat Recipe Gets a Vegan Makeover

Traditional bubbat can be made with raisins, to be more of a bread you would have with tea. My brother-in-law Brian — who was raised in Regina, Saskatchewan — ate it this way. But you can also make it like this, with plant-based sausage, and serve alongside a meal. This is a great side to a hearty salad with lots of fresh veggies in it. Or for breakfast! Some traditions even put the bubbat inside of a turkey. Don’t worry too much about what it looks like, it will taste great.

Vegan bubbat on kitchen countertop

Vegan Bubbat

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 Tbsp dry active yeast
½ cup warm water
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp plant-based butter, melted
1 Tbsp salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 package (4 links) of your choice of plant-based sausage (both Gusta and Field Roast are readily available in grocery stores)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Scald soy milk and then pour it into a large mixing bowl and set aside and let it cool to a lukewarm temperature.

3. Dissolve yeast into warm water.

4. Once soy milk is at the right temperature (warm to the touch), add sugar and plant-based butter, as well as the yeast.

Related: Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Want to Make Again and Again

5. Add salt and flour to wet ingredients. This should be a soft dough. Give it a good stir. Add a little more liquid as needed or flour, depending on how it feels. You should be able to stir the dough with a wooden spoon, but it should be tough.

6. Dice up sausage into bite-sized pieces and stir it into the dough.
Transfer it into an 8 x 8 greased baking pan.

7. Cover pan with a tea towel or a beeswax wrap and let it rise for one hour. Then bake for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 35 minutes.

Vegan Mennonite Kitchen cookbook
Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen by Jo Snyder, Pandora Press Co 2021, photo credit Sarah Pflug

Vegan Mennonite Kitchen, Pandora Press, $33.

Matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts

10 Canadian Doughnut Shops That’ll Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Did you know? Canada has more doughnut shops per capita than any other nation in the world! And what better thing to do during a pandemic than try a new flavour or two? In celebration of National Doughnut Day on June 4th, we decided to take a look inside the best doughnut shops across Canada. Whether you’re up for something new and fun or a good ol’ cinnamon sugar, here are the best spots to pick up the most scrumptious doughnuts across this big ol’ country.

Holy Cow Gelato & Donuts, Calgary, AB

HOLY COW is right! This small shop in Calgary is the definition of innovative. They started out as gelato shop, expanded to doughnuts and are now offering burgers too. With this shop offering six new doughnuts options per month, there is never a shortage of flavours (like everything bagel, lemon meringue and orange blossom).

Daddy O Doughnuts, Mississauga, ON

Whether it’s old-fashioned doughnut, something vegan or an entirely creative and new sweet treat, Daddy O Doughnuts has it all. Their secret? An old family recipe passed down from generation to generation and only the finest, wholesome ingredients. Better get there early because rain or shine, they always sell out quick!

Trou de Beigne, Montreal, QC

Trou de Beigne doughnuts are hand-rolled, fried and glazed every morning, ensuring customers are getting the finest, fluffiest and most flavourful bite in each doughnut. They go above and beyond when creating flavours, whether it’s Nutella and banana, cookie dough, bourbon lemonade (yes, you heard that right) alongside vegan or gluten-free options. This doughnut shop never disappoints.

 

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Related: Nostalgic Desserts That Will Take You Down Memory Lane

Cops Doughnuts, Toronto, ON

Cops Doughnuts has gone viral on multiple social media outlets. Their slogan “too many options is a prison“ means that they have three flavours including original, cinnamon sugar and original sour cream glaze, along with a rotating selection each week. Let me tell you: the Oreo left me with a full tummy of happiness. Friendly staff!

Grandads Donuts, Hamilton, ON

This family-owned doughnut shop has been operating since the early 2000s. They use the best ingredients possible to create the freshest doughnuts — the same way grandad did — to keep you coming back for more. A must-stop if you’re ever in Hamilton. Hot tip: go on an empty stomach so you can try as many as you can!

 

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Related: Gourmet Cookie Recipes Perfect for Any Special Occasion

Cartems Donuts, Vancouver, BC

Almost 2,000 Google reviews will tell you this is the best place in Vancouver to fill your doughnuts cravings. They make doughnuts from scratch every day. Flavours include vanilla bean, smoked maple walnut, Earl Grey, as well as many vegan and gluten-free options.

 

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Glory Hole Doughnuts, Toronto, ON

With almost 40,000 Instagram followers, this local Toronto shop is the trendsetter for everything doughnuts. With two locations in Parkdale and on Gerrard, the award-winning Glory Hole does not fail to please. From cake doughnuts to yeast doughnuts and beyond.

 

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Donut Monster, Hamilton ON

This shop’s 45,000+ followers on Instagram can’t be wrong! They have every flavour you can imagine, from butter tart pecan to whiskey sour. They even have a doughnut ice cream sandwich. Their light, airy dough will unquestionably make your summer sweeter!

 

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Bronuts, Winnipeg, MB

Your friendly neighbourhood doughnut shop has captured the attention of many worldwide by naming their doughnuts after people, like Max, Debbie, Margot or Arthur. Flavours range from salted chocolate, pistachio white chocolate and caramel blondie.

 

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Fortune Doughnut, Halifax, NS

Considered one of best shops to grab doughnuts on the East Coast, Fortune makes a variety of fun flavours and has plenty of vegan options too. Their vegan flavours are stellar — from Boston cream and maple bacon to raspberry gummy bears and chocolate Oreo.

 

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Want to try making doughnuts at home? Try these matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts (they require just 10 ingredients!).

Anna Olson image over a beauty of her Dutch baby recipe

Sunday Brunch Just Got Better With Anna Olson’s Easy Dutch Baby

Start your weekend right with an extra special breakfast that will make you feel like you’re at one of the most popular brunch spots in town. A Dutch baby is baked in the oven instead of on the stovetop and is best described as part souffle pancake and part turnover. The best part? A Dutch baby can be easily customized with your favourite toppings—Anna likes to add orange zest in hers. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, add a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of ice cream once it’s cooled from the oven —we promise not to tell!

Made using baking staples you likely already have at home, this easy and fluffy Dutch Baby pancake from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Anna Olson will become one of your go-to brunch dishes after the first bite.

See More: Indulge in Dessert for Breakfast With Anna Olson’s Chocolate Banana Pancake

Anna Olson’s Dutch Baby

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minute
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

Pancake
¼ cup flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
⅛ tsp salt
⅔ cup 10% cream
3 eggs
¼ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter

For Serving
Icing sugar
Maple syrup
Fresh berries

Related: Anna Olson’s Apple Cannoli Tart is the Best New Dessert Mashup

Dutch baby in cast iron skillet topped with berries

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 450°F and place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat while you prepare the batter.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, orange zest and salt in a bowl. Add the cream, eggs and vanilla and whisk well. Then, whisk in the melted butter.

3. Pour batter into the heated pan and return to the oven. Bake until puffed and deep golden for approximately 16 to 18 minutes.

4. Serve warm, topped with dusted icing sugar and drizzled with maple syrup and berries.

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Fried ice cream on brown plate

This No-Fry Fried Ice Cream Needs Just 5 Ingredients (Yes, Really!)

One of the easiest (and delicious) cool treats to try this summer is this Baking Therapy no-fry fried ice cream that uses just 5 ingredients: corn flakes, cinnamon, brown butter, salt and your favourite ice cream, although I’m partial to this vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter swirl. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty all in one bite — and without all the mess of frying!

Fried ice cream on brown plate

No-Fry Fried Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 pint of ice cream
5 cups corn flakes, crushed
6 Tbsp butter, browned
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Caramel sauce for topping (optional)

Fried ice cream ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Scoop 2-inch balls of ice cream onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into the freezer.

2. Place the corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush into small bits.

Related: This Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients

3. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook and stir the butter for 8-10 minutes until the milk solids begin the turn a golden brown colour. Add in the crushed corn flakes, cinnamon and salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the corn flakes are well coated and golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a cookie sheet to cool, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Roll the ice cream balls in the corn flakes, making sure to cover the entire surface. Serve immediately as-is or with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Ice cream being rolled in corn flakes

Fried ice cream with caramel sauce on top

Like Sabrina’s no-fry fried ice cream? Try her lemon poppy seed coconut buns or her Vietnamese coffee popsicles.

baguettes in brown paper bag

How to Revive Stale Baguette Bread With One Easy Trick!

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh baguette. The sweet aroma and that soft, comforting mouthfeel — it’s just so darn delicious. However, it’s not always possible to enjoy every bit of the whole baguette before it goes stale. If you have this problem too, be prepared to be wowed by this amazing trick. And no it’s not a simple hack of just reheating in the microwave. Here’s how to make it fresh!

baguettes in brown paper bag

Simply drench your rock-hard baguette in cold water then tightly wrap it in aluminum foil.  Next, place the wrapped baguette in the oven (not preheated), then set the temperature to 300°F and let is heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Then take the baguette from the oven, remove the foil and heat in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Voila! Your leftover baguette is as good as fresh! Make sure to eat your revived bread right away, as it will quickly harden again.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Published January 8, 2015, Updated May 23, 2021

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

This Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients

If you’re a big fan of sweet and tangy, this summertime treat is for you. This Baking Therapy raspberry almond ice cream cake is made up of layers of creamy no-churn ice cream, graham cracker crumbs and a tangy raspberry sauce. The no-churn ice cream comes together really quickly and the combination of tart raspberries with sweet cream will keep you coming back slice after slice. Make this sweet treat, it’ll keep you cool all summer long. Added bonus: this easy ice cream cake recipe requires less than 10 ingredients.

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

Raspberry Almond Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 40 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

4 cups frozen raspberries
⅓ cup icing sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon) + zest of  1 lemon
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

Ice cream cake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Line a 10-inch loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to fold over the top to cover the cake. Place in freezer.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the raspberries, icing sugar and lemon juice. Cook until raspberries have browned down and the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set in the fridge to cool slightly.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, almonds, salt and butter until it resembles wet sand. Set aside.

Related: Naturally Bright Dishes That Celebrate All Things Pink

4. In a large bowl, mix together the condensed milk and vanilla extract, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to the condensed milk to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining whipped cream. Divide this mixture equally into 2 bowls. To one half, add about 3 Tbsp of raspberry sauce and ⅓ cup to the other half. Mix to combine.

5. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and add the lighter coloured cream to the pan. Layer half of the graham crumb mix. Then add the other whipped cream mixture. Top with the remaining raspberry sauce and finally the rest of the graham crumb mix. Fold the plastic wrap over top and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Ice cream cake being made

6. When you are ready to serve, run the outside of the pan under warm water for 5-10 seconds to easily lift out of the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Ice cream cake on plate next to bowl of raspberries

Like Sabrina’s ice cream cake recipe? Try her no-bake key lime pie icebox cake or her Vietnamese coffee popsicles.

vegan mug cake with chocolate and blueberries on top

This Peanut Butter Vegan Mug Cake Can Be Made in Just 3 Minutes!

When you feel like something sweet and you don’t want to bake a whole batch of cookies or brownies — just something small that will hit the spot — this Can You Vegan It? recipe is it. It takes 60 seconds to “bake” in your microwave and it’s got all the frills of a molten cake: it’s gooey, chocolatey, swirled with the perfect amount of peanut butter and it’s vegan! The best, easiest and fastest dessert to end a meal.

vegan mug cake with chocolate and blueberries on top

Peanut Butter Vegan Mug Cake

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Bake Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

2 tsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp oat flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Optional Toppings
1-2 Tbsp of blueberries
1 Tbsp of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut

vegan mug cake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Melt the coconut oil over the stove or in the microwave until it’s liquid.

Related: Easy One-Bowl Baking Recipes That Eliminate All the Fuss

2. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe mug and mix around.

making vegan mug cake on countertop

3. “Bake” for 60 seconds in the microwave until gooey.

4. Top with your toppings of choice or just leave it as is and dig in!

two vegan mug cakes with chocolate and blueberries on top

Note: If you prefer the oven method, heat your oven to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s vegan mug cake? Try their vegan skewers or their vegan pumpkin soup.

Photo of Anna Olson beside a close up of an Apple Cannoli Tart

Anna Olson’s Apple Cannoli Tart is the Best New Dessert Mashup

When it comes to comforting sweet treats, mouthwatering apple tarts are in a league of their own. Perfect for upcoming summer BBQs, this easy, elevated apple tart recipe is inspired by the traditional cannoli, but it’s the baked apples marinated with maple syrup that really makes this dessert shine.

Paired with a fresh and creamy ricotta cheese filling, this two-in-one dessert mashup from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Anna Olson features an unexpected twist on an all-time favourite dish that brings out the flavours of the classic Italian treat.

See More: Anna Olson’s Best Fixes for Your Biggest Baking Fails 

Anna Olson’s Apple Cannoli Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Yields: One 9-inch fluted tart

Ingredients:

Pastry
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted
1 hard-boiled egg yolk
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla
1-¾ cups pastry flour, sifted
¼ tsp salt

Filling
2-½ cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced apple, like  Cortland or Honeycrisp
3 Tbsp maple syrup or sweet Marsala wine
1-⅓ cups full fat, creamy ricotta cheese
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp grated dark chocolate
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Related: The Best Recipes from Junior Chef Showdown 

Cannoli Apple Tart With Ricotta Cheese

Directions:

Pastry
1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together with a hand mixer in a large bowl until smooth.

2. Press the hard-boiled egg yolk through a sieve into a small bowl and stir in the raw egg yolk and vanilla. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended.

3. Then, add flour and salt to the butter mixture, stirring until blended.

4. Shape the dough into a disc (it will be very soft) and, wrap in plastic and chill for about 2 hours until firm.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just a little soften, then roll it out to a circle about 12 inches across and ¼-inch thick. Line a 9-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pan, pressing the pastry into the bottom and sides.  Be sure to trim away any excess dough.

6. Chill the tart shell for 30 minutes and heat the oven to 325°F.

7. Place the chilled tart shell onto a baking tray and dock the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.

8. Cool the tart shell to room temperature.

Filling
1. Heat the oven to 350°F

2. Toss the apple with the maple syrup or Marsala and set aside; stir occasionally.

3. Whisk the ricotta, ¼ cup of the sugar, grated chocolate, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest and nutmeg together. Strain the Marsala from the apples into the ricotta mixture and stir to blend.

Assembly
1. Pour the ricotta filling into the tart shell and arrange the apples over top. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

2. Bake the tart for 25 minutes or until the apples are tender.

3. Cool the tart to room temperature then chill until ready to serve.

Note: The apple ricotta tart will keep refrigerated for up to two days.

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Harry Eastwood headshot overlaid on a food beauty of a tahini, lemon and berry pound cake

Gorgeous Edible Cake Decorations to Elevate Any Dessert

I’ve always been a big fan of using natural flowers to decorate celebration cakes, not only because they look spectacular, but also because you can then clean the stems and re-use them as cut flowers afterward. Fresh flowers are low maintenance and will immediately turn your cake into a glamorous thing of beauty.

Tahini pound cake with a lemon drizzle and fresh edible flowers

Get the recipe: Dairy-Free Tahini, Lemon and Berry Pound Cake

The things to bear in mind when choosing your fresh flowers are the following:

-Only use flowers that are edible, such as roses, calendula, borage, lavender, fennel, violas, nasturtiums, pansies, cornflowers and dahlias – as well as herbs we already commonly use in cooking.

-If you’re picking them yourself, rather than ordering them through a producer, make sure to wash the stems before use. Avoid flowers from the side of the road or in areas where pesticides are widely used.

Related: These One-Bowl Flowerpot Cupcakes Are the Cutest Thing We’ve Ever Seen

-Decorate with flowers at the last minute and keep in the fridge until needed.

-Just to be on the safe side, I prefer using decoration flowers only on cakes that are iced with a barrier between the flowers and the cake itself, such as fondant or royal icing – avoiding naked cakes. Even edible flowers may cause allergic reactions in some people so remember to remove them before handing the cake out to be eaten.

-Always tape the flower stems with floral tape to ensure that none of the liquid from the flower stems transfers to the cake itself

Can’t get your hand on edible flowers? Why not try Harry’s recipe for creating beautiful stained glass fruit to decorate cakes?

Watch the how-to video below:

Watch and stream The Big Bake and all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription
Galettes on serving plate

Drop off a Batch of These Mini Potato and Leek Galettes to Mom (She Deserves It!)

Mother’s Day may look a little different this year — and while we might not be gathering in large groups to celebrate mom or the mother figure in our lives, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still show her we care. Drop off a batch of these Baking Therapy potato and leek galettes! They’re flaky, cheesy and drizzled with sweet honey. Made with homemade chive pie dough (store-bought dough works too!) and layered with creamy fontina cheese, caramelized leeks and yellow potatoes that crisp up around the edges. These individual galettes transport really well and heat up perfectly in a toaster oven!

Savoury potato and leek galettes on countertop

Potato and Leek Galettes

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 22-28 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 13 minutes
Servings: 6 galettes

Ingredients:

Chive Pie Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 Tbsp chopped chives
1 cup ice-cold water
3 tsp apple cider vinegar

Caramelized Leeks
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, sliced
Salt to taste

Assembly
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup fontina cheese, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for tops
1 egg for egg wash
Flaky sea salt
Honey for garnish

Equipment:

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer, Amazon, $500 or KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven, Amazon, $150.

Savoury potato and leek galette ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. For the pie dough: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt. Add the butter and rub between your fingers to break it up into pea-sized pieces. Add in chopped chives. In a separate bowl, mix together the water and apple cider vinegar. Add 8-10 Tbsp of the water-vinegar mixture to the flour and mix with a fork until the dough starts to come together, dough will feel a little dry. Transfer to plastic wrap, form into a disc and chill for 45 minutes.

2. For the caramelized leeks: in a non-stick skillet over medium-heat, melt the butter and add olive oil. Add the leeks, salt to taste and saute for 15-20 minutes until the leeks are soft. Set aside to cool.

Related: Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for Every Budget

3. Preheat oven to 425°F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Divide the pie dough into 6 equal portions. Roll out to about 8 inches in diameter. Spread about 1 Tbsp cream cheese, leaving about 1 inch from the edge. Add 2 Tbsp caramelized leeks, sprinkle on fontina cheese, Parmesan and layer on the sliced potatoes. Fold the edges over the potatoes, pleating as you work your way around. Stagger on baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.

Savoury potato and leek galettes on countertop being assembled

Savoury potato and leek galettes on countertop before baking

5. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with a little olive oil, brush dough with egg wash and add a pinch of flaky salt. Bake for 22-28 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Serve with a drizzle of honey.

Savoury potato and leek galettes on countertop

Like Sabrina’s galettes? Try her pork bao buns or her soft pretzels.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Eddie Jackson’s Tips for What to Do With Leftover Cake

Maybe you had a celebration and everyone was a bit too full for dessert (unthinkable!) or maybe you just got the baking bug and couldn’t help making that cake just because. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself with a lot of leftover cake, have no fear! My easy ideas will help you repurpose that cake into entirely new dishes that are just as delicious.

Add Leftover Cake to a Smoothie for a Delicious Dessert Mash-up


Use dry leftover cake as a base for an epic ice cream sundae as seen in my recipe above.

Make Leftover Cake Into a Frozen Treat

Use a round cookie cutter to cut your leftover cake into ice cream sandwich size portions. Dip in melted chocolate and garnish with sprinkles, nuts or chocolate chips. These freeze really well so go ahead and make a large batch!

Related: Ice Cream Sandwiches for a Sweet Summer Treat

Toast Leftover Cake to Add Texture to Parfaits

Cut up leftover cake and toast it on low in the oven until crisp. Top your yogurt and granola with it for an extra punch of flavour and texture. Try it with a fig compote for a delicious sweet parfait.

Breakfast Parfait with Fig Compote as seen on Valerie's Home Cooking On the Road Again episode, season 7.

 

Use Leftover Cake to Make Multi-Use Cake Crumbs

Make multipurpose cake crumbs from your leftover cake and to a frosted cake for texture or find a great cake crumb cookie recipe and add them.

See More: Classic Cake Recipes and Expert Advice for a Perfect Bake

Make a Carnival-Worthy Treat

Cut up chunks of cake and add them to pancake batter before frying or deep-frying in oil for a treat that will transport you straight to a summer carnival.

Watch The Big Bake Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription

These One-Bowl Flowerpot Cupcakes Are the Cutest Thing We’ve Ever Seen

These flowerpot cupcakes are a wonderful celebration of the spring season — and they’re unbelievably easy to make! The terracotta pots give character, making them perfect for garden parties. The soft and moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with a luscious milk chocolate ganache and decorated with mint sprigs and edible flowers. Added bonus: with just one bowl, cleanup is easy peasy.

chocolate flowerpot cupcakes in terracotta planters

One-Bowl Chocolate Flowerpot Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Servings: 6 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
90 ml all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup brewed black coffee
2 ½ Tbsp oil or melted butter
1 large egg

Ganache
½ cup whipping cream
¾ cup milk chocolate

Assembly
¼ cup chocolate cookie crumbs
6 sprigs mint leaves
8-10 edible flowers
6 small terra cotta pots

chocolate flowerpot cupcake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups.

2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients listed for the cupcakes. Using an electric mixer or whisk, combine to form smooth mixture.

Related: Cute Tea Towels to Brighten up Your Kitchen for Spring

3. Using an ice-cream scoop or spoon, fill the cupcake pan with the batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Once baked, let the cupcakes cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

chocolate cupcakes baked in muffin tin

4. While the cupcakes are cooling, for the ganache: add the whipping cream and milk chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-minute intervals, mixing after every minute until combined.

5. Refrigerate the ganache mixture for 30 minutes (or until it is cold and thick). Once cool, take it out of the refrigerator and using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, mix to a thick creamy consistency.

Related: Healthy Baking Recipes for When You’re Bored at Home

6. Using either a spoon or a spatula, spread the ganache onto the cupcakes and sprinkle the chocolate cookie crumbs. Then, add the mint sprigs and edible flowers. Finally, insert the prepared cupcakes into miniature terracotta pots.

chocolate flowerpot cupcakes ready for assembly next to terra cotta planters

anna-olson-icing-a-cake

Anna Olson’s Best Fixes for Your Biggest Baking Fails

When it comes to baking, nobody is perfect. Even expert bakers like the talented teams on The Big Bake have bad days in the kitchen, but the best part about messing up is learning from those mistakes.

Whether you’re baking a cake, whipping up a batch of cookies, or trying your hand at homemade pie dough, the next time you head into the kitchen, let Anna Olson show you how to fix your biggest baking fails.

Why do my chocolate chip cookies spread too much when baking?

There are two main reasons why your chocolate chip cookies are too soft and meld together into one giant sheet while baking. The first is that your butter could be too soft. An easy fix for that is to scoop the dough onto a pan, and then chill it for an hour before baking.

Your cookies could also fall flat if you use too much sugar or not enough flour. Even a seemingly harmless extra tablespoon of sugar could cause the cookies to spread because sugar liquefies as it bakes. Be sure to use measuring spoons and cups and follow the instructions for the best results.

How do I stop my cake from sinking in the centre?

A common culprit for why your cake is too wet (AKA raw in the middle) or sinking is an incorrect oven temperature. Just because your oven beeps and the display indicates that it’s 350ºF doesn’t mean that the temperature is accurate. An oven that runs too hot may make your cake look done when it really isn’t, or if the temperature oscillates, your ingredients can’t set at the right time and the cake sinks. The best solution is to purchase an oven thermometer and manually adjust how you set your oven.

Another cause is inactive baking powder or baking soda. If you don’t bake on a regular basis, always be sure to check the expiry date on your baking powder. For baking soda, replace it every three to four months and use the older box in the fridge as a deodorizer.

Anna Olson's lemon cake with coconut frosting and shaved coconut, a slice cut out and plated

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Luscious Lemon Coconut Cake

What causes my cheesecake to crack in the centre?

There are a few key steps to remember when baking a cheesecake. First, when adding eggs to your batter, mix them in on a low speed to prevent air working into the batter. Second, run a palette knife around the inside edge of the pan within 15 minutes of the cheesecake coming out of the oven. That way, if the cheesecake contracts, it will easily pull away from the sides without causing it to crack or tear in the centre. Finally, be sure to cool the cheesecake completely to room temperature before chilling. Your cheesecake can be refrigerated when the bottom of the pan is cool to the touch, not the sides.

See More: Watch Baking 101 With Anna Olson

How do I prevent peaked tops on muffins?

When your muffins come out of the oven with peaked tops, this is a sign of overmixing. To get those perfect muffin tops, mix your batter by hand instead of using electric beaters. When hand mixing, use a gentle stirring motion until the point where flour is no longer visible.

Anna Olson's chocolate banana muffins on a plate

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Chocolate Banana Muffins

Can I still use curdled custard?

Curdled custard means that the eggs in the custard have overcooked, but don’t throw it away and start over. While still hot, put the custard into a food processor or blender, and puree on high speed. Strain the custard into a dish, cool and chill as usual, and no one will even know – it’ll be smooth and perfect!

Ready to get even more advanced? See more baking tips from Anna Olson.

What is seized chocolate, and how do I avoid it?

If your chocolate has seized, it will take on a dull, curdled look, it will not be smooth, and some oil (which is actually cocoa butter) will be floating. To prevent seizing, melt your chocolate in a metal bowl placed over a pot filled with an inch of barely simmering water while slowly stirring. The steam from the water gently melts the chocolate. Try and avoid using the microwave to melt your chocolate, but if you must, use a lower heat setting.

If your chocolate seizes, remove it from the heat and add a few drops of tepid water. Stir slowly and gently with a spatula where the water was added, then increase the radius of your stirring motion to return the chocolate to its smooth state.

Craving a chocolate dessert? Try Anna Olson’s chocolate recipes for every skill level.

Why does my pie dough crack when rolled or shrink when baked?

Dough cracking while rolling may not be a sign of anything wrong with the dough itself. It is often that the butter within the dough is too cold, causing cracking. To prevent this, try pulling out the dough 30 minutes before rolling. It will roll out with less cracking (and far less effort).

If your dough shrinks when rolled or after baking, it’s a sign that it needed “relaxing.” The proteins (gluten) in flour become elastic when “exercised,” i.e. making and rolling the dough, and time is the only fix. If your dough springs back when rolling, pop it back into the fridge to rest for 20 to 45 minutes. To avoid a crust that shrinks when baking, chill the lined pie shell for 30 minutes before baking.

Anna Olson's flaky savoury pie crust

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Savoury Pie Crust

Is there a way to prevent a cake from breaking when it’s turned out of the pan?

All baked goods, including cakes, tarts, cookies and muffins, are fragile directly out of the oven. Be sure to wait 15 to 20 minutes before turning them out to cool.

If you suspect that the problem may be caused by the pan (cake will stick to a scratched pan even if it’s greased), then line the pan with parchment paper. Have the parchment hang just above the edges of the pan so you can use it to easily lift out the cake.

Is there a secret to preventing butter tart filling from bubbling over or sinking in the centre?

Butter tart filling bubbles over or sinks in the centre due to over-mixed filling. The eggs hold in the air which rises in the oven, causing the filling to overflow while baking and then sink immediately when taken out of the oven. The secret is to whisk the filling by hand until it’s evenly blended.

Sugar crystals in the bottom of the tarts are also caused by over-mixing, causing the sugar to separate from the eggs as the filling bakes. Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to the filling ensures the sugar will completely dissolve as the filling bakes.

How can I avoid lemon square filling from seeping under the crust base?

The key to making squares with a fluid filling poured over a base, such as lemon squares, is how you mix the base. It should feel crumbly, so don’t over-mix it. Gently press the base into the pan, and make sure a bit of it comes up the edges and goes into the corners. Do not pack it in firmly or it will pull away from the edges while it bakes, leaving a gap for the fluid lemon filling to seep underneath.

Anna Olson's lemon meringue squares with graham cracker base, lemon curd and toasted meringue top

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Lemon Meringue Squares 

For more with Anna Olson, watch The Big Bake and Junior Chef Showdown. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription

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