Tag Archives: cake

How to Make a Dreamy Mirror Glaze Cake

Ever wonder how to make a mirror glaze cake at home? This show-stopping masterpiece is made doable with some gelatin, chocolate and a range of contrasting colours, so you can cover nearly any cake in this gorgeous coating. The trendy technique may appear tricky to pull off at home, but carefully following these six steps and being mindful of key temperatures will lead you to a shimmering, galaxy-like cake glaze in no time! Just image this pretty pastel version at your Easter feast or springtime tea party.

How to Mirror Glaze Any Cake 

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Glaze Setting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (plus 2 hours for chilling baked cake)
Makes: Glaze for 1, 8- to 9-inch cake
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

1 filled and smoothly frosted 8- or 9-inch cake
3 envelopes powdered gelatine
1 cup water, divided
1½ cups granulated sugar
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Gel food colouring in 3 to 4 contrasting colours

Directions:

1. Place the smoothly frosted cake in the freezer until very cold and firm, at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, set up your glazing station by placing a wire rack over a rimmed sheet pan. Set aside.

2. Sprinkle the gelatine into a small bowl and stir in half of the water, ½ cup. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes for gelatin to bloom. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ½ cup water, sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the mixture is hot, remove from the heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatine until it melts.

3. Place the chopped white chocolate in a large, heat-safe bowl. Pour the milk and gelatine mixture over the top of the chocolate. Gently stir until the chocolate melts. Use an immersion blender to make sure the mixture is completely smooth. Keep the device submerged in the glaze to prevent air bubbles. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan using a fine-mesh sieve to make sure the glaze is smooth and to remove any air bubbles.

4. Divide the mixture into 3 to 4 bowls. Add a few drops of different gel food colouring to each and gently stir until the desired colours are achieved. There is no need to divided the colours evenly – create a larger base colour with a few smaller portions of accent colours.

5. Add the base colour to a spouted cup or large measuring cup. Pour in the remaining colours and gently stir a little (stirring too much will muddle the colours together). Allow the mirror glaze to cool to 95°F when tested with a candy thermometre – pouring the glaze at the correct temperature is crucial to the cake’s success. If the glaze drops below 95°F, gently reheat in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, and stir until the correct temperature.

6. As the glaze cools, place the chilled cake on the wire rack. Once the glaze hits 95°F, pour it over the top of the prepared cake. Starting in the centre, swirl the glaze around the cake. Make sure the glaze pours over each side of the cake as well. Immediately pop any obvious air bubbles with a toothpick. Allow the glaze to set for about 20 minutes before serving (the chilled cake with help the glaze set quickly). Cut the cake with a sharp knife and clean it between slices, and then serve.

Notes:

  • To prevent air bubbles, do not whisk or stir the glaze too vigorously.
  • Make sure to properly chill the cake ahead of time.
  • Frost the cake as smoothly as possible with buttercream or ganache.
  • Pour the glaze at a precise 95°F.

For more inspiration, get ready to drool over these delicious birthday cake recipe ideas.

a slice of vegan carrot cake on a white plate

The Ultimate Vegan Carrot Cake with ‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting

Carrot cake is a decadent, classic dessert that can easily be made vegan and still retain its trademark moisture and texture.

Rich and delicious, this carrot cake is filled and topped with a thick layer of faux cream cheese frosting for extra creaminess in every bite. A slice paired with a cup of coffee feels right any time of day — even at breakfast.

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes (includes chilling time)
Serves: 8 to 10

carrot-cake-vegan-5

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake
4 carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup raw pecan halves
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup bran (miller’s bran, not prepared cereal)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil, more for pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

carrot-cake-vegan-3

Orange “Cream Cheese” Frosting
2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk or unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup vegan butter such as Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, room temperature
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz/227 g tofu ‘cream cheese’ such as Tofutti, room temperature

carrot-cake-vegan-1

Directions:

Carrot Cake
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom two 8-inch cake pans with a round of parchment paper; grease sides and parchment with a bit of oil.
2. In a food processor, pulse carrots and pecans until finely chopped. Add remaining carrot cake ingredients except raisins, if using, and pulse until a smooth. Quickly pulse in raisins, if using, and smooth into prepared baking pans.
3. Bake cake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out nearly fully clean and top is dry to the touch.
4. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, run a knife around perimetre, unhinge springform pan or flip out from cake pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely to room temperature.

Orange “Cream Cheese” Frosting
1. In a medium saucepan, add milk, butter, icing sugar, cornstarch and orange zest. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat and whisk in small pieces of cream cheese until completely smooth; whisk in vanilla.
2. Pour into a medium bowl, cool to room temperature, cover and chill for at least 8 hours in refrigerator, preferably overnight.

carrot-cake-vegan-7

Assembly
1. Whisk frosting straight out of refrigerator (let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before whisking if too firm). Frost cooled cake in between layers, on top and on the sides, if desired. Slice and enjoy.
2. Store frosted cake airtight in refrigerator up to 5 days. Freeze unfrosted cake, wrapped tightly, for up to 2 months.

Looking for more tasty vegan treats? Check out: 25 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

A Stunning, Make-Ahead Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Eggnog Glaze

When it comes time to celebrate, we know that you’ll love this show-stopping Christmas dessert. As we head into a season full of guests, gatherings and last-minute dinner parties, you’ll definitely need an easy, back-pocket dessert recipe that can be dressed up in an instant – and this gingerbread cake does the trick! An eggnog glaze compliments the festive season while not overpowering the gingerbread spices in the cake. And for a final flourish, add a trim of rosemary, glittery cranberries and fresh flowers, or just let the simple beauty of this intricate Bundt cake shine on its own. Not only does this gingerbread spice cake perfume the entire kitchen, it stays extremely moist for several days, so it’s perfect for baking in advance.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Eggnog Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 10 to 14

Ingredients:
Gingerbread Bundt Cake
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground dried ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup fancy molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk

Eggnog Glaze
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp store-bought eggnog
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or bourbon
pinch, ground nutmeg

Assembly
Sugared cranberries, optional
Fresh rosemary sprigs, optional
Fresh flowers, optional

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Directions:
Gingerbread Bundt Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan with butter and coat with a thin layer of flour. Set aside.
2. For the dry ingredients, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl and hand mixer), add the butter and mix on medium speed for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add the sugar and fresh ginger. Mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 to 4 minutes.
4. With the mixer on low, add in the oil, then the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, molasses and honey and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. With the mixer on low, add half of the reserved dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Next, stream in the buttermilk and mix until combined. Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of flour are combined, or until smooth.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the bottom of the pan on the countertop a couple times to release any air pockets. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a long wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the batter begins to rise too high, place a baking sheet in the bottom of the pan to catch any drips.
7. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently slide a flexible rubber spatula around the rim of the cake, but resist sliding it too far down or it may damage the sides of the cake. Place a large cutting board or cooling rack on top of the cake. Using oven mitts, hold the cake pan and cutting board together. Carefully invert everything and remove the pan. Cool completely. Do not allow the cake to completely cool in the pan or it may get stuck. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Eggnog Glaze
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese and butter with a wooden spoon until well combined. Gradually stir in the icing sugar and mix until incorporated.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

2. Add the eggnog, vanilla and nutmeg, and then stir until smooth. The glaze should be rather thick but still able to drip slowly off of a spoon; add more eggnog, as needed, until it does.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Assembly
1. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake. Decorate with sugared cranberries, rosemary, fresh flowers or as desired. Slice and serve.

Keep the holiday baking momentum going strong with these incredible cookie recipes from Anna Olson.

This Sticky Toffee Pudding Bundt Cake is a Thing of Beauty

A take on the classic Christmas pudding, this sticky date Bundt cake is sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season. Drizzled with a toffee caramel sauce, it is elegant enough to be served for Christmas but simple enough to be enjoyed over coffee.

christmas-sticky-toffee-bundt

Christmas Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Makes: 1 (12-cup) Bundt cake

Ingredients:
Toffee Sauce:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp molasses
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ tsp salt

Cake:
2 ½ cups dates, chopped and pitted
1 ¾ cups boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

sticky-toffee-bundt-cake

Directions:
Toffee Sauce:
1. Combine brown sugar, butter and molasses in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir in heavy cream and salt. Let cool completely.
Tip: When adding heavy cream you can also add a splash of spiced rum or whiskey to toffee sauce, if desired.

Cake:
1. For the cake, preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine dates, boiling water and baking soda. Cover and let stand 1 hour. In a blender, puree mixture until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Stir in molasses.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add to butter mixture alternating with pureed date mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
5. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack. Brush exterior of cake with toffee sauce and cool completely. Drizzle remaining sauce over cooled cake.

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Show-Stopping Holiday Desserts.

Pom-Pom-Wreath-Cake-cut

The Prettiest Pom-Pom Wreath Cake to Dress up Your Christmas Table

A flirty, festive cake for the holidays that’s sure to be the star of the dessert table! Starting with a spiced gingerbread cake with creamy eggnog frosting, this show-stopper comes together easily and just in time for your holiday celebration. A splash of colour and a few piping tips turn simple icing into a festive wreath around the top of the cake. Feel free use the colours of your choice to match your party décor!

Pom-Pom-Wreath-Cake-wholejpg

Gingerbread Pom-Pom Wreath Cake Recipe

Bake Time: 22 to 26 minutes
Total Time: 90 to 120 minutes
Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:
Gingerbread Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp all-spice
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp finely grated ginger
4 large eggs
3 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
¾ cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk

Eggnog Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 to 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp eggnog
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Vanilla Decorating Icing:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Gel food colouring

Pom-Pom-Wreath-Cake-slice

Directions:
Gingerbread Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and all-spice. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand), beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ginger and continue to mix for 2 to 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium-low, add in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add in the oil and molasses and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Stream in the buttermilk and mix until it is absorbed into the mixture. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Mix on medium for no longer than 30-seconds or until smooth.
5. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans. Allow to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Pom-Pom-Wreath-icing

Eggnog Frosting:
1. Using an electric mixer (stand or hand), beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and continue to mix until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add in 5 cups of the sugar and the remaining ingredients. Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. If the mixture is too soft to spread, add in the additional amount of sugar until the desired consistency.

Vanilla Decorating Icing:
1. Using an electric mixer (stand or hand), beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add in 3 cups of the sugar and the remaining ingredients. Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. If the mixture is too soft to pipe, add in the additional amount of sugar until the desired consistency.

Pom-Pom-Wreath-piping

To Assemble:
1. Place one layer of cake on a cake board or serving plate. Dollop on about 1 cup of the eggnog frosting and spread until smooth. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Crumb coat the cake in a thin layer of eggnog frosting and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once chilled, continue to smoothly frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
2. To decorate the cake, divided the vanilla decorating icing into three bowls. Tint the frosting with gel food colouring. For depth, pipe a ring of icing around the top edge of the cake using a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Fill three piping bags fitted with star tips (various or those of the same size) with the tinted icing. Pipe “pom-poms” around the top of the cake to create a wreath. Starting with the large piping tip, angle the pom-poms on top and on the sides of the ring of icing. Fill in the gaps and layer on colour and texture with the remaining icing. To pipe, apply pressure to the piping bag until a small bulb of icing forms, stop the pressure, and then pull the bag away from the cake. Add tiny sugar pearl sprinkles, if desired.

PomPom-Wreath

Looking for more inspiration? Try our Show-Stopping Holiday Desserts.

anna-peach-cake

How to Make the Best Birthday Cake

Birthday cakes carry some of the fondest memories. Sweet, colourful frosting,  the warm glow of birthday candles and making a wish when you blow them out. What’s most important when baking a birthday cake from scratch is to feel the spirit of the occasion. You’re baking this cake for someone you care about, to celebrate them and mark their special day with a shared sweet treat. From choosing the perfect birthday cake recipe to icing tips and tricks, this guide will help you make a memorable and yummy birthday cake.

How to Select a Birthday Cake Recipe

Which Flavour of Cake to Make?

Chocolate and vanilla cake are the most common types of birthdays because they tend to be crowd pleasers. Birthday cakes are for sharing, after all! Lemon and carrot cake follow close behind these top two cake flavours. And if you happen to be baking a cake for my birthday, then consider this Luscious Lemon Coconut Cake, it’s my all-time favourite!

Here are my favourite recipes for the most popular birthday cake flavours.

Chocolate Cake:  Anna Olson’s Classic Devil’s Food Cake


Vanilla Cake: Anna Olson’s Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake With Caramel Pastry Cream

Lemon Cake: Anna Olson’s Lemon Swiss Buttercream Hatbox Cake

Carrot Cake: Anna Olson’s Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

How Big of a Cake to Make

While an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake might be typical, it’s popular right now to make cakes that are taller with a smaller diameter. You can take a recipe for a two-layer, 8 or 9-inch cake and spread the batter evenly in an 11-x-17-inch sheet pan. This will likely take less time to bake, so set the timer 10-15 minutes sooner, but check the doneness the same way. Then use a large round cutter or a template you can trace to cut smaller rounds and make a 4 or 5-layer cake that will sit wonderfully tall.

The Right Ingredients

Stick to the ingredients called for to make the cake. If the recipe calls for cake and pastry flour, it is because using it will result in a tender cake with a fine and delicate crumb structure, because the flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose. Dutch process cocoa powder has some acidity removed so it will react to the baking powder or soda differently than regular cocoa. Buttermilk really makes a cake moist and nicely balanced.

Make-Ahead Cake Tip

Cake layers can be baked well ahead of time and frozen and then thawed on the counter when ready to assemble. Do not refrigerate unfrosted cake or it will dry out.

Related: Birthday Cake Recipes That Will Make You a Dessert Person

Birthday Cake Frosting Tips

There are countless types of frostings to choose from, and my above recipes feature common types: chocolate, basic buttercream, Swiss buttercream and cream cheese. Here are a few quick tips that apply to all  frostings:

1. Work with frosting at room temperature. To be smooth and spreadable, frosting needs to be at room temperature. If it’s a warm day, your butter may be softer than room temperature, so pop the frosting in the fridge until it holds it’s shape when you spoon or spread it.

2. Food colouring gel works easily and smoothly into frostings. Just add a little at a time with a toothpick, mixing well before adding more. The colour will intensify the longer it sits, so favour less at first. Also, the colour will fade if exposed to sunlight, so keep that in mind when you display your cake.

Related: Expert Food Photography Tips to Show Off Your Baked Goods

3. Buttercream or cream cheese frosting benefits from whipping on high speed to build in structure and a fluffy texture. If you want a fudgy frosting for your chocolate cake, like Devil’s Food Cake, then avoid whipping the frosting.

Make-Ahead Frosting Tip

All of the above frostings can be made ahead and then chilled or frozen to be used later. Thaw the frostings on the counter (do not microwave) and then re-whip them to fluff them up before using.

How to Fill a Layer Cake

If adding a pastry cream or a fruit filling to your birthday cake, you need to prevent it from seeping out the sides.  To do this, spoon some of the frosting into a piping bag and pipe a “dam” around the outside edge of the cake, then spoon and spread the filling before topping with the next cake layer.

How to Mask a Cake

Covering the cake smoothly takes a little patience and practice. A fully masked cake has the frosting on the top and sides while a “naked” cake has the sides exposed (no frosting or just a sheer layer). A few hints on masking:

1. More is More! Dollop or spread generous amounts of frosting when first applying. It is easier to scrape away excess frosting than to add more (at the risks of pulling up crumbs).

2. Top, Then Sides: Spread a level layer of frosting onto the top of the filled cake, pushing it right over the edges. This makes it easier to frost the sides and have the edges meet easily and straight.

3. Smooth, Smooth, Smooth! Use an offset palette knife to keep smoothing the top and sides of the cake until it is smooth and seamless.

Birthday Cake Decorating Ideas

– Any sprinkles, cookies or candies should be applied before chilling the cake
– Ribbon can be used, but place a strip of parchment under the actual ribbon, so that grease marks from the buttercream do not appear.
– Practice any piping detail on a plate or sheet of parchment before starting on your cake, but …
– Remember that all piping mistakes are erasable.  Simply scrape off and start again.
– The same goes for writing “Happy Birthday” in chocolate. Practice on a plate first.
– Fresh fruits and flowers are a lovely way to finish a cake. Be sure that flowers are non-toxic and that fruits are washed and air-dried before applying.

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Upside-Down-feature

A Stunning Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake That’ll Steal the Show

If you’ve managed to stop yourself from eating all of summer’s sweet strawberries fresh off the vine (or from the farmer’s market), then we have a treat for you. Turn these summery jewels into a delicious upside-down cake! Simple and understated, upside-down cakes are great for casual picnics because they travel well and pretty enough for any summer gathering. In this case, we used bright strawberries and vibrant rhubarb for this sweet and slightly tart cake.  The caramelized fruit and tender cake are definite crowd pleasers. Top with pillowy whipped cream for a festive ruby-red and white pairing for Canada Day!

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Upside-Down-4

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Serves: 8 to 10
Bake time: 40 to 45 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours

Ingredients:
For the topping:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ Tbsp heavy cream
2 cups strawberries, trimmed and sliced*
1 cup rhubarb, chopped into ½-inch pieces

*Slice small strawberries in half. For larger berries, cut into 3 to 4 slices, about ¼-inch thick.

For the cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

mint for garnish, optional

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Upside-Down-3

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. And the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the vanilla and heavy cream until smooth. If needed, return to low heat, whisking, until smooth. Pour the caramel into the prepared cake pan. Carefully arrange the strawberries, cut-side down, on top of the caramel. Pack the strawberries closely together as they may shrink after baking. Sprinkle in about a third of the rhubarb to fill in any gaps between the berries.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer), mix the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium-low, add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

5. Add half of the flour mixture and mix to combine on low. Stream in the buttermilk until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and fold in the remaining rhubarb.

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Upside-Down-1

6. Tip the batter into the pan, on top of the strawberries. Smooth out the top of the cake and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the finished cake to rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the cake pan. Place a large cake plate on the top of the cake pan, and very carefully (using oven mitts) flip the cake plate and cake pan upside-down. Remove the cake pan and allow the cake to continue to cool.

7. Meanwhile, whip the cream and sugar together with a whisk (by hand or electric) until medium peaks. Add in the vanilla and whisk again until combined.

8. Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh sprig of mint, if desired.

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Upside-Down-02

Looking for more delicious strawberry treats? Try our 45 Best Strawberry Desserts to Celebrate Summer.

Bumble Bee Cake

Bee-utifully Sweet Spring Honey Cake

With whimsical bumblebees swarming around a beehive-shaped cake, this honey and apricot dessert is perfect for a springtime birthday party. The slight tartness of the apricot filling pairs perfectly with the sweet and smooth honey buttercream icing. The simple shape is easy to carve, and just a swirl of buttercream transforms an ordinary layer cake into an edible birthday centerpiece. The best part? The marzipan bumblebees are super fun (and simple!) to make with a few basic cake-decorating tools.

Spring Bumble Bee Birthday Cake

Bumble Bee Birthday Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Makes: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

Honey Butter Cake
3 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Honey Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-1/2 to 4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup honey, or to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
Yellow gel food coloring

Assembly
1/2 cup apricot preserves
6 marzipan bees (See instructions below)

Spring bumble bee cake

Directions:

Honey Butter Cake
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Measure the milk and honey in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
5. Add in the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
6. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
7. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
8. With the mixer on low, add in 1/2 of the flour mixture. Pour in the milk and honey mixture, scraping out any remaining honey if necessary.
9. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on medium-low until combined.
10. Evenly distribute the batter between the four pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
11. Let cool on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Honey Buttercream
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth.
2. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the sugar, honey and vanilla.
3. Once everything begins to combine, turn the mixer up the medium-high.
4. Continue mixing until the buttercream is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Add in the gel food coloring, a few drops at a time, until desired shade is reached.
6. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap until use.

Bumble bee cake

Assembly
1. Once the cakes are completely cool, trim to tops so that each layer is flat.
2. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip with some of the buttercream and set aside.
3. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving dish.
4. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the top, outer edge of the cake. Fill in the buttercream dam with about 1/3 cup of apricot preserves.
5. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat.
6. Pipe a double ring of buttercream on top of the third layer of cake and fill with about 1/4 cup of apricot preserves.
7. Use any remaining buttercream left in the piping bag to fill in the gaps between the layers of cake. Use an off-set spatula to smooth out.
8. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, or until the buttercream firms up a bit.
9. Once chilled, use a serrate knife to carve the cake into a beehive-shape. Taking only a little bit off a time, carve the cake until the top is shaped like a dome.
10. Once carved, crumb coat the cake with the honey buttercream. Chill to set about 10 to 15 minutes.
11. Frost the entire cake with buttercream.
12, Set the cake on top of a cake turntable. Place the tip of a metal spatula near the bottom of the cake. Gently press into the frosting and spin the cake. As you spin, slowly bring the tip of the spatula up the side of the cake and over the top to create the spiral texture.
13. Finish with the marzipan bees while the frosting is still soft.

Bumble Bees

Marzipan Bees

Materials:
7 oz marzipan
Rolling pin
Paring knife
Piping tip
Thin paint brush
Yellow gel food coloring
Black gel food coloring

Bumble Bees How to

Directions:

1. Tint about 3 ounces of marzipan yellow and 1 to 2 ounces black.
Divide the yellow marzipan into about 6 half-ounce balls (about the size of a large gumball) then roll into a bee shape.
2. Use the end of a thin paintbrush to indent two eyes and the large opening of a small piping tip to create a smile. Set aside.
3. Roll out the black marzipan to about 1/8-inch thick.
4. Use the paring knife to cut thin strips. Wrap the strips of black marzipan around the body of the bees and secure by gently pressing the ends into the belly of the bees.
5. Re-roll the remaining black marzipan. Use the large, round opening of the piping tip to cut out one circle per bee. Adhere the black circle to the back ends of the bees.

Bumble Bees
6. Roll out plain (untinted) marzipan to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. 7. Using the large, round opening of the piping tip, cut out two circles per bee. Pinch the tips and elongate the circles slightly to create wings.
8. Press the tips together on the backs of the bees.
9. Roll two tiny balls of plain marzipan per bee to create the eyes.
10 Gently press them into the indented eye markings.
11. Lightly dip the end of the paintbrush in the black gel food coloring and mark the centers of the eyes. Let dry.

Looking for more great birthday party ideas? Check out our Winter Wonderfuland Birthday Party or our 25 Best Birthday Cakes.

vanilla-chocoalte-cake

1 Easy Vanilla Cake, 3 Stunning Ways to Customize it

If baking is a science, then this is an experiment you’re going to love. We’ve created a one easy vanilla cake recipe that bakes up into a moist, buttery dessert. But the real beauty of this batter is that a few ingredients additions, and it can be transformed into an entirely different dessert. 

Bake this master recipe into a cinnamon swirl coffee cake, a chocolate and vanilla marble loaf or maybe even a rustic rhubarb upside-down cake. You’d never guess that each of these delectable desserts starts with the same batter.  Get ready to add this astoundingly versatile recipe to your baking repertoire. 

vanilla-cinnamon-bundt-cake

Basic Buttermilk Batter

Prep Time: 
15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Makes: 1 cake

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or sturdy wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. Add in one-third of flour mixture followed by one-third of buttermilk. Repeat additions, ending with buttermilk. Mix until batter is just combined. Do not over-mix.
5. Proceed with any one of the three cake variations below.

vanilla-chocolate-bundt-cake

Variation 1: Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf
Divide Basic Buttermilk Batter (recipe above) evenly between two mixing bowls. In one bowl, mix in 2 Tbsp cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp sugar; leave the other batter as is. Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan. Pour one-third basic batter into pan lengthwise, covering only one side. Pour one-third chocolate batter into pan beside basic batter for two long strips of cake batter. Repeat additions, forming a checkerboard pattern, finishing with chocolate batter. Run a small wooden spoon side to side through loaf to create the marble effect. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.

 

vanilla-rhubarb-upside-down-cake

Variation 2: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Toss 2 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb in a large bowl with 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. Let rhubarb and sugar stand for 2 minutes. Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan. Chop 2 Tbsp unsalted butter into small pieces and arrange over the bottom of cake pan. Add rhubarb to cake pan in an even layer over butter. Pour Basic Buttermilk Batter (recipe above) over rhubarb and smooth top. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate so the rhubarb is on top and remove pan. Cool, slice and serve.

vanilla-cinnamon-bundt-cake-sliced

Variation 3: Glazed Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of brown sugar with 2 tsp ground cinnamon. Pour half the prepared Basic Buttermilk Batter (recipe above) into a greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over top. Pour remaining batter into Bundt pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. To make the glaze, mix 1 cup icing sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and 3 Tbsp buttermilk. Add more buttermilk if necessary to reach a thinner consistency. Pour glaze over cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Eager to keep baking? Try these Best Birthday Cake Recipes.

The Best Vegan Cheesecake Recipe Ever

Don’t let the “cheese” in this “cheesecake” throw you. This baked vegan “cheesecake” provides the same richness and creamy flavour as the original and may even become your new dessert of choice.

Sitting on a homemade maple graham crust is a decadent, delicious no-bake vegan cheesecake filling made from silken tofu. This fully vegan dessert feels rich yet is light, and can be finished with whichever topping you love,  we love melted vegan chocolate!

vegan-cheesecake-3

Prep Time: 8 hours 20 minutes (includes cooling)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

Homemade Graham Crust
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp miller’s bran (not cereal)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup

Filling
2 (349 g/12.3 oz) packages silken extra-firm tofu (“silken” texture imperative, do not substitute; available in shelf-stable tetra packs or fresh)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup apple juice
2/3 granulated sugar
1 Tbsp agar agar flakes (Eden Foods makes one readily available)

Topping Ideas
Melted chocolate
Strawberry jam
Caramel sauce
Fresh fruit
Stewed cherries

vegan-cheesecake-1

Directions:

Homemade Graham Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, bran, cocoa and cinnamon until combined. Mix in vegan butter or oil and agave or maple syrup until fully combined. Firmly press into a 7-inch springform pan.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and beginning to crack on top. Cool completely.

Filling
1. In a medium saucepan, bring apple juice, sugar and agar agar to a boil, reduce to medium and cook, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes, or until agar agar flakes are completely dissolved. Keep warm.
2. In a food processor, purée tofu until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add apple juice mixture, lemon juice and vanilla. Purée until fully combined and pour into prepared crust. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, until set.
3. To serve run a knife around edge of springform pan, unhinge and slice. Garnish with your topping of choice (chocolate, cherry, caramel, etc.). Serve chilled.

vegan-cheesecake-2

Looking for more tasty vegan treats? Check out: 25 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

Maple Gingerbread Buche de Noel with Salted Praline Topping

Making your own yule log at home can be achieved in a few fun steps. In this take on the traditional bûche de noël, spiced gingerbread cake is filled and topped with a super-sweet maple frosting, and covered in a salted walnut praline for added crunch. Celebrate the season with this gorgeous centrepiece on your holiday dessert table — it’s sure to garner praise from guests!

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Final-Steps-Allison-Day-11

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Maple Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter
11/2 cups canned full-fat coconut milk
11/2 cups icing sugar, sifted, more for rolling
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp cornstarch, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp maple extract (optional)
Pinch, salt

Gingerbread Cake
Oil, for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, more for pan
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp ground dried ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Salted Walnut Praline
1 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt

Assembly
1 tsp cocoa powder, for dusting

Directions:

Maple Frosting
1. Combine all icing ingredients in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly until mixture is bubbling and thick. Continue to whisk and cook for 1 minute.
2. Pour into a medium bowl and chill overnight.

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Allison-Day-9

Gingerbread Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Line a half sheet pan (18″ x 13″ x 1″ high) with parchment paper; oil and flour parchment, tapping out excess flour. Reserve.
3. Add a clean tea towel to counter and evenly dust over additional icing sugar.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, five-spice, baking soda and salt.
5. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed until tripled in volume. Add sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick and voluminous. Add flour mixture and beat until almost combined. Finish folding in by hand with a large spatula. Smooth batter into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cake springs back when you touch it. Immediately flip out onto tea towel and remove parchment. Starting at the end, use the tea towel to roll the cake into a log shape.
7. Tuck in ends, transfer to wire rack and cool completely in tea towel, about 4 hours. Reserve.

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Allison-Day-12

Salted Walnut Praline
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Combine walnuts, maple syrup and salt to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until maple syrup is caramelized.
3. Cool completely (they crisp as they cool) and roughly chop. Reserve.

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Final-Steps-Allison-Day-2

Assembly
1. Whisk frosting until smooth (soften at room temperature for 30 minutes if required).

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Final-Steps-Allison-Day-4
2. Carefully unroll cake and spread 1/2 of frosting over interior, leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of walnuts praline. Carefully roll and ice the outside of cake with remaining frosting. Place cake on serving plate.

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Final-Steps-Allison-Day-5
3. Gently press walnuts onto exterior and dust with cocoa powder. Loosely cover (a large cake dome, box or oblong plastic container) keep chilled until ready to serve.

FNC-GCC-Buche-De-Noel-Cake-Holiday-Final-Steps-Allison-Day-7

pear kuchen recipe

Pear Kuchen Cake Will Make You Feel Warm and Cozy

As these days grow colder and darker, a slice of this lightly spiced pear cake will warm the spirit. It’s the perfect fall dessert for when you are craving something simple, warming and just sweet enough. Unlike layer cakes or those smothered in frosting, this streusel-topped kuchen is full of flavour without being overly indulgent. Since it’s neither too fussy or sweet, feel free to enjoy either with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Or serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream for a fancy dessert after your fall feast.

Pear Kuchen

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Bake time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total time: 70 to 90 minutes
Serves: 8 to 12

Ingredients:
Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
2 to 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, divided

Pears:
3 to 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp granulated sugar

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
Icing sugar, optional

Pear Kuchen

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9- or 10-inch spring pan with parchment and set aside.
2. Make the streusel topping. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 tablespoon of the almonds together. Rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture starts to clump together.  The streusel should be crumbly – no need to make the pieces uniform.  Chill until ready to use.
3. Toss the sliced pears in the lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.
4. For the cake, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.  Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and lemon zest.  With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl.
5. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add the yogurt and mix until smooth.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.  The batter will be quite thick.
6. Dump the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon.  Leaving all the juices behind, arrange the pear slices on top of the cake batter.  Sprinkle the top with the streusel and remaining almonds.PearKuchen_06

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  If the topping is browning too quickly, cover with foil.
8. Leave in the pan to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the springform collar.  Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.
9. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

Pear Kuchen Cake

 

Looking for more warm fall treats? Try these Awesome Apple Recipes from Anna Olson.

vegan-pumpkin-cake

Vegan Pound Cake With a Colourful Surprise Inside

There are so many treats and sweets that vegan and gluten-free have to pass on, why not bake up a delicious Halloween cake everyone can enjoy. Treat your vegan and gluten-free friends to a delicious dessert with a colourful surprise inside!

vegan-gluten-free-pound-cake

Vegan Hidden Pumpkin Pound Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 95 min

Ingredients:
Cake
8 Tbsp aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid), divided
2 510 g gluten-free pound cake mix
1-1/4 cup coconut or rice milk, divided
2/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vegan orange food colouring

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
4 tsp water
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Note: Aquafaba is the water that canned chickpeas are packed in. Strain chickpeas and reserve for another use and use the water to substitute eggs.

pumpkin-pound-cake-slides

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.
2. Whisk 4 Tbsp of the aquafaba in a small bowl until foamy.
3. In a large bowl, whisk 1 package of the cake mix with the foamed aquafaba, 1/2 cup of the milk, 1/3 cup of the oil and the pumpkin puree until smooth. Stir in food colouring until no streaks of colour remain.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Bake until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
5. Remove ends of cake and slice loaf into 1inch thick slices. Using a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter cut pumpkins out of centre of each slice. Reserve scraps for another use.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease clean loaf pan. Stand the pumpkin cutouts in a straight line in the pan, leaving no space between them.
7. Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons aquafaba until foamy. Stir into second cake mix along with remaining 1/4 cup of the milk and remaining 1/3 cup of the oil until smooth. Pour mix along sides of pumpkin cutouts in the pan and over top to cover, carefully straightening out if row shifts. Bake until loaf is golden and a tester inserted in the middle without piercing through the pumpkin row comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
8. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
9. Stir sugar with water in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle over top of the cake and sprinkle with pecans. Allow 30 minutes for glaze to set before serving.

Looking for more delicious vegan desserts? Try these 50 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

Slime cake

How to Make a Gooey Slime Poke Cake and Win Halloween

Satiate your kids’ need for all things slime with this twist on a poke cake! Dark and delicious devil’s food cake is filled with ooey-gooey neon green slime that is a spooktacular delight for the eyes and the taste buds. Learn how to make this easy, yet eerie cake, just in time for Halloween.

Slime poke cake

Slime Poke Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min

Ingredients:
Cake
2 boxes devil’s food cake mix

Slime
1 package vanilla pudding mix
3 cups of milk
1/4 tsp green gel food colouring

Frosting
3/4 cups shortening
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp black gel food colouring

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Invert the bottom of two 9” springform pans and line with parchment paper. Assemble pans and set aside.
2. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Divide batter evenly amongst prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 40 – 45 minutes. Remove cakes to a cooling rack and cool completely, removing outer ring of the pan after 20 minutes.
3. For the slime, combine milk and instant pudding mix and microwave for 3 minutes, stir in green food colouring, and return to microwave for an additional 3 minutes. Allow coloured pudding to cool slightly before placing 1/3 of it in a piping bag.

Slime poke cake 1
4. Using the bottom end of a wooden spoon, poke holes through to the bottom of each cake layer.
5. Place the first layer of cake on plate and pipe slime into each hole till it reaches the top of the cake. Spread a thin layer of slime on first cake and top with the second layer. Pipe slime into holes in the top layer of cake.

Slime poke cake 2
6. For the frosting, mix shortening with salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add sugar to shortening beating on low until fully incorporated. Add in black colouring and beat on high until frosting is fluffy about 5 minutes.
7. Frost top and sides of the cake and smooth using an offset spatula. Top cake with reserved slime and spread to edges to drip down the sides.

slime-cake-icing

Looking for more spooky treats? Try our Scary-Good Halloween Cakes and Cupcakes.

Behold The Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken!

Tender, luscious layer cake with silky buttercream, or spiced pumpkin pie with a flaky crust? Both are equally delicious in my book. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. That’s right — this cake actually has an entire pumpkin pie baked right inside! Consider it the “Turducken” of desserts. Yet another thing to be thankful for this holiday season.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

When you just can’t choose between serving a pie or cake, satisfy your cravings for both with a piecaken! Whip up your favorite cake batter and throw in a pre-baked pie, and you’ll feel like a confectionery wizard in no time. In this recipe, we’ve taken a traditional pumpkin pie and baked it within a classic chocolate cake. The cake is then iced with lightly spiced buttercream, drizzled with chocolate glaze, and decorated with dollops of frosting and chopped nuts for extra flair. The buttercream is meringue-based, meaning it’s silky smooth and not overly sweet like other frostings can be — perfect for pairing with pie! We love the striking contrast in this combo between the pumpkin, chocolate and vanilla layers, but feel free to swap in any of your favourite cake recipes and pies.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Chocolate Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 60 to 70 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, including cooling
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

1 pre-made pumpkin pie (7 to 8 inches in diametre)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot coffee

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form cake pan. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. While stirring, slowly stream in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.
4. Pour about 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place the baked pie on top.
5. Gently spread the remaining cake batter on top and around the pie.
6. Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake until done, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before releasing it from the spring form pan. Continue to completely cool before cutting or frosting, 2 to 3 hours total. After the first 45 minutes, you may speed things up by placing the cake in the refrigerator loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Piecaken slice

Vanilla Buttercream
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites and sugar. Whisk briefly by hand until combined.
2. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. Stirring intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it reaches 150°F to 160°F on a candy thermometer.
3. Once hot, carefully return the mixer bowl to the stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg white mixture on high until stiff peaks, about 8 minutes. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should return to room temperature.
4. Stop the mixer and swap the paddle for the whisk. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and butter, a couple tablespoons at a time. Once all of the butter has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.
5. If the mixture looks curdled, just keep mixing until it is smooth (this could take up to about 5 minutes). If it appears soupy, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then mix until smooth.

Piecaken Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
Pinch salt

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to steam and the chocolate starts to melt. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and stir until smooth.
2. Let the glaze cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, before dripping over the cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Assembly:
1. Once the cake has completely cooled, trim the top as needed. Frost the cake with the vanilla buttercream.
2. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Once the buttercream has chilled, carefully drip the chocolate glaze around the top edges. Pour the remaining glaze into the centre of the cake and smooth out with an offset spatula. Decorate the top by piping any remaining buttercream and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Looking for more delicious treats? Try our 15 Warm and Cozy Fall Desserts.

vegan-ice-cream-cake feature image

A Dreamy Ice Cream Cake You’d Never Guess is Vegan

Treat yourself to an amped-up Oreo with this chocolate-and-vanilla cookie ice cream cake. It’s so deliciously decadent, you wouldn’t guess it’s vegan. But the classic sandwich cookie is vegan-friendly, making them perfect for that crumbled cookie crust, filling and topping for this stacked creation. Homemade chocolate shell is the “icing” on this crowd-pleaser of a cake, good for big celebrations or as an everyday dessert.

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 7 hours
Serves: 8 to 10

Crust:
15 Oreo cookies (one sleeve)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Filling:
6 cups dairy-free vanilla coconut milk ice cream, such as PC or Coconut Bliss
15 Oreo cookies (one sleeve)
1/2 tsp flaky salt

Topping:
2 cups dairy-free vanilla coconut milk ice cream, such as PC or Coconut Bliss
8 Oreo cookies (half of one sleeve)

Chocolate Shell:
1/2 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp coconut oil

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Directions:
1. Remove ice cream from freezer while preparing crust and let sit at least 10 minutes. Line a dinner plate (or any other flat surface that will fit in your freezer) with parchment paper.

Crust:
1. Line a 7- to 8-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper on the bottom.
2. In a food processor, pulse Oreo cookies until finely crushed. Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture is uniform. Sprinkle over parchment paper in springform pan and gently press into bottom.

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Filling:
1. Roughly chop Oreo cookies. In a large stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, slowly mix 6 cups of ice cream until smooth and whipped. Add chopped Oreos and salt, mixing again to fully combine and smoothing over prepared crust. Transfer to freezer for at least 6 hours.

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Topping:
1. Scoop 2 cups worth of ice cream into balls and place on a parchment lined plate and transfer to freezer along with springform pan (crust and filling).
Chocolate Shell:
1. After chilling for 6 hours, make the chocolate shell. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat chocolate and coconut oil until melted, about 2 minutes.

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake
Assembly:
1. Remove springform pan from freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the cake and unhinge springs. Remove bottom and place on a serving plate that will fit in your freezer.
2. Working quickly, drizzle cake with chocolate shell, reserving 1 tablespoon for finishing, allowing it to fall over the edges. Crumble 4 of the 8 remaining Oreos for the topping.

Vegan Oreo Ice Cream Cake
3. Remove ice cream balls from freezer and place on top of chocolate shell. Mound ice cream balls in the centre of the cake, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate shell and remaining 4 Oreos, halved or crumbled.
4. Immediately transfer back to freezer to firm up for at least 1 hour. Remove cake from freezer, slice and serve. Store leftovers covered in freezer in a large container or cake box.

Looking for more tasty treats? Try these Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

This No-Bake S’Mores Cheesecake Was Made for Summer

Nothing says summer quite like making s’mores on the campfire. The fire crackles, the smell of toasted marshmallows that fills the air, and the laughs from watching those mallows unexpectedly catch on fire permeate the otherwise quiet night.

There’s a little je ne sais quoi about the combination of a plump and perfectly golden toasted marshmallow, melted dark chocolate, and classic graham squares. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of childhood, perhaps it’s the act of bonding with friends over s’mores. Whatever it may be, this no-bake s’mores cheesecake is a rich and dreamy version of the summertime treat that can be made without having to gather firewood.

Classic graham crackers are used to make a sweet, crispy crust, while a velvety dark chocolate cheesecake is the centrepiece. The cake is then finished with a torched meringue topping, a spin on what one might consider the pièce de résistance of a good s’mores treat; the classic plump marshmallow.

Smores Cheesecake

No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake
Makes: One 8-inch cake

Ingredients:

Graham Crust:
20 graham squares
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
265 g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
340 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream (will yield ~2 cups whipped cream)
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Meringue Topping:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Smores Cheesecake

Directions:

Graham Crust:
1. Using a rolling pin or food processor, crush graham cracker squares into a fine crumb.
2. Transfer graham crumbs into a bowl. Add in pinch of salt and toss.
3. Add melted butter to mixture and mix until crumbs are evenly coated.
4. Press graham mixture into a parchment-lined 8-inch spring form pan.

Smores Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
1. Place chopped dark chocolate into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Stir chocolate until it has fully melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy.
4. Gradually add melted chocolate, beating on low speed, until well combined.
5. With a rubber spatula, fold in prepared whipped cream until well combined. Spoon into prepared crust and chill until firm.

Smores Cheesecake

Meringue Topping:
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler.
3. Whisking constantly, heat the egg white mixture until the sugar dissolves and it is warm to the touch. Once warm, transfer the bowl back to the mixer.
4. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until medium-stiff glossy peaks. Add salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
5. Fill meringue in pastry bag with piping tip. Pipe meringue onto chilled cheesecake.
6. Using a kitchen torch, toast the meringue top. Enjoy!

Smores Cheesecake

Looking for more campfire treats? Try our 14 Easy Campfire Recipes.

Mom Deserves This Waffle Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

This dessert comes together with much less effort than a traditional layer cake, but is every bit as impressive. Maple-cinnamon syrup is brushed onto multigrain waffles that are layered with maple-sweetened whipped cream. A swirl of maple butter and a cinnamon drizzle provides the finishing touch to this sweet treat.

Make this maplelicious cake for your Mother’s Day brunch or lunch, or just to celebrate sugaring-off season in Eastern Canada. To save time, prepare the waffles up to a month in advance, then cool, place in re-sealable plastic bags and freeze.

Waffle-Cake-final-1

Ingredients:
1 recipe Multigrain Waffle batter
Vegetable oil
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp salted butter
2 1/2 cups 35% whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup spreadable maple butter

Waffle-Cake-top-down-1

Directions:
1. Heat a round Belgian waffle maker and lightly brush with oil (I use a KitchenAid Waffle Baker). Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the freezer to chill.

2. Measure 1 1/2 cups of waffle batter into the centre of the waffle iron, close the top and cook for nearly 4 minutes, or until the waffle is golden. Remove the waffle and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have three large waffles. You should have just enough batter. Cool the waffles completely while you prepare the cinnamon syrup.

cinnamon syrup soak layer 1-1

3. In a small pot, combine 4 Tbsp of maple syrup and the cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring slowly. Remove from heat and whisk in the salted butter until it is melted and the syrup is smooth and a little creamy. Cool to room temperature.

4. In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream to soft peaks. Turn off the mixer and add the remaining 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and the vanilla. Beat again until very stiff. You are now ready to assemble your cake.

building-the-layers-1

5. Place a waffle on a cake stand or platter and brush with about 1 Tbsp of the cinnamon syrup, letting it pool slightly in the pockets. Dollop about 1/3 of the whipped cream on and spread it around evenly. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of maple butter over the whipped cream. (If it is not runny enough, simply warm it slightly in the microwave.)

6. Place a second waffle on top of the decorated first and repeat the layers; syrup, whipped cream, maple butter. Place the final waffle on the cake. Brush lightly with cinnamon syrup and heap all the remaining whipped cream on top, piling it up at least 4-5 inches high. Drizzle the remainder of the maple butter on top of the whipped cream. At this point the cake can hold, refrigerated, for several hours before serving.

waffle-cake-top-layer-1

7. Generously drizzle the remainder of the cinnamon syrup all over the cake, letting it drip down the sides, then serve at once. To plate, use a bread knife cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Waffle-Cake-slice-served-1

Looking for more maple madness? Watch these videos for Maple-Nut Wafflewiches, Maple Cinnamon Rolls and Canadian Maple Pie Parfaits.

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Bubbie’s Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

My Bubbie used to make this cake for my family every Passover. My siblings and I used to get so excited for the first Seder, so we could finally dig into the layers of chocolatey deliciousness.

To carry on the tradition, I started making this luscious cake using coconut between each layer for some crunch and nuttiness. Serve this no-bake treat chilled or right out of the freezer for a tasty Passover dessert.

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
4 oz. bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Manischewitz wine
8 matzo sheets
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Bubbie's Manichevitz and Chocolate Matzo Cake

Directions:
1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler on the stovetop, or microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring until glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time and then vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate and stir to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold into chocolate mixture.
4. Pour wine into an 8×8-inch baking dish. Soak 1 sheet of matzo in wine for 15 seconds then transfer to a cutting board or cake stand.
5. Smear 2-3 Tbsp of chocolate onto matzo. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of coconut over chocolate. Repeat with remaining 7 layers.
5. Use remaining chocolate to cover sides of the cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.
6. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes, or serve frozen.

Matzo cake

Looking for more ideas? Try our 15 Gluten-Free Desserts for Passover.

lemon-cheesecake

Anna Olson’s Guide to Making the Perfect Cheesecake

If you’re in charge of hosting the family for Easter brunch or planning a springtime get together, cheesecake is ideal for serving a group. This rich, velvety cake not only makes you look like a hero, it can also be prepared ahead of time. That’s one thing off of your to-do list right before the doorbell rings!

From trying to avoid the dreaded crack in the centre to impressing guests with a stunning homemade dessert, these insider tips and tricks will ensure cheesecake success. Plus, they’ll give you the confidence to jump right into this brand new recipe I’ve got for you!

cheesecake-main2

Here are 5 essential tips for the perfect cheesecake.

1. Ingredient Temperature
Ingredients of a like temperature combine easily and smoothly, so:

a) Pull your cream cheese out an hour before using (cut it into pieces while still cold, spread onto a plate and cover it with plastic.) Do NOT microwave your cream cheese — if it’s too soft on the outside and still cool in the middle, you’ll get lumps in your cheesecake.

b) Warm your eggs up by placing them in a bowl and covering them completely with hot tap water. In 3-4 minutes, those right-from-the-fridge eggs will have warmed up to room temperature without you having to pull them out hours ahead.

2. Scrape Your Bowl!
For a smooth and creamy cheesecake, you need to scrape your bowl often, and after each addition. It might feel tedious to stop the mixer or beaters every minute or two, but it’s a simple task that will result in a velvety and smooth texture.

3. Watch Your Mixing Speed
When beating cream cheese and adding sugar, you can beat on a higher speed. Once you start adding the eggs, reduce the speed to low, so you don’t add too much air. Whipped eggs will soufflé in the oven, and, once the cheesecake starts cooling, those souffleed eggs will fall. This is when a crack can develop, even hours after the cheesecake is out of the oven.

4. Gradual Cooling
Allowing the cheesecake to cool completely to room temperature before chilling is a simple and important step. Accelerating the cooling time by rushing it to the fridge can cause the cheesecake to contract, creating a crack. To check if the cheesecake is cool, touch the bottom of the pan, not the sides.

5. Loosen the Sides of the Cheesecake
By running a palette knife around the inside edge of the springform pan soon after the cheesecake comes out of the oven, you separate the cake from the pan. This way, if the cheesecake does want to contract, it can pull away from the sides of the pan, making it less likely to crack in the middle.

cheesecake-main

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Recipe

Prep Time: 75 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes (plus chilling time)
Makes: 1, 9-inch cheesecake
Serves: 12-16

anna-olson-cheesecake-ingredients2

Ingredients:

Graham Crust:
1 cup (225 g) graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:
3 pkg (750 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tin (300 mL) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice

Lemon Curd:
2 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (60 g) sour cream

Meringue Topping:
3 large egg whites
9 Tbsp (110 g) granulated sugar

anna-olson-cheesecake-ingredients-2

Directions:

Graham Crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan.
2. For the crust, stir the graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl until combined and press this into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes (no change in colour to note) and cool completely on a rack before filling.

Cheesecake:
1. For the cheesecake, lower the oven temperature to 300ºF (150ºC).
2. Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl well. Beat in the zest and vanilla, then on a lower speed; beat in each egg and the yolk one at a time. Still on low speed, beat in the lemon juice.
3. Pour mixture over the cooled crust and bake for about 45 minutes, until the outside of the cheesecake is set, but the centre still has a little jiggle to it.
4. Prepare the lemon curd as the cheesecake cools.

anna-olson-cheesecake-directions-1

Lemon Curd:
1. For the curd, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a metal bowl. Whisk in the butter and sour cream and place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, whisking often, until the lemon curd has thickened (but it will still be fluid), about 10 minutes.
2. Strain the curd and spread this gently over the cheesecake.
3. Once fully cooled to room temperature, chill the cheesecake for at least 6 hours (do not cover with plastic wrap).

Meringue Topping:
1. For the topping, whisk the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water until frothy and very warm to touch (165ºF if using a thermometer).
2. Use electric beaters or transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until the meringue has cooled and holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted.
3. Use a butane kitchen torch to brown the meringue or pop it into a 400ºF (200ºC) oven for 3-4 minutes to brown and then cool before refrigerating.

anna-olson-cheesecake-directions-2

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Meyer Lemon Meringue Cheesecake here.