Tag Archives: cake

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Heart-Shaped Red Velvet Lava Cakes

If the way to your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach, you’ll surely win them over with this chocolatey, heart-warming dessert.

Filled with a double dose of chocolate, these cakes take just 30 minutes to make, and are best served warm to enjoy the gooey chocolate filling. While you’re likely planning a dinner for two, this romantic recipe makes four — because we know how irresistible these decadent cakes really are.

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Prep: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Cake:
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup icing sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp red food dye

Topping:
Additional icing sugar dusting (amount based on personal preference)

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Grease 4 heart-shaped muffin tins or ramekins.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon.
4. Microwave butter and chocolate on high until melted in blasts of 15 seconds, about three times. Stir mixture in between each blast.
5. Add icing sugar to chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
6. Stir in eggs, yolks, vanilla and red dye. Add in flour mixture and stir to combine.
7. Divide batter into prepared muffin cups or ramekins. Bake until batter has risen but remains wet in the centre, about 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before un-molding.
8. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm.

Looking for more inspiration? Try these 12 Romantic Recipes for a Valentine’s Day Dinner At Home.

Great-Canadian-Toque-Cake

Get Cozy with the Great Canadian Toque Cake

This winter, let’s embrace the cold (and even celebrate it) with this chilly-weather inspired cake. Ultra-Canadian both inside and out, this maple and nutmeg flavoured dessert reminds us of bundling up for snowy winter days spent tobogganing or skating on the local rink.

Toque Cake

To create this super cute cake, simply carve a small layer cake into the domed shape before using a few decorative piping techniques to mimic different knit patterns with buttercream icing. Pop a pom-pom on top, and add a few marzipan maple leaves for extra Canadian flair!

This gorgeous cake is a perfect, whimsical showstopper for any party this season.

Toque Cake

Bake Time: 24 to 26 minutes
Total Time: 75 to 90 minutes
Serves: 6 to 10

Ingredients:

Maple Nutmeg Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Red gel food coloring (optional)

Maple Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Assembly
2 oz marzipan (or fondant)
Red gel food coloring

Toque Cake

Directions:

Maple Nutmeg Cake

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 6-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy. Add in the maple and vanilla. Mix until combined.
4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in the eggs 1 at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
5. With the mixer on low, add in 1/2 the dry ingredients. Once combined, stream in the buttermilk. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
6. Remove 1/3 of the batter and mix in the red gel food coloring until desired shade is achieved. Mix the remaining plain batter by hand until smooth.
7. Place the red batter in one of the prepared cakes pans. Evenly divide the remaining batter between the other 2 pans. Bake for 24 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.

Maple Buttercream
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the sugar and maple syrup and mix until combined. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more sugar and/or milk until desired consistency is reached.

Red Buttercream
1. Make 1/2 the frosting used for our Red Rose Cupcakes.

Toque Cake

Assembly
1. Once the cakes are cool, trim the tops of the red layer and 1 of the white layers. Place the trimmed white layer on a cake board or serving dish. Spread on about 1/2 cup of buttercream with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Top with the red layer and repeat with the last white layer (dome side up, if present).
2. Using a long, serrated knife, trim and carve the cake into a domed shape. Save the cake scraps and set aside.
3. Once the cake has been carved into the shape of a toque, crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream all over.

Toque Cake
4. Fill 2 piping bags fitted with decorative piping tips with the red and maple buttercream. Stating from the bottom, pipe rows of the maple buttercream 1/3 of the way up (or until the red cake layer appears). Pipe red buttercream where the red cake layer is. Continue on to pipe maple buttercream over the top layer of cake.
5. For the pom-pom on top, gather a portion of the scraps and roll/form into a large cake ball. Place on top of the cake and pipe on red buttercream using a grass piping tip.
6. Tint the marzipan with red gel food coloring. Roll out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch and cut out maple leaves using a small cookie cutter. Place on the cake as desired.

Toque Cake
7. For the maple buttercream (white) piping details, use a small rose tip (104) to pipe roses of small, interlocking V’s to create the woven pattern. Reverse the direction of the piping every-other row.
8. For the red buttercream piping details, use a small star tip (18) to pipe ropes (spirals) of buttercream. Use a grass tip to cover the pom-pom on top.

Toque Cake

Looking for more Canadian cake inspiration? Try our 15 Cool Canadian Cakes.

 

Giant Coconut-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Cake

Thumbprint cookies are an easy, classic treat, but imagine what they would look like if you had the thumb of a giant.

We’ve created a recipe that turns your classic cookie into a moist, succulent cake filled with a giant thumbprint of raspberry jam. The cake comes together in a snap, and has a tropical taste thanks to the addition of creamy coconut milk and flakes. Serve this show-stopper with a cup of tea for an impressive dish your guests will adore.

Thumbprint-cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr 10 minutes
Serves: 8 slices

Ingredients:
1 432 g box of white cake mix
1 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup raspberry jam

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a Bundt pan and 1 cell of a muffin tray.
2. Mix cake mix with desiccated coconut in a bowl, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with oil and coconut milk. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix by hand until just combined.
4. Fill 2/3 of prepared muffin cell with batter. Pour remainder of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
5. Bake muffin for 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Bake Bundt cake until golden, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
6. Flip Bundt cake onto a flat surface. Remove muffin from tray. Trim the top of the muffin so both the bottom and top are flat.
7. Place muffin into the hole of the Bundt cake so it is flush to the bottom surface and the sides of the cake. This will prevent the jam from falling through the hole.
8. Pour raspberry jam into the hole of the Bundt cake and serve.

Looking for more tasty cakes? Try our 18 Beautiful Bundt Cake Recipes.

apple poke cake

Super-Moist Apple Poke Cake with Maple Caramel

Savour the season with this ultra-moist cake packed with morsels of tender autumn apples. The tasty made-from-scratch cake puts the boxed version to shame, and packs a sticky-sweet surprise as soon as you cut it. Each slice of soft, sour-cream based cake is injected with a rich maple caramel sauce, and topped with a whipped maple cream for even more Canadian flavour.

Apple Poke Cake
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 apples, such as McIntosh, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp water
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup 35% cream
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

Topping:
3/4 cup 35% cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp sour cream

Apple Poke Cake

Directions:
Cake Base:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan.
3. Whisk flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Combine butter with eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture until smooth. Stir in half the flour mixture, then half the sour cream. Repeat additions. Stir until well mixed. Fold in apples, then scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Caramel Sauce:
1. Stir sugar with water in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Place over medium-high heat and let caramelize, without stirring, until sugar turns a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Gradually whisk in maple syrup and cream, being careful to avoid splatters. Boil, until mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

Whip Cream Topping:
1. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream until firm peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, then maple syrup.

Assembly:
1. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in cake, staggering each about 1/2-in apart. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of caramel over top of cake, smoothing with a spatula. Top with whip cream mixture, then drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of caramel.

The Best Beach-Themed Party Cake for Summer

Take a day at the beach home to your table with this chic and playful cake. Combining a contemporary ombré effect with whimsical cake toppers, it’s the perfect design for a summer birthday celebration.

The cake itself is extremely moist and is bursting with flavours of zesty key lime and the sweet spiciness of fresh ginger. The buttercream is flecked with real vanilla bean and is silky smooth with a mild, creamy coconut taste. A simple wave pattern is achieved with the help of a rotating cake turntable, while a sprinkling of brown sugar adds texture and rounds out the sandy beach theme.

Beach Party Cake

Active Time: 80 minutes
Bake Time: 28 minutes
Cake Toppers: 30 minutes
Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:

Key Lime Ginger Cake:
3 1/4 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp key lime zest
2 Tbsp key lime juice (4 to 5 key limes)
3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
6 egg whites, lightly whisked
1 cup full-fat coconut milk

Coconut Vanilla Buttercream:
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1/3 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
Gel food coloring in blue
1/4 cup brown sugar

Beach Party Cake

Directions:

Key Lime Ginger Cake:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3, 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, whip the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Mix on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lime juice and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites and coconut milk. Set aside.
5. With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture. Add in the egg white mixture and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the remaining flour and mix until combined.
6. Evenly distribute the batter between the 3 pans and bake for about 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Beach Party Cake

Coconut Vanilla Buttercream:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
2. Stirring intermittently, heat the egg white mixture until it registers about 155-160°F on a candy thermometer. Once hot, carefully transfer the mixer bowl back to the stand mixer.
3. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks, or until the outside of the mixer bowl returns to room temperature, about 8 minutes. Stop the mixer and swap the whisk for the paddle attachment.
4. With the mixer on medium-low, add in the vanilla bean seeds and butter, a few Tbsp at a time. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until silky smooth. At any point does the buttercream appear curdled, just keep mixing. If the buttercream appears soupy, try placing it in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes then mixing again. Gradually add in the coconut cream and mix until combined.

Assembly:
1. Once the cakes have cooled, trim the tops to make them level, if necessary. Place one layer on a cake board or serving dish and top with about 3/4 cup of the buttercream. Spread with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat. Crumb coat the cake with the buttercream and chill in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Of the remaining buttercream, tint about 1/3 blue with gel food colouring and set aside. After the crumb coat sets, place a large dollop of the plain buttercream on top of the cake and smooth out.
3. Starting with the bottom half, add the blue buttercream all the way around the sides of the cake. Mix the remaining blue buttercream with the remaining white buttercream to create light blue. Fill in the sides with the light blue buttercream. Begin smoothing out the buttercream to create an ombre effect. Smooth out the top of the cake as best as possible. To create the wave pattern, place the cake on top of a cake turntable. Touch the end of a metal spatula to the bottom of the cake. As you spin the cake around, create a wave motion around the cake with the spatula as you gradually bring the spatula up the side of the cake until you reach the top.
4. Top the cake with brown sugar to resemble sand and add cake toppers.

Beach Party Cake Topper

DIY Beach Cake Toppers

Materials:
About 5 ounces fondant, white plus various colours.
Gel food coloring
Paring knife
Rolling pin
Ruler
Clean paint brush
Cardstock
Piping tip
Small flower cookie cutter
Popsicle stick

Beach Party Toppers

Directions:
1. Create a template for the surfboard out of cardstock and set aside.
2. Roll out white fondant to about 1/4-inch thick and use the template to cut out the shape.
3. Roll colored fondant to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick and use the ruler and paring knife to cut various strips. Adhere the strips to the surfboard using a touch of water and a clean paintbrush. Set aside to dry.

Beach Party Toppers
4. For the inner-tube, roll out a piece of yellow fondant to about 1/2-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the shape. Use the round end of a piping tip to cut out the center.
5. Using your fingertips, gently smooth and round out all of the edges to make the tube-shape. Roll out a different color of fondant to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick and cut out small flowers with cutter. Adhere the flowers to the inner-tube with a touch of water and a clean paint brush. Set aside to dry.
6. To assemble, insert the popsicle stick 1/4 of the way into the cake. Insert just the very end of the dried surfboard into the top of the cake (directly in front of the popsicle stick) and prop up the back with the popsicle. Gently lean the dried inner-tube against the surfboard.

Pinata Cake

Make Your Own Candy-Filled Piñata Cake

This unassuming party cake has a secret.  With its frilly buttercream finish and modest sprinkle topping, it looks like any other delicious cake.  However, the real party is inside!  One cut into the cake reveals its pastel rainbow layers, before an assortment of candies comes tumbling out.  Like a piñata, this cake is filled to the brim with chocolate, gummies, and sprinkles. As if the velvety buttermilk cake and buttercream icing wasn’t a treat on its own, this cake is packed full of sweets for the ultimate party dessert. What a fun, whimsical surprise!

This festive piñata cake is fairly simple to put together and is extremely adaptable for any celebration. Try using either pink or blue candies for a gender reveal cake at a baby shower, a variety of chocolates, all fruit candies, or just stick with the cake recipient’s favorites.  The combinations are truly endless.

Also check out our recipe for Piñata Cupcakes.

Pinata Cake

Active Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 24 minutes
Serves: 14-16

Ingredients:

Pastel Buttermilk Cake:
3-1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
Gel food coloring

Cake Batter Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
5 to 5-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 to 4 Tbsp cream or milk

Assembly:
3-inch round cutter
1 to 1 1/2 cups assorted candy
Sprinkles (optional)

Pinata Cake

Directions:

Pastel Buttermilk Cake:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter on medium until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on medium-high until fluffy and pale in color (3 to 5 minutes). Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time. Mix until combined and smooth.
5. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and buttermilk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until the batter is incorporated. Do not over-mix.
6. Evenly divide the batter into 4 bowls. Tint each with gel food coloring of your choice and mix to combine. Place each different color of batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack from 10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Pinata Cake

Cake Batter Buttercream:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the remaining ingredients. Once the sugar begins to incorporate, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes). Adjust the sugar and cream quantities until desired consistency is achieved.
2. To decorate an 8-inch cake with the ruffle pattern (as photographed), the icing recipe will need to be multiplied by 1. For a smooth or rustic finish, use the recipe as is.

Pinata Cake

Assembly:
1. Carefully trim the tops of each cake layer until even. Discard the scraps or save for another use.
2. Using a round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or the rim of a drinking glass, cut out the centres of two of the cake layers. The openings should be about 3 inches in diameter. These two layers will become the middle layers of cake. Set aside.
3. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake board or serving dish. 4. Spread on about 3/4 cup of buttercream with an offset spatula. Top with one of the centre layers of cake and repeat. Place the second middle layer of cake next, then frost the inside of the rings with buttercream.

Pinata Cake
4. Fill in the centre with a variety of candies and/or sprinkles. Top with the final layer of cake. Crumb coat then frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.
5. To create the ruffle design, frost the top of the cake as normal but leave only a thin layer of buttercream on the sides. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip with buttercream. Starting at the bottom of the cake, use a zigzag motion to pipe ruffles up the side of the cake. The zigzag pattern should be about 1-inch wide and as straight as possible. Continue to pipe vertical rows of ruffles until all of the sides are covered. Top with sprinkles, if desired.

Looking for more delicious recipe? Try our 25 Best Birthday Cakes.

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Picnic Perfect Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Sour cherries have a short season beginning in June and ending in August. The plump ruby red gems are a delicious way to celebrate summer. The pucker-inducing stone fruit are more tart than their more common counterpart, but add the perfect balance to this creamy no-bake cheesecake.

In this recipe, a sweet-tart topping made of sour cherries is layered with a smooth and creamy cheesecake mixture with a hint of almond. To top it off, crunchy graham crumb streusel is sprinkled over top. Close the lids and bring these jar cakes along to your next picnic, and enjoy all the layers of red and white deliciousness with shear Canadian flavour.

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 min
Makes: 6, 8-oz Jar Cakes

Ingredients:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1/3 cup graham cracker crumb
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, at room temperature

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp.cornstarch
2 cups sour cherries
2 tsp lemon zest

Cheesecake Filling:
½ cup sour cream
1 250 g brick cream cheese
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp almond extract

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Directions:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment.
2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumb, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Work the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until pea size clumps being to form, about 1 minute.
3. Pour the mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
4. Bake until mixture is golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Once cooled, break any big clumps into crumbs.

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan heated over medium.
2. Add in cherries and cook until tender and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add in corn starch and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Let cool.

Cheesecake Filling:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat sour cream with cream cheese, honey and almond extract on high until smooth and fluffy.
2. Cool in fridge for about 1 hour. Transfer mixture into a piping bag.

Assembly:
1. Pipe one layer of cheesecake mixture into the bottom of each jar. Spoon a layer of sour cherry sauce over the cheesecake mixture. Continue this pattern leaving a 1/2 –inch of space at the top of each jar.
2. You can finish with a cheesecake layer or a cherry sauce layer. Sprinkle graham streusel over top layer of each jar cake.

Tip: If you cannot find fresh sour cherries, they can be replaced with frozen.

Chocolate Cowboy Cake With Fudge Frosting

Even if you can’t make it to the Calgary Stampede, you can bring a little bit of rodeo home to your ranch with this fun and exciting cake.

Nothing says ‘classic’ like a chocolate cake with a decadent fudge frosting. Add a little espresso powder to the icing for a little jolt of ‘Yeehaa!’ Sophisticated in flavour, with a rustic homemade presentation, this cake is perfect for celebrating your big rodeo win or your special cowboy’s birthday.

cowboy cake

The perfect blank canvas (well, chocolate canvas), this cake is a great base for any party theme you’re after. The sides and top are iced, not too perfectly,  to give it a rustic, approachable look. Bring the excitement of the Stampede to your cake by topping it off with little horse and cowboy figures, homemade bunting, and sugared rosemary sprigs.

Chocolate Cowboy Cake with Fudge Frosting
Cook time: 30  minutes
Makes: 4-layer, 6-inch cake

Ingredients:

Cake:
175g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
270g (1-1/2 cup) brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Frosting:
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (50 g) powdered sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
100 g dark chocolate (70%), melted and cooled
2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven at 350°F. Grease 4, 6-inch cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until well incorporated.
4. Add in the dry ingredients and start mixing on slow. Gradually add the milk and sour cream/Greek yogurt.
5. Divide batter evenly into 4 cake pans. I used an ice cream scoop to make sure each pan had equal amounts of batter. You can also you a scale to do this.
6. Bake for 28-30 minutes until the cake springs back when you press the top gently. Let cakes cool before removing them from pan.

Cake icing

Frosting:
1. Beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and espresso powder and beat until smooth.
2. Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.

Cake Assembly:
Level the cake layers if they have a domed top. Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Apply a large dollop of frosting and smooth it out, right to the edges of the cake. Place the second layer, apply frosting, and repeat. It is okay if things get a bit messy. With an offset spatula, coat the cake with the remaining frosting.

Decorations
Sugared Rosemary Sprigs
What You’ll Need:
1 egg white
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
1. Whisk egg white until it’s no longer stringy in consistency.
2. With a pastry brush, lightly brush a thin coat of egg white on rosemary sprig.
3. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Let dry overnight.

‘Yeehaw!’ Bunting 
What You’ll Need:
Two skewer sticks
Twine/string
Nice cardstock/paper
Glue, pen, scissors

Directions:
1. Apply a small dab of glue at the end of each skewer stick and attach each end of the twine to a skewer stick.
2. Cut out 6 small triangles from cardstock. Write the letters of ‘yeehaw’ on each of the triangles.
3. Attach to twine with a small amount of glue.

Looking for more delicious cake ideas? Try our 25 Best Birthday Cakes.

The Giant Maple Doughnut Cake of Your Dreams

Maple is made for more than just pancakes. Mixed into vanilla cake batter and sweet buttercream, it adds that tasty punch of Canadiana to your favourite dessert. This fun, doughnut-inspired maple cake is certainly a unique treat for any party — just finish with sprinkles and enjoy!

888x600_maple-doughnut-cake

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (plus cooling time)
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp maple extract
¾ cup milk

For the icing:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup sprinkles

888x600_maple-doughnut-cake2

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a large bowl combine butter and sugar. With a hand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in maple extract.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of milk. Continue adding flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Clean pan, grease and bake remaining batter until cake is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool completely.
6. While cakes are cooling, make the icing. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on low to start and then on high for an additional 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in maple syrup.
7. On a cake plate, turn one cake upside-down so the flat bottom is facing up. Spread half of icing on cake. Top with other cake layer, right side up. Spread remaining icing on top of cake. Top with sprinkles.

Yule-Log-Buche-De-Noel-recipe

A Gorgeous Bûche de Noël Using Store-Bought Cake

For those unfamiliar with this favourite French Canadian sweet, Bûche de Noël is a classic dessert enjoyed during the festive season. Essentially, it’s a roulade cake decorated to look like a tree log. Making it from scratch can be time-consuming, so we’ve created this cheater’s version using ready-made Swiss rolls. Just a handful of ingredients can turn a simple store-bought dessert into a delicious centrepiece. Best of all. it comes together in a snap!

Easy-Buche-De-Noel-recipe

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

1 large store-bought chocolate Swiss roll
1 small store-bought chocolate Swiss roll

Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup whipping cream
100g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Candy Mushrooms:
4 vanilla-flavoured Tootsie rolls
Cocoa powder, if desired

Shredded coconut
Icing sugar

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Directions:

1. Place the large Swiss roll on a platter or serving board. Cut one end of the small Swiss roll diagonally, then place the cut side anywhere against the large roll.
2. To make ganache, microwave whipping cream for 15 to 30 sec until cream is hot. Pour over chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Set chocolate aside to cool slightly.
3. To make candy mushrooms, microwave Tootsie roll candies for 5 to 7 seconds, just to make them pliable. Flatten 3 candies into flat discs to resemble mushroom tops. Divide the last candy into 3 pieces and roll into a stem. Using a bit of water as the glue, stick discs on top of stems. You can also dust the tops with a bit of cocoa powder to give them some colour.
4. Spread cooled chocolate all over top and sides of cake. You can be a little bit messy so it looks more like tree bark.
5. Pour some shredded coconut around the cake to resemble some snow. Sift a little icing sugar over the cake. Arrange candy mushrooms around the cake.
6. Slice and enjoy!

BucheDeNoel-decoartion

Coffee Crisp Cake Recipe Feature

How to Make a Coffee Crisp Cake

When it comes to iconic chocolate bars, there’s not one that’s more Canadian than Coffee Crisp. This crunchy milk chocolate bar with wafer and coffee-flavoured foam candy is a childhood favourite — and we’re turning it into  a party-worthy dessert! Layers of vanilla cake, creamy coffee icing and crispy wafer cookies add lots of texture to this cake, and the chocolate glaze is the finishing touch to making this dessert unbelievably delicious.

Coffee Crisp Cake Recipe

Coffee Crisp Cake

Prep Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes: 10 servings

Ingredients:
1 store-bought vanilla loaf cake, or vanilla cake mix baked in a 9×5 inch loaf pan
2 x 150g cappucino or vanilla flavoured wafer cookies

Coffee Icing:
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp instant coffee
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
2 x 100g milk chocolate bars, chopped

Coffee Crisp Cake Recipe 1

Directions:
1. Use a serrated knife to cut edges off loaf cake to make a rectangular brick. Carefully cut cake sideways into three 1/2-in slices. Freeze slices in one layer on a baking sheet until ready to use.
2. To make icing, stir whipping cream with instant coffee and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds until cream is hot. Stir to dissolve coffee. In a large bowl, beat unsalted butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar, adding cream when it gets too thick. Set icing aside.
3. Place one slice of cake on a platter. Spread a thin layer of icing over cake. Top with wafer cookies. Spread with another thin layer of icing. Repeat with 2 more layers of cake, icing and wafers. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. (It’s fine if it looks a bit messy as it will get covered in chocolate glaze.) Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes.
4. To make glaze, microwave whipping cream and butter for 15 to 30 sec until cream is hot. Pour over chopped milk chocolate in a bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly. It will thicken up a bit.
5. Pour glaze on top of cake. Use a metal spatula to spread the glaze over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
6. Slice and enjoy!

Coffee Crisp Cake Recipe 2

How Cream Cheese Transformed This Banana Cake

By Audrey Vrooman, as told to Alex Mlynek

Former bank executive Audrey Vrooman’s post-retirement passions—cake decorating and quilting—led her to this moist and flavourful banana cake. It’s become her go-to recipe for when a special treat is called for to celebrate family and friends, plus she gets special requests to make it for weddings and showers once or twice a year.

Twelve years ago, I was putting together a cookbook for our quilting guild to sell as a fundraiser. One of the members of our guild at that time, Ruby Sowpel, gave me a banana cake recipe. After reading the directions, it struck me as a very old recipe, so I had to ask Ruby where she got it from. She told me that when she was a young bride—so in the early 1940s—she had been given this recipe by her sister-in-law, who had received it many years before from her mother-in-law. We were able to trace the origin back to about 1900. It was originally handwritten with things like “a handful of butter”—there was no measuring. When I included this recipe in the book, I had to convert all the ingredients from the original instructions into what I guessed they’d be in measuring cups.

I like the original recipe, but I’ve made some changes that I think result in a much lighter, fluffier and longer-lasting cake. Using buttermilk, instead of regular milk or cream, definitely helps lengthen the life of the recipe. I also use a lot more bananas than the original recipe called for—I wouldn’t add any fewer than five.

Ruby’s original banana cake was served with maple fudge frosting, but I don’t care for the kind of firmness that a fudge icing gives (it makes it harder to decorate), so I started experimenting. I really like my recipe for maple cream cheese frosting even better than other versions I’ve seen because it’s less stiff on the cake. The original recipe called for chopped walnuts; personally, I wouldn’t put chopped walnuts in many things, as they go rancid easily. But in the olden days, that was all you could get. We’re quite spoiled. For instance, I remember that when it was winter, you didn’t get certain fruit or vegetables, but now we can get everything we want year-round.

I didn’t grow up in a family where my mother did much cooking or baking; it’s something I came to after I retired. I started to make cakes for my grandsons, and at first, I would make just chocolate and white. When I found this banana cake recipe, I began to play around with it. It reminds me of how when I was a child, my mother used to make banana bread. That would be a really special treat for us.

A bride-to-be asked if I would make her this cake for her wedding. On the night of her wedding, she wrote me an email while traveling between her reception and hotel room to say how awesome the cake was, that there was none left. That was really, really nice.

The truth is I don’t eat much dessert, but I do love to make them. I like the satisfaction of knowing how happy they make other people. This is a delicious, awesome cake, and people are going to get a lot of accolades if they make it.

Banana Cake With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, courtesy of Audrey Vrooman

Banana cake with Maple Cream Cheese icing - Blog Embed

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 ¼ hours
Yields: 1 large 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake or 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake, or 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients
Cake
5 bananas, peeled
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
½ cup (125 mL) butter
1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) cake-and-pastry flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1½ tsp (7 mL) vanilla

Frosting
250 g tub cream cheese
¼ cup (60 mL) butter
¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup, medium grade
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 tsp (5 mL) pure maple extract
4 cups (1 L) icing sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) meringue powder

Directions
Cake
1. In small bowl, mash bananas; add baking soda. Set aside.
2. In separate bowl, cream butter with sugar; whisk in eggs.
3. In third bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add one-third of flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in half of the buttermilk. Stir in another third of the flour, the remaining buttermilk and the remaining flour. Stir in banana mixture; stir in vanilla.
4. Scrape into cake pan. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for about 40 minutes. (Option: Slice cake horizontally to make two layers, instead of cake with no layers.)

Frosting
1. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla and maple extract; beat until well combined. Beat in icing sugar and meringue powder until smooth.
2. Ice top and sides and cake.

Option for layer cake with banana filling: Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Ice cut side of bottom layer (you could use vanilla cream cheese icing between layers with maple cream cheese icing on top and sides of cake. To make vanilla cream cheese frosting, omit maple syrup and maple extract). Lay sliced bananas on top of iced layer. Replace second layer of cake over filling, cut side down. Frost sides and top of cake.

Any leftover cake or icing can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months.

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What to Do with Leftover Plums

By Mardi Michels

Just this past summer I discovered the joys of canning and preserving, a wonderful way to make the most of the short-lived season for some of my favourite fruits: apricots, cherries and plums.

While it’s lovely to be able to enjoy the taste of summer in the dead of winter through jams and jellies, there’s nothing quite like enjoying fruit at the height of its season. At the market I can sometimes be a little over-enthusiastic in estimating the amount of fruit I can use. After a few days I find myself racking my brains for ways to use up the abundance of fruit in my kitchen when it’s not quite enough for a small batch of preserves or jam.

The answer? Cake. (Let’s face it, there aren’t many situations when cake isn’t the answer!) And with this recipe—a simple butter cake studded with jewel-like, juicy summer plums—there’s nothing better.

Nana Russell’s Plum Cake, Courtesy of Mardi Michels, eatlivetravelwrite.com, Toronto

This simple, summery cake highlights the beauty and flavour of plums.

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Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
2 oz (60 g) butter, at room temperature
4 oz (112 g) sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
6 oz (170 g) self-raising cake and pastry flour
¼ cup (50 mL) milk
5 to 6 plums, halved and pitted
granulated sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC). Butter and flour 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan.
2. Cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition.
3. With wooden spoon, stir in half the flour. Gradually stir in half the milk, mixing until just combined. Stir in remaining flour, then remaining milk. Mix until well combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Place plum halves, cut side up, on top of cake batter. Sprinkle plums with sugar.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Jump to print, save or share this Plum Cake recipe.

Eat. live. travel. write.
Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school–aged boys. She writes eat. live. travel. write, a blog about culinary adventures near and far. She also runs twice-weekly cooking classes for seven- to 13-year-old boys and teaches cooking and baking classes for adults. She was one of the founding members of Food Bloggers of Canada, is a Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto and contributes to jamieoliver.com.

Anna Olson’s Gluten-Free Walnut Poppy Seed Cake

With summer in sight, I think of my grandmother’s baking, and poppy seeds and walnuts were among her favourite ingredients, whether for nut rolls, egg breads or other sweet concoctions.

This recipe is for a typical central European-style cake – a very simple one-layer torte that leaves room for creative plating. It can be served with just a dollop of whipped cream or sweetened sour cream, or even blood orange segments and fresh raspberries for a lighter and fresher approach.

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Gluten-Free Walnut Poppy Seed Cake 

Makes: 1 9-inch cake
Serves: 16

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups (6 oz) walnut pieces
3/4 cup poppy seeds*
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
5 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whipping cream

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with sugar, tapping out any excess.
2. Pulse the walnuts, poppy seeds and 1/3 cup of sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
3.  Beat the butter and 1/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat until well blended.
4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy, then slowly pour in the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and whip until the whites hold a soft peak. Fold the whites into the butter mixture. Fold in ground nuts and poppy seeds, and continue to fold until incorporated. Spoon about 1/3 cup of this batter into the cream and then fold this into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake to room temperature and then chill it completely before removing from the pan and serving. The cake will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

* If you have access to ground poppy seeds from an eastern European grocery, those are preferable (and can be used in the same measure), but the recipe does work deliciously well with regular whole poppy seeds.

anna
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network Canada’s Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!

How to Make a Pink Ombré Rose Cake

After seeing an ombré cake on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to give it a whirl. But don’t fret if you are thinking, “that is way too detailed and complicated for me,” because it’s not. It’s actually way easier than you think. Now let’s get to the recipe!

The elegant buttercream roses on the outside of this cake are truly stunning, but once you slice into it, lovely ombré layers are revealed — rich pink down to an ivory white. Overall, this cake is a real show stopper!

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Ombre Cake:

Ingredients:

3 boxes of French Vanilla cake mix
9 eggs
3 cups of water
1 1/2 cups melted butter
1 vanilla bean scrapped
3 tsp vanilla
Pink food colouring

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients until the batter is nice and smooth, and free of lumps. Grease a 7? round cake pan and fill it with the white cake batter. Now this is where your gradual colouring comes in. Using the pink food colouring, add a tiny bit and mix until the batter becomes a light pink. Pour another 7? round cake pan filled with light pink batter. Bake the two cake pans as recommended on the back of the cake box (mine was for 350°F for 23 minutes).
2. Now add more pink colouring to your batter and mix until you get a darker pink, and pour into a cake pan. For the last cake pan, my batter wouldn’t get any darker so I added a very small amount of purple food colouring to darken the pink, then poured it into my cake pan. You will also have enough left over batter to make 12 cupcakes to go with your cake!
3. Once your four cakes have baked, set them aside to cool for 10 minutes, remove from the cake pans and allow to fully cool on a cooling rack. Now it’s time to prep your buttercream.

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Ombre Buttercream Icing:

Ingredients:
2 cups room temperature butter
3-6 cups of icing sugar (depending how thick you like your icing to be)
4 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2 tsp Mexican vanilla
1 vanilla bean scrapped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp butter flavoring
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream

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Note: Before we get into the directions for the buttercream, I cannot stress enough how important it is to taste and go with adding ingredients. Do the wet ingredients 1 teaspoon at a time, taste and go. Start by really whipping your butter. This should take at least 5 minutes on a high speed until your butter gets nice and fluffy. Now add in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Continue to whip and add until you get a consistency you like. Add the vanillas, vanilla beans, salt and butter flavouring. Whip again. Slowly add your cream last. If your icing is too runny, add more icing sugar. Too Thick? Add more cream.

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Directions:
1. Start by really whipping your butter. This should take at least 5 minutes on a high speed until your butter gets nice and fluffy.
2. Now add in your icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Continue to whip and add until you get a consistency you like.
3. Add your vanillas, vanilla beans, salt and butter flavouring. Whip again.
4. Slowly add your cream last. If your icing is too runny, add more icing sugar. If it’s too thick, add more cream.

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Building your cake:

1. Time to build you cake! Make sure to level off all your cakes using a cake leveler — this ensures the cake will stack nicely and most of all, looks great after your done.
2. Put your white cake on your serving plate and coat the top with a layer of icing (this is called a crumb coat and will help everything stick together and make your cake look pretty). Continue with your light pink, medium pink and dark pink cake slabs. Once they are all stacked, coat the outside of the cake with a smooth layer of buttercream.
3. Next up are your little buttercream roses. Fill an icing bag with a 1M tip (you’ll need a large coupler for this too) and start to pipe one row of white roses.
4. I eyeballed my ombré to the size of the cake layers and just worked my way from the bottom to the top of the cake. To ice a rose, start in the middle and make a circle, drawing it outwards. Once you have a complete circle, trace the outside again with buttercream until a nice rose forms. Watch this video if you need some visual aid.
5. Now just like you did with the cake batter, gradually start to dye your icing. Add in a bit of food colouring, mix, pipe on a row of roses, add more food colouring and pipe more roses until you are done!

ombre-cake3

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Blog Network family.

How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake

Your wedding cake is undoubtedly the most significant dessert you’ll ever eat in your life. As kids, we dreamed of a cake tiered to the ceiling, trimmed with frothy white icing and topped with mini-me (and mini-him) cake toppers. We dreamed of that classic wedding picture of cutting the first slice with our other half. We dreamed of eating it respectfully and so not shoving it into each other’s faces, America’s-Funniest-Home-Videos style. It’s such an important, traditional element to a wedding, and yet these days, more and more couples are choosing to eliminate it as a way to cut corners. Why? Because a single cake can rack up quite the hefty bill.

If you want to keep with tradition but aren’t feeling the $1000 price tag, then why not whip up your own gorgeous gateau? Below, I’m showing a step-by-step guide to making your own wedding cake, complete with tiers, frothy icing and topped with pretty blooms.

Naked Wedding Cake 1

Decorating Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
6 cakes (Follow this recipe for your classic white cake. You will need three batches.)
36 oz icing (Follow this recipe for vanilla buttercream icing. Again, you will need three batches.)
Flowers, for decorating

Naked Wedding Cake 5

Note: The prettier the flowers, the better your cake will look. Hit up a flower market to get some stunners like peonies and ranunculi. Don’t forget to add some greens to the mix. Try green leaves with a white, wishy-washy coat for a whimsical look.

Naked Wedding Cake 2

Directions:
1. Before you make your batter, heat the oven to your recipe’s advised temperature. Use unsalted butter to grease the sides of two cake pans, one 8” and one 10”, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. As for the cake I made… I cheated a bit. To save a little time and cash, I succumbed to a cake mix and pre-made icing. If you feel like taking the easy route like me, you will need three boxes of cake mix, which will give you two cakes per box, and three 12-oz containers of icing.

Naked Wedding Cake 3

3. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to beat the batter. Cakes made with an essential baker sidekick come out so much lighter and fluffier than with a handheld beater.

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4. Divide the batter into your two pre-lined, pre-greased pans. Try to make them similar in depth. Bake them for the recipe’s advised amount of time, let cool, and move to a cooling rack. Repeat.

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5. When the cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice off the top of each cake where necessary, to create an even surface.

Naked Wedding Cake 7

6. Take the parchment paper off the bottoms of each cake, and place your first layer on the cake stand. Add a few dollops of icing, and smooth over the surface gently, ensuring not to get cake crumbs worked into the icing.

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7. Smooth over the entire surface, add the next layer, and repeat.

Naked Wedding Cake 9

8. Add icing to the sides of the cake for a more whimsical finish. Apply it with your icing wand, and scrape off excess to even it out.

Naked Wedding Cake 10

9. I like to place the majority of the flowers on the top of the cake, so I only added a few subtle touches of flowers to the sides and base of the cake. I placed a piece of greenery to the bottom, and lightly pressed it into the cake to secure it into place.

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10. On the opposite side on the second tier, I added a small, blooming peony and more greens.

Naked Wedding Cake 12

11. For the top of the cake, I started with a few greens and filled it in with seven flowers.

Naked Wedding Cake 13

12. I had a brighter pink flower option but decided to keep it to the softer shades for a dreamier feel.

Naked Wedding Cake 14

Notes:
– Try to lay the flowers on the cake instead of puncturing the surface so you can rearrange the blooms as you see fit. You will also lessen the risk of contaminating the cake with the flower’s chemicals.
– Flowers should be placed on the cake just before displaying.

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Happy Wedding Day!

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headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Coconut

This flourless, white chocolate cake is rich, moist and custardy — and the crunch of the coconut makes the perfect complement in terms of taste and texture. Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth who’s avoiding gluten — or who just loves a deliciously decadent cake.

dessert-gluten-free-chocolate-cake-with-coconut

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Toasted Coconut

Ingredients:

300 grams good quality white chocolate
8 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/3 cup (40 grams) coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 1/2 cup (200 grams) icing sugar
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter

For the topping:
2 1/2 cups large flake coconut

dessert-gluten-free-chocolate-cake-with-coconut-recipe

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F°. Grease a 9-inch (22 cm) springform pan and line it with parchment paper. Mold aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides to prevent possible leaks. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time; continue to beat until thick and glossy.
3. Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until creamy; add salt and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the melted butter, followed by the melted chocolate.
4. Fold egg whites into the egg yolks and chocolate with a rubber spatula until incorporated; take care not to overblend.
5. Place springform pan in the middle of a roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the side. Place in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
6. To make the icing, separate the coconut cream from the water and beat it together with butter and icing sugar.
7. Toast coconut at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Turn cake upside down onto a cake stand and peel off parchment. Spread icing over top and sides of cake and top with coconut.

Darina Kopcok Darina Kopcok is a food writer and photographer based in Vancouver, BC. She writes the blog Gratinée, for which she also develops, styles and shoots each recipe. In addition to photographic training from Langara College, she holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has a passion for Italian cuisine and French culinary technique.

Darina Kopcok is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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Maple Pecan Crêpe Cake

Can you imagine living in a country that doesn’t have maple syrup? I can’t. I feel especially fortunate to have grown up in Quebec, one of the central maple-producing provinces of Canada – meaning we poured maple syrup generously on our warm breakfasts of pancakes, crêpes, French toast, and waffles. Growing up, my mom would collect bowls of snow during a heavy snowfall and make us maple taffy, since we were stuck inside. Even though we’re lucky to have access to it year round, maple syrup remains an ingredient to be celebrated and cherished in the spring time. There is no substitute. It’s the best.

Crêpe cakes may seem daunting, but they shouldn’t be. The pastry cream, crêpes, and maple-glazed pecans can be made ahead so all you have left to do is assemble it and chill for a few hours. If anything, crêpe cakes are a great opportunity to sharpen your crêpe-making skills. When I pour the batter in the hot pan, I like to use a jiggle-motion, moving the pan back and forth, to distribute the batter to the edges, then I finish it off with a swirling motion by tilting my wrist. The goal is to thinly yet evenly distribute the batter throughout the pan.

It’s not hard, it just takes practice. Since this cake calls for 30-some crêpes, you have plenty of time to figure out the crêpe-cooking technique that works for you. And if you don’t feel like assembling a whole cake, you can serve the crêpes filled with pastry cream, rolled or folded into neat triangles, perfect for a spring brunch with a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

A note on skillets: For this recipe, I used a 10-inch non-stick fry pan, which has sloped sides and therefore yields 8-inch crêpes, as the pan size is often measured at the top, where it’s widest.

888_maple-crepe-cake

Serving Size: Makes one 8-inch cake (serves 10–12)
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 60 min

Ingredients:

For the maple pastry cream:
2 1/4 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best)
3/4 cup maple syrup (medium)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1–2 tablespoons Gelinotte maple liqueur or a splash of vanilla extract

For the crêpes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons oil, plus more for cooking the crêpes

For the maple-glazed pecans:
1 cup pecans
3 tablespoon maple syrup

For serving:
Lots of maple syrup

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Directions:
1. First, make the maple pastry cream. Place a strainer over a large bowl and have it ready next to the stove for later.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk with half the maple syrup on medium–high heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and gradually whisk in the flour, cornstarch and the rest of the maple syrup. Whisk mixture well, to try and eliminate all the lumps before proceeding.
3. When the milk is almost boiling, pour it over the egg mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly, then transfer it all back to the saucepan.
4. Whisk the custard over medium–high heat to bring it up to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes to thicken it. Don’t stop whisking because it can catch on the bottom of the pan and may burn. When the pastry cream has thickened, immediately pour it through the strainer to remove any lumps.
5. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly in contact with the custard so it doesn’t dry on the surface. Wrap well and refrigerate until completely cooled, preferably overnight.
6. When you are ready to assemble the crêpe cake, whisk the pastry cream to loosen it and smooth it out, then whisk in the maple liqueur or a splash of vanilla.
7. Prepare the crêpe batter by blending together all the ingredients with a hand-blender. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) in the fridge before making the crêpes. Cook the crêpes in a 10-inch non-stick fry pan set over medium–low heat. You should make about 32 8-inch crêpes, using a scant 1/4 cup batter per crêpe.
8. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat the pecans with the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Lightly toast them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 6 minutes, stirring them half-way through the baking time. Let cool completely.
9. To assemble the crêpe cake, place a crêpe on a cake stand or plate, then spread a thin layer of maple pastry cream (a little less than 2 tablespoons-worth). Top with another crêpe and then more pastry cream. Continue layering until you have used all the crêpes and pastry cream.
10. Chill the cake for a few hours so that it firms up, then decorate the top with the maple-glazed pecans (either kept whole or chopped) just before serving. Serve with lots of maple syrup.

Janice Lawandi Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

If there’s something we all love on Valentine’s Day it’s got to be something red and something sweet. This cake certainly has both!

Blood oranges are a deep red variety of orange that are in season this time of year. You can always use regular oranges or even opt for another fruit, like bananas if that’s your preference. This cake cooks quickly, is easy to make and is always a showstopper when you flip it out of the cake tin.

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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water

For the Cake:
3 blood oranges, peel removed and cut into slices
1/2 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain, 2% yogurt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by making your caramel. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Bubble until it turns a light caramel colour.
  2. Working quickly, pour the caramel into a round 9-inch cake tin. Carefully place the blood orange slices on the bottom of the pan. The caramel is still hot, so be careful!
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dry ingredients and the yogurt. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and springs back when touched. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack. If you leave it, the caramel will set and it will be really difficult to turn the cake out!

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Hearts

These sweet, raw vegan cheesecakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and are a snap to make. A blender is the only required equipment for this recipe. Just blend, freeze and enjoy. Your family and friends won’t even realize that these rich, decadent delights are dairy-free and raw vegan! These desserts melt quickly, so store them in the freezer at all times and eat immediately.

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Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cashews (unsalted, unroasted)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water

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Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients into your blender.
    2. Blend. Start slow and gently increase the speed. You may need to stop and start your blender a bit if your blender is getting hung up. If your blades won’t move, turn blender off, create an air pocket down the side with a knife, and then blend again starting on low. Keep blending until it’s very smooth, like a creamy chocolate fudge with no cashew chunks.
    3. Pour smooth mixture into a wide pan (or into silicone molds) and place in freezer.*
    4. Freeze until it reaches a firm, slice-able consistency (8 hours or so).
    5. Store in freezer at all times. To eat, just open the freezer, slice into desired shape and eat immediately.

*Heart-Shape Tips: If you don’t have heart-shaped silicone molds, this simple solution works well. Pour the mixture into a wide pan or glass dish. Smooth the mixture out using the back of a spoon — not too thick and about an inch or less deep. Freeze then slice into heart shapes. This recipe (when frozen for at least 8 hours) is super easy to cut into shapes.

Note: If your blender isn’t very powerful, consider soaking cashews in warm water for 1-2 hours before blending to soften them. After soaking, rinse clean and blend immediately.

100x100_laura-jane-rawtarian Laura-Jane The Rawtarian is a leading creator of simple, satisfying raw vegan recipes.