Thursday, November 8, 2018

Three Holiday Cakes

Holiday Cakes, Cake Decorating, Christmas Cake, Halloween Cake, Thanksgiving Cake, Black and White Cake
It's my absolute favorite time of year.  After Halloween is over, I'm ready for the Christmas season.  When I was little, my brother and sister and I would beg our parents to allow us to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, but now I do hold off on decorating until a couple of weeks before Christmas, because as much as I love it, I don't want to get tired of having the house decorated.  Especially since we have two little boys, and it's a daily struggle to keep the house clean and uncluttered.  But I love the music and movies, the decorations, the lights, the presents, the food, the family togetherness, the cozy nights by the fire while it's cold and snowy outside, the eggnog and hot chocolate...  All of it.  I'm so excited this year to get our two year old more involved and see his curious little face light up at the sight of the tree and wondering what it's all about.  He'll even get to help decorate the tree this year!

If you like watching all those feel-good movies on Hallmark from now until Christmas, you're in good company.  Yes, they're predictable and silly, but they're also innocent, and filled with hope and love, and with so many depressing stories in my news feed every day, the movies remind me that there are still many, many good people in this world.  And since all this holiday talk is making me feel generous, I've put together an epic blog post for you today, with three cakes for the holidays.

For our Halloween cake this year, I decided to design a cake that didn't necessarily have an in-your-face Halloween theme (I'll save my dripping black cat cake idea for another year).  Instead, I wanted something that was visually stunning, with classic piping in stark black and white.  I topped this cake with a few candles, as well as a cupcake frosted with a black buttercream rosette and placed on its side, and the final look was slightly gothic, but also feminine, pretty, and whimsical.




Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake

Halloween Cake, Black and White Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Cakes, Candle Cake Toppers, Gothic Cake



Notes about my Halloween cake:
  • I didn't create a new recipe for this one, but used my White Velvet Cake recipe from my archives.  For something different, I thought I would see what the cake was like if I substituted cream cheese for the butter, but I wasn't thrilled with the result as the texture seemed a little off, so it's much better with butter, as the recipe is written.
  • To get a bright white buttercream, use my basic buttercream recipe, but substitute vegetable shortening for half the butter and whip it well, as it lightens in color the more you whip it.  If you use all butter, the color will be more ivory than white, although you may be able to brighten it with some white food coloring.
  • To achieve a true black (not gray) buttercream for the piping, you need to start with chocolate buttercream.  I just set aside about a cup of my white vanilla buttercream, stirred in 2-3 tablespoons "special dark" unsweetened cocoa powder and a few teaspoons of milk until it was smooth, and then added black gel food coloring until I was satisfied with the color and piping consistency.  I used tip #17 for the piping.
  • The silver candle holder is from Silver Celebrations London, and the candles are ones I've collected over the past few years from both Shop Sweet Lulu and my local Michaels.




For a Thanksgiving cake, I think this next one is a stunner.  It's a new recipe (scroll to the bottom for the recipe) I've been working on for a Coffee and Ginger Cake with Molasses Buttercream, and it's really wonderful.  The cake is moist, perfumed with espresso powder and ground ginger, and I sprinkled more chopped candied ginger in between each cake layer.  The sweet molasses buttercream paired beautifully with the cake, and the flavor is a little reminiscent of a ginger molasses cookie.

I found mini Stroop Wafels at World Market, and filled a few with buttercream to decorate the top of the cake.  For the chocolate leaves, I used a silicone mold that I found either at my local Michaels or Hobby Lobby, and brushed the leaves with edible gold and bronze shimmer powder.  The cake is finished with a dusting of espresso powder and a little candied ginger.

With the chocolate leaves, the caramel colors and the fall flavors, this one is just perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert.




Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake

Thanksgiving Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, Stroop Wafels, Chocolate Leaves, Coffee and Ginger Cake




My last cake is for Christmas, and it's one I actually made last winter for a friend's grandmother's 90th birthday party, so I've been waiting a whole year to share this one.  It's a champagne cake (recipe at the end of this post), with champagne in both the cake and the buttercream for a really beautiful flavor.

My friend had a sparkly silver cake topper she was planning to use, so I designed this cake with lots of sparkle and bling to coordinate with her topper.  With just a simple coat of buttercream as the base, I tossed silver sugar around the sides, and finished the edges with satin ribbon.  The little white chocolate medallions were simple to make by just pouring melted white chocolate into a silicone mold (which I believe I found at Hobby Lobby), and letting it harden.  If you want a pure white color, you would need to use bright white chocolate candy coating, rather than white chocolate, which has a yellowish hue to it, although, of course, white baking chocolate tastes better than candy coating.

And although it's not Christmasy, I thought this one looked especially pretty with the silver carriage candle holder from Silver Celebrations London.  I adore the assortment of candle holders I have from them, and use them as much as I can, and I'm hoping they'll come out with some in a Harry Potter theme.  But how gorgeous would this cake look covered in white chocolate snowflakes?  I may have to do that for this year's Christmas cake.




Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, White Cake, Cake with Ribbon, White and Silver Wedding Cake

Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, White Cake, Cake with Ribbon, White and Silver Wedding Cake

Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, White Cake, Cake with Ribbon, White and Silver Wedding Cake

Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, White Cake, Cake with Ribbon, White and Silver Wedding Cake

Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Holiday Baking, White Cake, Cake with Ribbon, White and Silver Wedding Cake





Champagne Cake
printable


Cake.
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups champagne
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Buttercream.
  • 1 1/2 cups champagne, reduced to 1/3 cup
  • 2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk, if needed
Note: this recipe is written for a standard-sized 8 or 9 inch layer cake, while the two-tiered cake pictured was made with 1 1/2 times the amount of batter and buttercream.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.  Add the champagne, oil, eggs and vanilla, and whisk well until smooth.  Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 21 minutes.  Set the pans on a wire rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream, pour the champagne into a saucepan.  Bring the champagne to a boil, and then simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup.  Cool completely.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and champagne reduction until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt, and mix on low to combine.  Add the vanilla, and whip the buttercream on medium high for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy, adding a little milk, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency.

Fill and frost the cooled cakes with the buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen




Coffee Ginger Cake with Molasses Buttercream
printable


Cake.
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons espresso powder
Buttercream and Garnish.
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons molasses
  • candied or crystallized ginger, chopped
  • mini Stroop Wafels
  • espresso powder
  • chocolate or candy coating, melted and poured into chocolate leaf molds

Cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and cream cheese for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.  Scrape down the bowl and beat for another minute.

In another bowl, combine the flour, ginger, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir the espresso powder into the coconut milk to dissolve.  With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake until done, about 21-25 minutes, then set the pans on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel, until cooled completely.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth.  Combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt, and add by spoonfuls to the mixing bowl while mixing on low.  Add the vanilla and molasses, and whip the buttercream on medium high, scraping the bowl occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy, adding a little milk, if needed, to reach the desired consistency.

Fill and frost the cake layers, sprinkling a little chopped candied ginger in between each layer.  Garnish the cake with the Stroop Wafels, chocolate leaves and more candied ginger.  Dust with espresso before serving.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen




  




Holiday Cakes, Cake Decorating, Christmas Cake, Halloween Cake, Thanksgiving Cake, Black and White Cake

Silver Cake Topper, Silver Candle Holder, Christmas Cake, White Cake, Cake Decorating

    3 comments :

    1. THey all look delicious and gorgeous. I would love to know what you put between the layers in the Halloween cake.

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