LOG JAM 2020! I conquered my Christmas 2020 baking goal, which was to make a Bûche de Noël aka LOG JAM aka Yule Log Cake. Life felt pretty jammed there for awhile, didn’t it. Now, with the vaccine on the horizon, things feel a little more hopeful for 2021 – the thought of hugs, gatherings, dinner and cocktails out with friends, DOING STUFF TOGETHER again – could it be possible! I hope and pray for a brighter new year, and health and happiness for all.
There is something very deep 1980s about LOG JAM. Maybe it reminds me of the Christmases of my childhood – a dusting of icing sugar, lil shroom zoomie mushroom buddies, candied rosemary and tart cranberries… I imagine it on a dessert table at my childhood home on a vintage silver platter, next to a cut crystal dish filled with my mom’s chocolate almond brittle, foil-wrapped chocolate bells in red and green, my Poh-poh’s Christmas pudding topped with brandy sauce and whipped cream – being without family this year for Christmas is making me feel extra nostalgic.
Teddy and I have been watching The Great Canadian Baking Show together – it’s our new little ritual. When the opening credits pop up, it’s my job to remark “OOOH, NANAIMO BARS!!” and we share a nerdy little chuckle. It’s peaked his interest in baking, and it’s renewed mine, too – which is a nice feeling after a year of anxiety and squashing of creative juices. Bûche de Noël was one of the challenges in the first season and it got me stoked to finally try making one!
I read so many recipes and tutorials on how to make a yule log cake – I was going to do a chocolate one, but at the last minute (uh, this morning) I decided I would try my friend Sprinkle Bakes’ recipe for pumpkin sponge cake! Check out her bonkers birch bark yule log cake – she is one of my favourite creatives in the baking community, her work is always so precise yet with a vintage/cartoony feel which I love. I filled the cake with a cream cheese whipped cream, and the exterior log is frosted with a simple Nutella chocolate buttercream.
I had originally made some little tiny toadstool mushroom sugar cookies for my Bûche de Noël project – but when I iced them, they looked awful, so I switched gears to the classic meringue mushroom. I really love the toadstool mushroom look, so I tinted half of the meringue red for the mushroom caps! I added a little dusting of icing sugar (because, snow.) I did a truly garbage job of putting the caps onto the stems however – I tried melting white chocolate to use as my glue, but it clumped up – so I used a chopstick to kinda smear some of it onto the underside of the cap, then literally JAMMED (log jammed?) the stem up into the cap. I do not recommend my method as it was sketchy as heck, but you could be smart and melt chocolate properly, then you won’t have that problem! :P
Sprinkle Bakes details how to roll your sponge cake – folks, it’s easier than you think! It was my first time making a roulade and I was sweatin’. But, as long as your cake recipe is spongey and pliable, and you roll the cake into its shape while it’s still warm, you’ll be A-ok! Happy end of 2020, world. LOG JAMMED! May 2021 shine bright with hope! xo Lyndsay
You’re confused, I know. A vegan fried chicken recipe on a cake blog?? Yep. I’ve been experimenting with vegan cooking, eating and baking over the last several years and this vegan fried chicken recipe blew my fragile little mind and I felt the need to share. Especially since everyone loves a crappily lit iPhone photo! Crispy, salty, flavourful, juicy?? How could tofu do this. HOW. Well, the fine folks at Sweet Simple Vegan came up with it, and the “chickeny” texture of the actual tofu comes from one easy hack – freezing the tofu, TWICE, before using. The tofu freezing method is a trick they learned from Mary’s Test Kitchen and it is so … cool, hehe.
The great thing about this recipe is you can use whateverrrr spice mix situation you want. Karaage vibes? Garlic, ginger, sugar, soy, salt and pepper. KFC vibes? Follow Sweet Simple Vegan’s exact spice mix for their vegan KFC fried chicken. I went with whatever I had in the cupboard, which happened to be garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Just be warned – once you make this, you won’t be able to stop. Serve on top of brown rice and salad to pretend you’re being a bit healthy. Or slam into a burger bun with hot sauce and pickles. (Note, you will get your fingers coated in batter-y-ness when prepping this dish, but fear not – you can wash your hands.)
Vegan Fried Chicken
For The Tofu
- 1 16 oz package of medium firm tofu
- Two cups of Faux chicken broth or Vegetable broth such as Better Than Bouillon
For The Buttermilk
- 11/2 cups plant milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For The Coating
- 11/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs
- Flakey sea salt and more fresh ground pepper to finish
Enough vegetable oil for a shallow fry-up! 4 cups or so.
Prepare The Tofu
- You need to freeze and defrost your tofu twice to get the right texture, so really you could just keep blocks of tofu in the freezer until needed.
- Once the tofu is thawed for the second time, press the excess liquid from it by laying the tofu between two cutting boards. Use paper towel to blot up any more liquid.
- Gently apart the tofu into chicken wing-esque pieces – don’t worry if you end up with some weird small pieces, you can batter and fry those too.
- Place the broken up tofu piece carefully into the vegetable broth to marinate, about 15 minutes.
- Now it’s time to set up the dredging stations! In one shallow medium bowl, stir together the plant milk and apple cider vinegar. It will begin to thicken quickly, forming your “buttermilk.”
- In another medium sized bowl, combine the flour, seasonings and panko crumbs.
- Side by side, line up the marinating tofu, the buttermilk, the flour mixture and an additional plate to lay the finished pieces.
- Carefully remove the marinated tofu and submerge into buttermilk, then place into the flour mixture to coat. Place finished pieces on the plate. Once you are finished coating all the pieces, you can repeat the process for extra coating crunch!
- If your tofu falls apart, don’t fret – just squish the pieces back together as best you can, and once it hits the hot oil, carefully press pieces together using metal tongs to reform shapes.
Fry The Tofu
- Heat your vegetable frying oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 350-375 degrees.
- Carefully place your coated pieces into the oil to crisp and brown, turning pieces as needed.
- Place on paper towel to drain and sprinkle generously with flakey sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Serve while hot and crispy!
Kinda fun, right? If you still want to make cake, here’s a vegan cake for you! Happy frying, friends! xo Lyndsay
SHEEEEEET CAKEEEEEE! The ultimate crowd pleaser at a family reunion, 100 guest-list birthday party, high school graduation, etc… often procured from megastores and supermarkets, frosted hastily by power-professionals churning them out by the icing-from-a-bucket dozen. Except this one is a perfectly cute little square, topped with a garden of buttercream roses, made on a very hot day in July, made to celebrate the adorable and awesome Amy Ho’s new baking book: Blooms And Baking! Amy is so talented – one look at her Instagram and you will fall under her whimsical, fantastical spell of perfectly rendered cupcakes, cream puffs, cakes and cookies. Blooms And Baking is jammed with beautiful photos, recipes, step-by-steps and decorating tutorials, all focused on adding unique floral flavours and design to your desserts!
Blooms and Baking!!! Amy of Constellation Inspiration is such a gem. I also love how she combines her Chinese heritage, her love of flowers and cakes and everything cute, into her amazing blog and Instagram.
Since I am on a deep plant-based tear right now, I gently swapped out just a few ingredients to make this a vegan buttercream rose cake! I used Ener-G brand egg replacer instead of one large egg. Note on egg replacers: I find that some egg replacers thicken up your batter toooo much – Bob’s Red Mill was a bust for me. But Ener-G stays loose and doesn’t make your batter into a thick gummy blob. Amy’s one bowl chocolate cake bakes up into a moist, springy delight, and topped with a myriad of buttercream roses?? You’ve got a flower-power winner.
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Piped Buttercream Roses
For The One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- egg replacer equivalent to one large egg
- 1 cup cold coffee
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For The Buttercream
- 1 cup of vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Melt Organics buttery sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- splash of plant milk if needed
Make The Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Spritz a 9 x 9 inch square cake pan with vegetable oil and line with parchment paper if desired.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the egg replacer, coffee, oil and vinegar and mix until no streaks of the flour mixture remain.
- Scrape down the side of the bowl to make sure no clumps remain.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- Bake the cake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
Make The Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and vegan butter on high to combine, about one minute.
- Add the icing sugar and pure vanilla extract. Pulse mixer on lowest speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Divide buttercream amongst bowls to colour individually for buttercream roses, drop stars and leaves.
Decorate The Cake
- Make a whole whack load of buttercream roses!
- You will need a large flower nail, parchment paper squares, piping bags and a few petal piping tips – Wilton #103 or #104.
- Cut 1×1 inch squares of parchment paper.
- Watch Amy pipe buttercream roses here!! Instead of a cupcake, add a dab of buttercream to a piping nail. Stick a piece of parchment paper on top of it. Then, create the center bud of the rose – then the petals!
- Freeze all of your buttercream roses until firm, about twenty minutes, before placing them onto your completely cooled cake.
- Fill in the gaps and holes with drop stars and piped leaves.
Happy baking, piping and eating, cake pals! xo Lyndsay
Three cheers for homemade bubble tea! My sister gifted us with a do-it-yourself bubble tea kit, including these awesome reusable metal straws. Having just had bing soo at a local Asian desserts spot, I washed the cups out with hot soapy water like a NERD so our homemade bubble tea would look just like the shops. For some weird reason, Rich, Teddy and I ALL LOVE a banana-flavoured thing. Real banana, faux banana, any old banana flavour – we are fans! This banana milk bubble tea is so simple to make, it’s really just a banana milkshake smoothie type thing, and you can control the consistency by adding ice, or adding more ice cream, or more milk. Plus, you can even easily make this vegan by using oat milk and plant based ice cream! So yes, blending up a bunch of ingredients in a smoothie is very simple. Making the “bubbles” aka pearls aka tapioca PARTY BALLS is also very easy! The dried brown tapioca pearls kind of look like little rabbit turds. BUT FEAR NOT! Once you cook them, they will look like… glutinous black tadpoles. BUT FEAR NOT AGAIN! Once you soak them in a simple syrup, and then spoon them into the bottom of your cup, then fill with delicious icy creamy banana milk, they become those chewy-sweet satisfying bubbles once again. Hehe.
Banana Milk Bubble Tea
For the pearls
- For each serving, 3 tablespoons of dried tapioca pearls
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
For The Banana Milk
- 3 medium bananas, ripe, unpeeled and frozen
- 3 cups + of whole milk (or plant based milk)
- 3 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream (or plant based ice cream)
- Ice cubes, if desired
Make The Pearls
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from heat and allow to thicken and cool.
- In a small saucepan, boil water. Add the dried tapioca pearls, and cook on medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so pearls don’t stick to the pot.
- Drain the pearls in a colander over the sink; let cool slightly.
- Add the cooked pearls to the simple syrup, allowing them to soak up the syrup, about twenty minutes. I put mine in the fridge for this time period.
Make The Banana Milk
- Place the ripe, frozen bananas, milk, ice cream and ice, if using, in a high powered blender and… BLEND!
- Add more milk if you want a looser consistency, or more ice if you want a more slush-like consistency.
- Spoon syrup-soaked pearls into the bottoms of three large cups.
- Pour the banana milk on top, plunk in a reusable bubble tea straw and enjoy immediately!
Pearls should be eaten within a few hours of being cooked, so just cook enough for each serving. You can find dried tapioca pearls online or in bubble tea shops. You can also experiment and add in grass jelly or any other favourite bubble tea add-ins! Happy blending! xo Lyndsay
What is your favourite bubble tea? We very recently put on masks and scarily hit up THE MALL to get bubble tea at Chatime with Teddy’s cousins. Everything with Horrible Covid feels terrifying until you do it. The first time I went grocery shopping in March, I had so much anxiety. Now, wearing masks in stores and sanitizing your hands constantly is this terrible new norm. The mall was fairly sparse, most people were wearing masks and staying far apart from each other. We parked right by the food fair entrance and whisked in to pick up our taro slushes with pearls and banana milk teas with pearls… little hits of normalcy, my first bubble tea in many months! It also reminded me… that I never posted this DEEEELICIOUS Yuanyang coffee milk tea cake I made in the Fall! Sheesh.
I wanted to make a special cake to commemorate my sweet friend Cynthia‘s brilliant cookbook A Common Table – a drool-worthy book seriously slam-jammed with every delicious thing you want to eat, comfort food with Asian and Southern (!!) twists. Cynthia has a recipe for Hong Kong style coffee tea in her book – brewed coffee, and milky tea made with condensed milk, combined to create a caffeine blast of flavour! This cake features coffee milk tea soaked vanilla cake layers, coffee milk tea swiss meringue buttercream, crispy cute meringue kisses and fresh raspberries!
I love the little milky tea bits speckled throughout the buttercream. The buttercream has a few steps, but the tea flavour is so lovely – you steep the tea in melted butter, strain the butter and re-chill the butter until it’s roughly room temperature. It’s a butter-steeping trick I learned from the amazing Tessa of Style Sweet! Another trick I’ve discovered when making swiss meringue buttercream – swoop up a bit of the whipped meringue right before adding the butter. Pipe the meringue into kisses onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and voila – you’ll have crispy cute textural decorations for the top of your cake!
Yuanyang Coffee Milk tea Cake
6-inch round 3 layer cake - serves 10 to 12
For The Coffee Milk Tea
- 2 cups water
- 4 Ceylon or English Breakfast tea bags
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup strong coffee, hot
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
For The Vanilla Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
For The Coffee Milk Tea Buttercream
- 2 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup loose ceylon or English breakfast tea leaves (or four tea bags)
- 1 cup egg whites (about 7 to 8 large eggs)
- 2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure coffee extract
- 2 tablespoons coffee milk tea mixture
- pinch of salt
For The Decoration
- Fresh raspberries, gently washed and dried
- Meringue kisses
- Piping bag fitted with open star tip filled half way with coffee milk tea buttercream
Make The Coffee Milk Tea Soak
- Steep tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the baking soda, then the coffee.
- Stir in the evaporated milk and the sweetened condensed milk. Add more sugar to taste, if desired.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of coffee milk tea for adding to the buttercream.
Make The Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line three 6 inch x 2 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine.
- Pour in the melted butter and oil.
- Gently stir everything together until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean with only moist crumbs attached.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Make The Buttercream
- In a medium sauce pan on low to medium heat, combine the butter and the loose tea leaves until the butter melts. Reduce to low heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let the tea steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain the butter through a fine-mesh-sieve set over a bowl and refrigerate until it reaches softened butter consistency – 20 to 30 minutes.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisking to combine.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and place it over medium-high heat.
- Place the stand mixer bowl on top, creating a double-boiler effect (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water.)
- Whisking intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) on a candy thermometer.
- Carefully move the mixer bowl back to the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white and sugar mixture on high speed for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches medium-stiff peaks. The mixture should have cooled down now to room temperature.
- If making meringue kisses, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with up to one cup of meringue. Pipe drop stars on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake until dried out and crisp.
- On the stand mixer, swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla paste, tea infused butter and remaining 1 cup of butter about a tablespoon at a time.
- Once incorporated, add the coffee extract, pinch of salt, then the first tablespoon of coffee milk tea and turn the mixer to medium-high and beat to combine; add the final tablespoon and beat on medium high until buttercream is thick and lustrous.
Decorate The Cake
- Place a 7 inch round cake board or cake platter of your choice on a cake turntable. Add a dollop of buttercream, then place the first cake layer on top, levelling if need be. Using a pastry brush, soak the layer with coffee milk tea. You can be fairly generous with the soak – you don’t want it to soak so much that it loses structure, so start with one layer of soak, let it seep into the layer then add additional soak layers.
- Once the layer has been soaked, spread a generous amount of coffee milk tea buttercream on top. Repeat with the next two layers.
- Frost the entire exterior of the cake, using a cake bench scraper to smooth. Chill first layer of buttercream in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and add a second layer of buttercream, again using scraper to smooth, if desired.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip with remaining buttercream (any leftovers can be used for future cupcakes!).
- Pipe drop stars on the top of the cake, nestling fresh raspberries and meringue kisses amongst the piping, in a pattern that pleases you. Reserve additional berries and meringues for serving!
Serve this cake up with … yup, ADDITIONAL CUPS OF YUANYANG COFFEE MILK TEA, if you so desire! Hehe. You could even chill your cups of coffee milk tea and add pearls! (I just learned how to cook them, super easy – I’ll post about it soon!) I want to congratulate Cynthia on such a beautiful book – not only are the recipes so crave-worthy, Cynthia’s writing is so soothing, and the photography just as comforting!
Happy baking, cake pals! and PS – my favourite bubble tea is roasted milk tea with pearls, taro slush with pearls, or BANANA milk tea with pearls … xo Lyndsay
I was asked by Carusele to be a part of this fun Fall holiday baking campaign, sponsored by Splenda Stevia Canada. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own!
FALL BAKING IS HERE! Which also means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Time to get cozy and light some candles and rustle up some casseroles and … make this apple crumble oatmeal cookie crust pie! Perfect for the holiday table, in my humble crumble opinion… hehe.
Warm crumbly streusel on top of thinly sliced sweet apples with cinnamon and lemon, with my favourite oatmeal cookie crust. It’s pretty much Fall in a pie pan. And… it’s also made without sugar! How, you say? Splenda® Stevia No Calorie Sweetener, I say! It baked up just like my usual pie, nicely sweetened and perfect for those who can’t have a lot of extra sugar in their diet. I also swapped out the butter for vegan butter to give it a try -and it turned out great! Also, stevia factoid for you: Splenda® Stevia gets its sweetness from the stevia leaf and is sourced from the sweeter, cleaner-tasting part of thestevia leaf—so no bitter aftertaste! Noice.
I went for organic gala apples for my pie – but you can choose any firm apple, and Fall is obviously the perfect time to find many local apple gems at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
I like to thinly slice my apples, I think it looks prettier than chopped apples – I also leave the skin on for colour and fiber!
The filling is very simple: sliced apples, lemon juice, Splenda Stevia, cinnamon, cornstarch and a pinch of salt!
Pour the filling into the baked oatmeal cookie crust.
Streusel time! I love the soft tactile feeling of making streusel, hehe.
Spoon on ye old streusel!
I use a large spoon to help place the streusel onto the sides.
Streusel and apple dome! I try to pile it up nice and high as the apples will reduce in size when baked.
I am very proud of my fanning-of-apples technique for decorating! Make sure you brush lemon juice onto the decorative apple slices to keep them from going brown.
Yum! I also found sugar-free vanilla ice cream to top the pie! It’s fun to know that there’s options out there for all dessert lovers -even those who can’t have a lot of sugar in their diets!
Apple Crumble Oatmeal Cookie Crust Pie
For The Oatmeal Cookie Crust
- 6 tablespoons Splenda Stevia
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) cut into 1/2 inch cubes, at room temperature
For The Apple Filling
- Six medium apples, cored and sliced thinly
- juice of half of one medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup Splenda Stevia
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
For The Streusel
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons Splenda Stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) cut into 1/2 inch cubes, at room temperature
Make The Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together all the ingredients except the vegan butter in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle in the vegan butter pieces and toss to coat.
- Rub the vegan butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until incorporated and the mixture is chunky but not homogenous.
- Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie pan.
- Bake in the middle oven rack for 18-20 minutes.
- If the crust slumps a little, use a small spatula to pat it back into place. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool. Keep the oven on!
Make The Filling
- Wash and thinly slice the apples. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, Splenda Stevia, cinnamon, cornstarch and salt and toss to coat the apples evenly.
- Pile the apple mixture into the slightly cooled oatmeal cookie crust and set aside.
Make The Streusel
- Stir together the flour, Splenda Stevia and salt in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle in the vegan butter pieces and toss to coat.
- Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is chunky but not homogenous.
- Using a large spoon, carefully sprinkle streusel mixture onto the top of the pie. Using the spoon, press the mixture onto the sides of the pie, using your hands to press in if needed.
- Place the pie on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the filling is soft and bubbly and the topping has browned. You can very carefully brown the top of the pie for a minute or two on the Broil setting, but be very careful your pie doesn’t burn!
- Let pie cool to room temperature. Serve with your favourite sugar free ice cream or 0% greek yogurt, or enjoy on its own!
And here’s me chowing down on a slice of apple crumble oatmeal cookie crust pie in my favourite Fall comfort zone denim jumpsuit! Happy baking, my friends! xo Lyndsay
I’m so excited to share this pink guava cake from my wonderful blog pal Alana’s book Aloha Kitchen: Recipes From Hawai’i!!! If you’re a reader of this blog you may know how much Hawai’i means to our family, guava always reminds me of POG juice and shave ice, and sippin’ on an icy, condensation-droplet-covered can of Passo-Guava Hawaiian Sun. Ahhhhhh… I think I also personally feel quite at home there (an Asian with tattoos!) and am very lucky to have visited several times in my life. It was my goal destination for when my chemo and radiation was over, back in 2015. Maui was where my husband sailed to from Vancouver, on a tiny sailboat with his best friend, and I flew and met him there, back in 2008. Hawai’i was even the theme of our own January wedding here in Vancouver, Canada back in 2007… so reading Alana’s cookbook brought back many memories of one of my favourite places ever!
Not only is Aloha Kitchen a beautifully photographed cookbook, but just flipping through it alone may very well make you start drooling – it is filled with everything I want to eat, that mash-up of Asian and Polynesian and “America” cultures resulting in things like Spam musubi, mochiko chicken, noodles, sushi, rice, kalbi beef… and desserts like this pink guava cake, tangy and soft, tender layers sandwiched with guava purée whipped frosting. I upped the “tang” and texture factor by adding my favourite freeze-dried raspberries to the top! (PS that’s my blog BFF Steph from I Am A Food Blog being my cake-holding model! Hehe.)
So dig right into this Aloha Kitchen guava cake! Perfect for summer or anytime you want to invite the warm glow and feel and deliciousness of Hawai’i into your life… If you can’t find guava puree or guava concentrate, simply reduce a 1 litre carton of 100% guava juice by boiling it over hight heat until its reduced by more than half, about 40 minutes. Any leftover guava concentrate can be swirled into yogurt or vanilla ice cream!
Aloha Kitchen Guava Cake
For The Guava Cake
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 11/4 cups sugar
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/4 neutral oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup guava purée or guava concentrate
- pink gel colouring (optional but cuteness factor high!)
For The Frosting
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups icing sugar, plus more if desired
- pinch of kosher salt
- tiny amount of pink gel colouring
- 1/2 cup guava purée or guava concentrate
Bake The Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper – I used three 7 x 2 inch round pans.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and kosher salt, whisking until combined.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg whites, in three additions, beating each addition until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the oil and mix until combined, about 1 minute or more.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, guava purée and food colouring.
- On low speed, alternate between adding the wet and dry ingredients, mixing each until combined before adding the next addition.
- Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean – 25-30 minutes for the one pan, 18-20 minutes for the three round pans. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make The Frosting
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until frothy. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until it’s light and fluffy with stiff peaks, another 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over whip! Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl.
- Return the bowl to the stand mixer and fit with the paddle attachment, no need to clean the bowl. Place the cream cheese in the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth.
- Add the sugar and pinch of salt and increase the speed to high. Beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Gradually pour in the guava purée in four additions, making sure the purée is fully incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Increase the speed to high and beat until smooth and incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the stand and, using the spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream in three additions, incorporating completely after each addition.
Assemble The Cake
- Fill the cooled cake layers with frosting, using an offset spatula to smooth. Add a generous layer of frosting to the top of the cake, spreading to the edges of the cake.
- Sprinkle with freeze dried raspberries and chill for at least two hours before serving!
Congrats Alana on your amazing book! I love it so much and can’t wait to cook through the whole thing! xo Lyndsay
I’m definitely no braggart (I’m a humble Canadian) but I’m gonna tell you why I think this *could* be the best ice cream cake ever. Number one: EASY TO EXECUTE with some COOL ICE CREAM CAKE HACKS such as adding almost an entire package of Oreo cookies to the ice cream filling. Number two: DEERICIOUS. I’ve made three of these in the last few months and have been keeping a mental note, tweaking it each time – so I’m going to share with you this easy ice cream cake made in a ten inch round springform pan, using store bought ice cream! There are a few steps to this cake, but while the layers are freezing you can go about and do other things and come back to the cake. Note: you will want to make this ice cream cake the day before you plan to serve it, giving it sufficient time to harden in the freezer. Using stabilized (gelatin-added) whipped cream is what will give your cake the piped Dairy Queen look – but if you’re not down with the horse hooves, you can simply unmold the cake and add whipped cream just before serving!
Lightly coloured whipped cream variation: cute!!! (I used a tiny bit of turquoise gel food colouring).
Best Ice Cream Cake Ever (said several children and adults)
For The Crust
- 1 1/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For The Ice Cream Filling
- One 1.66 litre (3.5 pints) of cookies and cream ice cream (or whatever flavour your fancy)
- Thirty full size Oreo cookies (2/3 of one 500 gram package of Oreos), broken into smaller pieces
For The Chocolate Fudge Topping
- 1/3 cup nice quality Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pinch of sea salt
For The Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
- 4 teaspoons water
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream (33% milk fat)
- 1/4 cup (or to taste) icing sugar
- optional: toothpick’s tip of gel food colouring
Make The Crust
- In a small saucepan set on the stovetop, melt the butter.
- Remove saucepan from heat and add the Oreo cookie crumbs, stirring with a small spatula until it resembles coarse black sand.
- Pour the mixture into the springform pan and press the mixture into a flat even layer. I use a small offset spatula to press it down!
- Freeze until solid, about twenty to thirty minutes.
"Make" the Filling
- Working quickly, empty the softened ice cream container into a large bowl, stirring the ice cream into a spreadable texture.
- Add the broken up Oreo cookie pieces and fold in with a spatula to combine.
- Remove the spring form pan from the freezer and pour the ice cream and cookie mixture into the pan, using an offset spatula to spread ice cream to the edges and level the mixture.
- Place in freezer and chill for three hours until firm.
Make The Fudge Topping
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Once the butter begins to melt, slowly whisk everything together.
- Remove from heat and let cool until thickened and cooled. You can even power-chill it in the fridge or freezer – just make sure it doesn’t get too thick as it will be harder to spread onto the ice cream layer.
- Remove the ice cream cake from the freezer. Working quickly, pour the fudge topping onto the center and using an offset spatula, spread the fudge topping towards the edges into an even layer.
- Place back in the freezer and chill overnight.
Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream
- The morning of the day you plan to serve the cake, whip up this stabilized whipped cream.
- In a small saucepan, add one teaspoon of gelatin and four teaspoons of water. Heat on low heat until the mixture has thickened but not jelled.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar, gel food colouring (if using) and the gelatin and beat on high speed until thick and billowy. Do not overbeat.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a multi-pronged tip with the whipped cream and set aside.
- Remove the cake from the freezer. Carefully unmold the edges of the springform pan; the fudge layer might pull away a little but don’t fret, as this will be covered by the piped whipped cream. The cake will still be on the springform base. Place the whole cake onto a large cake plate.
- Pipe a border of whipped cream drop stars on top of the cake, adding more piping if so desired. Add sprinkles of your choice (I used my Coco Cake Land x Sweetapolita sprinkles mix!) and place back in freezer, covered with a cake dome, (or uncovered if you don’t have stinky things in your freezer) until serving time.
1. Make sure you have a flat surface in your freezer to work with!
2. While you’re making the crust, bring the ice cream out of the freezer to soften. You’ll want it to soften on the countertop for about twenty minutes until it’s creamy and spreadable but not melting.
3. Clean cookies: break up your Oreos by hand into large pieces over top of a large bowl, or place the Oreos into a zip-top bag and lightly bash with a rolling pin.
4. Make sure the ice cream layer is sufficiently frozen hard before adding the cooled fudge topping.
5. Whip it good: Make stabilized whipped cream. Start with a very cold stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment or beaters – I always place mine in the freezer for ten minutes to get really cold! Place the cake in the springform pan on a large cake plate. Unmold your springform pan, decorate with whipped cream, add sprinkles, then cover your cake with a cake dome if you have one, and back into the freezer for at least three hours to freeze. Using a cake dome ensures you won’t muck up your prettily piped whipped cream. *If you want two colours of whipped cream, finish whipping the cream then divide into two bowls. Very carefully fold in gel colour to each bowl.
6. Freeze the ice cream cake overnight, or at least 12 hours, before serving. This will ensure it is solid when cut into.
7. Alternately, you could also bypass making your own whipped cream and use a store bought cannister of whipped cream, spraying and sprinkling just before serving. You won’t get that frozen whipped cream DQ cake vibe, but still cute and delicious!
8. When it’s time to slice the cake, remove from freezer and let the cake stand at room temperature for about ten minutes to gently soften – on a hot day this may not be necessary. Remove from serving plate (cake will still be on springform pan base) and place the cake onto a large flat cutting board. Using a large sharp kitchen knife, slice into wedges.
Coloured whipped cream variation! Next time I’m adding chocolate drips to the sides to cute it up even MORE!
Got any ice cream cake making tips to share? I would love to hear! Happy ice cream cake making, buddies! xo Lyndsay