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    Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders and my Mother’s Day Brunch Menu (with Recipes)

    A pan of Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders is the easiest and tastiest make-ahead main dish for Mother’s Day Brunch. Learn how to make them, and get my entire Mother’s Day Brunch menu with recipes.

    Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I’m always eager to explore a new menu for our annual brunch gathering. This year I tested a new savory dish – Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders. They were so simple to assemble, and you can do most of work a day (or two!) ahead. This is such a time-saver and you won’t have to be tied to the kitchen. Instead, you can spend more time with the special ladies in your life.
    This isn’t the first year I’ve shared my Mother’s Day Brunch menu. You can see a previous feast from 2018 right here. This new menu reflects a few items that can be served to those with gluten intolerance. My sweet mother-in-law has a few dietary considerations. So this menu has something for everyone.

    Prep the Buns
    Start with some ready-made rolls or slider buns. Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are perfect for this. Because they are so soft and delicious, and they also fit perfectly in a 9×9 inch pan. Or, you can use brioche slider buns. They’re slightly less sweet than the Hawaiian rolls, if that matters to you. Remove the rolls from their packaging and, without separating them, slice them in half horizontally.
    Then, spread the cut side of the roll bottoms with a mixture of horseradish cream and mayo. And make sure that you’re using horseradish cream – and not straight up horseradish! The latter is too assertive to use as a sandwich spread. (Well, I think so anyway..)

    Layer on Ham and Cheese
    Assemble a layer of deli sliced ham on top. Black Forest ham is slightly smoky and very savory, which contrasts the sweetness of the rolls. It’s what I used and recommend. Next, place slices of Swiss cheese in an even layer over the ham.
    Place the roll tops on the assembled ham and swiss. At this stage, you can cover the entire pan and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Or, you if you’re serving the same day, you can just carry on with the recipe as directed.

    Make the Slider Dressing
    Melt a stick of butter in a saucepan, then sauté some chopped onion in the butter. Then you’ll add a little brown sugar, spicy brown mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and garlic powder. Mix this all up and cook until everything looks incorporated and saucy. This only takes about 5 minutes.

    Dress the Sandwiches
    Pour the mixture from the pan on top of the rolls, or spoon it over if that seems easier. There’s more than enough of the mixture to generously coat all of the rolls.

    Cover and Chill Overnight
    If you’re making this one day ahead, then you can dress the rolls then refrigerate them overnight. However, if they’re going to be hanging out in the refrigerator for a couple of days, wait to dress the rolls until the day before or the day of baking. Because the dressed sliders may become soggy over time in the refrigerator.

    Serve from the Pan
    The sliders will stay warmer longer if they’re kept together and served from the pan. These are delicious warm, but also quite good at room temperature! So even if they cool, they’re still going to taste awesome.

    A Gluten-Free Main – Triple Cheese Omelet Bake
    Triple Cheese Omelet Bake is another make-ahead gem that often shows up for our Christmas Breakfast. (Who wants to be in the kitchen all of Christmas morning?) But it’s convenient for nearly any occasion, even just for a quick breakfast that you can scoop out and heat up in portions during the work week.
    This recipe is naturally gluten-free, provided your cheeses aren’t hiding any gluten in stabilizers or thickeners (so be a label-reader!). I adapt this recipe further, replacing the cheeses and milk with dairy-free options. You can read more about my swaps in the recipe notes in this blog post.

    Chilled Bites
    Cold shrimp cocktail is a mainstay at most of my gatherings, because it’s refreshing, unfussy, and there’s little work involved. Just get yourself some large cooked cocktail shrimp (tails on) and some ready-made cocktail sauce. Portion some of the sauce in small glasses with a few shrimp arranged around the edges. Or you could put them out buffet-style – all on a plate with the sauce in the center. If you’re looking to up the ante, you could make my Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail Shooters, which is easy and a little fancy.
    Brunch needs salad, if you ask me. One of my favorites is made with already triple-washed spring mix, sliced strawberries, with a scattering of almonds (or pecans). Serve with your favorite ready-made dressing. I love blue cheese on this, and balsamic vinaigrette is tasty for those who can’t have dairy.
    Place a bowl of chilled cut fruit nearby. Melon chunks, berries, and grapes give a nice variety. And they can all be prepped a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

    Fancy Chips
    Personally, I love chips with a sandwich. Terra Chips are made of a variety of root vegetables such as yucca, white and orange sweet potato, parsnips, and beets. These look so pretty on the table, and they go well with the ham and cheese sliders. You can find them at just about any grocery store. I serve them often!

    Sweet Things
    I think I’ve mentioned before that my mom was a pastor’s wife (now retired). So, she’s done her fair share of cooking and serving her community. She often made these Pineapple Orange Muffins for fellowships, potlucks, and receptions. We just love them. They store well and stay moist, due to the entire can of undrained pineapple in the batter. Get the recipe for them right here.

    I couldn’t resist making my Cinnamon Roll Bundt Cake for this brunch! Instead of keeping it in cake form, I sliced it into easy to serve pieces. Which also better showcases its swirly interior.

    A Citrusy, Rosy Punch
    Lemon Sorbet Punch is a trusted favorite for all kinds of parties and receptions (I developed the recipe in 2015!). It starts with a can of frozen lemon concentrate, and if you use the pink lemonade variety, you’ll end up with the rosy hue you see here. Visit this recipe right here.

    This menu isn’t difficult to put together – especially the make-ahead Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders – also the Triple Cheese Omelet Bake. If you have too little time to make the sweets, I’d recommend a tall platter of your favorite purchased doughnuts (such as Krispy Kreme – the glazed originals for my crowd!)
    Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, and to every person who fills that role!
    Related recipe: My Mother’s Day Brunch Menu With Recipes

    Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders

    Heather Baird

    These sliders are so easy to assemble, and you can customize them to your favorite meat and cheese, although the combination of ham and Swiss is not to be missed! (See recipe notes for variations). Make them ahead for an easy bake-and-serve dish. Hawaiian sweet rolls are widely available and one 12 oz. package fits perfectly into a 9×9 inch dish. If you’re looking for a less sweet options, the use brioche slider rolls, which can be found at most grocery stores in the bakery section.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 25 minutes minsCook Time 30 minutes minsTotal Time 55 minutes mins

    Course Brunch, Main CourseCuisine American

    Servings 12 sliders

    Equipment9×9 inch baking dish
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 12 oz. Hawaiian sweet rolls (1 package) or brioche slicer buns¼ cup horseradish cream sauce¼ cup mayonnaise¾ lb. sliced deli ham such as Black Forest ham8 slices Swiss cheese½ cup salted butter3 tablespoons chopped onion1 tablespoon light brown sugar1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard such as Gulden’s2 teaspoons poppy seeds2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce½ teaspoon garlic powder
    Instructions Cut the rolls in half horizontally without separating them.In a small bowl, whisk together the horseradish cream sauce and mayo until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture over the cut side of the roll bottoms. Place the roll bottoms into a 9×9-inch baking dish with deep sides.Layer ham evenly over the horseradish mixture, followed by the Swiss cheese. Replace the roll tops.Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook while stirring, until the onion is tender and translucent. Stir in the brown sugar, mustard, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Stir until the sugar is melted, about 1 minutes.Pour the mixture over the rolls. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. (See recipe notes for longer storage).Preheat the oven to 350F.Bake the rolls covered in the foil for 25 minutes. Then uncover and bake until golden brown and shiny on top, about 5-7 minutes more.Serve warm or at room temperature.
    NotesMake 2+ Days Ahead: If you need an even longer head start on these sliders, then assemble the sandwiches, cover and refrigerate, but do not add the buttery dressing. Dressed, these can become soggy over more than a couple of days in the refrigerator. Make the dressing and pour over the rolls the day before serving and refrigerate. Or, just do it the day of serving (it only takes about 5 minutes to cook!).
    Switch up the flavors!

    Spicy Chipotle: Use chipotle mayo instead of the horseradish sauce mixture, use deli turkey instead of ham, and add pepper jack cheese instead of Swiss. .
    Southern BBQ: Keep the horseradish sauce, but add some barbecue sauce to it for a tangy kick. Use pulled pork from your favorite BBQ joint (or grocery store), cheddar cheese instead of Swiss, and serve these with a side of cole slaw.
    Cuban-Inspired: (Tampa Cuban) Coat roll bottoms with a thin, even layer of mustard instead of horseradish sauce, and keep the ham, but add a layer of Genoa salami. Add slices of dill pickles and Swiss cheese.

    Keyword baked sliders, deli ham, ham and cheese sliders, Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, horseradish sauce, make ahead main dish, make ahead party food, poppy seeds, sliders, swiss cheese, Worcestershire sauce

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Bourbon Brown Sugar Cupcakes

    These Bourbon Brown Sugar Cupcakes are inspired by the flavors of Derby Pie, which is often served during the Kentucky Derby. Brown sugar cupcakes have a bourbon-walnut praline center, and they’re topped with rich bourbon-spiked chocolate buttercream.

    The Kentucky Derby is held the first Saturday in May each year. And as a dyed-in-the-wool southerner I can’t let it pass by without celebrating it with food. I’ve said it before – I’m not really a follower of thoroughbreds, but I am a huge fan of the food that surrounds Derby Day!
    This cupcake recipe starts with a brown sugar cake batter, which has a healthy dose of bourbon in the mix. A bourbon-walnut praline filling is baked right into the cupcake. Which gives it something akin to a ‘bourbon ball‘ center. Chocolate buttercream – again – spiked with bourbon, has truffle-like flavor and consistency. Toasted walnuts and mini chocolate chips give a nod to it’s inspiration – Derby Pie. Have you heard of it?

    Inspired by Derby Pie
    To understand the inspiration for this cupcake, you first need to know about Derby Pie. It’s a famous dessert that originated in Louisville, Kentucky. Rich and decadent, it’s typically made with a filling of chocolate chips, walnuts, and bourbon. (Think pecan pie family, but with chocolate and walnuts.) While Derby Pie is not an official dish created specifically for the Kentucky Derby, it has become strongly associated with the event.
    The Derby Pie recipe was created in the 1950’s by the Kern family, who own Kern’s Kitchen in Louisville. They are highly protective of their secret family recipe and the confection’s trademark name, which is why you probably won’t ever find a copycat recipe for it here.

    Make the Bourbon Walnut Praline
    Mix up the bourbon walnut praline filling first, since it needs to be refrigerated before use. Combine the following until well blended: toasted chopped walnuts, vanilla wafer crumbs, brown sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup (or honey), and bourbon, of course. Put it in the refrigerator while you make the cupcakes.
    Bourbon Buying Tip: Use a Kentucky bourbon that you like to drink. Or, something with a pleasing fragrance. Super fancy and expensive varieties need not apply. Just use something mid-range such as Wild Turkey 101, or a small bottle of Maker’s Mark will do the trick. 80 proof is fine. Because most of the alcohol cooks out during baking.

    Make the Brown Sugar Cake Batter
    Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then add in egg one at a time. Alternate the dry ingredients with sour cream and bourbon. All of which results in a heavenly spiced fluffy cake batter.

    Divide the batter between cupcake liners using a trigger ice cream scoop (such as this one). Then, with a teaspoon measure, scoop the chilled walnut praline mixture on top of each scoop of cake batter. Press the praline mixture down into the batter with the back of the teaspoon. Next, gently swirl the cake batter over the praline. Use a butter knife for this – it works well! (See video for this action.)

    Bake and Cool
    Bake the cupcakes in a preheated 350°F oven for about 18 minutes. When they’re done, the cupcake tops will be cracked and the filling will have bubbled up a little. Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.

    Make the Chocolate Bourbon-Spiked Buttercream
    Cream together room temperature butter with confectioners’ sugar. Then add melted unsweetened chocolate (the Baker’s Bar kind) and 2 tablespoons of bourbon. If you can’t find unsweet chocolate, you can use bittersweet chocolate as a substitute. Beat everything together until thick and consistently chocolate-hued. Add in whole milk a little at a time to thin the mixture, then whip until light and fluffy.

    Frost the Cupcakes
    Immediately transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a French piping tip (open star, Ateco #828). Pipe one swirl of frosting onto each cupcake and immediately sprinkle on chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips.
    Note: This chocolate frosting has setting properties akin to ganache. However, not quite as firmly set. But still firm enough to clog your piping tip if you leave it at room temp for more than 30 minutes. So don’t tarry with the frosting – get to piping!

    Garnish your Bourbon Brown Sugar Cupcakes with black cocktail cherries. Although, this can be optional. But it’s such a nice touch. And it’s a nod to the popular Old Fashioned cocktail, made with bourbon and muddled cherries. Find them for purchase right here!

    And if you’re all in for the Derby theme, then you can find the cute equestrian cocktail picks I used right here.

    I can’t help but think these would be great for Father’s Day as well. But with their bourbon ball-like centers and lightly spiced brown sugar cake? Also fall and winter holidays. (I know, too soon!)

    If you’re looking for something rich, decadent, and uniquely southern – then this may be the ticket. Make them for Derby Day, Father’s Day, or for the bourbon enthusiast/aficionado in your life. Or if you’re always looking ahead (like me!) bookmark them for holiday fare. Because nothing says special occasion like a sweet treat infused with good ol’ Kentucky bourbon.
    Related Recipe: Derby Pie Truffles

    Bourbon Brown Sugar Cupcakes

    Heather Baird

    These Bourbon Brown Sugar Cupcakes are inspired by the staple dessert of the Kentucky Derby: Derby Pie. Brown sugar cake batter is infused with bourbon, and filled with a bourbon walnut-praline mixture – flavors and textures that resemble a classic bourbon ball. The bourbon-spiked chocolate buttercream makes these truly decadent, and worthy treat for watching the most exciting two minutes in sports. However, you don’t have to be a Derby fan to make these cupcakes.See recipe notes for no-alcohol suggestions.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 18 minutes mins30 minutes cooling time 30 minutes minsTotal Time 1 hour hr 8 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, Southern United States

    Servings 16

    EquipmentDecorator piping tip Ateco #828Piping bag
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Bourbon walnut praline filling1/4 cup chopped walnuts toasted1/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs3/4 teaspoon unsweet cocoa powder1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar1 teaspoon light corn syrup or honey1 tablespoon Kentucky bourbonBrown sugar cupcakes2 cups cake flour2 teaspoons baking powder1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon allspice1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature3/4 cup light brown sugar2 large eggs3/4 cup sour cream1/4 cup Kentucky bourbonBourbon chocolate buttercream4 oz. unsweet chocolate chopped1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature2 cups confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon1/4 cup whole milk or cream1/4 cup chopped walnuts toasted3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips16 black cocktail cherries such as Amarena or Luxardo cherries
    Instructions Bourbon walnut praline fillingCombine the walnuts, vanilla wafer crumbs, cocoa powder, and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the corn syrup and bourbon. Mix well with a rubber spatula until well blended. Refrigerate the mixture while you make the cupcakes.Brown sugar cupcakesPreheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with 16 paper liners.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sea salt. Set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs in one at a time. Mix well after each addition.Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Add half of the sour cream and all of the bourbon to the batter; beat until just combined. Add in another 1/3 of the dry flour mixture; mix again. Add the remaining sour cream; mix until just combined. Finally, add the last 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until a fluffy consistent batter is achieved, about 2 minutes.Portion the batter into the prepared cupcake tins (use a trigger ice cream scoop if you have one, or 1/4 cup measure). Remove the bourbon walnut praline filling from the refrigerator and scoop it by the level 1 teaspoonful. Place one teaspoon of the filling on top of each portioned cup of batter. Press the filling down into the batter using the back of the teaspoon, or with a butter knife. Gently swirl the batter over the filling (see video for this action).Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen, the tops are slightly crackled. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.Bourbon chocolate buttercreamPlace the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 1 minute increments at 100% power, stirring well in between heatings, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (About 2 minutes total time.) Set aside to cool slightly.Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed at first, then medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly and partially combined. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and the bourbon. Mix again until a thick consistently chocolate frosting is achieved. Add milk and beat until light and fluffy. If mixture seems thick, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes to piping consistency.Immediately transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (also called French piping tip, or Ateco #828). Pipe one swirl on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with walnuts and mini chocolate chips. Add one cocktail cherry to each center swirl of frosting.Store cupcakes air tight in a cupcake keeper, or well covered with plastic wrap.
    NotesWhat to expect: These cakes are rich with a sturdy brown sugar cake base filled with bourbon walnut praline. The center tastes like a classic bourbon ball. The frosting is rich and deeply chocolaty. When first assembled, you may have a slight boozy note of alcohol from the frosting, but the next day the bourbon will have mellowed and all that’s left is the nuanced flavors of the bourbon.
    No Alcohol Version: It’s difficult to find a good replacement for bourbon in baking recipes. My choice is apple juice (no sugar added) mixed with a little bourbon vanilla extract. For this recipe, replace the bourbon in the filling with 1 tablespoon apple juice, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.  For the cake portion, replace the 1/4 cup bourbon with 1/4 cup apple juice with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. For the buttercream, simply omit the bourbon and replace it with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
    Pipe Swiftly: This chocolate frosting has setting properties akin to ganache. However, not quite as firmly set. But still firm enough to clog your piping tip if you leave it at room temp for more than 30 minutes. So don’t tarry with the frosting – get to piping!
    What Kind of Bourbon: Use a Kentucky bourbon that you like to drink. Or, something with a fragrance that you find pleasing. Super fancy and expensive varieties need not apply. Just use something mid-range such as Wild Turkey 101, or a small bottle of Maker’s Mark will do the trick. 80 proof is fine. Because most of the alcohol cooks out during baking.

    Keyword bourbon balls, bourbon chocolate buttercream, brown sugar bourbon cupcakes, brown sugar cake, Derby Day recipe, derby pie cupcakes, Kentucky bourbon, Kentucky Derby recipe, walnut praline filling

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Looking for the perfect batch of Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies? Look no further! This recipe guarantees cookies that are soft and chewy every time.

    Every baker needs a recipe for Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies in their repertoire. And this one’s my favorite. I’ve made countless batches, so it’s a little unbelievable to me that I’m just now sharing them with you. It seems that 2024 is the year that I re-explore classics and family recipes. It’s so important to include these essential and fundamental recipes here. Because everyone loves them, and for good reason!
    These cinnamon-sugared rounds are pure comfort food, and a taste of childhood for many. You won’t find a recipe easier than this one – it’s extremely simple to throw together and yields the most buttery, soft and chewy snickerdoodles ever! The cinnamon-sugar coating provides just the right amount of cozy. They’re done in about 45 minutes from start to finish, so they’re the perfect lazy weekend bake.

    Ingredients for the Perfect Batch
    First, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and fine grain sea salt. The cream of tartar serves as an acid in this recipe, preventing the sugar in the dough from crystalizing. Which helps the cookies stay soft and chewy instead of crunchy. It’s also a leaven, which gives the cookies their characteristic pillowed exterior.
    Note: Sometimes cream of tartar will clump during storage over time. If you pull a lumpy teaspoonful from the bottle go ahead and sift it! Nobody wants to find a bitter lump of cream of tartar in their cookie.

    Creaming the Butter and Sugar
    In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for creating the perfect texture in your cookies. Creaming the butter and sugar helps to incorporate air into the mixture, resulting in a lighter and more tender cookie. Next, mix in the eggs.

    Combining the Wet and Dry Ingredients
    Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Using an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), beat together on low speed until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the wet ingredients, and a smooth dough forms. Avoid overmixing, as this can lead to tough cookies. The dough will resemble that of sugar cookies.
    Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or overnight if you like). Chilling the dough helps it firm up, making it easy to scoop and roll into balls. It also reduces spreading during baking.

    Rolling the Dough in Cinnamon Sugar
    While the dough is chilling, prepare the cinnamon sugar coating. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. I add a pinch of salt to this mixture to make the flavors really pop! This is optional. But give it a try! Just a pinch.
    After the dough has chilled, use a cookie scoop (I like this one) to portion out the dough. Roll each scoop into a ball between your palms. Then, roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated.

    Baking and Cooling the Snickerdoodles
    Place the coated dough balls onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2″ space between each cookie. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until the edges are set, the cookies are puffed, and the tops are lightly golden brown. Be cautious not to overbake; these cookies are done at 8 minutes. They may seem slightly underdone in their centers, but will firm up as they cool.
    Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps to prevent them from breaking apart when they’re still warm.

    Tips for Cookie Success!

    Make sure your butter is softened. Room temperature is even better – the butter will cream more easily with the sugar and create a better texture in your cookies.
    Don’t skip the chilling step! Chilling the dough helps to prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking, resulting in thicker and chewier cookies.
    For extra flavor, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough along with the eggs. I usually do not add vanilla to this recipe, because it allows the buttery flavor and the cinnamon-sugary goodness to shine.
    1/2 cup of brown sugar can be swapped in for 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. This adds a little depth of flavor, but it will compact the cookie’s texture.
    Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.

    Gluten-Free Option: For a gluten-free version, simply substitute 1 to 1 or cup for cup gluten-free flour in equal amounts for the all-purpose flour in this recipe. I personally enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which yields fantastic results.
    Dairy-Free Option: If you’re avoiding dairy, you can use a dairy-free butter alternative in place of regular butter. Look for brands like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s Creamery for a rich and creamy buttery flavor without the dairy.

    With their soft and chewy texture and cinnamon sugar coating, these classic snickerdoodle cookies are sure to be in regular rotation. They’re perfect for enjoying with a glass of cold milk or alongside a cup of hot coffee. They also make a nice care package gift, and are certainly most welcome on holiday cookie trays.
    Related Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Heather Baird

    These soft and chewy cookies are coated in a perfect blend of cinnamon sugar. This recipe is simple and classic with all the hallmarks of traditional old-school snickerdoodles. For the best results, remember to chill the dough before baking and be mindful not to overbake—optimal doneness occurs at around 8 minutes. The cookies may seem slightly underdone, but they will firm up as they cool. You may notice the lack of vanilla extract in this recipe. I prefer these cookies without it, because the cinnamon and butter flavors really shine through. However, if you’d like to add vanilla to your dough, do so when you add the eggs. (1 1/2 teaspoons.)

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 8 minutes minsCook Time 8 minutes mins30 minutes chill time 30 minutes minsTotal Time 46 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 36 cookies

    Equipmentbaking sheetsparchment papercookie scoop
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cookie Dough2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon cream of tartar sifted1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature1 1/2 cups granulated sugar2 large eggsCinnamon-Sugar Coating2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 tablespoon ground cinnamonPinch of salt
    Instructions Cookie DoughPreheat the oven to 400°F. Cover two or more baking sheets with parchment paper.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix again.Add the dry mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Mix together on low speed until a consistent dough forms. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.Cinnamon-Sugar CoatingMeanwhile, on a small shallow plate, combine the ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar coating.Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough and then roll it into walnut-sized balls. Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.Place about 2” apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on the pans until firm enough to transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.Store cookies air tight.
    NotesWhat to expect: Buttery, cinnamon-sugar coated snickerdoodle cookies that have all the hallmarks of the classic. Soft and chewy, slightly pillowed with some crackling on top – and above all perfect for sharing. 
    Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup of brown sugar can be swapped in for 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in the dough. This adds a little depth of flavor, but it will slightly compact the cookie’s texture.
    Cream of Tartar: Don’t skip the cream of tartar in this recipe—it helps to give the cookies their characteristic tangy flavor and chewy texture. Also sift the cream of tartar if it looks lumpy.
    Bake Time: These cookies are perfectly done at 8 minutes in most ovens. 10 minutes will make the exterior slightly crunchier.
    Gluten-Free: Use cup for cup or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Baking’s flours are excellent choices for this recipe. 
    Store: These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
    Freezer Friendly: This snickerdoodles recipe is freeze-able! After rolling the dough into balls and coating them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they are not touching.
    Place the baking sheet in the freezer and flash freeze the dough balls for about 1-2 hours, or until they are firm.
    Once the dough balls are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Layer parchment paper between the dough balls to prevent sticking. Store the dough balls in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
    Remove the desired number of frozen dough balls from the freezer and place them on a lined baking sheet, spacing them apart. Cover with plastic wrap and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as directed.

    Keyword all purpose flour, butter, cinnamon sugar coating, classic snickerdoodle cookies, cream of tartar, granulated sugar, homemade, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Snickerdoodles, soft and chewy, unsalted butter

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake (Copycat Recipe)

    This cake is inspired by the beloved Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake, with white cake layers, vanilla cheesecake filling, and vanilla buttercream. It’s great for any occasion and feeds a crowd!

    It’s always good to have a reliable sheet cake recipe in your back pocket for birthdays, anniversaries, or anytime you need to feed a party crowd. But it’s especially good if that sheet cake recipe is filled with vanilla cheesecake mousse. This homemade version of the Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake is made with two 9×13 white cake layers, the aforementioned cheesecake filling, and it’s covered in vanilla buttercream. The decors are up to you and your party theme.
    How did I decide to develop this recipe? First of all, I wanted to make a vanilla sheet cake for a special February birthday. And I found a copycat Costco sheet cake recipe online that I was content to use without having to develop my own. However, it was a total disaster. I had an inkling that it would fail after reading through the recipe once. But with hundreds of five star ratings (and curiously, no written reviews) I tried it anyway. After doing some digging on Pinterest, and reading actual text reviews there, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one with terrible results. That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands.

    Why Make your Own Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake?
    If you live in close proximity to a Costco, then I understand if you’d prefer to just buy one. Costco Sheet Cakes cost $24.99 for a 12×16-inch cake that feeds 48 people. That’s a deal, if you ask me! However, if – like me – you don’t live near a Costco anymore – this recipe may be a valuable resource. Also, in 2020 when folks weren’t gathering as much, Costco stopped selling their large sheet cakes for a while. But thankfully, they’re back. And hopefully that will never happen again! (However you may want to bookmark this recipe just in case.)

    Make the White Cake Layers
    First, mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer: flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, add room temperature butter to the dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients resemble fine cornmeal. This is called ‘reverse creaming’. It may sound strange, but it’s a tried-and-true method that harks back to the 1950’s. But all you really need to know is that it creates a fluffy cake with a tender crumb. Once the wet ingredients are added, which includes 8 egg whites and 2 whole eggs (add an extra dozen to the shopping list!) the batter becomes thick and smooth. Divide the batter into two 9×13 inch cake pan with sides at least 2 inches deep.

    Bake and Cool the Cake Layers
    Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top and set in their centers. Turn them out on wire racks to cool completely. You’ll notice the centers don’t crown or dome too much. This is another benefit of reverse creaming. There is very little leveling to do after the cakes are baked. Some, but not much.
    When the cakes are cool, refrigerate them for a couple of hours. This firms the crumb and makes them much easier to level with a serrated knife.

    Make the Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and heavy cream on low speed. You’re not trying to whip the heavy cream, you’re just combining the two ingredients. Next, beat in a little whole milk and a package of instant vanilla pudding. Then, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy. This combination of ingredients creates a lovely, smooth, not-too-sweet filling that tastes a whole lot like its inspiration!
    Top one cake with the entire amount of cheesecake mousse filling, then top with the second white cake layer.

    Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
    Cover the cake in a classic American buttercream. This formula is just butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and a little milk to thin. The trick to making this kind of buttercream billowy and light, is to beat the heck out of it on high speed. I recommend a stand mixer for this. A sturdy hand mixer could also work but will take a long time.

    Pipe a Shell Border
    While décor will always vary on the Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake, there’s always one decoration that is a mainstay: a piped border. Use a large open star tip (such as Ateco 826) to pipe a shell border along the bottom and top edges of the cake. If using sprinkles to decorate, sprinkle them on immediately after piping one edge. Because the buttercream crusts easily, if you wait to long they’ll bounce right off.

    Add Decors to Match Your Party
    This cake is an all-occasions kind of cake. So as I mentioned earlier, the decors are up to you! Red, white, and blue for July Fourth. Red and green for Christmas. Or any mixture of happy sprinkles for a birthday-friendly cake (such as these neon baubles).

    I added a pink ‘Happy Birthday’ candle to the center of the cake. Because my finer piping skills are not the best (I’m actively working on improving – but oof! It is hard.) I couldn’t find the exact candle topper I used, but you can find a similar one right here.

    Happy Everything!

    Party Cake Cutting Guide
    This cake is slightly smaller than the 12×16 Costco cake, at 9×13-inches. However, it’s still a sizeable confection! With two white cake layers, and the filling – it’s hefty. And you can tailor your slices to the size of your party using my guide below. Large Party Size Slices are generous indeed, and would nearly feed 2 people instead of one. The Medium Size Party Slices are more in keeping with what I’d consider a normal serving. However the Small Wedding Size Slices are plenty sufficient for a larger event, and not skimpy-looking on a dessert plate.

    This sizeable corner piece shows off the pale fluffy layers and cheesecake filling. The cake slices so beautifully and has a tender, fluffy crumb. Flavor-wise it is smooth and mellow with vanilla, although with more scratch-made flavor than the original Costco White Vanilla Sheet Cake. The filling is quite close to the original – not overly sweet, really smooth and creamy. While the buttercream frosting is the guest that brings the sweetness to the party.
    This cake isn’t difficult to make, and most home bakers will have a couple of 9×13 pans in their bakeware arsenal. Use two identical pans if possible, which will prevent extra trimming once assembled. Check out the reverse creaming method in my video if you’re not familiar with the technique. Enjoy!

    Related recipe: Bottle of Sprinkles Cake (Homemade Funfetti Sheet Cake)

    Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake (Copycat Recipe)

    This copycat recipe for Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake is perfect for just about any gathering. It’s home baker-friendly, and easily made in 9×13 cake pans. The end result is a hefty cake suitable for serving a large gathering. See the recipe notes for the cake cutting guide.The white cake recipe uses ‘reverse creaming’ or ‘paste method’ of mixing the batter. This refers to the first step of mixing, which is to combine the dry ingredients with the butter until a crumbly or sandy texture is formed. The mixture may also form a paste in a humid environment. Both textures are normal. (Read more about this at the link in the blog post.)The vanilla cheesecake mousse calls for 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix. This means the dry mix, poured directly from the pouch into the mousse mixture.

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    Prep Time 1 hour hrCook Time 16 minutes mins2 hours chill time 2 hours hrsTotal Time 3 hours hrs 16 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 18 + servings

    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric White cake layers5 1/4 cups cake flour3 1/3 cups granulated sugar2 tablespoons baking powder1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain salt1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature8 egg whites from large eggs at room temperature2 whole large eggs at room temperature2 cups whole milk at room temperature1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extractVanilla cheesecake mousse filling8 oz. cream cheese softened1/2 cup powdered sugar1 1/2 cups heavy cream1/2 cup whole milk3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix dry mixVanilla buttercream (American)1 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature7 cups confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons vanilla extractWhole milk to thin to spreading consistency1 cup rainbow sprinkles or other decors
    Instructions White cake layersPreheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two identical 9×13-inch baking pans line the bottoms with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper.In the bowl of an electric mixer (stand mixer preferred) combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.Add the butter to the flour and mix until well incorporated and crumbly, with a texture similar to damp sand or cornmeal. The mixture may also form a paste in humid conditions, this is fine too.With the mixer running on low speed, add the egg whites and the whole eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and mix again briefly.Add the milk, about 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1-2 minutes after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden on top, and a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto wire cooling racks to cool completely. Peel away the parchment paper and discard it.Optional step: Wrap and refrigerate cakes for 2 hours, or overnight. This will firm the crumb and make them easier to level.When cakes are completely cool, level the rounded tops using a serrated knife.Vanilla cheesecake mousse fillingIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix again until incorporated.Add the heavy cream and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again, raising the speed slightly, until the mixture is smooth (you’re not trying to whip the cream, just mix until the two are smooth).Add the whole milk; beat to combine Then, add the dry instant vanilla pudding powder. Mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl (sides and bottom) and mix on medium-high speed until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes.Place a white cake layer on a cake board or serving platter and top with all of the cream cheese mousse. Spread evenly to the edges and top with the second white cake layer. Cover and refrigerate while you make the buttercream.Vanilla buttercreamIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, add the butter and mix until creamy. Add three cups of powdered sugar; mix on low speed until combined, the beat on high speed 1 minute. Add remaining confectioners’ sugar, pulsing the mixer on and off to combine slowly, so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the mixing bowl. Beat until incorporated. Add milk or cream a little at a time to thin. Mix on high speed for 5 minutes, or until lightened in color and billowy. The frosting should lose most of it yellow butter hue.Transfer about 1 1/4 cups of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip; set aside Use the remaining frosting to cover the entire cake, smoothing it evenly with an offset spatula.Use the piping bag with the decorator tip to pipe a shell border around the bottom edge of the cake (see video for this action). If using sprinkles, add them after you pipe one edge (wait too long and the sprinkles won’t stick!). Pipe a shell border on the top edge of the cake and add decors, if using.Refrigerate cake until the buttercream is set, then cover gently with plastic wrap. Store cake in the refrigerator.Bring the cake to room temperature before serving. The cake’s texture, flavor, and filling will be most developed at room temperature.
    The cake recipe was adapted from King Arthur Baking’s Tender White Cake recipe, from their book “The All-Purpose Baker’s Companion“.
    For volume measuring, use the spoon and sweep method for the cake flour. This means to spoon flour into the measuring cup and sweep the top level with a knife or spoon handle. Flour scooped directly from the bag with a measuring cup tends to pack more flour in the cup than needed, which can result in a dense cake. Keep this cake fluffy with the ‘spoon and sweep’ technique.

    Keyword american buttercream, cake flour, confectioners’ sugar, Costco Vanilla Sheet Cake Recipe, heavy cream, pure vanilla extract, vanilla cheesecake mousse filing, white cake layers

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Meringue Christmas Tree Cake

    This Meringue Christmas Tree Cake is a showstopping edible centerpiece made of white cake layers, raspberry filling, and Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s covered in dragee-studded meringue cookies to make your holiday sparkle!

    For many, the joy of Christmas has much to do with the preparations – as much as the day itself! I am one of those people. I find decking the halls, planning the feast, and certainly baking all the things to be ritualistic. And there’s comfort in revisiting traditions. One of those traditions is creating an edible centerpiece for the Christmas table. This Meringue Christmas Tree Cake is this year’s creation. It’s a tall patisserie-inspired cone-shaped tree decked out in sparkling meringues. Despite its towering appearance, it’s not awfully hard to make!
    The inspiration for this cake comes from this Baked Alaska Tree recipe from Martha Stewart. I’ve had it pinned for a very long time. To me, it looks so chic and sophisticated – yet simple. After reading the recipe and realizing they used a manila folder (!) to create the shape, I wondered if the same technique could be used with large poster board, and something much less meltable. Like cake! The answer – yes. Read on for the pictorial to show you how!

    White Cake Layers
    This meringue Christmas tree cake begins with white cake layers. Specifically, my favorite white cake recipe. I’m sure this will be no surprise to regular readers. I use this cake recipe all the time when I want a beautifully pale interior that is moist and flavorful. You’ll need four 6″ cake layers. I used these pans to bake the batter.

    Level and Torte the Cakes
    Use a serrated knife or wire cake leveler to even the tops. Then torte (cut horizontally) each cake into two approximate 1″ layers.

    Concentric Circles
    Further trim 3 sets of the cake layers using pastry rings and cookie cutters to create concentric circles. If you don’t have pastry rings, you can make yourself circle templates and cut them from card stock. Leave one set of cake layers as-is, in 6-inch rounds. Cut another set of cake layers into 5″ rounds. The next set is cut into 4″ rounds, and the last set is cut into 3″ rounds. Save the cake scraps! They’ll come into play later in this recipe.

    At the end of all that trimming, you’ll have graduated layers to work with. Now, if you wanted to skip the paper cone-making, you could. Just fill, stack, and frost this cake upright – layered just as you see it here. And use Swiss meringue buttercream to spackle the gaps and create an organic tree shape. But before you decide, read more to see how I created the patisserie-inspired cone shape.

    The Tree Top.
    Remember those cake scraps? Discard the crusty bits and crumble the soft cake scraps in a bowl. Add a little vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and mix together. This ‘cake pop’ mix is packed into a sugar cone and helps to form a perfect (and sturdy!) tree tip. Refrigerate the cone, and save the extra cake pop mix, because you’ll use that later as well.

    Make the paper cone mold.
    How many times have I purchased expensive molds for desserts? Too many! It can get quite costly. I suppose that was one of the reasons that Martha’s manila folder technique appealed to me so much. I was also inspired by Laduree’s macaron and truffle towers. They are so beautiful, and so quintessentially ‘patisserie’. Even if I’d wanted to buy a 16″ tall mold for this meringue Christmas tree cake, I couldn’t. They are simply not available.
    To make the cone, purchase a new (unused) standard size (22×28 or 24×30 inch) piece of poster board. Roll it into a cone shape and secure with clear packing tape. Tape any parts of the spiraled edge inside of the cone down with more packing tape. Measure the cone from the tip down to 16″ and trim the bottom. The opening should be around 6.5 to 7″ in diameter.

    To fill the cone, get a tall stock pot and fill it with soft tea towels – or even crumpled aluminum foil. Turn the paper cone upside down and put it inside the stock pot. Arrange the towels or aluminum foil on either side of the cone, so that it stands firmly upright.
    Begin the assembly by piping about 4 inches of Swiss meringue buttercream into the tip of the cone (this recipe make a large batch of buttercream – you’ll need it!). Then, insert the filled sugar cone into the tip, squeezing some of the frosting around it as you push it in. Next you’ll pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the ice cream cone, and pack some of the reserved cake pop mixture on top. You’ll use just enough of the cake pop mixture to create a layer with a top surface area of about 3″. Which is the size of the smallest cake layer. Next, you’ll add a 3″ cake layer, pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge, and fill it with raspberry jam. Repeat the process using the other cake layers, piping and filling and stacking until all of the layers are used.

    Swiss meringue buttercream stiffens significantly in the refrigerator, and we’ll use this to our advantage! Transfer the filled cone (still upside-down) in the pot to the refrigerator. Let it chill for 2 hours minimum. When it comes time to unmold, turn it upright onto a plate and use sharp scissors or an x-acto knife to cut the packing tape at the seams. Gently unfurl the paper, splitting the packing tape on the inside seams as you go. Store the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to frost and decorate it.

    Make the Meringue Cookies
    The meringue cookie recipe is so simple and classic. I’d call it definitive – so much that I put it in my first cookbook. Whip up a big batch and pipe it on a large parchment-lined baking sheet (or two) in large and small star shapes. I also piped a few large and small kiss shapes, but I think the stars are my favorite. The large and small sizes will help you effectively fill almost every space on the cone. After you pipe the cookies, sprinkle on silver dragees for maximum sparkle.
    Although these cookies are quick to whip up, they require a low and slow bake time. So you may want to plan ahead for your oven to be occupied for 1.5 hours.

    Frost and decorate.
    As I mentioned earlier, the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe provided makes a large batch, and you’ll need every bit of it! You should have plenty enough leftover from assembling the cake to frost it, and to affix all of the meringues to the outside.
    I will include a short video here of the Swiss meringue buttercream-making process. It’s an old video, but many still find it helpful. (You’ll notice that Biscuit pug is a young pup in the video!)

    Here’s the finished cake! I tried all kinds of toppers for this cake – a gum paste star, some fringed Mylar cupcake picks, a Dresden crown. It wasn’t until the table was set, that prompted a simple but luxurious velvet blue bow topper with flowing ribbons down each side of the cake. Speaking of this table setting…

    DIY Block Printed Table Linens.
    Recently, my MIL gave me custodianship of her beloved Royal Sapphire dishes. I wanted to use them in a Christmas tablescape, but with less conventional holiday colors. I found a brilliant fuchsia tablecloth with pomegranate motif that would be eye-popping with the blue dishes. But it was a little too expensive and the pattern was a tad busy.
    I was talking about this to Rachel Ann, who is pretty much resident crafter for our craft blog Confetti Fix. Her college studies were focused on art and specifically print making. She offered to create some custom block printed linens in the same color, and with a pomegranate motif! I just adore how they turned out. And what’s better? She’s created an entire DIY of the process on Confetti Fix. It’s like a block printing 101 class for beginners. So if you’re interested in learning about this ancient and unique art form, then hop on over to read her post!

    The Little Things
    The entire table came together with some of the most brilliant fuchsia grocery store roses I’ve ever seen! They perfectly matched the table linen color. And these little Godinger place card holders deserve a mention, too. I’ve used and reused them many times now. Little things like this feel special, and make a big impact.

    For the record, and contrary to what this image shows, cutting this cake should start at the top. Slice the top off crossways where the cake pop portion ends. Then, the remaining layer cake can be cut into pieces.

    This cake is such a delight to eat! The two meringue elements of Swiss meringue buttercream and crunchy meringue cookies keeps this confection light. The cake is moist with a sour cream tang, and tart raspberry jam is a sharp foil for so many creamy elements. I couldn’t resist adding pomegranate arils as garnish, and to match the pomegranate table linens.
    I’ve really enjoyed continuing this edible centerpiece tradition. If you’d like to see others, here’s my White Birch Yule Log Cake, Ruby Chocolate Truffle Tower, Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree and Black Forest Buche de Noel. Happy Christmas!

    Meringue Christmas Tree Cake

    Heather Baird

    This festive holiday cake really makes a statement with its height and glittering meringue decorations. The cake layers are assembled in a somewhat unconventional way, using a piece of poster board formed into a cone shape. There are several steps to this cake, but it’s not difficult to make. It may look stately with its towering height, but it requires only four 6-inch round cake layers to achieve. Use your favorite raspberry jam as filling. Be sure to refrigerate the cake well to set the buttercream. This cake should be cut slightly chilled. Slices can also be served chilled, or at room temperature.

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    Prep Time 2 hours hrsCook Time 2 hours hrs 40 minutes mins2 hours chill time 2 hours hrsTotal Time 6 hours hrs 40 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 10

    Equipment6×2-inch round cake pans (4)Kitchen-dedicated shears or scissors22×28 or larger poster boardClear packing tapeparchment paperlarge closed star decorator piping tip
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric White almond sour cream cake layers1 box white cake mix 15.25 oz. 1 cup all-purpose flour1 cup granulated sugarPinch of salt1 cup sour cream1 cup cold water3 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 teaspoon almond extractFilling2 cups raspberry jamSwiss meringue buttercream8 large egg whites about 1 cup or 8 oz.2 cups granulated sugar3 cups unsalted butter at room temperature1 tablespoon almond extract1/4 teaspoon fine grain saltSmall dab royal purple soft gel food color optionalAssemblyReserved cake scrapsSugar coneMeringue cookies6 egg whites1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar1 ½ cups fine grain granulated sugar or caster sugarSmall silver dragees1/3 cup pomegranate arils for garnish optional
    Instructions Cake layersPreheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 6×2-inch round cake pans.Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a four-cup measure, stir together the sour cream, water, eggs and extracts. With a hand mixer running on low speed, gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl down and mix again.Divide the cake evenly between the pans. Bake for 25- 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back in the center when pressed.Turn out the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.Using a serrated knife or leveler, torte each cake horizontally so that you have eight 6-inch cake layers.Next, trim two of the layers to 5-inches, another two to four inches, and another two to 3-inches. Leave one set of 6-inch cake layers as-is (untrimmed). Save all the cake scraps in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; reserve for later use.Chill the cake layers in the refrigerator to firm them, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the Swiss meringue buttercream.Swiss meringue buttercreamPlace a saucepan filled 1/3 full of water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water and cook while whisking intermittently. Cook until the mixture is hot (110°F) and you can no longer feel sugar granules when the mixture is rubbed between your finger and thumb. Transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until a thick, shiny meringue forms that holds stiff peaks. The bowl should feel cool to the touch. If it doesn’t, refrigerate the meringue in the bowl for 10 minutes. Return the bowl to the mixer and swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.Beat the room temperature butter into the meringue one cube at a time on medium-low speed, waiting to add the next cube when the previous cube disappears. The batter will deflate with the butter addition, and may even look curdled (if the butter was the slightest bit cold this happens), but this is normal. When all of the butter is added, beat the mixture on high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the almond extract and salt. To whiten the frosting, add just a tiny dab of royal purple gel food color to the buttercream and mix to combine. This will color correct some of the natural butter yellow tinge of the finished buttercream.Transfer the buttercream to two large disposable piping bags with a 1” hole snipped in the tips.Assemble the cakeCrumble the reserved cake scraps in the bowl and remove any hard or crust bits. Add Swiss meringue buttercream 1 tablespoon at time, mixing well to form a cake pop mixture that holds together and packs well. Completely fill the sugar cone with the cake pop mixture, and cover the remaining mixture for later use.Make a tall cone shape using the poster board and secure the outside seams with packing tape. Trim it to 16” tall. The bottom opening should be about 6.5 inches in diameter. If your opening is larger or smaller, remove the tape and twist the cone so the bottom opening is 6.5-7 inches in diameter. Close all seams on the outside of the cone with packing tape, and do the same on the inside. The interior also needs to be perfectly smooth for a flawless cone shapeMake room in your refrigerator for a 16” tall cake.Use a tall stock pot in which to place the cone upside-down, and pad the bottom of sides of the pot with tea towels or crumpled aluminum foil. The cone should be firmly standing upright with the open end toward the sky.Pipe about 4” of buttercream into the tip of the cone. Press the filled sugar cone into the buttercream until the frosting squeezes around the sugar cone. Pipe in a little more buttercream to cover the sugar cone. Pack the remaining cake pop mixture into the cone firmly. Pipe in a thin layer of buttercream to cover it. Place a 3” cake layer on top of the piped frosting. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer and fill with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Top with a second 3”inch cake layer pipe another ring of buttercream around that cake layer and fill with raspberry jam as before.Continue this process with the 4” cakes, 5” cakes, and 6” cakes. The cake layers should come to the top of the open end of the cone, or within 1-2” of the opening (it doesn’t need to be exactly 16” tall). If the cake has to travel, dowel the cake ¾ of the way through the center of the cake to secure all the layers together.Transfer the upside-down cone in the pot to the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour. Remove the cone from the pot and turn upright onto a serving plate. Refrigerate the unmolded, upright cake for another hour.Carefully unmold the cake by cutting the tape seams on the outside with an x-acto knife or sharp scissors. As you unfurl the poster board cone, snip the inside tape seams as the appear. Gently remove the unfurled poster board from the cake. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator while you make the meringues.Meringue cookiesPreheat the oven to 170°F. Line two or more large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Fit two or more large pastry bags with a large closed star decorator piping tip.Place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl and whip them with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue to beat the egg whites.Once the egg whites form soft peaks increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, a little at a time. Beat the egg whites until they are very shiny and hold stiff peaks but are not dry or crumbly, about 6 minutes. To make sure the sugar has completely dissolved, rub a bit of the meringue between two fingers to see if any granules of sugar remain. If grains are present, continue to beat the meringue until the sugar has fully dissolved.Spoon the meringue into the prepared piping bags. Pipe meringues of large and small sizes onto the lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle meringues with the silver dragees before baking.Bake for 90 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. When the meringues are done, they should be dry to the touch. You can remove them from the oven, or if time permits, turn off the oven and let them stand inside the oven until the oven cools completely. When cool, you should be able to lift the cookies easily from the parchment sheet.Decorate the cakeApply a thin coat of the leftover Swiss meringue buttercream all over the chilled cake. Starting at the bottom of the cone, apply the meringue cookies, using the larger ones first, around the circumference of the cone.Work your way up, using buttercream as needed as adhesive to the backs of the meringues, and fill in gaps using smaller meringues. It’s okay if not every space is filled, and you can still see some of the smooth white buttercream between the meringues.Store the decorated cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.To serve the cake, cut the top 1/3 of the cake away, just below the cake pop layer, and place it on a plate to the side (you may ask guests if anyone wants the sugar cone tip!). Slice the remaining layer cake into thin, tall pieces. You may divide one tall piece into two at a buttercream layer.Garnish cake slices with pomegranate arils, if desired.
    Winter is the perfect time to make meringue cookie because of the dry atmosphere. Avoid making meringues in humid weather.
    I used a tiny drop of royal purple gel food color to cancel the slight yellow tinge in the buttercream. If you do this, only use a tiny drop, and remember that food color intensifies over time. If used correctly, the addition of purple makes a wintry (or wedding) white buttercream that matches the meringue cookies.

    Keyword christmas cake, christmas tree cake, cone cake, holiday cake, meringue cake, meringue Christmas tree cake, meringue cookie, seedless black raspberry jam, silver dragees, swiss meringue buttercream, WASC, white cake mix

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    Red Velvet Trifles

    Indulge in the southern tradition of red velvet cake with a twist – Red Velvet Trifles! Assemble them ahead of time for hassle-free hosting during the busy holiday season.

    The holiday season can be a whirlwind of activities, and having make-ahead desserts in your repertoire is a real time-saver. After many years of hosting during the Christmas season, I’ve learned to depend upon prep-ahead recipes, such as these Red Velvet Trifles. They are so pretty! And they’ll add a splash of Christmas color to your special holiday feast. Prepare them a couple of days ahead and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Simply add the garnishes a few hours before serving, and you’ll have a show-stopping dessert without the last-minute stress.

    Plan ahead.
    Before you get started mixing up the cake batter, here’s a couple of initial things to get in order to make the entire process smooth sailing.

    Choose your serving glasses. These Red Velvet Trifles are assembled in 8 clear 12 oz. rocks glasses (or other dessert glasses). I’m usually all about breaking out the finest tableware for Christmas, but I made these in plastic recyclable Tossware glasses. Each glass is made from 1 recycled plastic bottle. I’ve reused them loads of times, and have yet to toss them!
    Make room in your fridge. I don’t know about you, but my refrigerator during the holidays – oof! Space gets maxed out pretty quickly. Make sure you have enough space to store the trifles before you begin the recipe. It may help to put the serving glasses on a baking sheet so it’s easy to transfer to the fridge once all the glasses are assembled.

    Make the Red Velvet Cake.
    Now – the cake! Start by mixing up the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. It’s not a big job, so this can easily be done using a hand mixer. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid red food color at this stage. If you only have red gel food color, add much less – 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons should do it.

    Sift in the dry ingredients: flour, unsweet cocoa powder, and leavening. Mix together on low speed. Again, a hand mixer is fine. It’s a quick bowl of batter that stirs up easily. I appreciate that!

    Bake the Red Velvet Cake.
    Spread the batter into a greased 13×9 inch pan, and bake for about 20 minutes at 350°F. Be careful not to over bake this cake, as the edges can get a little dry. If this happens, go ahead and trim off the crusty edges.

    When the cake cools cut it into bite-size pieces with a large chef’s knife. You’ll notice the texture is dense like pound cake. This is by design, as the cake needs to be sturdy enough to absorb the raspberry rum drizzling syrup without falling apart. Yes – I said raspberry-rum drizzling syrup! More on that in a bit.

    Make the Cream Cheese Filling.
    This filling is so easy! It’s a simple mixture of cream cheese, whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. However, it does require careful folding. Use a large rubber spatula to fold whipped cream into the sweet cream cheese mixture. It’s so delicious, and a nod to the classic red velvet layer cake with cream cheese frosting.

    Assemble the Trifles.
    Begin assembling the cake trifles in your 12 oz. rocks or dessert glasses. Place a layer of red velvet cake cubes at the bottom of each glass.

    Rum-Raspberry Drizzle.
    Something that pastry chefs know, that not all home bakers know, is that sweet, rich desserts like this one can benefit from a tart foil. The acid, or tartness form berries and fruit creates balance to an otherwise too sweet dessert. In this recipe, it’s the rum-raspberry drizzle. It’s a pleasant surprise flavor when you taste it in this dessert. And just the thing to give it balance. Stir together your favorite brand of prepared seedless raspberry jam, rum, and a little orange juice in a small bowl. Spoon a tablespoon of this mixture over the red velvet cake cubes.

    Pipe or dollop the cream filling evenly over the cubes. The mixture pipes beautifully, so I like using a large closed star piping tip (Ateco #849) for a ruffled appearance through the glass.. Although, just dolloping it in looks fine too.

    Repeat the entire process using more of the cake cubes and raspberry-rum mixture. Finish with a big swirl (or dollop) of the cream cheese mixture on top.

    You’ll have some red velvet cake cubes left over, so crumble them with your fingers into a bowl. Then sprinkle them over each trifle for an easy topping.

    Tips for Success.

    Don’t overbake: I mentioned this earlier, but it warrants repeating. This cake is like the pound cake version of red velvet, designed to stand up (and absorb) the rum drizzle. Baking it too long can yield a dry cake with crusty edges.
    Trim any tough cake edges: After testing this cake a couple of times, I found using a light aluminum pan helped to avoid tough edges. However, use whatever pan you have. And if you get some crust edges, just trim them away. These trifles should contain only the soft cubes of cake for the optimal eating pleasure.
    Fold the filling carefully: Whipped cream is folded into sweet, whipped cream cheese for a cloud-like filling. So, take your time when folding the two together. Otherwise you could knock too much air out of it and it could become runny.
    Variation: If you have more than 8 people to serve, consider assembling the components in smaller glasses. The 12 oz. rocks glasses called for make a hearty serving indeed. You could easily use 6 oz. glasses and double your yield!

    Red Velvet Cake – A Southern Tradition.
    Red Velvet cake, with its deep crimson hue and rich, velvety texture, is rooted in Southern tradition but is loved the world over. As a born and bred southern girl, I’ve tried almost every iteration. From red velvet cupcakes to Oreo-stuffed red velvet crinkle cookies and everything in between. I’ve always thought the vibrant color makes it ideal for the Christmas holidays. Now I especially love it as an elegant little dessert trifle that will stand out on your dessert buffet.

    These individual Red Velvet Rum Trifles are not just pretty to look at, they’re rich, creamy and a little punchy with tart rum-raspberry syrup. I think they actually improve after a day in the refrigerator, because the flavors have a chance to marry, and the syrup absorbs into the cake cubes making them moist and flavorful.
    Happy hosting!
    Related recipe: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Bundt Cake

    Red Velvet Trifles

    Heather Baird

    Serve up the holiday season in a glass! Whether you’re hosting a feast of friends or having a more intimate gathering, these trifles are sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests. Raspberry-rum drizzle keeps the cake moist with a tongue-tingling boozy note, while the cream cheese contrasts the tart raspberry flavor. Make these trifles up to 3 days ahead for fuss-free hosting.For an alcohol-free version, replace the rum with apple juice.

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    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 25 minutes minsTotal Time 45 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine Southern United States

    Servings 8 servings

    Equipment8 rocks glasses, 12 oz. capacityPiping bagLarge star decorator piping tipPiping bag
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Red velvet cake3/4 cup granulated sugar3 whole large eggs2 egg yolks from large eggs1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract3/4 cup unsalted butter melted2 tablespoons red food color liquid1 1/3 cups cake flour2 tablespoons unsweet cocoa powder1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon fine grain saltRaspberry-Rum Drizzle1 cup seedless raspberry jam1/4 cup golden rum or spiced rum1/4 cup orange juiceCream cheese filling16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature2 cups heavy cream1/3 cup granulated sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractRosemary sprigs for garnish
    Instructions Red velvet cakePreheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with flour based baking spray, or grease and flour the pan.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs, yoks, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add the melted butter and food color. Mix again.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Sift the dry mixture over the wet mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and fold in any streaks of flour.Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.When the cake is cool, use a large chef’s knife to cut the cake slab into 1” cubes. Remove 8 cubes to a small bowl and crumble them with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.Rum-raspberry drizzleIn a small mixing bowl, combine the raspberry jam, rum, and orange juice.Whisk together until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set aside.Cream cheese fillingPlace the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream while gradually adding the sugar. Mix in the vanilla and beat until soft peaks form.Add in 1/4 of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Add in the remaining whipped cream and fold in gently.Transfer the cream cheese filling to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.Assemble the triflesPlace red velvet cake pieces into the 12 oz. glasses about 1/3 of the way up the glass. Drizzle half of the raspberry-rum mixture over the cake pieces in the glasses (a little more than 1 tablespoon per glass).Pipe a swirl of cream cheese filling over the cake cubes in each glass. Top the cream cheese filling with more cake cubes and spoon over the remaining raspberry drizzle into each glass.Pipe a swirl of cream cheese filling over the cake cubes and immediately garnish the tops the reserved bowl of cake crumbles.Cover trifles and refrigerate until ready to serve.Up to 4 hours before serving, add rosemary sprigs standing upright to one side of each trifle.
    NotesVariation: If you have more than 8 people to serve, consider assembling the components in smaller glasses. The 12 oz. rocks glasses called for make a hearty serving indeed. You could easily use 6 oz. glasses and double your yield!

    Keyword christmas dessert, cream cheese, cream cheese filling, holiday desserts, individual Christmas desserts, make ahead deserts, red food color, red velvet cake, red velvet trifles, rum raspberry drizzle

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    Throw a Glam Halloween Party with Spooky Sweets and Treats

    Dazzle your guests with a Glam Halloween Party filled with dramatic décor and a spooky menu. An edible spider web croquembouche serves as an eerie table centerpiece. A coffin-shaped charcuterie board overflows with much to savor. Witchy cookie favors are a take home treat that will ensure the magic continues long after the party is over!

    Earlier this year, my friends at invited me to craft a Glam Halloween Party for their lifestyle and entertainment section, complete with festive food, décor, and more! Well. I guess you already know – I couldn’t say yes fast enough! Just thinking about all the goth and glam made my brain light up, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. We spent a big chunk of August giving one end of the workshop a makeover with all the haunted mansion vibes we could find.
    There is much inspiration, and many recipes to explore, along with crafting articles and free printables. Which I’ll link individually in this post. However, I urge you to view the entire slide show right here on There are many more links in the gallery captions to all kinds of Halloween party ideas, costumes – the works!

    The tablescape.
    No doubt about it, I’m a more is more kind of gal. So we absolutely layered this table with velvety and gilded textures, along with some pretty dramatic florals and glittering details. You can read more in the slideshow captions about where we sourced our tableware and décor – on a budget!

    A spider-infested centerpiece.
    Classic croquembouche makes a commanding centerpiece, so I decided to give this French confection a spooky makeover. It’s also a shortcut recipe that uses store-bought profiteroles from the freezer section at the grocery store. Get the recipe for Spiderweb Croquembouche RIGHT HERE.

    Halloween place card holders.
    These Skeleton Hand Place Card Holders were SO FUN to craft using foam pumpkins and skeletal swizzle sticks. They’re not hard to make and there’s a free editable template for the black floral place cards. You can find that tutorial on RIGHT HERE.

    Sparkling sweets.
    I made these Tipsy, Glitzy Chocolate-Covered Strawberries for a New Year’s treat for many years ago. But I felt they’d work perfectly as a gilded treat for this party! So here they are again. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Covered Strawberries and Champagne RIGHT HERE.

    Something to sip.
    Shimmery Scary Cherry Mocktail (or Cocktail) has a secret ingredient that makes it glitter like a magic potion. Find the recipe for Halloween Shimmering Cherry Mocktail RIGHT HERE.

    Creepy crawly wall gallery.
    How fun are these framed glittering specimens? (Honestly, I’m tempted to keep them up as dark academia décor year-round.) It’s not only easy, but thrifty, to make an entire Halloween gallery of wall art using dollar store frames, plastic bugs, and glitter. Get the step-by-step tutorial RIGHT HERE.

    A fancy favor.
    These Fancy Witch Hat Cookies with gilded bands and bat decors make a fun parting gift for guests. And they can be made far ahead of party time because they keep so well air tight. There’s also a free printable tag with a spooky-sweet message – just print and tie on (easy!). Get the recipe and tutorial RIGHT HERE.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed this preview of our party. Again, you can find all the images, recipes, how-to articles, and MUCH more RIGHT HERE on xo-h
    Related recipe: Four Easy Halloween Treats for

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    Peach Bellini Cupcakes

    Peach Bellini Cupcakes are studded with diced fresh peaches, filled with champagne pastry cream, and topped with swirls of fluffy peach buttercream. Cheers!

    Peach season is almost here, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some fresh peaches a little earlier than usual. Once plucked, there’s a short window of time to enjoy them before they wrinkle up and spoil. So, needless to say, I was pressed to use them quickly. As a result, last Sunday we had peach tea with our brunch and Peach Melba for dessert. Then, the idea for these Peach Bellini Cupcakes came to me as another way to use up fresh peaches. However, you don’t have to use fresh peaches in this recipe – canned are fine too!
    These cupcakes taste absolutely celebratory. Champagne (or prosecco) infuses the cakes and their pastry cream centers. Diced peaches float throughout to cake, and a swirl of fluffy peach buttercream is the finishing flourish.

    Make the batter.
    Start by creaming the butter and sugar together. I used a hand mixer and things turned out just fine. Then add flour and champagne alternately. As usual, begin and end with the flour to build the best texture.

    Dice the peaches.
    Chop fresh peaches fine, to about 1/4 inch dice. You’ll need 2/3 cup of diced peaches, which is about 1 1/4 medium-sized fresh peaches. Again, canned peaches are just fine to use here. Just pat them dry before chopping them and adding them to the recipe.

    Add the peaches to the batter and mix them in using a rubber spatula. If using canned peaches, which aren’t as firm, use a folding motion so they don’t tear or break down.

    Lighten the batter with egg whites.
    Yes – it’s an extra step, but whipped egg whites make the base of this cupcake spongy and soft. Fold them in carefully. Hastily stirring them in will deflate the batter and decrease your overall yield. Mindful, careful folding of the egg whites gives the cupcake a sponge cake texture that holds up well to fillings and frostings.

    Line cupcake tins with papers, and then portion out the batter using a trigger ice cream scoop. I ended up with about 18 cupcakes.

    Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Then cool them completely on a wire rack.

    Champagne pastry cream.
    Ah, my favorite element of this confection! Champagne pastry cream is so delicious and smooth – and it’s not too hard to make. Prepare it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator, if you have time constraints.
    Core the cupcakes using a small paring knife, and save the cut out piece. Fill each cupcake with about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of champagne pastry cream. Using the same paring knife, cut the reserved cake pieces flat to create a ‘lid’ and cover the pastry cream with it.

    Peachy hues.
    The peach-flavored frosting was a color experiment gone right! I wanted it to not only have the flavor of peaches (thanks to LorAnn peach flavoring oil), but the color variation as well. So I whipped up some orangey-peach buttercream and painted two lines of red gel food color inside a piping bag. After the bag is loaded with the buttercream and piped, it creates a pleasing swirl reminiscent of peach peel.
    See the recipe for further instruction, and for the brand and color of gel food color I used to achieve this effect.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve added white nonpareils for a bubbly appearance (see this Cherry Limeade Cake). It’s just the perfect touch to evoke the feelings of a fizzy drink. Pipe the frosting onto a cupcake, and immediately add the white nonpareils. This buttercream crusts, so you must add the sprinkles immediately. If you wait too long, they’ll bounce right off!

    Inspired by the Venice-borne cocktail made with champagne and peach puree, these Peach Bellini Cupcakes hold the same sparkling flavor. Bellini are often served as an accompaniment to creamy, salty or spicy foods. So these cupcakes would make a fine dessert after a big plate of alfredo pasta with focaccia. Or spicy bucatini. However, I think they go with everything. (Especially brunch.)
    Related recipe: Homemade Peach Cobbler in a Cone

    Peach Bellini Cupcakes

    Heather Baird

    Inspired by the Italian Bellini cocktail, these toast-worthy cakes will be the star of your next happy celebration. The cupcakes are infused with champagne or prosecco, and filled with chopped fresh peaches. This flavorful foundation holds pockets of champagne pastry cream inside. The cupcakes are topped with peach-flavored buttercream in peach-peel hues.This recipe calls for fresh peaches, but if they’re not in season, then canned peaches work just fine!For the frosting, you’ll need to purchase a small bottle of LorAnn peach flavoring oil. See links for resources. Or, instead of the oil, you may use 2 tablespoons of peach schnapps.This recipe yields 16-18 cupcakes, more or less depending on how carefully you fold the whipped egg whites into the cupcake batter.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 22 minutes mins1 hour cooling time 1 hour hrTotal Time 1 hour hr 42 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 18

    Ingredients  Cupcakes6 large egg whites10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature1 ½ cups granulated sugar2 cups all-purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt3/4 cup champagne or prosecco or other sparkling white wine2/3 cup fresh peaches 1/4″ dice or diced canned peaches Champagne pastry cream1/2 cup heavy cream divided2 tablespoons cornstarch1 whole egg2 egg yolks5 tablespoons granulated sugar1/2 cup champagne or prosecco2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 teaspoon vanilla extractPeach buttercream
    Instructions CupcakesPreheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with 18 paper liners. Set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; set aside.In another bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In yet another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture alternately with the champagne. Stir in the chopped peaches.Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until incorporated. Then, fold in the remaining egg whites.Spoon the batter into the prepared cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.Champagne pastry creamIn a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and the cornstarch. Whisk in the whole egg and egg yolks. Set aside.Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar, and champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Pour 1/3 of the hot champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook. Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.Let cool to room temperature. Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.Peach buttercreamIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Add milk or cream a little at a time until the mixture is light, fluffy, and of piping consistency. Add the peach flavor and beat again until incorporated. Add 1-2 drops each of the neon yellow and neon orange food color to the buttercream. Beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Add more of each color to intensify the color, if desired. The end result should be a vivid orangey-peach color.Fit a disposable piping bag with a large French pastry tip. Squirt a little of the red food color in a condiment cup. Dip a kitchen-dedicated soft bristle brush into the red food color and paint a line of red food color inside the decorator tip and all the way up the length of the bag. Repeat this step directly across form the first painted line (you could use the piping bag seams for a guide, if your bag has two seams directly across from each other).On a scrap of parchment or paper towel, squeeze a little of the frosting out of the bag until the red color starts to show.AssemblyCore the cupcakes by cutting out a small divot in the centers with a paring knife; save the pieces. Transfer the pastry cream to a disposable piping bag and snip off 1/2 inch hole in the end. Fill each cupcake with about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the pastry cream. Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to create “lids” and place them onto the filled divots.Pipe a swirl of frosting onto a cupcake and immediately sprinkle a pinch of the white nonpareils on top. Repeat this process with each cupcake until all of the cupcakes are frosted and sprinkled. Just before serving, add a fresh mint leaf to each cupcake.
    NotesThe cake portion of this recipe is adapted from “Bellini Belle Cupcakes” from the book Intoxicated Cupcakes by Kate Legere (2011 Running Press). The buttercream recipe and champagne pastry cream recipe are both original to Sprinkle Bakes.

    Keyword bellini cupcake, canned peaches, champagne pastry cream, fresh peaches, peach bellini cupcakes, peach cupcakes

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