Candy Cane Bark Cake

This candy cane bark cake is a show stopper!
Perfect for any Christmas get together!

 White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark Chocolate Layered Cake

One of my favourite Christmas treats is Candy Cane Bark. It is quick and simple to make and oh so delicious! When trying to decide what kind of layered cake I was going to make for the holidays I had a vision of a Candy Cane Bark on top of a cake. I knew it would make for a stunning cake! I also seem to have a thing for 2 in 1 desserts - so this seems fitting. Ha.

The cake itself is a chocolate cake and let me tell you - its really really good. Super chocolate-y and incredibly moist! You’ll love it! I am already dreaming up other frostings and fillings to complement this cake. The frosting is a delicious white chocolate buttercream. It’s smooth and creamy with a hint of white chocolate flavour. You will be eating it by the spoon full!

Assembling this cake can be a bit tricky. The moist chocolate cake paired with a light coloured frosting can lead to lots of crumbs if you aren’t careful. I would recommend making sure your cake is well chilled - I like to freeze mine before frosting. A crumb coat will also help to keep those pesky crumbs at bay.

 White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark Chocolate Layered Cake

Candy Cane Bark Layered Cake

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake
1c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c hot coffee
2 ½ c all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking power
2 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ c milk
½ c sour cream

For the Frosting
1 c butter, at room temperature
3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c white chocolate chips, melted

For the Candy Cane Bark
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 c crushed candy canes

To Assemble:
1/2 c crushed candy canes
3/4 c red candy melts
2 tbsp whipping cream

 White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark Cake

Directions

For the Cake: Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease three 8 inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together coffee & cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, over medium to high speed, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, milk and sour cream. Whisk until combined. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Slowly whisk in flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

Bake for 35-40 minute or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and white chocolate until combined.

For the Candy Cane Bark: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. Pour and spread chocolate mixture onto parchment paper. Chill into firm and break into pieces.

To Assemble: Place one layer of cake on your cake board or serving dish. Top with frosting and crushed candy canes. Top with next layer of cake and repeat. Place the last layer of cake on top and crumb coat. Let cake set up in fridge for 15-30 minutes. Frost cake with remaining frosting. Place crush candy canes along bottom edge of cake and chill cake.

In a heat proof bowl, in 20 second intervals, melt together candy melts and whipping cream. You can either pour over the top of the cake and let the excess drip over the sides, or using a spoon drip chocolate over the sides first then fill in the middle.

Top cake with Candy Cane Bark.

 White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark Chocolate Layered Cake

Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettone

These mini panettone are filled with delicious dark chocolate and sweet cherries. They are sure to delight on Christmas morning!

 Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettone

Let the Christmas baking begin! I am so excited to share with you all of the delicious Christmas treats I have been making, testing and tasting over these past few weeks! I thought I would start off with my Mini Dark Chocolate and Cherry Panettone. It has become a bit of a tradition of mine to bake a panettone each Christmas. It started with these mini ones and then last year I made a more traditional large loaf. I decided to go back to the mini ones again this year. There is just something about mini desserts that is so fun. They are easily shareable and hard to resist!

I love that these aren’t overly sweet. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate pairs really well with the sweetness of the dried cherries. Its a delicious combination. I love the tender, flakiness of the panettone dough. I have been enjoying these for breakfast with a cup of tea! yum!

What Exactly is Panettone?

Well I am glad you asked! It is a traditional Italian sweet bread that is typically prepared around Christmas. It is usually a large loaf with a round base and a muffin like top. The dough is made using lots of butter and eggs which gives the Panettone a tender flakey texture. It usually has candied citrus and/or dried fruits throughout.

Making the Dough

Making a yeast dough can always be a little nerve racking but it is totally worth it! This dough comes together quickly and doesn’t require a lot of kneading. Just make sure you start the process early on in the day as it requires two 90 minute rise times before heading to the oven.

The only other thing to be cautious of when making these panettone is not over heating the milk and butter. Just heat until all the butter has melted and the milk is warmed. You don’t want it to get too hot! If you add super hot milk to the flour and yeast mixture you could kill the yeast and your dough won’t rise as it should. It will also melt the chocolate chips which you don’t want either!

 Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettone

Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettoni

Makes: 12 mini panettoni
Time: 30 minutes active time, 90 minute rise time x2

Ingredients:

2 packages instant yeast

4 c all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 c warm milk

1/4 c warm water

1/4 c butter

1/2 c sugar

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 c dark chocolate chunks

1 c dried cherries

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

Directions:

Grease a large bowl with butter, set aside

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together flour, yeast and salt on low speed for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine milk, water, butter and sugar. Heat until all the butter is melted and mixture is warm, do not over heat. If the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast. The milk should be warm to the touch, if it feels too hot wait for it too cool down slightly before adding it to the flour mixture.

On low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add in eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in dark chocolate and dried cherries. until just combined. The dough should be sticky to the touch Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled in size (approx 90 mins)

Line cupcake pan with parchment paper cupcake liners. Once dough is doubled in size, punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 12 even pieces. Roll into balls and place in cupcake liners. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise until doubled in size (aprox 90 mins).

Beat together remaining egg and 2 table spoons of milk to create egg wash. Brush on tops of each mini panettone. Bake at 350F for 11-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

 
 Mini Dark Chocolate & Cherry Panettone

Chai Cream Puffs

These chai cream puffs have the perfect amount of chai flavour and they are topped with white chocolate and a dusting of cinnamon that really highlight the chai flavour. Perfect for a cozy evening in.

 Cream puffs filled with chai whipped cream and topped with white chocolate and cinnamon

As much as I’d love to start bombarding you with Christmas recipes - I will hold off for another week. I figured these Chai Cream Puffs were the perfect transition between Fall and the holidays! Chai is one of those flavours that works so well for both occasions (any occasion really!). I drink chai lattes all year round. In the summer I love them iced and there is nothing better then a hot chai tea latte on a cold day. There is something about chai at winter - its so warming and totally cozy.

I have been having a lot of fun with cream puffs lately. I love how versatile the choux pastry is. It’s the perfect vessel for so many different flavours. I love how light and airy the choux pastry is. Its so fun to fill with different combinations then dunk in chocolate or glaze. The possibilities are endless and I am having so much fun exploring them. Maybe next year I will attempt to make a croquembouche for the holidays. They are so impressive looking! But for this year these chai cream puffs will have to do.

 Cream puffs filled with chai whipped cream and topped with white chocolate and cinnamon

Chai Cream Puffs

Makes: 18-24 Cream Puffs

Ingredients:

For the Pate a Choux
1 c water
½ c butter, cut into cubes
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 c flour
4 eggs

For the Chai Whipped Cream Filling
1½ c heavy cream
¼ c chai concentrate

¾ c white chocolate chips, melted
Cinnamon

 Cream puffs filled with chai whipped cream and topped with white chocolate and cinnamon

Directions

For the Pate a Choux: Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, butter, salt & sugar. Simmer until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a light boil. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Place the mixture back on the heat and continue to stir until the mixture starts to come off the sides of the pan and a ball forms.

Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for 4-5 minutes. Stir in eggs one at a time. The mixture will break or come apart with each addition but should come back together before you add the additional egg. Your pastry should be shinny and of a smooth consistency. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I used a coupler) and pipe about 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Use a small amount of water to smooth out peak on each dough mound. Bake for 10 minutes for at 425F, then drop oven temperature to 375F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow shells to cool completely before filling.

For the Chai Whipped Cream Filling: Ensure everything is cold before starting, including your mixer bowl. In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, over medium-high speed whisk your heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the chai concentrate until just combined. Chill in fridge until needed.

To Assemble: Fill a pipping bag fitted with a large round tip (such as a Wilton 12) with chai whipped cream filling. Poke your pipping bag tip into the bottom a cooled cream puff shell. Pipe filling into cooled shell until a little starts to ooze out. Dip filled cream puffs into melted white chocolate and dust with cinnamon.

 Cream puffs filled with chai whipped cream and topped with white chocolate and cinnamon