Category: baked goods

Candied Clementine Cake

Candied Clementine Cake

For those of you that want to try out the candied clementines but maybe don’t want to eat them whole (yes, you can eat the peel!), I offer you this lovely clementine bundt cake. It’s a more traditional dessert for sure, but I think more broadly appealing than the candied clementines.

I blended up the candied clementines I had leftover from the last post, and it became this gorgeous, thick, marmalade-like spread. I thought it would be absolutely perfect to flavor a bundt cake with, and I was right. I think I prefer the cake to the clementines alone!

This cake was so perfectly moist and fluffy, I nearly teared up when I had the first bite. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet, citrusy, and slightly bitter (in a good way) from the peel. The clementine flavored poured fondant is really the ideal topping. But don’t get scared off at the mention of poured fondant. It’s super easy. And it’s bakery quality icing. You have to try it!

Candied Clementine Cake

You see, I like icing glazes, but it can be tricky to get the thickness right when you’re mixing powdered sugar with liquid. Too thin and it just soaks into the cake a disappears, too thick and it doesn’t pour at all. And there’s always that vague grainy mouth feel it leaves behind, thanks to the cornstarch in the powdered sugar. I thought if I cooked it a little bit the powdered sugar would dissolve and help thicken the sugar (same idea for your basic stir-fry sauce thickened with cornstarch!). But then I also remembered poured fondant.

I discovered poured fondant when I made petits fours. It’s a sugar-based icing that is heated until the “soft ball” stage, or 235-240º F. If you have a candy thermometer handy, use it, but it’s NOT necessary. Since we’re only making a small amount of icing, I can pretty much guarantee you that boiling the icing for 10-20 seconds will bring you to the soft ball stage. Easy.

Candied Clementine CakeThe cool part about fondant? It sets, hard and glossy, when it cools. So once you’ve heated it enough, you whisk it off the heat until it starts to thicken and pour it over your cake. And like magic, it’ll harden and you’ll have totally perfect, totally professional-looking icing on your cake. The icing in the photos? Completely dry and set, even though it looks like it was just poured. And if it cools too much before you’re ready to ice, just re-heat it to thin.

Plus, it tastes amazing because I use fresh clementine juice for the liquid as opposed to water. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Candied Clementine Cake
Makes One Bundt Cake

1 1/2 Cup Candied Clementine Puree, around 5-8 clementines
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 Cup Soymilk, or other non-dairy milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Fresh Clementines, for garnish

Clementine Poured Fondant
1 1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
3 Tbs Fresh Clementine Juice, or other citrus (about 3 clementines)

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Puree the clementines in a food processor until fairly smooth, but small bits of peel are desirable in my opinion!

Candied Clementine Puree

Combine the clementine puree with the oil, soymilk, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in another bowl.

Grease a bundt pan with spray oil, vegan margarine like Earth Balance, or vegetable shortening. Scoop a few spoonfuls of the dry mixture into the greased bundt pan and turn the pan to coat the sides and center spike. Rap the pan against the counter to loosen any extra flour and pour it back into the dry mixture.

Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until combined. Pour the batter into prepared bundt pan. It’s okay if it’s a little thick.

Candied Clementine CakeI Batter

Bake at 350º F for 45-50 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool upside-down on a large plate. After a few minutes the cake should drop out of the pan onto the plate in one piece, assuming you didn’t miss any spots when greasing and dusting with flour. Let cake cool completely before icing.

Candied Clementine Cake

Clementine Poured Fondant

Whisk powdered sugar with 3 Tbs of clementine juice. Add to a small sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil for 10-20 seconds, or until it reaches the soft-ball stage (235-240º F).

Remove from heat and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. At first, the icing will be a glossy yellow (similar to egg yolks), and it will gradually thicken and become lighter as it cools. You want to pour it over the cake when it’s very clearly thickened, but not too cool (i.e. thick) to pour. If the icing becomes too thick, simply reheat and start again.

Dust the cake with powdered sugar to finish, and garnish with fresh clementine segments.

Candied Clementine Cake

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

This is a super cute dessert idea for winter-themed parties, and it isn’t much harder than making and frosting cupcakes. If you have a sharp knife, some toothpicks, a piping bag and a star tip, you’re good to go. It’s even more fun to make than it is to look at, or eat!

All I did was bake some cupcakes, cut them into cone shapes, stack them (secured with toothpicks) and then frosted them in such a way so that they looked like pine trees. Powdered sugar adds a little snow. At first I was bummed that my powdered sugar had so many HUGE lumps in it, until I realized they looked like little snow boulders. Score! You could get really creative and make little marzipan pine cones, or birds, or squirrels… you get the idea. Why not make a sweet little forest for your friends and family to devour?

Oh man, I just realized I could have built an igloo out of sugar cubes. Next time, I guess!

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

I used gel food coloring, both green and blue mixed together to get the shade right. Using only green was too light and minty for what I was going for – so make sure you have some blue on hand to darken it up. But there’s no reason your trees need to be green. White trees would be stunning on a darker plate, or other non-standard colors like pink or brown to play up their cutesy, cartoony look.

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Basic Sponge Cake
Makes 15 cupcakes (a few extra for practicing)

1 1/3 Cups Soymilk mixed with 1 tsp Apple Cider vinegar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbs Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Mix soymilk and vinegar. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch and salt and mix well. Add oil and extracts to soymilk mixture and whisk. Add wet to dry and fold until just combined. Fill each lined, sprayed cupcake mold with 1/4 cup batter. Bake cupcakes at 375º F for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely.

Enough for 5-7 trees

1/2 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 Cup Non-hydrogenated Shortening
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
About 3 Cups Powered Sugar, sifted, more if needed
Food Coloring (green and blue for standard trees)

In a stand mixer, whip margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Whip in extract. Slowly whip in powdered sugar until icing is fairly stiff. Add coloring bit-by-bit until desired color is reached. Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted it a small/standard sized star tip

Creating the Trees

Bake the cupcakes!


Unwrap the cupcakes and turn them upside-down. With a knife, carve the cupcake into a cone. If needed, flatten the base so the cupcake cone sits without wobbling.

Carving Cake

Stack the cupcakes to make basic tree shapes. Three high for tall trees, two high for short trees. Secure with toothpicks. You may want t make the base of your trees squatty so that they help the tree stand.

Basic Tree Shape

Create your forest!

Cupcake Forest

Begin icing your trees. If you don’t have a revolving cake platter to ice on, use a small cutting board that you can easily turn as you work. Start from the bottom and ice around and around up towards the top. Use long-ish strokes that end in an upward sweep to create branches. You can go back and fill in holes or weird spots later.

Icing Pine Tree Cakes

Finish off with shorter, horizontal or upward pointing branches, and then one directly on top pointing straight up. Take a look at your tree and add branches where needed.

Winter Pine Tree Cakes

Use a spatula to gently and carefully transfer the trees to your serving plate. Add lumps of powdered sugar if you have them, and anything else to finish up the forest scene. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to add snow to the trees.

Happy winter!

Winter Pine Tree Cakes