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Desserts Kid Friendly Recipes Uncategorized

Birch Tree Cake With ButterCream Frosting

All my childhood I’ve been somewhat of a baker. I remember creating coffee mocha cakes, brownies, and cookies of every kind. And in what seems to be a cruel turn of events, everything I once loved to bake -I can no longer eat. So you can imagine my bittersweet delight when I was able to go back to my roots and make an actual cake -with flour. This particular cake I actually made for my son’s first birthday and his wild one themed cake smash.

I’ve been out of the cake game for a long time, so honestly I’m a bit of a rookie when it comes to them now. I’m not used to measuring properly. I’m not used to following directions exactly, or following those strict rules that promise a perfect cake in return. But luckily for us, there is no such thing as perfection when it comes to birch tree cakes …and I think that’s what makes them so wonderful! So what if your birch tree cake is leaning a little? Or it’s got some weird marks on it? Or it flat out fell over? Now its a log cake – embrace it.

Wanna get right into it? Jump to the Recipe

Before we get started, there are just a couple things you’ll need that will make creating this cake so much easier.

Steps For a Good Crumb Coat

A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that traps stray cake crumbs, helps fill in any gaps between the cake layers to create a smoother working surface, and keeps loose crumbs from ‘messing up’ your final frosting coat.

For best results:

  • Make sure the cake is completely cooled; a hot cake will melt the frosting.
  • You can use any kind of buttercream frosting to crumb coat your cake, as long as it is thin enough that it won’t tug and break the cake’s surface.
  • Work from a separate bowl when crumb coating. This way you can avoid crumbs into the frosting you’ll use for the final, perfect coat. 
  • Don’t worry about visible crumbs or a ‘uneven’ coat. This layer should be thing enough to see the cake and crumbs through it. Just smooth the frosting as best as you can, and let chill before applying the final layer of frosting.

Decorating A Birch Tree Cake

There is no right or wrong way to create these patterns and lines, but here is what I found helped along the way:

  • Pull up a reference photo.
    • Let this be your guide. Having a reference will help you get a feel for the patterns, marks, and distinct ‘eyes’ of the birch tree.
  • Don’t smooth the cake.
    • Birch trees are rough and have texture. Mimic this by leaving the cake a little rougher around the edges.
  • Use a toothpick or a paintbrush.
    • A little gel food colouring goes a long way, and the black pigment in particiular is exceptionally strong. Even the finest of lines get exponentially larger when touched and smudged. Go slow, you can always add more colour later.
  • Let nature play a part.
    • Gather and wash some small sticks, wrap the ends in plastic wrap and stick them into the cake for a pinch of realism.
  • Add personal touches.
    • A ‘carved’ heart, initials, arrows – the possibilities are endless!

Birch Tree Cake With Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birch tree cake, buttercream, cake, frosting
Servings: 4 People
Author: Savannah

Ingredients

Maple White Cake

  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp maple extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 2 tsp maple extract

Decorations & Assembly

  • small twigs & sticks
  • brown & black gel food colouring

Instructions

Maple White Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch glass baking dish (are my cake pros screaming yet?). 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add buttermilk. Add maple (or vanilla, or peppermint, or whatever kind of extract you want your cake to taste like, really!).
  • Slowly combine the flour and sugar mixture.
  • Bake for minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow cakes to cool for a several minutes, before transferring onto a wire rack.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

  • Mix egg whites and sugar together in a small bowl. Place bowl over a pot with 1-2" of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is hot, reads 160°F on a candy thermometer, or is no longer graint to the touch. Approximately 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and beat mixture on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled.
  • Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  • Add maple extract.

Decorating & Assembly

  • Once the cake has cooled, cut the cake into three 6" diameter circles -I used a small serving bowl as my guide. Save the rest of the cake mixture for cake pops (or enjoy it now, who am I to judge?). See how the pros do it here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-cake-pops/
  • Place the bottom layer of cake on a serving tray. Top with approximately 1/4 cup of frosting, and repeat for each of layer. Crumb coat the cake and chill for minutes.
  • Frost the sides of the cake. It doesn't need to be smooth, the texture helps create a more realistic birch tree! Also, the rougher texture helps hide blemishes, and accidental touch marks …which is perfect for cake noobs like myself.
  • Place a small amount of gel food colouring into 3 individual, small dishes -one with black gel colouring, and two with brown. It's easy to over do it with color here, especially with black, so add a small amount at first. You can always add more later. Add a touch of hot water (½ tsp or less) into each dish, enough to thin the gel to make it easier to apply.
  • Take ½ cup of frosting and place into a piping bag (or a ziplock with the corner cut off works just fine too). Mix in one of the brown gel food colorings. On the top of the cake, pipe in circles, starting at the center and working your way outwards to mimic the rings of a tree.
  • Take a toothpick, or a unused paintbrust and paint on the patterns and lines of the birch tree with the remaining brown and black food coloring. Take a spatula to blend and smudge the lines for a more natural look.
  • Add your finishing touches! Twigs, pinecones, figurines, or a hand 'carved' heart.

That’s all there is to creating a birch tree cake! Trust me, if an absolute noob like me can do it, so can you!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

Categories
Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Pub Style – Maple Bacon Chicken Wings

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At least up here in Canada, maple bacon chicken wings have been all the rage. From quaint pubs to bustling restaurants, everyone whos anyone has been scrambling to jump on the maple bacon bandwagon, adding their own unique spin on them to become the best of the best.

I ended up missing the maple bacon bandwagon and had to walk 40 clicks, but hey I’m here now and I’ve got something to say.

It’s time to put some freaking salt on those things!

It seems that so much emphasis is put on the sweetness of these wings that people completely forget about just how much the flavors of both sweet and salty  (my personal favorite flavor combination), can change a dish. As the lovely chefs in beautiful Banff, Alberta say: “No dish is complete without a little salt.”

So without further ado, the best of the best maple chicken wing recipe is here. (You can thank me later)

For my fellow keto lovers, this recipe can easily become lower carb by swapping out regular all purpose flour for almond flour, with the only noticeable change being slightly crispier wings. Of course, let’s not kid ourselves here… this recipe will be higher in carbs than most keto recipes thanks to the maple syrup and the maple sugar in my Backwoods Bacon Sea Salt Blend (see? again with the sweet and salty!)  but that’s exactly what makes them maple chicken wings!.

Personally, I’m a bit of an easy peasy, half-ass keto-er (as shown by my slightly squishy tummy and my neverending love for ice cream)  so a few extra carbs don’t bother me any.

Perhaps my diet is a bit more ‘slow carb’ than ‘low carb’.

So if you’re anything like me, ditch the carbs of regular flour by using almond and then embrace the maple-y goodness of the carbs you do keep. If you’re a die-hard keto fan (kudos to you!), save this recipe for your future treat meal and go all out. You won’t regret it!

Now -this time for real, if you’re ready for the best of the best maple chicken wings turn up “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies and let’s get started!

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That’s all there is to these incredible, impossible to beat pub style maple bacon chicken wings!

Enjoy!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Freezer Friendly Gluten Free Keto Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Cookie Dough Fat Bombs – Keto Friendly

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I’ve fallen deep into the rabbit hole that is Pinterest lately …so get ready for an abundance of mason jar salad recipes!

Just kidding… (maybe).

 While the mason jar salads are certainly alluring and “Pinterest Worthy”, it was actually when I was scrolling through picture upon picture of delicious dinners, light lunches, and naughty desserts that I once again stumbled upon the world of ketogenic desserts.

Part of me knew that going low carb doesn’t mean that you have to forgo favorite desserts, I’ve dined on keto cheesecake, cake, cookies, and of course fat bombs countless times thanks to my devilish sweet tooth… but what I didn’t realize was how vast and expansive this world of keto desserts is.

From avocado brownies to literal cookie dough my sweet tooth is in low-carb heaven!

This past little bit I’ve just been binging on all sorts of treats. One part of me insists it’s for the recipes but the other part of me knows it’s just for the cookies… which brings us to this gem of a fat bomb recipe today!

Chocolate chip cookie dough fat bombs.

Who knew there was such a delightful thing? (You do now, you lucky goose! I guess all those late night  Pinterest scroll sessions, and cooking sweets binges weren’t for nothing!)  Long story short -these are by far my favorite fat bombs of all time, and I’d bet all the money in my piggy bank (…roughly 47 cents but that’s beside the point!) that they’ll rank high on your list too.

Guess you’ll just have to make them and find out!

Of course, in typical Humble Kitchen fashion, this recipe can be tailored to you and can be as keto friendly or carb loaded as your tummy desires. For my fellow keto lovers, using almond butter instead of peanut butter or using specialty chocolate chips like Lily’s Chocolate (dark chocolate made with stevia) will yield a lower carb count.

However, these items can be tricky to find -especially in small towns, so if you’re fine with an extra carb or two go grab your favorite dark chocolate,  turn up “I Need A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler and let’s get started!

For the original, lower carb recipe jump on over to Fit Mom Journey’s blog and if you’re having a hard time finding the ingredients – stay right here. 

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There we have it! That’s all there is to these easy and delicious cookie dough fat bombs!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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Categories
Desserts Gluten Free Kid Friendly Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Chocolate Caramel Covered Strawberries

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February is already here and love is in the air. Heart shaped candies fill the stores, lovey-dovey cards stock the shelves, and beautiful flowers bloom – all of this and more for 10x the usual price! …yay?

Whether you love Valentines Day or love to hate it. Whether you want to spoil your sweetie, spoil yourself, or simply eat some gosh darn chocolate covered strawberries then you’ve come to the right place!

Okay but seriously, why don’t we eat chocolate covered strawberries more often?

Personally, (as much as I joke about the cost) I’m definitely a hopeless romantic, a sucker for love, and a fan of all things happily ever after. This Valentine’s Day is actually very special as this one my sweetheart and I will be celebrating as fiancés!

Just a few short days ago, my sweetheart and I got engaged out in Lake Louise, Canada during the Ice Festival. Surrounded by intricate ice sculptures, picturesque snow-capped mountains, and the love of our family he popped the question.

And I ugly cried. Hard.

I’ll spare you the details, but I will say this…

It was perfect.

So in the spirit of all things love, turn up “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John, grab a bottle of wine, and prepare for a little romance.

Or at the very least, some good old gosh darn chocolate, caramel strawberries!

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There we have it! A salty, sweet twist on chocolate covered strawberries!

Health & Happiness,

Savannah

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