Two years ago, I challenged myself to make a signature Christmas cake and I did, with my Milk and Cookies cake. Nothing about that cake was easy to make though. I had a lot of challenges with constant power outages and going back and forth with whether or not it should’ve been an ice cream cake or not. The final product was probably my proudest creation to date. Whenever I brag about my baking, that’s the recipe I go to. I didn’t make it last year, but I’m planning on trying it again this year for the family Christmas dinner. But something in me felt a little extra Christmassy and I thought, why not make TWO signature Christmas cakes this year? It was a great idea until I got started. I don’t know what possessed me to think this was a great idea. I’m still rubbish at icing cakes and there were so many steps I didn’t know where to start.
Luckily my best friend Telia came over to hang out so I put her to work! Baking with a loved one was on my Christmas Bucket List so it really made my day to be able to bake and start a new Netflix series (Sick Note with Rupert Grint) with my bestie. Together we were able to set the table and play with my niece (who has recently entered her clingy phase). She made the buttercream frosting, but even when I mixed it, it was really soft, and kind of runny. So the room temperature for either the cream cheese or butter was probably too warm, making it too soft. I added raspberry extract to the frosting because raspberry and chocolate are a match-made in heaven! I wanted a surprise flavour that would really take this cake up a notch.
I want to thank Half Baked Harvest for the idea for this cake. I changed most of the ingredients to try to make it keto and that was the stressful part. I decided to use my Wilton checkerboard pan set for the first time to give the cake more pizzazz and flavour. It’s important for me to make recipes that not only look good, but taste just as delicious, if not better. I personally feel like I massacred this cake because of the frosting, and I completely forgot to make the ganache. It’s not my most visually appealing recipe, but if I were better at applying frosting, it would be Food Network worthy - that’s how much I believe in this cake! And trust me, there’s so much to love about this cake. If you’re looking for a fun Christmassy weekend project, or need a show stopping cake for your next holiday party, this is definitely that cake!
The North Pole Cake
INGREDIENTS (this makes one layer of the cake only)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup Truvia
2 tablespoons Lucuma Powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup veggie milk, vanilla
5 tablespoons Bakara Rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks (1 cup) sticks Butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 teaspoon Bakara rum
large candy cane and pearl sugar or confectioners sugar, for decorating
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 3 (6-inch) round cake pans or 2 (8 inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter.
2. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) beat together the butter and sugar (Truvia and Lucuma Powder) until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the buttermilk, rum and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until just combined.
4. Pour the batter among the cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes, until the tops are just set, and no longer wiggly in the centre. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
5. To make the buttercream. Add 1 stick butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and transfer the butter to the mixing bowl, let cool until it's room temp. (I did not do this part, but this how to make brown butter if you’re interested).
6. Add the remaining stick of butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, rum and raspberry and beat until combined.
7. To assemble. Place 1st cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/2 of the ganache over the cake. Add the 2nd cake layer and spread with the remaining ganache. Add the 3rd layer. Frost the outside of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Chill 30 minutes and then frost the cake generously with the remaining buttercream.
8. Insert the candy cane off-centre on the top of the cake. Sprinkle with pearl sugar or powdered sugar for "snow". Decorate as desired. Serve, or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.