This post was produced in partnership with Coles Supermarkets. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the lights on around here! All opinions are my own.
Do you hear the sound of sleigh bells, and Mariah Carey and Michael Buble singing their hearts out? Do you smell holiday scents wafting out from every store? Has the world around you been bedecked with red and gold and twinkle lights? Then, my friends, it’s official. The holiday season has begun.
Holiday season = baking season. That much is a no-brainer. Time to bake up a batch of cookies, or a plate of muffins, and deliver them to your kid’s school, or your hairdresser, or your mate’s house. And my holiday baking straight up does not happen without a crap-ton of sprinkles, toppings and other accessories. Which is my I was super excited when I opened the box of goodies that Coles sent me, from their Baking range.
My White Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Cake here has three different kinds of sprinkles – 100’s &1000’s, silver cachous and chocolate coated popping candy (yes!). The frosting is a home-made white chocolate peppermint buttercream, the cake is a Coles vanilla box mix with a little dash of peppermint extract, and the dripping topping is a box of red melts.
For me, this cake has the exact right mix of ‘I made it myself’, ‘I saved some time’ and ‘it looks like it comes from Whoville’. I am not above using a cake mix. Ever since I learned that I Am Baker uses them, I think they’re a fine time-saving solution. And anyway, I learned to bake with them! They’re fun to do with kids, and the results are always reliable and delicious. And here’s the thing – your mechanic, your doctor, your manicurist is not going to care if the box of gingerbread men you give them was made from scratch, or not.
Ditto with this cake. Once the buttery, plain sponge is stacked and layered and frosted and decorated, it’s too late to worry about the provenance…because you’re already eating it. And it’s delicious. And it’s got candy canes sticking out of it, and it tastes like buttery vanilla and fresh peppermint. Definitely a crowd pleaser, especially for those who aren’t a fan of dark chocolate or dried fruit, which are usually in everything this time of year (not that I’m complaining).
Here’s the cool thing, I’m teaming up with the good people at Coles want to spread the baking love to you too! They have given me FIVE BOXES of fun-filled baking goodness to giveaway, and they want to hear what you think. They want to see what you can create with their box of goodness, and so do I, so I’ll be sharing your work here on The Sugar Hit!
The boxes will be full of items from the new Coles baking range! There are over 100 items in the range, (which would make for some pretty happy baking) and the review boxes will include a collection of new surprises and old favourites. There will be Gingerbread mix, everything you need to make cake pops, mini marshmallows, popping candy, cute coloured cupcake liners, rainbow sprinkles, 100’s & 1000’s, you name it, they’ve got it.
If you would like to receive a box of baking goodies, and then bake something and have your pictures and thoughts posted here on TSH, then all you need to do is leave a comment below saying ‘Merry Christmas!’ Winners will be randomly selected (open to Australian residents only), and I’ll be in touch to send your goodies, get your feedback and see what you create! I can’t wait to see! Competition is closed, winners have been selected and contacted.
- 2 x 7inch/18cm made with Coles Vanilla Cake Mix, with 1 tsp peppermint added to each
- For the buttercream:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- 2 sticks +2 tbsp (250g) butter, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz (100g) white chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp peppermint essence
- To decorate:
- 200g Coles Red Chocolate Melts
- Coles 100's & 1000's
- Coles Silver Cachous
- Coles Chocolate Coated Popping Candy
- 3 small candy canes
- Bake the cakes, however you like, adding 1 tsp peppermint essence to the mixes before you bake the cakes, then leave them to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, place the egg whites and sugar into a large bowl, and stir them with a whisk, just gently, to combine. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water - the water should not touch the bowl - and whisk slowly until the mixture reaches 65C/145F. If you don't have a thermometer, you can test by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingers. When you can't feel any sugar granules, and the mixture is hot (not boiling hot, but just hot) to the touch, it's ready.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and place into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the mixture on a medium high speed, until it triples in volume, becomes white and voluminous, and cools down completely - about 7-10 mins.
- When the mixture is cool, begin adding the butter, about 1 tbsp at a time, whisking for 20 seconds or so, between pieces. Keep going until all the butter is in. At some point, the mix may begin to look very liquid and soupy - don't worry, just keep whisking and I promise it will come together in a smooth shiny frosting. Just keep whisking!
- When all the butter is in, and you have a thick cloud of frosting, finally, whisk in the cooled melted chocolate and peppermint essence. If the frosting is a little soft, chill it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm it up.
- To assemble the cake, trim the layers if they are domed, and place one of the layers onto a cake stand. Top with half the buttercream, and spread into an even layer, right to the edge of the cake.
- Top with the second layer, and press down gently, but firmly and evenly, sinking it into the frosting just slightly and making it bulge out the sides. Top with the remaining half of the frosting and again spread into an even layer, right to the edge of the cake, and let it overhang the edge a little bit too.
- Now, take a palette knife and smooth the frosting that is overhanging the layers all over and around the cake creating a very thin, smooth coating all over the cake. Place the palette knife vertically against the edge of the top layer of frosting, and smoothly drag it around the cake, to create a flat wall of frosting. Then, working from the oustide in, smooth out the top of the frosting, to create a flat layer. Once the cake is coated, and everything is at straight and flat as you can get it, place in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
- When the cake is completely chilled, melt the red chocolate melts, and leave to cool. Pour over about half the melts, and spread gently to the edge of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides in a few places - keep adding more until you have the look you want.
- Quickly sprinkle a line of sprinkles (100's & 1000's and cachous) around the edge, then make a pile of popping candy off centre on the cake, and prong in three candy canes.