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Category Archives: Complicated recipes

Toilet Paper Cake

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Can’t find TP at the grocery? This cake will NOT solve that problem for you, but it might make you and your family laugh- and that counts for a lot right now!

Well, here we are. About a month into this craziness called Coronavirus. First of all, for my readers and fellow bakers that have been directly affected by this pandemic- hugs to you. We all have been affected to some degree, but some of you have been ill with it, had family ill with it, and maybe even lost someone close to you. My husband and I were just talking about how numbing the numbers are each day. We keep saying things like, “oh- look only 14 deaths in our state today!” And then we remember that those 14 people were deeply loved members of families, and it hits home. This recipe is fun, and maybe even funny, but I don’t want to make light of the terrible situations that many of you are living through right now. 

Just a month ago, my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary with a long weekend trip to Florida. We had a wonderful meal at a beach-side restaurant and walked the beach afterwards, picking up seashells. Yesterday was exactly one month later and it felt like 5 months had passed. So much has changed in one little month! I knew I wanted to make a cake for my hubby for our 13 month celebration (we celebrate everything!) and this little TP cake- celebrating a whole month of TP concern- made us both smile. 

Here’s the deal: I am NOT(!!!) a cake decorator! I cannot even frost a layer cake without it looking super homemade. Cupcakes? Yes. Cake? NO WAY. So I thought about just trying to frost the cake and adding the little cut-out for the center of the roll, but when it was all finished the frosting looked terrible. I’d made fondant for the little grey circle on top, so I rolled the rest of it out, cut it to the height and circumference of the cake, and slapped it on the outer edges. It looks messy- but in a genuinely toilet-papery kind of way 🙂 How’d I make the pattern on it? While sewing masks earlier this week, I caught a glimpse of my pattern marking wheel, and decided I could roll this over the fondant to make those little serration marks. 

The cake is coconut, with toasted coconut filling (YUM!!)- but you can use any flavor or type of cake with this. Here is how I did mine: 

INGREDIENTS: (cake/filling)

  • 1 white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • 1 cup of toasted coconut
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flavoring
  • About 1/2 cup cream of coconut (optional- just makes cake moist and adds more flavor)


DIRECTIONS: (cake/filling)

Make cake according to package and bake in three 6″ pans according to package. 

Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.

Place butter, powdered sugar, and coconut flavoring in a mixing bowl and beat on high until light and very fluffy (about 2 minutes). 

Fold in the toasted coconut and set aside. 

When cakes are cool, place one on serving plate and drizzle with cream of coconut.

Top this with 1/2 of the filling mixture and spread to edges. 

Repeat this with the next layer, and set cake aside.

INGREDIENTS: (frosting)

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla (or any flavoring you might want!)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of half-and half cream.

DIRECTIONS: (frosting)

Beat together butter, Crisco and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.

Add powdered sugar gradually and mix until combined and a little crumbly.

Add half and half cream and mix on low.  You might need to add a little more until frosting is a thick but smooth consistency.

INGREDIENTS: (fondant)

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • black gel color to make center of roll
  • brown gel color if you want to add a poo or two 🙂 

DIRECTIONS: (fondant)

Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.

Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).

Add clear vanilla and mix well.

Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.

Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.

Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.

This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  Want a picture tutorial of this process? Check out this post

Assembly: (the fun part!)

Use the frosting to place a thin, smooth layer over the entire cake. Let this harden a bit while you prepare your fondant. 

Color a small ball of fondant a grey color. Roll this out on a clean and powder-sugared counter and use a small circle cookie cutter to cut the center of the roll out. Set aside.

Roll the remaining white fondant out into a large flat rectangle. Measure your cake height and circumference and then trim the rectangle into this size using a ruler and knife. I made mine a tiny bit longer so it would drape off the end like TP does. 

Frost the cake again with a thicker layer, making sure it is as smooth as possible. Gently fold the fondant strip a couple of times so it is easier to handle, and then carefully press it against the sides of the cake, lining the top edge up with the top of the cake. Once you are all the way around, gently lay the extra across the front and on the plate. Mine wasn’t even close to perfect- it was bumpy, and wrinkly. Normally, I would smooth this out, but I left it because it looked more like TP — all messy! 

Place the grey center on the cake’s top, and use a toothpick to draw a spiral in the frosting out from the center to the edges. 

Finally, (if you have one!) use a pattern marking wheel to make the pattern on your fondant resemble TP. You could also use a toothpick- but that seems like a lot of work? Brainstorm ideas for an item you might have lying around that could do this otherwise. 

I had extra fondant, so I colored it brown, rolled it into a little poo and added it to the side of the cake- with a little flag. Then, I stepped back and laughed. Which was good for my soul 🙂 

My thoughts: There are ways to make this easier. You could buy fondant, you could skip the fondant entirely and decorate with frosting (if you are gifted in cake decorating skills), you can skip adding the little poo… I know this cake is a little more complicated that what I usually share, but it seems like we all have a little extra time these days to fuss over a cake- especially one that makes us all smile.

Enjoy! ~r

Other fun baking ideas for your shelter-in-place time: 

 

 

Opera Creams

Opera Cream Candy These cream-filled chocolates are so smooth and rich you won’t be able to stop at just one!

I work in a genetics lab.  Every year at Christmas my co-worker Gail brings in the most wonderful candy I’ve ever eaten.  Every year I ask for the recipe and she smiles and says that she can give me the recipe but that I’d need to visit and learn the recipe from her.  Now that I’ve made it, I understand.  This is not a typical Easybaked recipe, it’s very involved.  It’s fun and challenging and oh- soooo worth the effort though!

Gail recently retired and about a week ago I visited her in her kitchen to learn how to make opera creams.

This is a recipe passed down to her from her mom, who had all kinds of thoughts about the making of this candy.  My favorite was that the recipe works best on sunny days and if it’s raining you might as well just wait to make it another day.  We had a beautiful sunny December day to make our candy on, so I’m sure she would have approved.

Lets start with the recipe– that’s the easy part.  I’m going to post it twice– once with pictures and videos and once just straight so you can read it easier.

Gail's moms recipe card

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used tempered dark chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.

Use a pastry brush to brush water down sides of panGail and her moms candy thermometer

  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)

Bring to 240F degreesDon't stir!!!

  • Remove from stove and add salt, butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)

Pour into a non-plastic dishCooled mixtureKnead into a soft cream

  • Work with hands until firm and creamy- it takes 20-30 minutes and this is pure craziness….here are the stages to expect:
  1. sticky caramel- fairly firm
  2. slimy/ buttery texture– almost like its falling apart
  3. sticky but workable
  4. so sticky that you literally cannot move your fingers and you are sure you will have to get the mixture surgically removed.
  5. no longer sticky- but like playdough with little crumbs falling off at the edges…keep kneading!
  6. Finally creamy and smooth- kneads together in one beautiful dough- like ball.

I filmed Gail as she went through this process.  Click HERE to see the near-miraculous transformation from sticky to creamy smooth!

  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days….yes. TWO DAYS.
  • Bring cream filling back to room temp and roll into balls.

Roll into ballsDip into chocolate...

  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.


Opera Cream CandyMy thoughts: amazingly yummy.  The cream is just like no other candy I’ve tried.  It is worth every bit if the effort it took us to make these.  I found myself cringing as people popped them whole into their mouths though…I kept thinking, “SAVOR those!!!  You’ve no idea how hard I worked on them!!!”  So hard, in fact that I took a two hour nap when I got home!

Opera cream CandyNow for the recipe in an easy-to-read format:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used dark tempered chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup to a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.
  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)
  • Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)
  • Work with hands until firm and creamy.
  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Bring cream filling to room temp and roll into balls.
  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream Candy

A huge “thank-you” to Gail for spending so much time teaching me her family recipe!  We had such a fun day together cooking AND trying lime phosphates while we waited for candy to cool!

Having fun while the candy cools!

Enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Other (easier!) Christmas recipe ideas from Easybaked~ Click on the image to be taken to the recipe:

Chocolate molten lava cupcakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingChocolate bonbonsHot Chocolate Pops!

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