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Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Vegan Peppermint Nutcracker Cake recipe

This recipe is in paid partnership with Ask Mummy and Daddy [AD].

Only 10 days to go until Christmas, so I wanted to start the official countdown with this magical festive cake. It's giving me serious 'sugar plum fairy' vibes- haha!

A delicious 3 tier vegan chocolate peppermint cake with pink and white candy cane themed peppermint buttercream, decorated with iced, orange flavoured sugar cookies, sprinkles and candy floss.

Nutcrackers are extremely popular around Christmas time, even though I've never been the biggest Nutcracker fan, or a fan of the movie/ballet, oddly. I don't know why, but this year I want to be fully immersed by Nutcrackers- haha. I think they are so pretty, especially when they're in pastel colours. When I think of them, Hamley's Toy Store in London comes to mind, which is my favourite place to visit at Christmas time as it's just so much fun. 

I wanted to make this Christmas cake as magical as possible, hence the pinks, gold and sparkles. It's is a real eye-catcher and centrepiece, perfect for any Festive party or gathering.

I used my 3 ingredient cookie recipe to make the iced cookies featured on this cake, along with my 2 ingredient vegan royal icing. 

Ingredients you'll need for the iced biscuits:
I used my 3 Ingredient sugar cookie recipe (with added orange flavouring) , cut out the nutcracker shapes using a nutcracker cookie cutter and decorated them with my 2 ingredient vegan royal icing, in white, pink and black.
In order to get the beige for the face and hand tones, I used a little bit of cocoa powder and orange food gel mixed together in white royal icing, it gives a lovely colour, just make sure you wont add too much.

To make them extra sparkly, I decorated them with edible glitters and gold paint.
I used very thin food grade brushes to help paint on all the details.
Get the exact brushes I used here

It's best to make and ice the cookies a day or two in advance to allow the royal icing to fully set, before touching and adding onto the cake. 


There's no secret I have a sweet tooth, I'm sure you can tell by looking at my Instagram.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year, not only because its magical but the desserts!

I love the candy canes, gingerbread, marshmallows and candy floss.

Speaking of candy floss, I partnered up with Ask Mummy + Daddy to bring you this over the top festive cake [AD].

Ask Mummy and Daddy are a gourmet sweets company, and they have an amazing range of vegan friendly products including:
  • Candy floss [Flavours including 'Gin and Tonic, Amaretto, Candy Cane, Prosecco, Pina Colada and Mojito]
  • Jelly sweets
  • Fruit slices
  • Rainbow drops
  • Cola Bottles
  • BonBons
just to name a few.

I used the scrumptious pink candy floss in the flavour 'Ameretto' to top off this cake, as it reminded me of the hair on a Nutcracker- I let my imagination run wild with this one- haha.
This candy floss is DELICIOUS!

Their candy flosses are:
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Alcohol-free
Check out their vegan sweets / candy range here. They'd make great stocking fillers! 

Looking for more Christmas cake inspo? 
Look no further: Click here.


Preparation: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: Approximately 10-12
Level: Medium
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Ingredients for the biscuits
-200g of plain flour (you can use gluten-free)
-100g of coconut oil (melted)
-5 tablespoons of maple syrup
-1 teaspoon of orange flavouring / extract

Ingredients for the royal icing
-3 ounce of chickpea brine (aquafaba)
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-500g of icing sugar
-Cocoa powder

Ingredients for the cake
-480ml of dairy-free milk 
 -2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
-420g of self-raising flour
-40g of cocoa powder
-450g of caster sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-120g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil
-1 & 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint flavouring

Ingredients for the buttercream
-250g of dairy-free butter (I use Naturli)
-2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
600g of icing sugar
-Peppermint candy canes (optional)

Decorations
-Iced sugar cookies (see method below)
____________________________________________________________

Method (iced biscuits)
TIP- It's best to make these biscuits a day in advance to allow the royal icing to set.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and orange extract / flavouring.
 Bring together with a wooden spoon or your hands until a dough forms.
Add more flour if the dough is too wet or add more melted coconut oil if too dry. You want it to be a stiff but smooth dough.

3. Roll out the dough in-between grease proof paper then using a Nutcracker cookie cutter, gingerbread men, stars etc or a knife, cut out your desired shapes and place onto the lined tray.
If you don't have the correct cookie cutters, you can use a knife to cut out the shapes. You can print off the shapes you want and use that as a guide.

4. Place the biscuits into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden in colour. The edges of the biscuits will turn a light golden colour. Smaller cookies won't take as long to bake.

5. Once baked, carefully place them onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool fully before icing.

Method (royal icing)
1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, add in the chickpea brine and whisk on high until frothy.
This usually takes around 5 minutes.
I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment but you can use a hand mixer.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar and whisk together until it holds a stiff peak.
Add a splash of water until it's at a slightly runny consistency.

3. Divide the royal icing into 2 bowls, and a tiny amount into a third bowl.
Add a drop of pink food gel to one of the bowls, leave one white and to the small bowl, add a drop of black food gel.

4. Transfer the royal icings a piping bags.
Watch this video on how to pipe and decorate nutcrackers.

5. Once you have them decorated, allow them to dry fully before adding on final decorations like the glitter and food paint. 

Method (cakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line three, 6-inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.
TIP: If you don't have three cake tins, bake each cake seperatly. 

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil and peppermint into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cakes into the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 30 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (buttercream)
1. In a bowl/stand mixer, cream the dairy-free butter until light and fluffy, then add in the peppermint extract.
Add a splash of dairy-free milk if the buttercream is too thick. If its too runny, add more icing sugar until it's a nice and creamy consistency. 

2. Divide the buttercream into two separate bowl, keep one white and the other add a drop of pink food gel until its a baby pink colour.

3. Fill the piping bag fitted with a large round tip nozzle with the pink and white buttercream.

4. Stack and fill the cakes with the buttercream, adding a crumbled candy cane in between each layer, then crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge to set. This will take 20-25 minutes.

5. When the crumb coat feels firm to the touch, add a thick layer of the mixed white and pink buttercream all over the cake and using a smooth or textured cake scraper or large spatula, smooth out the buttercream.

6. Add any leftover buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozzle and pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake.

7. Press the Nutcracker cookies around the bottom edge of the cake (as seen in the photos).

Add gold and silver sprinkles all over the cake, and top with iced sugar cookies (as seen in the photos)

Serve fresh and store in a sealed container in/out of the fridge. 
Best eaten within 3 days of making.

Check out the vegan candy floss
here.
This is a paid collaboration with Ask Mummy and Daddy.
 A huge thank you to Ask Mummy and Daddy for collabing on this recipe with me!

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