For times when a pie or a cake simply is not enough.

PIECAKEN is a whole pie baked inside of a cake. Any cake. Any pie. PIECAKEN has endless flavour combinations, which is why this web page exists. So when a pie or a cake simply is not enough, turn to this page for recipes, ideas, photos and events dedicated to PIECAKEN. It is a celebration all on its own, baked into one delicious dessert.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

'CUP-PAKEN' - Miniature PIECAKENs with a delicious Chocolate and Cherry Combination

What's the cutest dessert you could make this year?  A CUP-PAKEN - that's what!  You may be asking yourself what on earth is a CUP-PAKEN?  It is simply a mini version of a PIECAKEN, which is sometimes also called a 'pake' - so a CUP-PAKEN is a mini pie inside of a cupcake

So here is a recipe that will impress all of your friends and family. And stay tuned for more CUP-PAKEN recipes posted to this site in the future.

Recipe: Cherry Pie Inside of a Chocolate Cupcake
Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Before You Start:

  • Make your ganache (see recipe below) one day in advance of making your cupcakes. Otherwise you might need a chocolate buttercream recipe or will have to wait a day to ice the cupcakes, but since cupcakes are only fresh for 2 days or so, it is best to make your ganache in advance.
  • You will need the following tools for this recipe:  a regular 12-section cupcake pan for your cupcakes, and a mini 12-cup cupcake pan (or just use 12 sections of a 24-section mini cupcake pan) for your mini pies.

Mini Cherry Pies (Makes 12):

You need:
  • 50 frozen or fresh (pitted) cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tsp cold water
Mini Cherry Pie Instructions:

  1. Make the Perfect Pie Crust (find the recipe here).
  2. Cut 12 round pieces of pie crust using a small bowl or round 1 cup measuring cup. Cut another 12 smaller round pieces for your top crust (using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup round measuring cup - or any round glass about 2-inches wide). Set aside the smaller pieces.
  3. Grease and then sprinkle flour in each section of a mini cupcake pan. Also grease the top of the pan, since each mini-pie crust may hang over a bit.
  4. Press the larger circles of pie crust into each mini cupcake container.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. They do not need to turn brown, they just need to be cooked a little bit just to firm the crusts.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cherries, sugar, cinnamon and the cornstarch-water mixture.
  7. With a small spoon, scoop 3 or 4 cherries from the mixture into each mini pie shell. Place your small rounds of pie crust on top of each cherry pie.  Use a fork to poke holes in the top of the crust.
  8. You can seal the top and bottom crusts together by brushing on an egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with 2 tbsps. water, milk or cream) and brush the egg wash over the top of the crust also to crisp and brown the pies. Although this is not necessary if you are putting the pies into the cupcakes. 
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 F (until they are sizzling and browning slightly on top).
  10. Once cooked, place on a cooling rack and let cool for 1/2 hour and then pop out each mini pie onto the cooling rack.
While your mini pies are cooling, make your cupcake batter:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

You need:
  • 1 cup of unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup  of sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

Cupcake Batter Instructions:
  1. Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are dispersed.
  2. Add the canola oil and mix again until the mixture is dampened.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is mixed and lump free.
  4. Stir or briefly beat in the sour cream until combined.
  5. Line your cupcake pan with 12 cupcake papers.
Assemble the CUP-PAKENs:

  1. Place your batter in a pastry bag and cut a small hole in the end (or place it in a large freezer zipper bag and cut a small hole in one corner).
  2. Place a small amount of batter into the bottom of each cupcake paper, just to cover the bottom with a layer of about 1/4" to 1/2" thick.
  3. Pick up your mini pies and press each one into the cupcake batter.
  4. Pour a little more cupcake batter onto the top of each mini pie and fill in around the edges, and then smooth out the top (see the photo on the right for a visual guide).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Do not over-bake.
  6. Let cool completely on a cooling rack. This will take longer than regular cupcakes take to cool, since there is a small pie inside. Ice these once they are cooled and consume within 2 days or freeze in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Recipe:

You need:
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate (chocolate with anywhere between 50% and 65% cocoa solids will do), chopped into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.
  1. Place your chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
  2. Place your whipping cream in a small saucepan on the stovetop. 
  3. Bring the cream to a near-boil (not boiling) on medium-high heat.
  4. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  5. Cover with an airtight lid or seal with plastic wrap and let rest on the counter overnight or for 8 hours.
  6. Place in a piping bag to decorate your cupcakes.  If it is too stiff, you can massage the bag with your hands until the ganache is soft enough to use. Alternately, you can whip this ganache with a hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy. Pipe onto the cupcakes or simply use a spatula to ice the cupcakes.

Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache


Monday, August 18, 2014

Vanilla Bean & Peach PIECAKEN Recipe

A Fresh Peach Pie inside a Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

This Vanilla Bean & Peach PIECAKEN sold out at a local restaurant within just 2 hours.  With fresh, ripe Ontario peaches, this cake was timed to take advantage of Ontario's peach season. It was delicious, so why not surprise your friends and family and try it at home!  Here is the recipe:

What you need:

For the pie:
  • 4 to 6 cups of sliced peaches
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar (raw or white)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch and 1 - 2 tsp cold water
  • The Perfect Pie Crust, see recipe here.

For the cake (if not using a store-bought cake mix):
  • 3  cups of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups of granulated sugar (raw or white)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of sour cream

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing:
  • 1 lb unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 bag of icing sugar (or the small bag)
  • 1 to 2 tsp. of real vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla bean or the scrapings from 1 or 2 large vanilla pods

PIECAKEN MAKING TIP before you begin: If you have a 9-5 kind of job, and you need this cake for a party on Saturday, make your pie on Thursday night, then bake the cake (with the pie inside of it) on Friday night, and ice it on Saturday morning.  If the cake is for Friday night, make your pie on Wednesday.

Instructions to Make the Peach Pie:

  1. Make the Perfect Piecrust. Remember to line your 9" pie plate with parchment paper. Grease, with lard or butter, under the parchment (to stick the parchment to the plate) and over the parchment paper.
  2. Place a large round of pie crust on the parchment paper in the pie plate. Trim the sides as needed (they should hang over a little bit, as they will shrink).
  3. Precook your bottom crust for 10 minutes and let cool.
  4. Place 4-6 cups of sliced peaches in a bowl.  Add the cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice and stir. 
  5. Mix 1 tbsp. of corn starch with 1.5 tsp water and pour over peaches.  Stir until mixed.
  6. Pour your peach mixture into the prepared pie crust.
  7. Roll out another round piece of pie crust and cut a circle large enough to cover the pie and the sides.
  8. Use egg wash (1 yolk whisked with 1 tbsp. of cream and 1 tbsp. of water) to seal the edges together by brushing the top and bottom, then brush the top of the crust all over.
  9. Use a fork to stab several holes into the top crust to let the pie breath.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let cool for 1/2 to 1 hour while you prepare the cake. Or let cool overnight and make the cake the following day.

To make the Vanilla Cake:

Tips before you bake:
  • You can use a cake mix from the store, but note, you will need at least two boxes, and you will need to cook it for about the same amount of time.
  • The cake takes a long time in the oven and a very long time to cool. So plan accordingly because you cannot ice it until it is cool.

  • Prepare a 10- or 10.5-inch springform pan, by lining it with parchment paper and greasing both the parchment and the sides of the pan.
  • Place your flour, sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  • Add the canola oil and, using your hand mixer or stand mixer, mix for about 30 seconds until your mix is crumbly and damp.
  • Add the eggs all at once and mix until combined, being sure to stir the bottom and incorporate any dry bits. Mix again until smooth.
  • Add the sour cream and mix for just 10 to 30 seconds until combined.
  • Pour 1/2 the mix into the bottom of the pan so that you have at least a 1/2-inch layer.
  • Pick up your pie.  If you are able to remove the pie plate, do so.  If not, simply flip the pie upside down into the batter. Centre the pie and then remove the parchment paper.
  • Pour the rest of the batter onto the pie and spread it around and into the cracks in the side. Jiggle the cake a bit to ensure the batter is even and level.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Then check to be sure the sides are not burning. You make want to cover with foil at this point to prevent the cake from browning too much. Bake for up to one half hour more.  Keep checking it with a knife in the centre and remove it from oven when the knife comes out clean (or nearly clean, as you may never reach the "clean" point).
  • Let cool on a rack on the counter until nearly cool.  Run a knife around the cake edges, then release the springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.  If you have your icing ready, you can place a very thin crumbcoat on the cake to prevent it from drying. Refrigerate the cake until chilled.
  • Flip the cake upside down onto a serving plate (this will put your pie right-side-up).

To make the Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing:
  1. Beat 1 lb of unsalted, room temperature butter until fluffy (stirring often).
  2. Slowly add in 1/2 bag of sifted icing sugar. Beat, stir, and continue beating until fluffy. 
  3. Add 1 tsp (or more to taste) of real vanilla extract and 1 tsp of ground vanilla beans or the scrapings from 1 or 2 large vanilla beans. Beat again just until mixed.  Ice immediately or cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until you are ready to ice the cake.
  4. Ice the cake however you wish, and then place it back in the fridge.

Once iced, be sure to chill your cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Out of the fridge, the pie will squish quickly, so it is important to keep it refrigerated.

Serves 12 to 16 people.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summertime-in-the-Country Dessert: Blueberry Pie in a Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

The advertisers may already be playing their 'back-to-school' commercials on television, but summer is by no means over yet.  There is still time for family gatherings in the country, backyard BBQs, and beachside birthday parties, which means there is still a desire for cake, ice cream and, you guessed it, pie.

And what says 'summer-in-the-country' better than blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream? With blueberries ripe in Northern Ontario, this dessert is perfect right now to make the pie lovers happy at parties that need cake. Even better, there is no need for the person serving the pie to scoop ice cream onto every piece!

Topped with crunchy caramel bits and caramel-flavoured whipped cream, this recipe turned out to be a very tasty treat. Try it with the from-scratch pie recipe below, or use a store-bought pie, if you are short on time.

RECIPE: Blueberry Pie in a Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

You need:

For the Ice Cream Cake's Crust:
  • 2 cups of graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of butter
For the Ice Cream Cake & Topping:
  • 1 2-litre tub of vanilla ice cream (or vanilla frozen yogurt)
  • 1 to 2 cups of whipping cream
  • Butterscotch or Dulce de Leche caramel sauce
  • SKOR bits
  • OR White Chocolate Shavings &/OR Shredded Coconut
For the pie:
  • The Perfect Pie Crust - see recipe here
  • 4 cups of frozen or fresh wild blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup of sugar (granulated white or raw, organic)
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch (use 1 if you don't want a cornstarch flavour)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp. water.
Tip: Make your pie and crust the day before. Make sure they are very cold (frozen would be best) when you add the ice cream. Ensure you make the entire cake six hours before you need to serve it, to give it time in the freezer to harden.

Instructions to Make the Pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Once you make the pie crust (see recipe here), then prebake the bottom crust in the oven for 10 minutes to stiffen it a bit. Let cool for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, make your filling.
  3. Place your blueberries, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice in a medium-to-large bowl. Stir until combined.
  4. Place your cornstarch in a small bowl and add 1 tbsp. of cold water and stir until smooth.  Add another tsp. of water if too hard and lumpy.
  5. Pour your cornstarch/water mixture in a circle over the blueberry mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Carefully spoon or pour the entire blueberry mixture into the pie crust. It will be heaping, so be sure to not spill it all over the crust edges.
  7. Roll out another circle of pie crust and place it over the top of the pie. 
  8. Brush the egg wash under the edges of the crust to seal the top crust to the bottom one.
  9. Brush the egg wash over the entire top crust.
  10. Poke several holes in the top pie crust with a fork to let air escape while baking.
  11. Place your pie on a cookie sheet for easier handling (this also prevents a huge mess in your oven in case your pie boils over).
  12. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. IF you used fresh blueberries, take the pie out if the pie crust is golden brown. IF your blueberries were frozen, check to see that the crust is not burning, and then bake for an additional 15 minutes (total 1 hour cooking time for a pie made with unthawed, frozen blueberries).  If the crust is getting too dark at this point, lightly cover with aluminum foil before continuing to bake for the last 15 minutes.
  13. Let cool completely on a cooling rack and then refrigerate until cold (it needs to be cold so as not to melt your ice cream!) or freeze it, which makes assembly much easier all around.
Instructions to Make the Cake Crust:

  1. Prepare a 9" or 10" round springform baking pan by buttering the bottom and sides. Line with parchment paper if you prefer, and butter the parchment paper.
  2. Place your graham crackers and sugar in a medium bowl and stir briefly until combined.
  3. Melt your butter in a microwavable small bowl for 35 seconds (or just until melted).
  4. Pour the melted butter over the graham crumb mixture and stir until moist and combined.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of your springform pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes (take it out when starting to brown on the sides).
  7. Let cool completely, then chill or freeze until you are ready to assemble the ice cream cake.
Instructions to Assemble the Ice Cream Cake:

  1. Remove the Spring from pan from the refrigerator or freezer, as well as your tub of ice cream.
  2. Moving quickly, scoop out small balls of ice cream and place all over your crust, close together so you don't have to spread around too much (the crust will easily stick and incorporate into your ice cream if you are not careful).
  3. Press down on each ball in order to spread them together.  Try to get a consistent and flat ice cream layer about 1-inch thick or more.
  4. If your ice cream tub and the bottom layer are melting quickly, feel free to put them both in the freezer for an hour or two before finishing the assembly.
  5. Remove pie from the pie plate (and parchment paper, if you used it).
  6. Place the pie on the bottom layer of ice cream. Try to fill in the sides as best as you can. Then, using the same method as you did for the bottom layer, scoop out several balls of ice cream and place them all over the top of the pie. Spread around as best as you can to get about a 1-inch layer of cream. 
  7. Freeze the cake until hard (2 hours in the deep freeze or more - preferably 6 hours or overnight). 
Ice Cream Cake Tips:
  • If your top layer is not perfectly even, don't worry, just get it back into the freezer and you can always open the freezer later and quickly smooth it out  with the back of a spoon.
  • Also, if you can't fill in the sides perfectly (see pic to right for an example), keep a little ice cream in the tub and after you freeze the cake to hard, take it out and quickly try to fill in the sides with the remaining ice cream. Place the springform pan back on the outside to contain it and keep the shape.
  • Use a 'cake caddy' to freeze the cake - this makes it easier once the sides are off.
  • To remove the springform sides, use a hot knife to run around the edges, then remove carefully.

Instructions for the topping (3 options):

Butterscotch or caramel whipped cream topping:
  1. Place whipping cream in a cold bowl (chill bowl and beaters for a few minutes before whipping).  Whip until nearly firm and soft peaks form (if it looks slightly lumpy, you should stop whipping).
  2. Add 1/4 cup (or more depending on your taste) butterscotch sauce to the whipped cream and mix for another 10 seconds until combined.
  3. Immediately place in a pastry bag to decorate the cake, or take the sides of the springform pan off the cake and spread around to cover the top of the cake.
  4. Sprinkle the cake with SKOR bits in whatever quantity you like.
Caramel Sauce and Caramel Crunch:

If you do not have time to make whipped cream, place caramel or butterscotch sauce in a small Ziplock or pastry bag  and cut a tiny bit off the bottom corner. Use this to squeeze out sauce and make crisscrossed lines across the top of the cake, then sprinkle with SKOR bits.

White Chocolate & Coconut:

Top the cake with a mixture of shaved white chocolate and shredded coconut, which always pairs nicely with blueberry.

Work quickly while topping the cake and refreeze after adding the topping!

Serving Tip:

It is easier to make this several days in advance and freeze in a deep-freeze until hard.  Then, if this is not a birthday cake and does not require candles and a song, then you can pre-slice it to make serving easier at the party. To pre-slice, pull it out of the freezer and use hot water to cut each slice.  place back in the freezer as quickly as you can, and take breaks to refreeze it if need be. If you are slicing it at a party, be sure to keep it frozen up to the moment of serving.  Keep a large glass of hot water on hand to heat up your knife to make it easier to slice quickly (before the cake melts!).