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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Piecakens: Pumpkin Pie in a Cheesecake & Apple Piecaken !

It's that time of year again: it's pumpkin season! So get those pumpkin pies you are making into cake, because let's face it: pumpkin piecaken is the best kind of piecaken. But if you're backyard is anything like mine, and you have too many apples to know what to do with, then it may also be time to make a Fall piecaken treat: apple pie in a cheesecake!

Here are a few photos of my Fall piecakens this year, which are sliced and headed to Buoy's Eatery here on Manitoulin Island. I've also included the links to the recipes here on the blog.
Pumpkin Pie in a Cheesecake:

You can top it with pumpkin-spiced icing (1/2 tsp mace and 1 tsp cinnamon added to your favourite vanilla buttercream icing) or with milk chocolate ganache, like in the recipe I posted here:
Apple Pie in a Vanilla Cheesecake
with Dulce de Leche Caramel Buttercream:
Simply mix a half cup Dulce de Leche caramel sauce into your favourite vanilla buttercream and top the piecaken with dollups of caramel sauce and you have the perfect Fall piecaken!
This one is a regular apple pie (with a pie crust on top), but the recipe is pretty much the same for my Apple Crumble-top Piecaken here:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Key Lime Piecaken: Key Lime Pie in a Vanilla Cake

This delicious key lime pie is sandwiched between two layers of vanilla cake and topped with Lime-Infused Buttercream icing and shredded coconut. What a perfect summer dessert.

The truth is, this Piecaken is actually a Faken Piecaken - a term created here on Manitoulin Island a few years ago when we held a sort of Piecaken Festival. You see, a 'real' piecaken is the art of baking a cake, with a whole pie inside. But some pies cannot be put back in the oven a second time, like a banana cream pie, chocolate pie, or a key lime pie.  This category also covers off those who want to be lazy bakers, because let's face it, a 'faken piecaken' is a lot easier to make and requires much less cooking time than a regular piecaken!

And so, since I had a request to make a Key Lime Pie inside of a cake, I had to make it the Faken Piecaken way. This was just fine with me, because my cake could bake for just the right amount of time, and the whole thing layered really nicely. In fact, it turned out beautifully, with the key lime pie being the perfect filling for a vanilla cake.

Key Lime Pie

A similar recipe was on the Taste of Home website, but has since been removed before I could write it down.  This is the original link. But then I made the pie a few more times from memory.  The ingredients may not be exactly the same as the original, but my version is working out very well! Also, the whipped white chocolate cream topping is ALL MINE! I made it up on the spot and it was delicious! So even if you don't put this key lime pie inside a cake, it is delicious all on it's own with the whipped white chocolate cream and some white chocolate shavings.  Probably the best key lime pie you will ever eat. EVER.


Filling (may be enough for 1 pie + 1 small pie, or use remaining filling as a custard or pudding)
  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. grated lime peel (Key Lime or regular lime is fine)
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (Key Lime or regular)
  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 cups crushed graham wafer crackers (or crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted preferably, but either is fine)
  • 1 tbsp. butter for greasing pan
  • 1 round of parchment paper larger by 2" all the way around than the 8" base of the cake pan
  • 1 8" round cake pan

Whipped White Chocolate Cream Topping (if not putting the pie in a cake, or to top cake with)
Click here for recipe.

Important tools:  At lease two 8" cake pans, but preferably 3 of them. Two 8" pans and an 8" pie plate would be fine too.

Key Lime Pie Instructions:

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350º F.

1. Prepare your 'pie plate' (8" cake pan) by lining it with a round of parchment paper that comes higher than the pie crust edges will be. Butter the cake pan bottom and sides, then press in the parchment paper and stick it to the pan.  Make cuts all the way around down the sides to get the paper to overlap and lay smooth against the sides of the pan (I'll try to post a picture or video to demonstrate this). Then grease the parchment paper as well.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds or in a small saucepan on the stovetop, depending on your preference.
4. Place your crumbs and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.
5. Pour in the butter and mix with a spatula until the crumb-sugar mix is moist.
6. Press the moist mix into the cake pan and
7. Bake crust for 10 to 14 minutes, until top edges start to brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack while you make the filling.

For the filling:

1. Place the sweetened condensed milk in large bowl. Add the sour cream, vanilla and lime juice.
2. Grate your lime zest with a small grater (the style for Parmesan cheese). Then sprinkle in and blend with a hand mixer, blender, whisk of a stand mixer or a submersion blender (basically whatever you have to blend!).
3. Pour into the baked and cooled pie crust.
4. Bake in a preheated 350º F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the very edges of the filling start to bubble.  No browning for this pie! It just needs to stiffen up a bit in the oven.
5. Let cool on a cooling rack for an hour or more, then place in the fridge to chill until cold (about 6 hours). Meanwhile, make your cakes for the Piecaken.

If you decide to make just the pie and want a great topping with white chocolate in the whipped cream (which will hold for days), click here for the recipe on my chocolate blog.

For the Cake:

You can use a packaged cake mix if you like, such as a white cake or an Angel Food Cake baked in 8" pans, or follow the recipe below, which my daughter modified from my own 'secret' recipe that I use for my business.

You need:

White chocolate shavings or shredded coconut for pressing into the sides of the cake.

1. Place the flour, sugar and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Lightly beat for 10 seconds to disperse the ingredients. Add the canola oil and beat on medium until it is worked in and dry ingredients are moist (20 seconds), then add the eggs and beat for another 20 seconds to incorporate.
2. Using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and blend again on medium high for 10 to 20 seconds until mixture is smooth. Do not overbeat. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat just until they are incorporated.
3. Pour into two 8" greased and parchment-lined cake pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, just until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Assemble the Piecaken

1. On your cake serving plate, place one of the vanilla cake rounds. Ice it with vanilla buttercream (see recipe, if needed) and ensure there is about 1/8" to 1/4" of icing.
2. Carefully remove your chilled/cold pie from the pie plate and parchment paper. You can lift the parchment paper out of the pie shell by holding it by the upper edges and then carefully unwrap (you'll see here why it is important to have a well set and very cold pie!). Place the pie on top of the cake round, ensuring it is evenly in the middle.
3. Ice the top of the pie with the vanilla buttercream, again 1/8" to 1/4" thick.
4. Place the second cake round on top. Gently ice the entire piecaken with a thin layer of icing. 
5. Refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes to harden the thin layer of icing, then remove fromt he fridge and completely ice and decorate the cake, either with more buttercream or lime-flavoured buttercream (see tip below)*. Press coconut or white chocolate into the outside of the cake while the icing is still room temperature, or grate a little lime rind on top for a pretty colour.

Voila! You have Key Lime Piecaken! Serve within 2 days, otherwise your cake will dry out.  The pie will likely be good for about 4 days.

*Tip for Lime-Flavored Icing:
-flavour your buttercream with lime oil, or key lime pie flavouring, or if you don't have access to flavourings and oils, simply soak large pieces of lime rind in the icing sugar for 24 hours before making your icing - then remove the rind pieces just before incorporating the icing sugar into the icing recipe.

Friday, June 24, 2016

What's up with Piecaken? Plus, an incredible Blueberry Banana Piecaken!

Since the 'piecaken' went viral last Fall, (and consequently, this site and all of the piecaken pictures on it have make the rounds on the Internet), oddly I have been making less piecakens.  Of course, I've done some re-bakes of recipes from this site, and have provided the odd one to a restaurant that I supply with desert, but I haven't made anything spectacularly new in a while.  So with summer tourism season in full swing on Manitoulin Island, I am planning to make quite a few piecakens over the summer months for Buoy's Eatery in Gore Bay.  And perhaps, if there is time, I'll host some sort of Piecaken Week, just to keep the momentum rolling and an excuse to write about it here.

For now, here are some pics and quick 'how-to' of a lovely Blueberry-Banana piecaken that I made last month:

Blueberry Pie In A Banana Cake PIECAKEN

1. Make a blueberry pie (or buy one! Farmer's Markets are a great place to get one right now).  Use my recipe from this post:
2. Make your favourite banana bread or cake recipe. I make one with buttermilk in it - I'm sure a Google search can pull one up easily (this one looks good, but you might want to double the recipe - if there is too much batter, make a few cupcakes or muffins with it).
3. Pour some (about 1/3 of the batter) cake batter into the bottom of a 10" springform pan, then flip your pie over upside down into the centre of the pan (onto the batter layer).

4. Pour the remaining batter around the sides and on top of the pie crust. Give the pan a little shake to smooth it out.
5. Bake in a 350º F oven for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours (basically until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean).
6. Let cool completely (an hour on the counter, then in the fridge for about 6 hours - or overnight).
7. Decorate with vanilla buttercream icing. Use my icing recipe from this post (and try not to get distracted by the deliciousness of the Peach Piecaken while over there):
8. Serve with fresh blueberries on top - it is the season, after all!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Piecaken - Simple & Fun Recipe!

I was inspired to make this Lemon Blueberry Piecaken when I saw the most adorable blueberry pie at the SuperStore over the holidays. I know pie should really be described as 'yummy', 'tasty' or even 'scrumptious'. But this pie really was adorable. It was only 2.5 inches across, and came in cute single-serving containers. My first thought was: that will be perfect in a lemon cheesecake! The rest just sort of happened.

To make a mini piecaken, you really need a small 5" to 7" cake pan. If you have that, you can make a small piecaken with any small pie inside! If you can't find pies like the one I bought, make the blueberry pie recipe on my blog here and simply cut smaller circles of dough to fit in small/mini pie plates (find these at any grocery store, and even pre-made mini pie crusts in the freezer section!).

For the lemon flavouring, you can use natural lemon oil, if you have it.  Or you can plan 1 day in advance and peel large pieces of lemon rind off a few lemons.  Then soak them in the sugar that you plan to use for the dessert.

Here is how you tackle the rest of it:

To make a shortbread cheesecake crust, mix together the following ingredients:

  • About 10 small shortbread cookies or lemon cookies, broken up
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Press into a parchment-lined 5" to 7" cake pan until the bottom is covered and up the slides about a 1/2". Bake for 14 minutes in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and let cool for a little while you prepare the filling.

For the small cheesecake, beat together:
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened (warmed in microwave with NO packaging for about 25 seconds)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lemon (you need the rind only should soak in the agave for 8 to 24 hours)
Then pour half the batter into your prepared cheesecake crust, then place your pie in the middle of the batter, and pour the remaining batter on top. Spread around and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 40 minutes, checking to be sure the middle looks cooked but still lightly jiggly. Stick a knife in the middle to be sure raw cheesecake is not coming out of the center still before pulling it out of the oven.

Cover with marshmallow (Martha Stewart has a recipe here, but simply spread over cake immediately, before it sets into squares. For lemon marshmallows, just add lemon oil or soak your sugar & corn syrup in lemon first). You can simply sprinkle icing sugar over top to prevent stickiness. Or torch it with a chef's torch, like I did. Lemon buttercream would also be a nice topping or white chocolate ganache and coconut pressed into the sides.

I know this recipe is very casual compared to my other recipes. Use the Comments section below if you have questions, and I will try to answer them as soon as I can.

Good luck!