Try this gumdrop cake from Great Canadian Baking Show's Amanda Muirhead

·2 min read
Try this gumdrop cake from Great Canadian Baking Show's Amanda Muirhead

P.E.I. baker Amanda Muirhead loves baking up a storm during the holidays with her three children.

"We have many entire days dedicated to just baking and decorating on the holidays," said Muirhead, who recently competed on Season 5 of the Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC.

Muirhead said her kids, ages 9, 10, and 16, "insist on joining me in the kitchen.

"Sometimes I'm sneaking around trying to do things that I really just want to do myself because I'm trying to concentrate and I'm trying to do it perfect. I'll hear this little voice behind me, 'Are you doing that without me?'"

For Muirhead and her family, the dessert that's quintessential to the holiday season is gumdrop cake.

Submitted by Amanda Muirhead
Submitted by Amanda Muirhead

"When I think of holiday food, immediately I start off with gumdrop cake. That's always the kickoff to our holiday season," she said.

"We make that before we go get our [Christmas] tree. And we always have it there for a little snack. So that's the number one bake in our house."

Muirhead's recipe for gumdrop cake includes an indulgent brown butter maple glaze that ups the fancy factor.

"There is this really beautiful product called maple condensed milk. So it's sweetened with maple syrup, which is cooked into it, you've already got that beautiful sweetness, the lovely maple flavour," said Muirhead.

"Then we brown the butter to give it a nutty flavor. And that glaze just takes your cake to the next level."

Muirhead said the reason the cake has become a classic in her house is because of the combination of putting candy in a cake.

"It sounds awful, but when you eat it, you're like, 'This works.' It's so rich and buttery and dense," she said.

Turkey cupcake

Submitted by Amanda Muirhead
Submitted by Amanda Muirhead

The other holiday staple for Muirhead is roast turkey with summer savoury.

She serves an adorable hand-held version of that turkey dinner in a savoury cupcake that her kids love.

"The kids just think it's so funny to ask for cupcakes for lunch," she said.

The cupcake consists of a ground turkey meatloaf topped with whipped potatoes, garnished with a sugared cranberry.

"So you pack all the flavors of an actual turkey dinner into this tiny little cupcake that's adorable."

Muirhead and her family usually spend Christmas Eve making "fancy desserts" for Christmas.

"We usually do cheesecake and tiramisu, warm gingerbread cake with a rum or a toffee sauce. We usually do macarons and cookies as well."

Baking for others makes Muirhead feel "warm and fuzzy.

"Seeing them really love them and asking, 'Can I take some of this home? Can I have this recipe?'" she said.

"It's just doing exactly what you wanted it to do. It's making people happy and bonding through food."

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