The Campanella – a Paloma Cocktail Variation Perfect for Cinco de Mayo

The Campanella is a delicious, Italian Paloma Cocktail Variation that is a little bitter and a little sweet – it’s the perfect cocktail to sip on this Cinco de Mayo and all throughout the summer.

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The Campanella - a Paloma Cocktail Variation - old fashioned glass of orange cocktail, another in the background, garnished with half a grapefruit wheel  

Margaritas are great, there’s a very good reason that they’re so popular – it’s a simple and delicious formula that will always be a good choice. But, why not shake things up a little (literally), and swap out your margarita this Cinco de Mayo for an amazing tequila cocktail that is just as easy and delicious, but a little bit different.

 The Campanella - a Paloma Cocktail Variation - two old fashioned glasses filled with orange cocktail, bottle of tequila is in the background on the right, a cut grapefruit and lime is in the background on the left

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Gluten Free Yeast-Raised Donuts with Margarita Cheesecake Filling

Gluten Free Yeast-Raised Donuts that are crazy delicious! That’s right, these donuts are yeast-raised, fluffy and just as delicious as their gluten-filled sisters – and I will talk you through all the easy steps to get perfect gluten free yeast-raised donuts every time, with only a 30 minutes rising time! If that wasn’t good enough already, they have a margarita cheesecake filling and are rolled in lime sugar. Totally yummy, easy and perfect for Cinco de Mayo.

Plus a FREE printable cheat sheet to help you in the kitchen!

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Gluten Free Yeast-Raised Margarita Cheesecake Donuts - fluffy, delicious and so easy! This amazing recipe also includes all my tips on how to make perfect gluten free yeast-raised donuts every time. Plus a FREE cheat sheet printable! - a donut with a bite taken out of it, showing the fluffy inside

Y’all, I love donuts. Is there anybody who doesn’t love donuts. And look, I love cutting down on some calories with baked donuts as much as the next guy but if I’m having a serious donut craving it’s gotta be deep fried or it just won’t cut it. Since developing a gluten intolerance, real fried donuts have felt pretty much off limits. I mean, how often do you see gluten free donuts in a bakery? And adding the gluten free challenge to the yeast beast? Gah, scary, right?! Well, that’s what I thought.  But I’m happy to admit I was very wrong!

Gluten Free Yeast-Raised Margarita Cheesecake Donuts - fluffy, delicious and so easy! This amazing recipe also includes all my tips on how to make perfect gluten free yeast-raised donuts every time. Plus a FREE cheat sheet printable! - close up of a donut

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Strawberry and Chili Cheesecake Empanadas

Buttery, flaky pie crust with a sweet and spicy cheesecake filling! Dessert empanadas are easy to make and so delicious, everyone will love them!

Strawberry Chili Cheesecake Empanadas by Giraffes Can Bake - buttery, flaky pie crust with a sweet and spicy cheesecake filling
I love going into the town centre around the end of the week because it’s when all the market stalls are there, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables for way cheaper than at the supermarket, and much better quality too. They also have stalls with all kinds of other things, but I don’t usually pay much attention to them. However, last month I was there and a jam and preserves stall caught my eye and I had to go have a little look. All the jams looked so yummy and I was very intrigued by some of the flavours. After a lovely conversation with the lady that runs the stall and sampling lots of delicious jams, I came away with two pots of strawberry and chili jam. Thanks Poppy’s Preserves (I did ask for a website or facebook to link to but she doesn’t have one unfortunately).

Strawberry Chili Cheesecake Empanadas by Giraffes Can Bake - buttery, flaky pie crust with a sweet and spicy cheesecake filling

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Mexican Nutella and Banana Empanadas

Flaky pie crust encases chili and cinnamon spiked Nutella and sweet bananas, baked with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. The perfect dessert or breakfast for Cinco De Mayo, or any time!

Mexican Nutella and Banana Empanadas

I’ve had a jar of Nutella in my kitchen for a couple of months now, waiting for inspiration to strike. The fact that it’s lasted that long is kind of a miracle, it’s not unknown for me to just eat Nutella with a spoon – but I resisted until I came up with something awesome to bake with it. Inspiration struck this morning when I realised I hadn’t baked anything for Cinco De Mayo yet, which is just unacceptable because Mexican food is far too delicious for me not to honor the holiday on my blog in the form of something sweet! I went through a couple of ideas before landing on empanadas, and then Nutella and banana seemed like the obvious choice of filling – to me anyway!

Mexican Nutella and Banana Empanadas

 

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Tres Leches Cake

  A light and fluffy Mexican cake soaked in three different types of milk, making it incredibly moist and delicious. Piled high with whipped cream and infused with cinnamon. Quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten! 

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  Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

I’m a big fan of Mexican food, despite my mouth being a giant wimp! I don’t think I’ve tried a mexican dish I haven’t loved, and if my liver would allow it I would drink margaritas all day every day! We don’t get much Mexican food in the UK, at least not good Mexican food. I eat a fair bit of it when I’m in Atlanta since there’s a lot of good Mexican food there, but I’d still never tried Tres Leches Cake until I took matters into my own hands and made it for myself. 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake always intrigued me, it looked yummy but I didn’t think it could be as good as everyone seemed to say it was, but boy was I wrong! Now this is the first time I’ve ever eaten Tres Leches Cake so I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, but I can vouch for it’s downright deliciousness. I honestly could not get enough of this cake and I’m pretty sure I put on at least 5lb from how much of it I ate. 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

You know that episode of Friends where Chandler and Rachel keep stealing that cheesecake and Chandler says “I’m full but if I stop eating this cheesecake I know I’ll regret it”, well that was how I felt about this cake. I was so full up on cake but I knew I needed more, to stop eating it would have been the biggest mistake – it’s just too good! The other problem was normally I eat a little of my creations and then send them off to work with my mum, but since she was in hospital for over a week the cake stayed in my fridge with only me to eat it! (On a related note, my mum is now home from hospital and doing well, thank you for all your well wishes!) 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

This is a very egg and milk rich cake. There’s 5 eggs in it and, well, tres leches literally means “three milks”, once it’s baked the whole thing is soaked in a mixture of three different types of milk – double (heavy) cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. I steeped my cream with cinnamon before adding it to the mix to give a subtle hint of cinnamon throughout the cake, and I think that is really what tips this cake over from  regular delicious to never-stop-eating-it delicious. A lot of liquid goes into this cake, you might think it’s too much and the cake will come out soggy but I really do urge to use up all the milk mixture because there’s not one single thing I’d change about this cake – it’s not soggy at all, just ridiculously moist and to die for! To enjoy this cake at its best, you really will want to leave it in the fridge overnight after soaking before topping and serving so plan accordingly, the waiting is torture but it really is worth it! 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

One tip I will give you is, if like me, you do not have a lipped serving platter keep the cake in the baking tin. I made the mistake of removing the cake from the tin and transferring it to a lipped baking sheet to soak it, then I had to transfer it to the board I was serving it on. And that is not an easy thing to do in a cake that’s been soaked in 750ml of milk! Soak it in the dish you baked it in and you’ll have none of those problems and you’ll probably have a much easier time of soaking the cake through! Even if you have a lipped serving plate I would recommend soaking and serving it from the baking dish anyway, unless the presentation is super important for what you’re baking for. 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

Traditionally, tres leches cake is usually topped with fresh fruit and I had planned to top mine with strawberries – but considering it’s winter here the berries have been a bit hit or miss so I decided to just go with a dusting of cinnamon. I love how it looks with just the cinnamon, but I imagine it would be even tastier with some fresh strawberries if you can get your hands on some good ones – or mango I think would be really yummy, particularly with the cinnamon. 

Cinnamon Tres Leches Cake

I really do urge you to give this cake a go, it’s honestly one of the best cakes I’ve had the pleasure of baking or eating. I adapted it from a recipe by Ree Drummond and, of course, put my own cinnamon obsessed spin on it! Do let me know what you think of it if you give it a go. What’s the best cake you’ve ever eaten? If your answer isn’t tres leches cake your answer might just change if you try this one!

Do come hang out with me on social media, I’d love to see you guys around there! You can find me on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Facebook.  

Tres Leches Cake
A light and fluffy Mexican cake soaked in three different types of milk, making it incredibly moist and delicious. Piled high with whipped cream and infused with cinnamon
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For the cake
  1. 140g plain flour (all purpose)
  2. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 5 large eggs, separated
  5. 210g caster sugar (super fine granulated sugar), divided into 160g + 50g
  6. 90ml whole milk
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the three milks mixture
  1. 100ml double cream (heavy cream)
  2. 397g can of sweetened condensed milk
  3. 340ml evaporated milk
  4. 1 cinnamon stick
For the whipped cream topping
  1. 600ml double cream (heavy)
  2. 3 tbsp sugar
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with 160g of the sugar on a high speed until pale in colour. Stir milk and vanilla into egg yolks to combine.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mix and stir gently until just combined.
  5. Whisk the egg whites on a high speed until soft peaks form
  6. Add the remaining 50g sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks are just formed (see notes for more info on peaks)
  7. Very gently fold half of the the egg whites into the batter until combined. Then gently fold in the remaining half until all combined.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and skewer comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, pour the double cream for the milk mixture into a small saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Heat on medium until it's just about to boil and remove from heat. Put lid on pan and steep for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Place dish on a wire rack and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes.
  11. Pour the steeped cinnamon cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk into a jug and stir to combine.
  12. Keeping the cake in the pan, poke holes all over the top of the cake with skewer or fork.
  13. Pour 1/4 of the milk mixture all over the cake while it's still warm and leave to soak in. Repeat with the remaining milk (doing 1/4 at a time) until all has been soaked in, making sure you get the sides of the cake too.
  14. Once completely cooled, cover cake and place in fridge overnight.
  15. To make the topping, whisk together the cream and sugar until you have soft peaks, spread evenly over the cake and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (using a sieve works well for even sprinkling).
  16. Serve
Notes
  1. Soft peaks look like - when you remove the whisk from the mixture, peaks should be just starting to form and will melt back into the mixture within a few seconds
  2. Stiff peaks look like - When you remove the whisk from the mixture, peaks should be standing up straight with only the very tips folding over.
  3. Cake is best the day after baking/soaking
  4. Store covered in fridge for 3 days.
Adapted from Ree Drummond
Adapted from Ree Drummond
Giraffes Can Bake https://www.giraffescanbake.com/
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Tres Leches Cake