Sunday 23 August 2020

Candy Cane Pizzas

When I first tried candy cane pizzas in 2014, I didn't think it would take me almost 6 years to post the recipe on my blog!  My life has seen many candy cane pizzas and much change since then. But there has been one constant.  It is hard to get these pizzas to look good and even harder to have time to photograph them well.  I have usually made them either for Christmas in July dinners where I am rushing about or at Christmas where I have very little energy.  After this year's Christmas in July, I decided lockdown gave me the time I needed to make them again so I could photograph and blog them.

Above are some picture of previous candy cane pizzas.  As you can see I was lucky if I could find time to photograph them on the oven tray and they were then fed to hungry children.  I find this is a great meal to serve to kids at Christmas in July and let them help themselves to vegies and salads.  So often I found that the cheese had melted too much and did not contrast with the tomato sauce enough.  I think when I was first making them, I probably made my own tomato sauce but these days we buy tomato sauce as I am busy and Sylvia prefers the bought stuff.

I have a favourite fast track sourdough recipe that I have used.  In my usual pizzas the dough is so sticky you couldn't knead it.  It is helpful to be able to knead the dough to shape candy canes so I add an extra 1/2 cup flour.  It is still quite sticky but with some flour will be manageable.  The most recently candy cane pizza dough was made by substituting some beer for water.  It really bubbled up and had a lovely crinkly look with the yeast and sugar.  What I loved about this pizza dough is that it is quick and easy.  Everyone appreciates a Christmas recipe to make in the festive bustle.  Especially if you are making separate meals for the kids.

As I mentioned, getting the cheese to melt just right is quite challenging.  So many times it has pooled beside the pizzs in an oily mess.  So when I made the pizza in July I decided I would time it for 5 minutes to melt.  Woah! That was too much.  Next I tried 1 minute.  Still too much melt.  Then I tried 10 seconds (check out top picture) and see that it perhaps could have melted slightly more for most pieces but slightly less for a few.  Getting an even melt is another challenge.

 In addition to the cheese melt, there are a few other issues to note.  I use a ruler to measure each sausage of dough to make sure it is 30cm long.  It often takes a little more time to get the right length than I would expect.  I try and shape the pizzas by placing them like a candy cane pressing them to be a bit flatter, try shape the ends to be squareish and make sure of a bit of space in the crook of the cane.  It will expend slightly when it bakes.  I find a knife best for spreading the pizza sauce on (ie not a spoon).  When I spread pizza sauce on a round pizza I don't worry about the sauce much and just spread it with a spoon and don't worry about the edges.  For candy cane pizzas I trie to make it on neatly so it is straight along the edges and square on the edges.  When I bake it, I try and make sure it remains red and does not urn,  Spacing the cheese slices evenly on the


Even when I made the candy cane pizzas most recently and tried to get a good melt on the cheese, it melted too much and so I put some more cheese on it and did it again.  In the photo above you can see the melted cheese under the less melted second go.  However these are made for kids who are pretty forgiving of imperfections. 

And now that I have this recipe on my blog, it is much easier to refer to than searching drafts for my instructions.  You might not feel in the mood for it now, though this wet Melbourne lockdown weekend is the perfect time for fun pizza.  But otherwise, just keep this recipe in mind for Christmas.  You wont regret it.  I am sure there are quite a few more candy cane pizzas in my future!

More fun festive kids food on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cheesmas Tree (gf)
Christmas bauble ornament biscuits 
Christmas royals
Fruit Christmas tree  (gf. v)
Gingerbread men

Potato parsley stars (gf, v)
Zimsterne (cinnamon stars) (gf, v)

Candy Cane Pizzas
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe fast track sourdough pizza dough

1 cup sourdough starter*
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp sweetener
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
Tomato sauce (or pizza sauce - not too thin)
Cheddar cheese

Place the sourdough starter, yeast, sweetener and warm water.  (Optionally, leave a few minutes to check the yeast is blooming into small white bubbly bursts of activity.)  Mix to make sure the starter is well combined.  Stir in the oil and salt, then add the flour to make a sticky dough.  Sprinkle flour on dough and lightly knead either in bowl or on a floured surface to make a ball.  Cover and set aside for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220 C with a couple of pizza stones in the oven.  Line two rectangular baking trays with baking paper (the non-stick type).

Cut the dough into 6 or 8 (I usually do 6 but found 8 was better for cooking the dough through and the smaller candy cane is plenty for kids).  Knead each piece briefly on a lightly floured surface into a round ball of dough.  Roll out to make a 30cm long thin sausage.  I use a ruler to measure it and try and keep it fairly even.  Place sausage on the lined baking tray with the top curved to make the candy cane shape.  Flatten slightly and shape the ends to be squareish.  Make sure there is room inside the crook of the cane fr the dough to expand slightly.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

Use a knife to spread tomato sauce over each candy cane neatly with straight sides and square ends.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until dough is baked but tomato sauce retains its colour.

While the pizza bakes, slice cheese into rectangles to be placed on pizza as candy cane slices.  They should be thick enough not to melt straight away.  When the pizza is cooked, arrange slices of cheese evenly apart to look like candy cane stripes.  Bake for 20-30 seconds or as long as you need for the stripes to melt but keep their colour.  Eat warm or at room temperature.  If you wish to reheat, cool pizza slight, and place uncooked cheese slices on to melt.

NOTES: You can also adapt this fast track yeast pizza by adding an extra 1/2 cup flour if you don't have sourdough.  Beer can be used instead of water, especially if you are low on sourdough starter.

On the Stereo:
White Christmas: Bing Crosby


  1. This is a great idea and a must-do for me! Guess what, I might add pineapple for the stripes, as I love pineapple on a pizza and it might give even more contrast. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. This looks like such fun for Christmas. Storing this one away.

  3. I forgot how much you do Christmas in July! Who knew that the cheese would prove to be the tricky bit!

  4. I wonder if you would have better success if you used Mozzarella cheese. It doesn't have the fat content of cheddar and melts very well.

  5. These candy can pizza's are delightful.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)