Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Makes 1 (3-layer) 8-inch cake
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- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose fl our
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
- Peppermint Frosting (recipe follows)
- Garnish: sugared mint leaves, coarse sparkling sugar, and crushed candy canes
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper, and spray again.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Form a well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Add hot water, whisking to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Spread Peppermint Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with sugared mint leaves, sparkling sugar, and candy canes, if desired. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes 6 cups
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- 1½ cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- In a medium saucepan, add water to a depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, egg whites, and salt. Set bowl over simmering water, taking care not to let bottom of bowl touch water. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 140° on a candy thermometer, about 8 minutes.
- Return bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add butter, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and peppermint extract, and beat to combine. Use immediately, or freeze, tightly covered, for up to 1 week. If using from frozen, bring frosting to room temperature, and beat with a mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes.