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November 30, 2012

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Easy Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

Madigan made… a holiday treat with candy canes and chocolate cake!

Easy Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

Are you looking for awesome holiday dessert ideas? Boy are you in for a treat today! (pun intended!)

This morning, over 50 bloggers are sharing fun Christmas dessert ideas! (If you just can’t wait to see those ideas, jump to the bottom of this post.)
Over 50 awesome holiday sweet treat recipes!
For my holiday treat, I want to tell you about this simple chocolate and peppermint cake that I made this past weekend.

I love this easy chocolate cake recipe from Martha Stewart. I’ve made it several times. The cake is simple to bake… and very dense and moist! Plus, the cake looks so pretty with the shiny chocolate glaze on top.
This week, I adapted that recipe by adding a little mint flavor, white chocolate and crushed candy canes to make the cake more festive for the holidays.
 Recipe for Easy Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

Simple Chocolate and Candy Cane Cake Recipe:

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Easy Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (plus about 1 tbsp., reserved for the pan)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus about 1 tbsp., reserved for the pan)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Several candy canes
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces of chocolate (white or semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8” or 9” round pan. Lay a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and butter that, too. Then, dust the pan with cocoa.
dust the pan with cocoa
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat the eggs in one at a time and then add the vanilla and peppermint.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder) together in a separate bowl and then add the dry mixture to the sugar/eggs/butter. As you add the flour,  alternate with the sour cream until both the flour and sour cream are added and combined into the batter.

Pour the cake batter into the pan. Tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles. Bake the cake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick can be removed cleanly from the center.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a bit and then turn it out of the pan upside-down onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely. 
Recipe for Easy Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

While the cake is cooling, chop up your candy canes. I like to use a mini food processor – easy peasy!
Tip: crush candy canes with a mini food processor
Once the cake is cool, make your chocolate glaze.

To make the glaze, heat up the heavy cream until it gently boils (you can do this on the stove top or in the microwave, like me!). In a small bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until all of the chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate combine. For more mint flavor, you can add peppermint extract to the glaze.

After the glaze sets for a few minutes and thickens a little, pour it over your cake. I start in the center and just let the shiny glaze run off the edges. Be sure to place a piece of wax paper or a flat pan under the cooling rack to catch any drips. Sprinkle the glaze with your crushed candy canes.


Allow the glaze to cool and set… and then serve!

The cake looks so soft and wintery, don’t you think? The white chocolate glaze is semi-transparent… almost like the cake is covered in a little snow. While the effect is kind of pretty, I think I still prefer the more opaque look (and taste) of dark chocolate. Next time I make this cake, I’m going to try a dark mint chocolate glaze (using semi-sweet chocolate instead).

Recipe for Easy Chocolate and Mint Cake

This is a very dense and very rich dessert. The peppermint flavor in the cake and icing is subtle and I love the crunch of the candy canes on top. It is a cool treat for the holiday season!

Recipe for Easy Chocolate and Peppermint Cake
Have I satisfied your sweet tooth yet?
No!?

Well, check out all of these fabulous treat ideas below from 50+ other bloggers! You are sure to find another dessert or two to share this Christmas season: