As winter drags on, I wanted to brighten up this cold spell with this colorful, peppermint cake! I show how to create these buttercream stripes, and how to make a peppermint design between the layers!! The full recipe and tutorial can be found below:
- 1/2 batch of my vanilla layer cake recipe + 2 tsp. peppermint extract + red gel food coloring
- 1 batch of my american buttercream + 2 tsp. peppermint extract, divided in half, coloring 1/2 red with gel food coloring
- 1/2 batch of my chocolate ganache drip recipe
- Peppermint Candies
Pour red cake batter into three, six-inch round cake pans, which have been lined with parchment paper and greased with non-stick spray. Bake layers in a preheated 350 degree F oven, for 30 minutes. Remove the pans for the oven, and run an offset spatula around the perimeter of the pans, to separate the layers from the pan. Place pans in the freezer to 1 hour to accelerate the cooling process and lock in the moisture of the cakes.
While the layers cool, make the peppermint buttercream frosting. Divide in half, and color one half a bright red using Americolor gel food coloring. If you’re having trouble achieving a true red shade, add the tiniest drop of black gel food coloring. It also helps to make it in advance, as the shade deepens overnight. Place each color of frosting into it’s own piping bag.
Next, make the chocolate ganache. Allow the ganache to cool slightly, then pour into plastic squeeze bottle. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you can use a spoon instead!
Once the layers are fully cooled and chilled to the touch, trim away any caramelized bits using a serrated knife. Pipe alternating colors of red and white buttercream in rings on top of each layer (resembles a bulls-eye!). This will create a striped look when we cut into the cake.
Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch. Pipe horizontal lines around the cake, alternating the red and white frosting.
Smooth red buttercream over the top of the cake, then use a bench scraper to smooth the stripes on the side of the cake. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.
Add crushed peppermint candies around the base of the cake, pressing the gently against the frosting using a small offset spatula. Chill the cake in the fridge or freezer until it is firm to the touch (about 10 minutes).
Swirl together remaining red and white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip.
Pipe buttercream swirls onto the top of the cake, leaving about an inch of open space between each swirl. Add chocolate ganache drips between the swirls, and top each swirl with a peppermint candy.
This cake is truly peppermint themed through and through! Remember that you should add peppermint extract to taste. As you add it into the frosting, do taste tests after each tsp to make sure that the amount of peppermint suites your palate! Some people prefer a strong taste, others enjoy a more subtle, mint flavor.