Mint Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Each month I pull together a list of cake ideas and flavors, and then pick out my favorites to make! I’m always asking you guys what cake I should make next, and I love your suggestions. A recurring suggestion I’ve received is for a mint chocolate cake.

When I think of mint and chocolate, all I think of is mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’m not sure if that’s where everyone else’s mind goes, but it is the inspiration for this cake! As I came up with the concept, I knew I wanted to include mini chocolate chips, and definitely some chopped up chocolate in the decoration!

I went back and forth quite a bit trying to decided whether the cake should be made with chocolate  or mint cake layers. I decided to pick mint cake layers, so that the mini chocolate chips I added to the batter would be visible. Since I went with mint cake layers, it made sense to fill this cake a milk chocolate ganache.

Despite filling the cake with ganache, I really wanted to cake to be green on the outside. That’s where the mint chocolate chip buttercream came into play. And boy was I happy it did. When I took a step from the finished cake, it was exactly how I hoped it would turn out. Minty, chocolaty, and chippy 😛

This cake is made using the below recipes:

  • 1 batch of my layer cake recipe + 2 tsp mint extract + 2 drops of green gel food coloring+ 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 1.5 batches of my milk chocolate ganache
  • 1 batch of my american buttercream + 2 tsp mint extract, and 2 drops of green gel food coloring + 1/2 cup of finely chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped up chocolate, for decoration

Begin by making the ganache filling. It needs a few hours to set, so I highly recommend making it first, or even the day before!

To make it, place both the milk chocolate (1125 grams – about 3 bags of chocolate chips) and heavy cream (375 grams) in a heat proof bowl, and heat for 30 second increments (stirring between).

Usually after about 2 minutes of heat, all the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, place plastic wrap over the top of the ganache, and let it sit overnight (or at least a few hours). Before adding the room temperature ganache to a cake, give it a slow stir with a spatula to ensure it’s nice and smooth, and the right consistency.

chocolate ganache

Next, prepare the the cake layers and buttercream, as directed in the above recipes, and adding  the mint extract, green gel food coloring, and chocolate at the end of the process. Make 4, 8-inch cake layers.

I also trimmed away the caramelization once they layers had fully cooled, using a serrated knife! This is totally optional, but I feel like it helps the pastel green shade of the cake really stand out!

Once the layers are fully cooled, begin to stack them, spreading an even layer of ganache over each layer.

spreading ganache onto layers

Use some of  the left over ganache to cover the cake in a thin crumb coat. Place the remaining ganache into a piping bag, fitted with your favorite french tip (I used an Ateco 869, which is a HUGE french tip). Smooth using a bench scraper, and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes (or until the ganache is firm to the touch)

ganache crumb coat

Next, cover the cake in a thick layer of the mint chip buttercream. It’s important that you use enough buttercream, so that the chocolate ganache doesn’t show through the frosting.

Smooth using an offset spatula and bench scraper. Be very careful as you smooth, as the chocolate bits in the buttercream can drag and ruin your perfectly smooth sides!

As you smooth, try to hold the bench scrapper at a more parallel than perpendicular angle to the cake, to allow the chocolate pieces to be gently pressed into the frosting, rather than dragged along the sides. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

mint chocolate chip frosting smoothing

Pipe a ganache boarder around the top of the cake, using the remaining ganache. Once piped, add the chopped chocolate bits onto the top of the cake. Use the back of a spoon to gently press then onto the frosting, to help them stay in place.

piping on ganache boarder

If desired, you can also add mini chocolate chips to the base of the cake! Use a small offset spatula to gently press them in to the frosting.

overhead of mint chocolate chip cake

Then you just need a color-coordinated knife to cut into this cake!! 😛 Totally kidding, but I really do love when one of my knives matches the color theme of a cake. I’ve been really into this iridescent knife, and figured it was perfect for this cake.

I was so happy with how mint-centric (is that a thing??) this cake turned out, and loved the way it tasted 🙂

best sliced chocolate mint cake

Butterfinger Cupcakes

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First it was the Milky Way Cake, then the Snickers Cake.…and now it’s butterfinger cupcakes!! Why? Because I love candy bars almost as much as I love cupcakes 😀 And who doesn’t love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate?!

Chocolate Cupcake Base:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 18 minutes

Cool Time: 1 hour

Assembly Time: 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size cupcake pan with liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture, and whisk together until smooth. Set the mixture in the fridge for 5 minutes to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate-coffee mixture until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture, and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the ganache, bring the cream to a boil. Pour it over the chopped chocolate, and let this sit for a minute. Add salt, and stir mixture for another minute, until fully incorporated. Let this cool and thicken, as you prepare the frosting.

While the cupcakes cool, whip together the peanut butter and chocolate buttercream. Cream the butter and peanut butter, until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and continue mixing until well blended. Add in the salt, vanilla, and half of the heavy cream. Reserve 1/2 of the frosting in a separate bowl, and add unsweetened cocoa. Blend on low-speed, and add additional cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high-speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Cut the center out of each cupcake, and fill with the cooled ganache. I wanted to pipe both frostings together, and followed the same technique I used to make my rainbow cupcakes. Stripe both frostings onto a piece of saran wrap, and roll up tightly. Twist the ends of the frosting pack. Feed this into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pull on of the ends through the frosting tip. Cut off excess plastic, and pipe swirls onto each cupcake.Sprinkle with crushed butterfingers, and top with a broken piece of butterfinger. BAM! If this cupcake doesn’t satisfy any chocolate/peanut butter cravings you have, I don’t know what will 😀