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

Tim Tam Biscuit Ice Box-Inspired Layer Cake

Summer is here, and I’ve been having a blast making all kinds of summer-themed cakes! One of my favorite summer cakes is also one of the easiest to make, which is an ice box cake.

While I love a good layered cake, sometimes the simplicity of an ice box cake is just so appealing. I’m not sure whether it’s the ease at which it comes together, the short list of ingredients, or how refreshing it tastes on a hot summer day, but it is always such a treat!

To mix things up a bit, I’ve partnered with Tim Tam® to create a cake that is the best of both worlds! This cake is part layer cake, part ice box cake, and it has a secret ingredient…DARK MINT TIM TAM® BISCUITS!

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For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of eating Tim Tam® before, it is an irresistible biscuit that is chocolaty on the outside, crunchy creamy on the inside, and delicious all over! They’re originally from Australia, but are finally available in the U.S. now!! If you want to learn more about Tim Tam® biscuits, or where you can buy them, head over to TimTamUSA.com.

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While some people enjoy simply snacking on these delicious biscuits, others like to SLAM them! I had no idea what a Tim Tam Slam® was until I saw an Australian Instagrammer do one on Instagram a few weeks ago. People love to bite off each end of the biscuit, and dunk it into their coffee! What surprised me the most is that a #TimTamSlam can be done with a hot or cold beverage. I love this, because I pretty much exclusively drink iced coffee.

Since Dark Mint Tim Tam® biscuits were going to be the star of this cake, I wanted to stay on theme, and incorporate a bit of coffee into this cake. I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe that uses an entire cup of coffee, and decided that it would be the perfect base to build this cake.

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I stocked up on my favorite Tim Tam® flavor, Dark Mint, and went to town adding them into this icebox inspired cake. The whipped cream filling, and fresh mint flavor make this cake such an amazing summer dessert! The full recipe can be found below.

Mocha Cake Layers:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coffee

Whipped Cream Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp mint extract

Mint Buttercream:

  • 4 sticks or 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp.  heavy cream
  • 2 tsp mint extract
  • 2 small drops green gel food coloring

Additional Ingredients and Decorations:

  • 5 packages Dark Mint Tim Tam® Biscuit
  • Wilton 1M frosting tip
  • 2 fresh mint leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease three eight-inch cake pans.

Begin by making the mocha chocolate cake layers. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined (be sure there aren’t any clumps! If there are, you may want to sift your ingredients).

Pour in the coffee and buttermilk into the dry ingredients, until fully incorporated. Add in oil and eggs, and stir until smooth. The last step is to stir in the vanilla. The batter will be on the thin side, but that’s the correct consistency!

Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans, and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let the cakes sit for about 5 minutes. Gently run an offset spatula around the rim of the cake pans to loosen them. Place the cake pans in the freezer to speed up the cooling process, and to trap in additional moisture.

While the cake layers bake and cool, make the mint buttercream. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

Once fully mixed, add in the mint extract and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Mix in the green gel food coloring one drop at a time, to ensure you achieve a light shade of green. Place 1/4 of the frosting into a large piping bag, and trim to have a 1 inch opening.

Once the cake layers are cooled and ready for assembly, make the mint whipped cream. Chill a large metal bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Add heavy cream into bowl, and beat on high using a whisk attachment. Quickly add in the sugar and mint extract, and continue to mix until medium to stiff peaks form (should only take about 1 minutes from start to finish). Be sure not to over beat, or else you can end up with butter!!

To assemble the cake, place chocolate cake layer on a grease-proof cardboard cake round. Pipe a ring of mint buttercream around the edge of the cake layer, and add 1/4 of the whipped cream into the center of the cake. The buttercream will act as a dam, to keep the whipped cream in place between the layers. It will give the cake stability once it’s assembled, and prevent any whipped cream from seeping out into the crumb coat.

tim tam cake blog3

Smooth the whipped cream inside the frosting ring using a small offset spatula, and place chopped Dark Mint Tim Tam® biscuits on top on the whipped cream. Smooth an additional scoop of whipped cream on top of the biscuits. Repeat this process with the second cake layer.

tim tam breaking biscuits blog2

Once all three layers are stacked, cover the cake in a thin crumb coat with the mint frosting, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes.

Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add a second layer of frosting. Smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.

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Once smooth, cut up Dark Mint Tim Tam® biscuits into a variety of sizes, to create a biscuit gradient up the side of the cake.

Cut the biscuits into four different sizes (halving, quartering, etc.). Place the largest bits around the base, of the cake, then slowly work up the cake using increasingly smaller Tim Tam biscuit pieces.

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Once the entire side of the cake is covered, place remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M frosting tip. Pipe small swirls around the tops of the cake. If desired, chill the cake for an additional 5 minutes in the freezer, then drizzle a bit of chocolate ganache over each swirl. Top each swirl with a bit of fresh mint leaf.

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Be sure to let this cake sit in the fridge overnight, to ensure that you achieve the icebox effect in filling of the cake. Take the cake out of the fridge a couple hours before serving, to allow it warm to room temperature.

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This cake serves about 20 people. If you aren’t a huge fan of mint, you could definitely pick a different Tim Tam® flavor, and omit the mint extract from this recipe. A fun variation would be to use classic Tim Tam® biscuits, and frost the cake with a chocolate buttercream.

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