Merry Christmas Eve, friends! I had hoped to share this cake earlier in the week, but I’m moving immediately after Christmas and it’s crunch time! My apartment is covered up in moving boxes and literally the only thing left out are Christmas decorations on empty shelves. It’s pretty weird, but I couldn’t imagine having no Christmas decorations out.
Plus, it’s always time for cake, and I figure peppermint is a flavor that can be enjoyed all winter long.
About this cake:
Chocolate cake layers: this chocolate cake recipe is adapted from the Hershey’s Black Magic Cake, which is super easy and delicious. It’s my go-to chocolate cake recipe because it always turns out sooo soft and moist and tender. The recipe calls for brewed coffee, which helps balance out the chocolate flavor and the sweetness.
Pink peppermint frosting: I originally intended for this frosting to be a super pale pinkish-red color, but my first dab of pink food coloring was apparently a much bigger dab than I thought! But I’m still into it because it’s happy and vibrant and I think we (read: I) could use some more of that in life right now!
Garnishes: You can top this cake with whatever you like! I used some crushed up peppermints, peppermint meringues from Trader Joe’s, and chocolate-covered mint star cookies that are also from Trader Joe’s. I picked up some of their chocolate-covered peppermint joe-joe’s too, but um. You know, they didn’t make it to the cake. Or something. 🤷♀️
Hope you all have lovely and safe holidays and happy baking!
Chocolate Cake with Pink Peppermint Frosting
For the cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee cooled
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pink peppermint frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- Pink gel food coloring
For the cake
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, add the wet ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla.
- Using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, mix the wet ingredients until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until centers are set and a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack until completely cooled.
For the frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening together until smooth and creamy. Add peppermint extract and heavy cream. Mix until incorporated.
- Add powdered sugar two cups at a time, starting on low until mostly combined, and medium-high until completely combined. Scrap the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Add gel food coloring, starting with a small amount and adding more until the desired color is reached.
- When cake layers are cool, place one layer on a cake plate or stand. Cover with frosting; repeat with the other two layers. Spread frosting around the outside of the cake. Pipe any remaining frosting on the top of the cake and garnish as desired.