Yep, you read that title right, friends! The Seven Layer Mint Chocolate cake, inspired by one of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies, the Thin Mint.
I’ve been wanting to make something Thin Mint inspired the last couple of weeks, but wasn’t sure what. A tart?? A cake? But it couldn’t be just any cake. And then it hit me—thin layers. Because Thin Mints.
I know. Super high-level and deeply critical thinking going on in the kitchen these days.
The inspiration for all these layers also came from the Smith Island Cake, which is something you’ve probably seen even if you don’t recognize the name. I’ve seen these have anywhere from nine to fourteen layers, but I went with seven because that seems much more manageable! I’m not trying to make anyone do a mountain of dishes, although, as my mom always says and definitely remarked after I was done with this one, “Girl, you sure know how to blow up a kitchen.”
These cake layers are reminiscent of brownies, but aren’t too sweet. Which goes well with the light minty flavor and the fudgy frosting. I felt like it needed something on the top and kept it light with some simple swoops of whipped cream.
So! You’re probably wondering if you really have to have seven cake pans for this. The answer is no! I used three pans and just wiped them out and re-sprayed them with baking spray. I baked the first round of three pans, a second round of two pans, and then a third round with the final two pans.
You can also use disposable aluminum tin foil pans from the grocery store if you don’t want to fool with waiting for the pans to cool long enough to wipe them out. To each their own!
The icing here is a little tricky, but mostly you just have to wait for it to cool to the right consistency. All of the icing ingredients cook in a saucepan on the stove until slightly thickened. It thickens more as it cools, which is where you need to keep an eye on it. I waited until mine was almost completely cool, just a little warm. You should be able to spread it and have it roll down the sides of the cake slowly. If it’s super liquid and runs down the sides quickly, it’s not ready yet.
I’ve got some notes in the recipe about this, but you may want to place the cake layers on a cardboard round and place that on a wire rack on a sheet pan. Then the icing that rolls off the cake will fall into the sheet pan. When the icing has set, you can remove the cake and place it on whatever cake stand or plate you’d like.
I chilled my cake in the fridge for a couple of hours to ensure the icing was nice and set. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight and the cake soaks up some of the icing and it’s even better.
If you’re a lover of mint chocolate or Thin Mints, I hope you’ll give this cake a try! It was fun to create something entire new that I hadn’t done before, and it reminded me that I need to switch things up more often! I think this cake would also be fun with a custard or pudding-like filling on the inside and ganache on the outside. Might have to try something like that soon!
Happy baking, friends!
Seven Layer Mint Chocolate Cake
Mint Chocolate Cake Layers:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 ¼ cups milk
Mint Chocolate Icing:
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup unsalted butter diced
- 8 oz (1 cup) evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ tbsp powdered sugar
To make the cake layers:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray several 8-inch baking pans with baking spray. (I used three 8-inch pans and wiped them out and reused them for all seven layers. You could also use seven disposable aluminum tin foil baking pans.)
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and a pale yellow. Add eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract; mix well. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salad, vegetable oil, and milk. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Scoop 1 cup of batter into each baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes. (I baked them in batches: three pans, two pans, and then two pans.) Remove from oven and let the cakes cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the icing:
- In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes. (The mixture will be syrupy and will thicken more as it cools.)
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extract. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but will still drip over the sides of the cake slightly.
- Place one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. (You may want to place the cake on a cardboard round, and then place that on a wire rack on a sheet pan to catch any icing that drips off the cake.)
- Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of icing onto the cake layer and spread to the edges with an offset spatula or spoon. Some of the icing will drip over the sides, which is okay!
- Repeat this process with all seven cake layers. Once you’ve used all the layers and have spread icing on the top, spread the remaining icing around the sides. (It won’t be perfectly smooth like buttercream; let it drip down the sides.)
- Transfer to the fridge and let the icing set, about 2 to 3 hours or overnight. (Personally, I like leaving it the fridge overnight because the cake layers will soak up some of the icing!)
To make the whipped cream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- When ready to serve the cake, spread the whipped cream over the top and garnish with fresh mint and shaved chocolate if desired.
- Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.
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