Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cake
Please tell me we're all in the same boat and ate way too much turkey, sticky rice stuffing, and pie then fought the urge to nap through everything else yesterday. I desperately wanted to blame it on the tryptophan, but apparently I can't?! Apparently we can't actually blame that famous amino acid for our sleepiness post-turkey binge. :( :( :( So what or who can I blame for almost falling asleep 10 different times in the Hunger Games!? Certainly not my full belly, right? Speaking of the Hunger Games, post food coma, Moses, my mom, dad, and I all went to my favorite theater in East LA (they've got lazy boy-esq recliners, guys) and had the whole theater to ourselves. I'm not gonna lie, I felt pretty baller and secretly (not so secretly) pretended we bought it out. And just fyi for those of you who have not seen the movie yet, it was way more intense than I recall the book being. Anyone else see it? Thoughts?
Now that we've said goodbye to one of my favorite days of the year, I guess it's time to prepare for one of my favorite months of the year...DECEMBER is almost here!! :D :D :D And that means, peppermint bark season is officially upon us. #barkyeah Last year we talked about my love for Williams-Sonoma's peppermint bark over these cookies and this year, I thought I'd kick off the conversation with cake. I mean, who doesn't love a good chocolate cake and when it's infused with mint and frosted with peppermint bark mascarpone buttercream? Um, yeah. Sign me up for a quarter of a cake sized slice. Actually, just sign me up for all things peppermint bark, please. There's something about that yummy Guittard semisweet chocolate paired with creamy white chocolate and peppermint bits that gets me every time. Have you had their peppermint bark paws yet? They're pretty much my Christmas season kryptonite. Those bites sized paws are the perfect snack to munch on between mixing up cakes, answering emails, ordering all the presents, mailing all the presents, and sending snail mail just 'cuz.
Speaking of presents...don't forget to check back here next week Tuesday because I've got a super special surprise planned!!! Eeek. I'm so excited that I have to share some clues. One. It's got something to do with thankfulness. Two. There's a sweet element to it. Three. Tuesday's surprise has something to do with peppermint bark. Four. It lasts for 12 days, so don't retire your stretchy pants just yet. Five. Emails and post office runs are bound to occur. Six. Ok, wait, I don't want to spoil the surprise, so let's stop at five. Happy weekending and see you guys next week!! xo
- 1 3/4 c. (254 g.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 c. (300 g.) granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. (73 g.) dark brown sugar
- 3/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. (77 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. (10 g.) baking soda
- 1 tsp. (5 g.) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (6 g.) kosher salt
- 1 c. (215 g.) hot water
- 5 fresh mint sprigs or 1 sachet peppermint tea
- 1 c. (242 g.) buttermilk
- 1/2 c. (109 g.) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. (12 g.) vanilla extract
- 12 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. mascarpone, softened
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2.5 oz. peppermint bark, finely chopped, plus more for decorating
- Three 9" x 2" round cake pans
- Three 9" parchment rounds
- Stand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wire cooling rack
- Long, sharp serrated knife
- Plastic wrap
- Small saucepan
- Revolving cake stand or an inverted bowl with a plate on top
- 9" cardboard roundS
- Evenbake cake strips, pre-soaked in water
- Offset spatula (I used this one)
- Move rack to middle of oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter three cake pans and line with parchment rounds. Butter the rounds then dust pans with flour. Tap out any excess flour and set aside pans.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt at low speed.
- Add fresh mint sprigs or peppermint tea sachet to one cup of boiling hot water. Let steep for five minutes then remove tea/tea bag from water.
- In mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. On low speed, incorporate the buttermilk mixture into the dry mixture and beat until just combined. Next add the hot peppermint tea until fully incorporated.
- Evenly distribute batter between the three prepared pans. Wrap pans with evenbake strips*. Bake for 30-35 minutes. To test if it's done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done! Cool in pans for 30 minutes, then invert onto a greased rack to cool. When cooled completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to freezer till ready to use.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine unsalted butter, mascarpone, and vanilla extract and beat on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on medium speed for about 5-10 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Reserve a little over half of the buttercream in a bowl. Beat in the chopped peppermint bark into the remaining buttercream until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.
FROSTING THE CAKE
- With your long serrated knife, trim top if necessary and then carefully cut each round into two layers. Set your first cake round on 9" cardboard round on stand or plate with flat side facing down. Using your offset spatula, gently cover the top of the first layer with half the peppermint bark frosting until it extends right to the edge of the layer. Top with the second cake layer, flattest side up then repeat frosting. Place third cake round on top. Spread non-peppermint bark frosting onto the sides and top of your cake with offset spatula until all surfaces have been covered with frosting.
- Next take your offset spatula and smooth surfaces by holding the spatula at a 45-degree angle against the cake, while rotating the turntable or the plate. Wipe the blade of your spatula clean if the surface isn't getting as smooth as you'd like it to be.
- Decorate with large pieces of peppermint bark on top and small pieces on sides or as desired.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Evenbake strips are not necessary but are amazing when used. Cakes bake perfectly even and flat.
- This recipe makes enough frosting for one three-layer naked cake. If you'd like to do a crumb coat followed by another coat, I'd recommend doubling the recipe to be safe.
- Decorate as you please. I topped the cake with big pieces of bark on top and small pieces around the bottom edge but feel free to get creative. It might take a while but I think a mosaic peppermint bark cake would be awesome!
This post was created in partnership with Williams-Sonoma and feedfeed. They provided the products as well as some ingredients for this post, so a huge thank you to them! That being said, all thoughts and opinions are of course my own. I've been a huge fan of their peppermint bark since forever and couldn't live without my WS Goldtouch Bakeware.