Peppermint Bark Layer Cake with White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Frosting

This festive holiday cake adds a creative, delicious twist on the nostalgic seasonal ingredient of peppermint
Peppermint Bark Layer Cake with White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Frosting

This peppermint bark layer cake is by Jackie Bruchez of The Seaside Baker.

Peppermint Bark Layer Cake with White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Frosting

holiday cakes peppermint bark cake

Recipe by Jackie Bruchez of The Seaside Baker

Serves 12-15

For the cake layers

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups hot coffee, or boiling water 

For the frosting

1/2 cup white chocolate pieces
7 large egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache 

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the garnish

1/3 cup finely crushed candy canes
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
Peppermint bark chunks (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 8-inch round pans.

Note: If you only own two round pans, fill them evenly with the batter, increase the baking time by 10-15 minutes (check to ensure a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean) and cut the cakes in half once cooled. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs, buttermilk, oil and extracts. Whisk until ingredients are incorporated; batter will be thick and lumpy. 

Carefully pour in hot coffee, and whisk until batter is smooth and runny and no longer bumpy. 

Divide batter equally into pans. 

Bake cakes for 26-28 minutes or until a knife is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out with only a few small moist crumbs. 

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe dish, melt white chocolate on high for 60 seconds, then remove from microwave and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir chocolate until smooth and chips are completely melted. If needed, heat in additional 15-second increments. Let cool until chocolate is room temperature and no longer warm.

Bring a small pot with 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof clean bowl. Place bowl over the simmering water to create a double boiler. Whisk egg whites until sugar has dissolved completely, about 4 minutes. You can test the mixture by rubbing a small bit between your fingers. If smooth, egg whites are ready. If grainy, it needs more time. 

Remove the bowl from the pan and beat egg-white mixture on high until it has doubled in size, stiff peaks form and egg whites are no longer warm. 

With the mixer running on medium speed, gradually add in the cubed butter and salt. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 10-15 minutes. There will be a point when the meringue looks lumpy and like it is separating, but it will come together at the end. 

Scrape down the bowl and add the melted white chocolate and extracts. Beat for an additional 5 minutes until smooth. 

Once the cakes are completely cooled, level them using a serrated knife to remove the domes. 

Place the first layer on a cake stand. 

Evenly spread about 3/4 cup of frosting on the top of the cake, top with second cake layer and repeat with remaining layer. 

Spread a thin layer of frosting around the outside of the cake to create what’s called a crumb coat. Refrigerate or freeze cake for 20-30 minutes. 

Once cold, pipe a generous amount of frosting around the outside of the cake. Run a cake scraper along the edge of the cake to flatten out the frosting and remove excess. 

Refrigerate cake for 1-2 hours (or overnight) to allow frosting to set. 

To make the ganache, pour the heavy cream into a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30-45 seconds or until hot.

Add the chocolate chips and let sit for 4-5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

Drizzle the ganache around the edges
of the cake, then use remaining ganache to fill in the top of the cake. Spread with an offset spatula, if needed. 

Garnish the cake with crushed candy canes and peppermint bark.

Refrigerate cake for at least 30 minutes to allow ganache to set. 

Once ready to serve, let cake come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before slicing. 

TIP: This time of year, you can find premade peppermint bark at nearly every grocery or specialty food store, but you can also make your own:

  • Heat dark or milk chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  • Spread the melted chocolate into a lined pan.
  • Repeat with white chocolate, and use the back of a spoon to cover the dark or milk chocolate completely with the white chocolate.
  • Sprinkle with crushed candy cane, and cool completely.

holiday cakes peppermint bark chocolate ganache

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For more of Jackie’s amazing festive holiday cake recipes, read the full profile here.

Categories: Entertaining