Happy Dec 19th! I am running on EMPTY right now. These last 48 hours have been extremely hectic baking, babysitting, sleeping for 2 hours, running 10 miles, re-baking the cake above...we will get to this story in a minute, attending a Christmas Party, singing Christmas songs, and now typing up this blog post. It has been a whirlwind weekend so far and I'm looking forward to getting some much needed sleep tonight. But before I go rest my head I need to give you the history behind this White Chocolate Peppermint Cake.
I woke up bright and early yesterday morning at 5:45AM to start my baking for the Christmas Market and Parade today. I baked 5 dozen cupcakes and decorated them as snowmen and reindeer, made 100 chocolate covered brownie lollipops with sprinkles, made 3 batches of white chocolate pretzel bark, made 1 batch of peppermint bark, and a huge batch of homemade hot chocolate mix....as well as made the cake above the FIRST TIME. All of my baking was finished, only some decorating left to do and I decided I wanted to go take a run to get out of the kitchen for a few minutes. As I'm in my bedroom changing into my running clothes, I hear some commotion going on in the kitchen, I walk out to find my dog...yes the big black lab I showed you a few days ago with his honey love biscuits....eating my peppermint cake right off of the counter...front paws perched up half of one cake layer has been devoured and crumbs are all over the floor. I couldn't believe my eyes...never has my dog ever grabbed for sweets off of the counter before. I was filled with anger, didn't know what to do, I knew I was pressed for time and didn't think I would be able to remake the cake, allow for it to cool, make the icing and decorate it all before the Christmas Party I was planning on taking the cake too. So I continued to go for the run as planned, cleared my head and put together a game plan to come home and remake the cake a 2nd time. I whipped together another batch of the peppermint cake....let it cool and then had to leave to babysit. Got home from babysitting around 1:00AM...knew I had to wake up and run at 5:00AM, be at the Christmas Market from 9:00AM - 3:00PM...and the Christmas Party that this cake was going to started at 5:00PM....so I was contemplating...it is 1:00AM do I ice the cake now....or wait until 3:00PM tomorrow and rush to ice the cake and hope everything goes well to pull this off before the 5:00PM party...are you following me? Me being the crazy person that I am decided to deprive myself of the maximum 4 hours of sleep I knew I was going to get and go ahead and ice the cake at 1:00AM this morning....so I made the icing...following the directions which called for 9 cups of powdered sugar...I thought this was a lot of sugar....it said to add the sugar gradually so I was adding it by 2 cups at a time...I got to 6 cups and the consistency of the icing looked perfect for spreading, but I decided to go ahead and add 2 more cups, afterall the recipe called for 9 cups...and this is when disaster struck...the icing consistency became too stiff and I knew right then and there it wasn't going to be spreadable for the cake that I had already made 2 times. I was determined that I was going to get this icing to work, I took my offset spatula and tried to spread the icing on my four layer cake and it just wouldn't budge...it was way too stiff. It was now after 2:00AM and I didn't know what to do...I decided there wasn't much I could do at this point so I went to bed and decided in the morning I would figure out a new plan. I woke up 2 hours later rushing out the door to run and then headed straight to the holiday market. My new plan was going to be to re-ice the cake after the market and before the party...afterall I was not going to let this cake defeat me because I had already baked it twice at this point. So I came home and made another batch of the icing stopping after 6 cups confectioners' sugar this time, and it was perfect. The consistency was spreadable and the icing turned out so smooth on the cake. Finally, this peppermint cake I was so determined to make was a succes, after 2 rounds of baking and 2 rounds of making the icing! I mean afterall, the main reason I wanted to make this cake was for the peppermint stick and red ribbon decorations on the outside. This is one of the most festive cakes I have ever seen and I thought it would be perfect for a holiday party! I first discovered this cake idea last year in Paula Deens's Nov/Dec magazine issue.
So I just got back from the Team in Training Christmas Party where I took this cake for dessert and it was a huge hit. Everyone raved about how cute it looked with the peppermint sticks and about how delicious it tasted! I am so glad, that I didn't let this cake get the best of me and that I worked through the dilemmas I faced and made sure I came away with a final cake that I was proud of.
This cake is actually made from two 9-inch cakes and then each layer is sliced into two to create a 4-layer cake. Look at those specs of peppermint in the cake layers...it looks like layers of red confetti. Peppermint extract was also used for flavoring...this was such a refreshing cake and very moist.
Here's round 2 of the iced cake. Look how smooth the texture of the icing is, and so much easier to ice than the first time. Yes, I acutally peeled off all the original layer of icing from my first batch since it was so stiff and barely even spreadable.
Decorating cake with peppermints sticks. I just love the red & white swirl of the sticks, the red adds such a bold punch of color.
I found these Sweet Stripes peppermints in the checkout isle at Walmart...it took 4 bags to go around the entire cake.
White Chocolate Peppermint Cake (Paula Deen, Nov/Dec 2008 Magazine issue)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, alternately with cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after ead addition. Stir in sour cream and crushed peppermints, just until combined.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixter until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
- Spoon batter evently into prepared pans. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap cake layers in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Using a serrated knife, cut each layer in half horiontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side down, on a cake plate; spread with 1/2 cup White Chocolate Frosting. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 layers. Spread sides and top of cake wiht remaining frosting. Garnish with peppermint sticks if desired.
8 (1 oz) squares white chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 cups confectioners' sugar (I found 6 cups was plenty!)
- In a medium bowl, combine white chocolate and cream. Microwave on High in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 1/2 minutes total). Let cool completely.
- In a large bowl, combine chocolate mixture and butter. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla, beating until combined. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.