Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Candy Cake

Although I've rejected this cake as the "Jesus Birthday Cake" contender which I must then make each and every year, it's worth posting the recipe. This cake doesn't hold well once you put the candies on top and it's labor intensive (and I don't want to have to make it Christmas morning so that we can have it for lunch Christmas day--I need a contender which keeps better...stay tuned for this year's cake recipe!). But this cake is festive and very fun for kids to help with (they love crushing the candies)--it's also a great way to use up the candy canes that seem to multiply like rabbits!! (I so wish I had a picture to post of this--maybe it's in my archives from last year, and I can dig one up).

~From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

  • 2/3 c. butter or shortening (shortening is called for; I sub in butter)
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 c. sifted cake flour
  • 3 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • Peppermint Filling (see below)
  • 1 c. crushed hard peppermint candy (about 36 round ones, numerous candy canes), divided
  • Boiled Frosting (see below)
  1. Beat shortening or butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
  4. Pour batter into three greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool 10 more minutes on wire racks. While warm, prick cake layers at 1-inch intervals with a fork.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate; pour one-third of Peppermint Filling over layer, and sprinkle with 1/4 c. peppermint candy. Repeat with remaining layers, but don't sprinkle top layer with candy. Frost top and sides with Boiled Frosting; then sprinkle top and sides with remaining 1/2 cup peppermint candy.
Peppermint Filling
  • 1/3 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. peppermint extract
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add sugar, milk, and peppermint extract; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  (Makes 1 1/3 cups)

Boiled Frosting
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • dash salt
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 t. peppermint extract
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is clear. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches soft ball stage or candy thermometer registers 240 degrees. 
  2. While syrup cooks, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; continue to beat egg whites, adding the hot syrup mixture in a heavy stream.
  3. Add extract. Beat until stiff peaks form and frosting is thick enough to spread.

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