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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Layered Cake

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Layered Cake

Peppermint Hot Cocoa meets a classic Chocolate Cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 6in Cake Ring
  • 5- or 6-inch tall Acetate Strips 


For the Soak:

  • 55 g Whole Milk
  • 4 York Peppermint Patties

For the Sponge:

  • 115 g Unsalted Butter - room temperature (1 stick)
  • 225 g Granulated Sugar (~1 1/8 cup)
  • 60 g Light Brown Sugar (~1/4 cup)
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 110 g Buttermilk (~7oz)
  • 105 g Canola Oil (~4oz)
  • 155 g Cake Flour (~1 1/8 cup)
  • 35 g Cocoa Powder (~3/8 cup)
  • 35 g Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Powder (~5/8 cup)
  • 6 g Baking Powder (~1 1/2 tsp)
  • 7 g Kosher Salt (~1 3/4 tsp)

For the Frosting:

  • 230 g Unsalted Butter - room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 80 g Powdered Sugar (~2/3 cup)
  • 32 g Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Powder (~1/4 cup)

For the Chip Mixture:

  • 57 g Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (~1/3 cup)
  • 6 Hard Peppermint Candies - ground up


For the Soak:

  • Melt together the 55g of Whole Milk and 4 York Peppermint Patties either in the Microwave in 30 second intervals or in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Set aside.

For the Sponge:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray, line it with parchment, and spray the top of the parchment and up the sides of your pan
  • Combine the 225g of Butter, 225g Granulated Sugar, and 60g of Light Brown Sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through this process, and again at the end of it.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next, beating on high for 1 minute after each addition. After you add the last egg, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 4 more minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  • Combine the 110g of Buttermilk with the 105g of Canola Oil and, with the mixer on medium speed, stream them in very slowly. It should take you approximately 3 minutes to add these liquids. Don't rush this or your batter will separate!
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and paddle for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogeneous.
  • Whisk together the 155g of Cake Flour, 35g of Cocoa Powder, 35g of Swiss Miss, 6g of Baking Powder, and the 7g of Salt in a medium container or bowl. At the lowest mixer speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet all at once and mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until the batter comes together.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then either hand-mix in any remaining pockets of cake flour or cocoa powder with your spatula or mix on low for an additional 45 seconds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a spatula, knife, or the back of a spoon, spread the cake batter in an even layer.
  • Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense.
  • At 30 minutes, use your finger to gently poke around the outside and center of the cake. It should bounce back very slightly and not be jiggly at all. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.
  • When baked through, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.

For the Frosting:

  • Combine the 230g of Butter, 80g of Powdered Sugar, and 32g of Swiss Miss in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 6-8 minutes until very fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Use the frosting immediately or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you store it in the fridge, be sure to loosen it up before using or it will be impossible to spread. The easiest way to do this is by putting the frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beating it on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.

For the Layer Cake Assembly:

  • Get yourself organized first! You will need all of the following: Your baked Chocolate Sponge Cake, the Soak, the Frosting, and the Chip Mixture ingredients. As well you will need a 6in cake ring and some acetate to assemble this cake.
  • Place your cooled sponge on the counter and, using a sharp paring knife, the back of a spoon, or a bench scraper, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.
  • Place a piece of parchment or a baking mat on the counter and invert the cake onto it, giving the far edge of your overturned pan a sharp rap on the counter to release the cake. Peel off the parchment stuck to the cake and discard it.
  • Use your cake ring to stamp out 2 circles from the cake, one from the upper right-hand corner and one from the lower left-hand corner (or lower right-hand and upper left-hand corners), which will form the top and middle layer of the cake
  • Make sure to plan out your circles to make sure you know exactly where to stamp before completing this step — you can mark them lightly on your sponge using your cake ring. Use the ring to stamp out two half-circles from the remaining sponge, which will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
  • Clean the cake ring and place it on the 8-inch cardboard round, or any other cake board, platter, or parchment-lined pan (whatever will be easiest to transport the cake to the freezer).
  • Use 1 strip of 5-6″ tall acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. 
  • Place the two half circles of cake together inside the ring, spongey (not browned) side up, and fill the gap between them with additional pieces of cake scrap. Use the back of your fingers to press the scraps together into a flat, even layer.
  • Using a spoon or a pastry brush, splash or brush half the Soak over the bottom layer of cake.
  • Spread one-fifth of the frosting in an even layer over the cake using the back of a small spoon that fits into the acetate collar, or a spoon you’ve bent into a ladle-like shape. Use figure-8 motions to spread the frosting evenly and try to not pick up your spoon as you work.
  • Sprinkle a third of the total Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and of the ground up Peppermint candies evenly over the frosting. Anchor the chips into place in the frosting using the back of your fingers.
  • Use the back of a spoon to spread another fifth frosting as evenly as possible over the chips. You should see some chips peeking through the frosting.
  • Place your middle cake layer on top of the frosting, passing it through the acetate collar at an angle to help it nestle into place. Add some crumb scraps along the edges of your cake if you see any gaps or areas where frosting is coming up and press down with your fingers.
  • Repeat the process of splashing or brushing the layer with the remaining soak, spreading it with one-fifth of the frosting, sprinkling one-third of the chip/peppermint dust, and finishing with another fifth of the frosting.
  • Nestle the remaining cake round onto the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the remaining frosting and add any desired visual effects like spikes, swirls, or a flat surface using a spoon, knife, or offset spatula
  • Garnish the frosting with the remaining chips and peppermint dust to your liking!
  • Transfer the cake to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours (or overnight) to set the cake and filling. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull the cake out of the freezer and slide off the cake ring. If you need to, use your fingers and thumbs to pop the cake out of the ring.
  • Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand, or whatever you want to serve it on. Let it defrost for 2-3 hours. Wrapped well in plastic, the cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • When the cake is fully thawed, slice and serve to lucky friends and family!


**Please note that we have provided both volume and weight measurements for the ingredients. We highly recommend using the weight measurements for the best accuracy, but we have provided both just in case you do not own a scale.
Keyword cake, chocolate, cocoa, peppermint
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