Someone very wise once said that a party without cake is just a meeting. Well, Julia Childs, I couldn’t agree more! And chocolate cake is never a bad thing, especially when it’s pretty and festive and makes you ohso happy it’s the holidays so you can top your cake with things like peppermint sticks and rosemary wreaths.
I can’t have a party and not have a cake. My go-to the past several parties I’ve had has been this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cinnamon Cake because it’s absolutely delicious. Rich, awesome, impressive chocolate cake. I get rave compliments every time I make it. I love chocolate cake paired with a cream cheese frosting. Sprinkles’ black and white cupcake might be my favorite!
So I went with my decadent chocolate cake, made a light and creamy peppermint filling, and iced the entire thing with rich cream cheese frosting. The peppermint filling seeps a light peppermint flavoring into the cake that is just the right touch. My favorite tip for assembling layer cakes is to pipe a circumference of the thick frosting around each layer so that the filling doesn’t ooze out of the sides. Especially important when your filling is light, like this one! And no, no fancy piping equipment needed here. Plastic baggies work juuuuuuust fine.
The cake was going to be the centerpiece of my party (and really the only thing I put any effort into…), so I knew I wanted something Christmasy and pretty. I made a little rosemary wreath and glued it to these peppermint stir sticks, then stuck it in the chocolate cake! And a light dusting of powdered sugar was the dreamy topping to it all.
Holiday dinner coming up and you’re bringing dessert? This is it, I promise.
- 1 3/4 c flour
- 1 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 3/4 c cocoa, sifted
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 c buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 c canola oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 t vanilla
- 3/4 c boiling water
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1/8 t peppermint extract
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 oz (2 sticks or 1 C) butter, room temperature
- 4 c powder sugar
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1-2 T heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 8" cake pans then line with circles of parchment paper.
- Sift together sugars, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in mixer. Add buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Slowly add in boiling water.
- Divide evenly among three cake pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until inserted toothpick is clean when removed. Cool in pans 10 minutes, flip over, remove parchment paper, and let cool completely on cooling racks.
- Prepare peppermint cream filling by beating whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining ingredients, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Prepare icing by beating cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients, beat until well-mixed.
- Place first cake layer on stand. Fill plastic bag with icing by lining a tall cup with open bag. Scoop several spoonfuls of icing into open bag, Lift bag out of cup and zip close. Snip one of the bottom corners of the bag off to create hole. Pipe circumference of cake layer with icing. Fill layer with peppermint cream filling. Repeat with second cake later. Top with third cake layer. Ice top and bottom of cake,
- To make topping, hot glue piece of twine between two peppermint sticks. Create wreath by forming a sprig of rosemary into a circle and gluing in place. Tie a string into a bow and glue onto rosemary wreath. Glue rosemary wreath onto twine. Top cake with peppermint sticks, lightly dust cake with powdered sugar. Chill until ready to serve, then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Store refrigerated.