Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

I would like to whisk everyone a very Merry Christmas, and apologize for the five month hiatus.

Back in November, I made this delicious, dreamy, decadent cake for Susan’s birthday. If you love Andes mints, then this is the cake for you. The white chocolate cream and dark chocolate ganache combination is to die for! And the fluffy, marshmallow-y frosting is like heaven. The taste of this cake outweighs the couple of difficulties I had making it.

Some of the mistakes were mine, some were in the recipe. The first problem I had was completely my fault. I didn’t fully read the directions. I used 9″ x 1″ round pans. As I was cleaning up the kitchen I smelled burnt chocolate so I opened the oven to see chocolate overflowing all over the oven. So I had a do over.

The second issue was the cakes stuck to the pans even though I buttered and floured the pans. The cakes ended up being pieced together. Thankfully the dark chocolate ganache held the cakes together. The way I fixed this was to use four 9″X1″ pans to make the four layers instead of making two 2″ layers cutting them in half. I also would parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.

The third issue was the frosting. You are supposed to “whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes.” The first problem is my arm felt like it was going to fall off after 10 minutes of whisking. And the second problem was after 15 minutes the frosting wasn’t even close to being finished. I added some cream of tartar like when I make 7-minute frosting. Boy did that help – within 2 minutes is was ready to go. The next time I make it I will probably use a hand mixer instead of whisk.

The forth issue is the recipe says to chill the dark chocolate ganache until firm. If you make it the day before make sure to let it set out for a couple of hours before you try to spread it. The chocolate ganache turns into a big brick of chocolate when refrigerated.

And just a little hint – after you have built the layers with the ganache and white chocolate cream, put the cake in the refrigerator before frosting the cake. This will help stabilize the cake so the layers don’t slide.

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting
This showstopping cake is layered with dark chocolate ganache and white chocolate cream, then topped with marshmallowy peppermint frosting. To give the final product pastry-shop flair, set a pile of chocolate curls in the center. Or lean chocolate shards against each other, teepee style.

10 to 12 servings

By Claudia Fleming
December 2008


2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups ice water

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
14 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

White Chocolate Cream

12 oz high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), finely chopped
3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract

Peppermint Frosting

2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Bittersweet chocolate curls


Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolk. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with ice water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just blended and smooth after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.

Dark Chocolate ganache

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Before using, let stand at room temperature until soft enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

White Chocolate Cream

Place white chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in saucepan. Pour hot cream over white chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Cover; chill until mixture thickens and is cold, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.

Add 2 cups chilled cream to white chocolate cream and beat until smooth and peaks form. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk to thicken, if necessary, before using.

Using long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer on platter, cut side up. Spread 1/3 of dark chocolate ganache over cake. Spoon 2 cups white chocolate cream in dollops over cake; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, cut side down; spread 1/3 of ganache over, then 2 cups white chocolate cream. Repeat with third cake layer, cut side up, remaining ganache, and remaining cream. Cover with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Chill while preparing frosting.

Peppermint Frosting

Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, egg whites, and corn syrup in large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk by hand to blend well. Set bowl with mixture over saucepan of gently simmering water; whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes. Whisk in peppermint extract. Remove bowl from over water and attach bowl to heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until mixture is barely warm to touch and very thick, 7 to 8 minutes.

Using offset spatula and working quickly, spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle chocolate curls over top and sides. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill.


Filed under Bon Appetit, Cake, Chocolate, Desserts, Frosting/Icing

2 responses to “Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting

  1. *nods* ::drool::

    Happy New Year to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s