This Peppermint Chocolate Cake is a beautiful table piece, combining the finest ingredients with a touch of holiday spirit. Semisweet chocolate, rich cocoa powder, pure peppermint paste and salted butter form this stunning and truly delectable chocolate peppermint layer cake. 

The Chocolate Cake:
½ Cup Salted Butter, softened to room temperature
1 ¼ Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg + One Large Egg Yolk
⅓ Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Black Cocoa Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Whole or 2% Milk

- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease + flour or spray three 6-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a round parchment paper circle. 
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, beating well.
- Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa powder, and black cocoa powder.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Add the baking powder and salt. Mix until no powder remains. 
- Add the milk and mix until smooth and just combined. 
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Semisweet Ganache:
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Scharffen Berger Semisweet Chocolate Chunks
1 Teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract

-In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.
-Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate chunks in a heatproof bowl.
-Let it sit for a minute, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
-Add the peppermint extract and stir to combine.
-Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring it over the frosted cake, letting it drip down the sides for a decadent finish.

Peppermint Chocolate Buttercream:
1 ½ Cups Salted Butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
3/4 Cup Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tablespoon Pure Peppermint Extract
Splash of Heavy Cream, if needed

-In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients for the buttercream. 
If the buttercream is too thick, add a splash of heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency
-Once the cakes are completely cooled, pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge of the cake. Spoon ganache into the center to just below the frosting line. Repeat with the other two layers of cake. 
-Frost the entire cake with the remaining buttercream and drizzle the remaining ganache over the top, allowing it to cascade down the sides. 

Candy Cane Toppers
Chocolate Curls
Once the ganache has set, garnish the top of the cake with candy cane toppers and delicate chocolate curls for a festive touch. Slice into this masterpiece to reveal layers of moist chocolate cake, luscious peppermint chocolate buttercream, and a luxurious chocolate ganache.


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