This candy cane cake is sure to be the star at any Christmas party. Decadent red velvet chocolate cake is layered with peppermint buttercream and decorated with crushed candy canes. Who wants the first slice?
Are you excited for Christmas yet?
There's something so much fun about this time of year, when all the shops are playing Christmas carols and all the kids are counting down the days to Santa Claus.
You know what else is fun about Christmas? The desserts!
So I pulled together the ultimate Christmas dessert recipe to use for my holiday celebrations this year - Candy Cane Cake!
I don't what it is about candy canes, but Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. They were one of my favorite Christmas sweets growing up, and I still have a soft spot for them now.
I even decorate our Christmas tree with candy canes every year. I mean, there's nothing better than edible decorations is there?
Making Candy Cane Cake
This chocolate Candy Cane Cake is much easier to make than you would think!
It takes a bit of time, but is totally worth it. And it makes for a fun family baking activity too.
Start off by preparing a simple red velvet cake. Red velvet cake is a chocolate cake flavored with cocoa. When baked it takes on a nice reddish color, but most recipes (including this one) enhance the color with a bit of red food coloring as well.
We will slice our red velvet cake into layers, and layer it with an incredible Peppermint Buttercream Frosting.
Then for the fun part - the candy canes!
I crushed a handful of candy canes to get the candy cane crumbles for decorating this Candy Cane Cake.
The easiest way to crush the candy canes is to place them in a plastic ziploc bag and use a mallet (or something else heavy) to hammer them into pieces. I suggest doing this on a cutting board so you don't damage your counter tops!
The crushed candy canes take on a glittery snow-like effect, adding to that festive feeling. Pretty, don't you think?
You can eat the Candy Cane Cake as soon as it's decorated. But if you refrigerate it for an hour or so first, it will be a bit easier to cut neat slices.
And if you're looking for more holiday dessert recipes, check out some of my favorites:
- Eggnog Truffles
- Christmas Wreath Cookies
- Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
- Plum Pudding Vodka
- Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Truffles
- Strawberry-Chocolate Christmas Wreaths
Candy Cane Cake
- RED VELVET CAKE:
- 170 g butter 6 oz
- 280 g caster sugar 1 ¼ cups
- 100 g brown sugar ½ cup
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50 ml liquid red food coloring 1.5 oz
- 3 tbs water
- 300 g plain flour 2 ½ cups, all purpose
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 250 ml buttermilk 1 cup
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs vinegar
- ITALIAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- 6 egg whites
- 380 g caster sugar 1 ⅔ cups
- 1 tbs glucose syrup light corn syrup or golden syrup
- 100 ml water 6 ¾ tbs
- 600 g butter 5 ¼ sticks
- ½ tsp peppermint essence or to taste, oil based
- 6 candy canes crushed
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line two 20 cm (8 inch) cake pans with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition before adding the vanilla extract, food colouring and water. Scrape down the sides of the bowl until well combined.
- Switch the mixer to a low speed and add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl or jug, stir together baking soda and vinegar and add to the mixture, and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. Be sure not to over beat.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
- Leave the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes before cooling on a wire wrack.
- Next make the Italian buttercream. Place the sugar, syrup and water in a saucepan and mix until well combined. Use a pastry brush to dislodge any stray grains of sugar before placing over a high heat. Bring to a rapid boil and add a candy thermometer. Cook until the mixture reaches 120 celsius (248 Fahrenheit) and remove from the heat.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk to soft peaks. With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl, being careful not to touch the whisk, and continue whisking until the mixture cools slightly. Add the butter, one third at a time, and whip until fully incorporated. Add the peppermint oil and mix to combine.
- To assemble the cake, carefully slice each cake in half. Take the first layer of cake and spread with a layer of buttercream, spreading out towards the edges. Repeat with the remaining layers of cake. Spread the top of the cake with a layer of buttercream and work the buttercream down the sides of the cake, coating all the layers evenly. Smooth and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and add a final layer of butter cream, carefully smoothing with an Ateco 4.25 by 0.75-Inch Small Sized Blade Ultra Spatula. When the cake is coated take handfuls of the crushed candy cane, and using the flat of your hand, press onto the sides of the cake. Top the cake with any remaining crushed candy cane.