The flavor of crushed peppermint candies infuses every forkful of this outstanding chocolate cake. It's a tasty surprise during the holidays. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1-1/3 cups baking cocoa
- 2-2/3 cups boiling water
- 1-1/3 cups butter, softened
- 3-1/3 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup crushed peppermint candies
- 1-2/3 cups butter, softened
- 15 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
- 2-1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 9 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 pieces ribbon candy (4 inches x 1 inch)
- Assorted round candies, optional
- In a small bowl, combine cocoa and water until smooth; cool completely. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in peppermint candies.
- Pour into four greased and floured 9-in. square baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup milk and extract; beat on low until combined. Beat on medium for 1 minute or until frosting achieves spreading consistency, adding remaining milk if necessary.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with frosting. Repeat three times. Frost sides of cake.
- For fondant, in a large mixing bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, cream shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar until crumbly. Gradually beat in corn syrup on low speed (mixture will be stiff).
- Divide in half; tint one portion red and one portion pink. For ribbon, on a work surface dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll out red portion into a 19-in. x 4-in. rectangle; cut in half lengthwise. Carefully arrange over cake, draping ends down the sides. On a work surface dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll out pink portion into a 19-in. x 2-in. rectangle; cut in half lengthwise. Carefully position over red ribbon, draping ends down the sides.
- Just before serving, break ribbon candies in half; place over ribbon on top of cake, creating a bow. Decorate with round candies if desired. Yield: 24 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate-Mint Present Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007, p68
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