I created this recipe based on a chocolate cake a friend made for me several years ago. I love the fact that it has brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. It's a favorite around Christmas, not only because of the great flavors, but because it makes a spectacular presentation. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 3-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2-1/2 cups cold water
- 4-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup crushed peppermint candies, divided
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer to four greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 18-22 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.
- In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream, then 3/4 cup crushed candies.
- Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining candies over the top. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Fudgy Peppermint Stick Torte in Taste of Home December/January 2011, p95
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