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Chocolate-Mint Present Cake

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    24 servings


  • 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 in 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 19x4-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 19x2-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.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 855 calories, 27g fat (15g saturated fat), 116mg cholesterol, 601mg sodium, 152g carbohydrate (123g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • Bikerbaker
    Aug 29, 2011

    I love the look of this cake also! the ribbon candy is very imaginative on top. I bake professionally and I think 15 cups confectioner's sugar with that amount of butter sounds correct. It is a large amount of frosting but I would rather have too much on hand than have to make a second batch. There isn't a description of how to do the cute dots though. I would guess it's more fondant, and silver dragees?

  • rfroaden
    Aug 3, 2011

    15 cups of powerdered sugar for the frosting has to be a typo...

  • creek123
    Apr 2, 2011

    I have not made the cake yet. The 15 cups of icing sugar seems alot but if you take into consideration that approximately 1 cup of liquid is used and that you are icing 4 layers it probably is not that much. You could cut the recipe in half and make more if necessary.

  • jasper3975
    Aug 17, 2010

    I agree 15 cups of powdered sugar seems like a lot.  A pound is approximately 4 cups, so that is almost 4 pounds, it's going to be a very sweet icing! 

  • lynnpotterusa
    Aug 17, 2010

    I love the look of this cake! I didnt make it but reading the recipe i decided it is for very experienced cooks....and 15 cups of powdered sugar for frosting sort of put me off... very intimidating....