Impress your guests this holiday season by making a candy cane cake the centerpiece of your dessert table. This red velvet cake is frosted with peppermint-flavored frosting for a cake that looks and tastes like a candy cane.
Candy Cane Cake Recipe
This recipe makes a four layer cake. When the layers are assembled with white icing between them, the slices will resemble the colors of a candy cane.
- 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2-3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-3/4 cups sour cream
- 1 bottle red food coloring
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top half of a double boiler. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
- Cream the eggs, sugar, and brown sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Add the vanilla and sour cream to the egg mixture and beat well.
- Mix the chocolate and butter into the egg mixture.
- Slowly add the flour a little at a time, mixing well to incorporate.
- Add the food coloring and stir well.
- Pour the batter into two 9-inch buttered cake pans.
- Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, and then turn out of the cake pans and allow to finish cooling.
- Slice each of the cakes in half horizontally with a serrated knife to form four layers.
True peppermint lovers can add a teaspoon of extract to the cake batter; however, it may overwhelm those who want a more subtle candy cane flavor.
Peppermint Frosting Recipe
Use this frosting between the cake layers and on top of the assembled cake.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 16-ounce packages powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Cream the butter with a hand mixer on high.
- Slowly add the sugar, alternating with the milk, beating well between each addition to combine.
- Stir in the peppermint extract.
Decorating the Cake
Once the cake has been assembled, frost and decorate it to give your guests an idea of its flavor.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake with a butter knife. This is known as the crumb layer; don't worry if small pieces of cake become caught in the frosting.
- Spread a thicker layer of frosting over the cake with a rubber spatula, smoothing it down by rotating the cake as you pull the spatula along.
- Place some of the frosting into a frosting bag with a scalloped tip.
- Pipe a thick swirl of frosting around the perimeter of the cake at the top and bottom, if desired.
- Crush several candy canes into small pieces and scatter across the top of the cake inside the frosting border. If desired, press additional candy cane pieces around the exterior of the cake.
- Add a food safe ribbon around the bottom to add a little more festivity to this cake if you decide to skip the frosting border.
While this is primarily a chocolate and peppermint cake, other flavors and additions work well with it. Try any of these ideas to create a cake that is all your own.
- Shave white chocolate pieces onto the frosting before adding the crushed candy cane.
- Melt half a cup of white chocolate pieces and add it to the frosting recipe.
- Crust the sides of the cake with red candy sprinkles.
- Decorate the top of the cake like a Starlight mint by alternating triangles of red and white sugar sprinkles.
Create That Candy Taste
Candy canes have an iconic flavor that bring the holidays to mind no matter what time of year it is. Make this candy cane cake to help make the holidays that much more special this year.