Christmas is a time of traditions, old and new, and this spectacular Candy Cane Layer Cake is sure to become a new favorite addition to your holiday table. Snowy white peppermint cake layers are nestled between creamy white chocolate frosting tinted festive red and green in the Christmas spirit. Decorated with crushed candy canes, this recipe can easily be baked as individual cupcakes or an impressive cake. Plus, the cake layers freeze well, making early preparation easy. Simply freeze individual layers in Ziplock bags, and defrost and decorate the thawed layers when you are ready to use.
Candy Cane Christmas Cake
1¼ cups whole milk
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ stick butter, softened
1⅔ cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; then grease paper. Dust pans with flour and set aside.
Place milk, egg whites and vanilla in medium bowl and whisk until well-combined. Place flour and baking powder in another medium bowl and stir to combine. Place butter in large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium for about 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating for three minutes. Add flour and milk mixture (alternating) to butter mixture, with mixer continuing to run at low speed. Add peppermint extract. Beat for 2 minutes on medium once all ingredients are added.
Divide batter among pans and bake at 350°F for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Slide knife around sides of pan; remove layers from pan. Remove wax paper from layers and discard. Invert cake layers and cool thoroughly on racks.
Snowflake White Chocolate Frosting
¾ cup reduced-fat milk (divided)
½ cup white chocolate morsels
1 cup butter, softened
5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Red Food Coloring
Green Food Coloring
Place ½ cup milk and white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50-percent power for thirty seconds. Stir and repeat using thirty second intervals, until chocolate is fully melted. Set aside to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter with electric mixer on medium, until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate; gradually adding confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time. Add remaining milk and vanilla and mix on high for 1-3 minutes, until frosting is smooth and will hold a peak.
Divide frosting among three bowls; leave one bowl white. Add red food coloring to second bowl to make vibrant red shade. Add green food coloring to third bowl to create festive green shade. Decorate between cake layers with one layer of red and one layer of green frosting and use white frosting to decorate sides. Top with candy canes and peppermints to create a showstopper Christmas Cake!
Suzette Zara is a cookbook author, certified nutritionist, creator of Satan’s Salsa (SatansSalsa.com) and a frequent speaker on low-fat healthy cooking. suzette@SuzetteZara.com