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Peppermint Bark Layer Cake
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
28 mins

All of the delicious flavors of chocolate, white chocolate, and peppermint layered high in a showstopping cake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas layer cake recipe, peppermint layer cake recipe
Author: Jackie
Chocolate Cake Layers
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk any kind of milk will work, but buttermilk is best
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ cups hot coffee or boiling water
White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Frosting
  • ½ cup white chocolate melted and cooled
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup finely crushed candy canes
Chocolate Ganache-
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup crushed candy canes
  • Peppermint bark
To make the cake-
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour four 8-inch round pans* See notes below for other pan options.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs, buttermilk, oil, and extracts. Whisk until ingredients are incorporated; batter will be thick and lumpy.
  4. Carefully pour in hot coffee, and whisk until batter is smooth and runny and no longer bumpy.
  5. Divide batter equally into pans.
  6. Bake cakes for 26-28 minutes or until a knife is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out with only a few small moist crumbs.
  7. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting-
  1. In a microwave-safe dish, melt white chocolate on high for 60 seconds, then remove from microwave and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir chocolate until smooth and chips are completely melted. If needed heat for additional 15-second increments. Let cool until chocolate is room temperature and no longer warm.
  2. Bring a small pot with 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof clean bowl (preferably the bowl of your mixer). Place bowl over the simmering water to create a double boiler. Whisk egg whites completely until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. You can test the mixture by rubbing a small bit between your fingers. If smooth and no longer grainy, egg whites are ready.
  4. Remove bowl from the pan and beat egg white mixture on high until they have doubled in size, stiff peaks form, and egg whites are no longer warm.
  5. With the mixer running on medium speed, gradually add in the cubed butter. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 10-15 minutes. There will be a point when the meringue looks lumpy and like it is separating, but it will come together at the end.
  6. Scrape down the bowl and add the white chocolate and extracts. Beat for an additional 5 minutes until smooth.
To assemble the cake-
  1. Level the cakes by using a serrated knife to remove the domes.
  2. Place the first layer of the cake on a cardboard cake round or cake stand.
  3. Evenly spread about ¾ cup of frosting on the top of the cake, top with 2nd cake layer, and repeat with remaining layer.
  4. If wanting a smooth finish cake, spread a thin layer of frosting around the outside of the cake to create a crumb coat. Refrigerate or freeze the cake for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Once cold, pipe a generous amount of frosting around the outside of the cake. Run a cake scraper along the edge of the cake to flatten out the frosting and remove excess.
  6. Refrigerate the cake for 1-2 hours (or overnight) to allow frosting to set.
To make the ganache-
  1. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, heat heavy cream for 30-45 seconds or until hot.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and let sit for 4-5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
  3. Drizzle the ganache around the edges of the cake, then use remaining ganache to fill in the top of the cake. Spread with an offset spatula, if needed.
  4. Garnish the cake with crushed candy canes and peppermint bark. If using ornaments for decor, be sure to use shatterproof ornaments and to remove before serving.
  5. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set.
  6. Once ready to serve, let the cake come to room temperature for 15-20 before service.
  7. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Additional tips-
If you only own 2 pans, that’s okay, you can simply fill the pans evenly with the batter, adjust the baking time, and cut the cakes in half once cooled.

Cake and meringue frosting can be made and frozen up to one week before using. Simply wrap the cakes individually in plastic wrap and place in a large ziploc bag. Stack bags and freeze until 30 minutes before using.

Store buttercream in an airtight container. Remove from freezer and refrigerate overnight before using. When ready to use, simply give the buttercream a good stir with a wooden spoon.

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