Strictly speaking it is the 5th day of Christmas and at least we have still plenty of candy canes lying around. Because I always buy too many. They look so sweet, but then I can’t even finish one whole cane. I still see zero problems here though. I mean there are so many things we can use candy canes for. To fun duel for instance. Or as decorations. Or in other foods. I at least love the taste of peppermint. That’s why I made this delicious Blackberry Mint Bread before. And once upon a time, about three lives ago, I even grew my own mint on my balcony (this memory makes me cry only a little because 1) Istanbul, 2) balcony, 3) Canavar in the photos). Anyway, nowadays one of my favorite teas on cold winter evenings is peppermint tea. Although this year I found a peppermint chocolate tea, which is heavenly. Chocolate is the perfect extra flavor to compliment peppermint. Besides my tea, what could be better than a peppermint cake with a chocolate frosting? Well, maybe two of them?
Since I also tend to buy candy canes after Christmas when they are even cheaper (cough cough, don’t tell the husband), I feel we might eat quite a few peppermint sheet cakes in the next weeks. Maybe also a few cookies. For this cake I chose a buttermilk batter that I like in other cakes as well. It is really gooey, in a great way. Besides, it is super easy to mix the dough. The marbling is a little more difficult because the batter is so runny. But I managed a few pretty swirls.
The important thing for this cake though would be to not be as dumb as I have recently been about melting chocolate (chips). I don’t know why, but during the last few weeks I had plenty of problems with melting chocolate. Every single time. So I wanted to be extra smart about the white chocolate chips for this cake. I put them in the microwave – where they initially didn’t melt at all. And then a few suddenly burned. So yes, the frosting has this wonderful caramel color because I
burned caramelized the white chocolate chips. Funny enough, that didn’t change the taste at all. Otherwise I wouldn’t present the cake to you, to be honest. But the chocolate frosting turned out excellent in taste, if not so much in looks.
Despite the little chocolate issue, the peppermint sheet cake with its white chocolate frosting tastes amazing. I promise. Rich immediately asked for a second piece. And then he had another piece the next morning for breakfast.
Try to keep a few things in mind when making this cake:
- Don’t use more peppermint extract than the one tablespoonful. Else the flavor would be overwhelming, read: disgusting even for peppermint lovers.
- You can add less or more drops of red food coloring, depending on the color result you would like to achieve.
- You could also leave that step out and have a white cake. Or color the whole batter red.
- Instead of greasing the cake pan, you can also line it with baking paper. That is what I actually did. It works very well and saves you a lot of time (and fear to break the cake).
- The batter is rather runny. If you want a great marbling result, work real quick.
- Take the cream cheese and butter for the frosting out of the fridge several hours in advance. You can process them much easier and better when they are at room temperature and soft.
- I highly advise to put the candy canes into two plastic bags before crushing them. The shards poke through at least one bag immediately, which would leave you with a lot of sugary dust in the kitchen.
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Yields 1 sheet cake, ca. 20 x 20 cm (or 8 x 8 in.)
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 2 eggs
- 200 g sugar (or 1 cup)
- 275 g flour (or 2 cups)
- 235 ml buttermilk (or 1 cup)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. peppermint extract
- a few drops red food coloring
- 170 g white chocolate (or 1 cup)
- 225 g cream cheese at room temperature (or 8 oz.)
- 60 g soft butter (or 1/4 cup)
- 375 g powdered sugar (or 2.5 cups)
- ca. 3 sugar canes
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (or 350 °F).
- Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, buttermilk and baking powder well in a bowl.
- Add the peppermint extract and stir well.
- Divide the batter in two parts.
- Put one part into a second bowl. Color this dough part red with about 3 to 4 drops of the food coloring.
- Scoop both batter parts in alternation into a greased baking pan.
- Use a knife or wooden pick to swirl it through the batter so it is marbled.
- Bake in the oven for ca. 25 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool.
- For the frosting melt the white chocolate.
- Mix the cream cheese and the soft butter well.
- Add the melted chocolate.
- Add the powdered sugar.
- Mix well.
- Spread on the cake.
- Put the candy canes into two plastic bags. Use rolling pin to crush them.
- Sprinkle the candy cane crumbs on top of the frosting.