If you’re looking for a show-stopping winter holiday cake, Peppermint Candy Three Layer Cake is the recipe to make. Layers of wonderfully delightful, tender vanilla cake is topped with light peppermint frosting.
The first time I had Peppermint Layer Cake I was in elementary school. My best friend brought a piece to school after the holidays. I thought it was the most unique, best-tasting cake I’d ever put in my mouth.
I was baking at the time, but mostly from a box mix or very simple recipes and didn’t know where to start making up an original recipe.
That recipe stayed on my mind, and years later when I knew my way around the kitchen better, I made my first Peppermint Layer Cake. As I’ve gotten better baking, this recipe has morphed into the one I’m sharing below. After many trials and tweaks, I think I finally hit it spot-on with this recipe.
Peppermint Candy Three Layer Cake
This cake is wonderfully moist with a fine, tender crumb. It’s lightly flavored with peppermint and isn’t a ‘loud’ overpowering flavor. The icing is rich, yet light. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet.
Additionally, using just egg whites will ensure the cake is white. You can use whole eggs, but your layers will be yellow from the yolks.
More layer cakes you may like
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- Clear Vanilla extract
Peppermint Candy Three Layer Cake Recipe Notes
Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To make a 9×13 cake: Spray a 9×13 can pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and bake at 350°F for 30- 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs.
Best Cream Cheese Frosting is great on the cake as well.
Freezing instructions: You may freeze the cake for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature. The frosting will also freeze for up to three months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cake.
Flour: You can use cake flour for this recipe. I highly recommend you sift the flour 1 or 2 times for this recipe.
To assemble the cake, place one of the layers on a cake stand, top with a layer of frosting, and smooth it out into one even layer. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third layer on top, then use the Cream Cheese Cool Whip Frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate.
Peppermint Candy Three Layer Cake
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For the Cake
For the Frosting
- 1/2 cup real butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 and 1/2 cups sifted then measured confectioners sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 4 or 5 candy canes or hard peppermint sticks crushed
- *optional assortment of peppermint candy for decorations
To make the white cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans or 3 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray or coat with solid vegetable shortening.
- In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Stir until well combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- In a separate clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350°F for 27-30 minutes (9-inch pans) or 25 to 27 minutes (8-inch pans) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean or with dry crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth. Stir the crushed peppermint to the mixture by hand.
- Divide the Cream Cheese Frosting into two equal parts. To 1/2 of the frosting fold in 8 ounce Cool Whip whipped cream.
- You will frost BETWEEN the layers with the cream cheese frosting with peppermint.
- Frost the OUTSIDE of the cake with the cream cheese frosting with the Cool Whip added to it.
- Wait until the cake is completely cool before frosting. For a more professional cake, remove the domes from the tops of the cake layers with a cake leveler or large serrated knife. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Spread about 1 cup of the CREAM CHEESE frosting on top in an even layer. Repeat with the next layer of cake and frosting, then top the cake with the final layer of cake (if you have 3 layers). Frost the outside of the cake with the COOL WHIP FROSTING. An offset spatula makes it really easy to get an even layer.
- Decorate the cake with candy canes and peppermint. Keep refrigerated.