Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Recipe: Peppermint Stick Layer Cake

This was my traditional birthday cake throughout my teen years: The Peppermint Stick Layer Cake. My mother came up with it as a way to use up the remaining candy canes from Christmas but it’s a great cake to make any time of year. The whipped cream is lighter tasting and less sweet than a buttercream or sugar frosting, but you’re free to create your own adaptation with your favorite frosting recipe. When the cake is well chilled it’s almost like an ice cream cake.


I like mine as a four layer cake because it means that the ratio of whipped cream to cake is about equal.


2 8” Round Chocolate Layers (I make mine from Devil’s Food cake mix - use any recipe or mix you like)
1 pint of heavy whipping cream (well chilled)
1/2 cup of crushed peppermint candy canes (or starlight mints)

Allow your cake layers to cool completely before assembly.

Whipped Cream

Chilling is essential to great whipped cream. I make mine using a two bowl method.

Take a large pasta pot and fill the bottom with ice and then a bit of water. Fit a mixing bowl over it (I have a lipped bowl that fits inside my pasta pot well). Make sure the ice water mixture comes up to at least 1/3 of the side of the mixing bowl.

Pour in your pint of whipping cream. Add a dash of salt.

Whip using an electric mixer or whisk well.

At about the halfway mark (when the whipped cream starts to hold its shape) start adding your crushed peppermint candy.

Continue to whip and taste as needed.

I prefer my whipped cream a little less sweet but your mileage may vary depending on how chunky your candy is and how sweet you want it. Be prepared to add between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crushed candy. If you want it really minty, add some peppermint extract. If you want it really pink, add some red food coloring.


Once your cake layers have cooled, make sure that they are flat (cut off any mounding).

Either cut carefully or use dental floss to split each of the layers into two. (I’ve found cutting them easier if the cake is frozen.)

Place first layer on cake plate. Mound some whipped cream on layer and spread evenly.

Place next layer on top of that, repeat with as many layers as you have.

Frost top. Depending on how generous you’ve been with your whipped cream, you can also ice the sides, I kind of like being able to see all the layers without it being cut.

Dust the top with some remaining chunks of candy canes or whole starlight mints. Don’t add them until you’re ready to serve, they get a bit runny after about an hour in the whipped cream.

Chill cake if you’re not serving immediately. You can even freeze it and serve it that way.

Other variations:

● Use Cinnamon Candies instead of Peppermint
● Use white cake instead of chocolate
● Use a square cake pan and divide in half both in height and width to create stack
● Sunset magazine featured a Candy Cane Cake too, they used a bundt shaped Angel Food cake, which means no layers. So as a whipped cream delivery device it’s sadly lacking. But if you’re looking for, you know, a balance and perhaps something that’s not quite as fatty as eating a half a pint of whipped cream yourself, then go for it!
● Make cupcakes and use pastry bag to fill them with minty whipped cream and then frost them with it as well

Related: How to make Candy Cane Sugar and 33 Things to do with Leftover Candy Canes

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:43 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyRecipesReviewChristmasChocolateHard Candy & LollipopsMints9-Yummy

  1. Not ordinarilly a peppermint fan, but having recently tried and liked the choc covered Altoid peppermints I think that this is a worthy experimint.  <——See what I did there?  Not a typo.  Food/candy writing here I come!! wink

    Comment by Scott on 1/03/07 at 8:20 am #
  2. Mmm, that looks delicious!  I wonder if you could make a kind of ganache frosting with chocolate and crushed candy canes, too.

    Comment by Julilla on 1/03/07 at 8:35 am #
  3. That looks like a great idea for a cake. I always have the leftover candycanes… maybe I’ll give it a try this year!

    Comment by Bryan on 1/03/07 at 9:45 am #
  4. So, does this mean it is (was) your birthday?  Or did you mention that and I missed it?  Just in case: Happy Birthday!

    I’m loving the cake to frosting ratio - right up my alley, especially being that it’s whipped cream frosting.  But I can’t hold back… CAKE MIX?  Gross.  As an eschewer of the hydrogenated fats, I would think you step up and do a scratch cake.  It’s just not that difficult.  And it’s soooo much better.  You deserve the best for your special day.  Or any day, for that fact.  No cake mixes!  Please!  For the love of all that is holy (which is, of course, cake and candy!)

    Comment by Joanna on 1/03/07 at 2:29 pm #
  5. Cybele's avatar

    Scott - I’ve been enjoying the chocolate covered cinnamon ones as well - more than I’d think that cinnamon extract flavor would go with chocolate.

    Julilla - you could definitely give it a go with ganache, but probably not that many layers (unless you slice them really thin) ... it’d be very rich. Sometimes I do use extra ganache that doesn’t set up as cake filling.

    Bryan - I’d love to hear about a CheapEats take on using leftover candies in baking!

    Joanna - the birthday is in 2 weeks. We had the cake for New Year’s Eve.

    This cake mix didn’t have hydrogenated fats in it, but I know many of them do. I’m not a big baker so the idea of laying in all the associated supplies to bake one from scratch was a little daunting. But I guess I should start packing my cupboards properly if I’m going to be doing recipes.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/03/07 at 2:53 pm #
  6. Oh my, that looks and sounds so good.

    Comment by Karen on 1/03/07 at 8:05 pm #
  7. mmmm….as a fellow january birthday girl, maybe i’ll have to make my own cake this year! (and yes, from scratch. wink only problem is, i didn’t get any candy canes this year!

    Comment by Pam on 1/04/07 at 4:34 am #
  8. You know…I’ve always prefered the cake mix cakes.  Homemade ones never come out quite as well for some reason.
    Sounds very good. I might have to try this. Although my usual use for leftover candy canes is to just keep them and re-display them the next year. My current batch is about 4 years old.

    Comment by g on 1/04/07 at 8:28 am #
  9. any chance i can order one for my birthday.
    i am the biggest sucker (eek, pun) for peppermint stick ice cream. :}

    Comment by shuna fish lydon on 1/04/07 at 12:14 pm #
  10. This cake is the best reason I can think of to save the candy canes my co-workers give me at christmas. I usually pass them off on kids in my neighborhood, but after this will save them for my new tradition; Cybele’s peppermint cake!

    Comment by Marilyn on 1/04/07 at 12:55 pm #
  11. This sounds amazing!  My husband loves all things mint so I will definitely be making this for him.

    Comment by Nicole on 1/05/07 at 10:14 pm #
  12. This cake looks disgusting!!! Go ahead and gag me why don’t ya…

    Comment by mimi on 4/09/07 at 3:00 pm #
  13. I dont remember how I ended up in this site…but let me tell you…THIS IS A GREAT IDEA..

    I just made this cake today….I LOVE IT!!!
    My husband loved it, my son loved it, I LOVED IT!


    Comment by Marcia on 12/09/07 at 10:21 am #

    Comment by dw on 12/29/10 at 6:12 pm #
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