I'm not going to talk about this amazing cake too much because there's plenty of recipe verbiage about to happen up in this joint. All you need to know that it is a party in your mouth just waiting to happen. Like the party of the year. The exclusive one that only cool people get invited to. And you're invited. 'Cuz it's in your mouth. Okay I'll stop now.
P.S. Just kidding, I'm still talking. Be sure to read the recipe all the way through before you make it. The filling is supposed to chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before you assemble the cake, and the cake is supposed to hang out in the freezer while the filling is chilling (ha!) in the fridge. In other words... make this early in the day.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs - at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup milk
butter for greasing the pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a circle of parchment or wax paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly drop each pan onto the counter to settle the batter.
Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the center springs back when touched lightly, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and cool on the rack. (If not assembling the cake right away, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 2 months.)
Assembly and Decorating:
1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candies
1/2 (10.5 oz bag) miniature marshmallows
2 (12 oz) cartons Cool Whip
15-20 starlight mints
1/2 package crushed Oreo's
When cakes are cool, slice each layer in half horizontally to make four thin layers, total. Place a piece of wax paper between each layer and put sliced cake in the freezer while you make the filling.
To make filling, combine peppermint candies, marshmallows, and one container of the Cool Whip. Mix until smooth. Chill, covered in refrigerator 2-3 hours. Remove cake layers from the freezer and separate. Spread one-third of the filling on the first layer and then place another layer of cake on top of the filling. Repeat this process with the next two layers. Place the last layer on top and frost the sides and top with the second container of whipped topping. Take a handful of cookie crumbs and gently pat (or, like my husband did: throw) on to the side of the cake. Repeat until sides of cake are covered with crumbs. Garnish with rosettes of whipped topping, starlight mints, and cookie crumbs. Serve cold.