Cakes | Christmas/Winter | Decorated Cakes | Haniela's | Holidays

Holiday Peppermint Cake

My Holiday Peppermint Cake is made with light sponge cake, filled with delicious peppermint buttercream and decorated with fun to make peppermint candy cake sail. Let’s put this holiday perfect cake together.

White and teal buttercream cake decorated with peppermint candies, cake sale and chocolate drips.

HOW TO MAKE HOLIDAY PEPPERMINT CAKE

Cut cake on a milk glass cake stand.

BAKE CAKES

To make my decorated peppermint layered cake, I used 2 batches of my Easy Sponge Cake Recipe.

  • I baked 4-6 inch cakes
  • 2 Vanilla Yellow Sponge Cakes
  • 2 Vanilla Red Sponge Cakes
Yellow and red sponge cakes stacked on top of each other.

When making sponge cakes it’s best to prepare cake batter right before you bake it. Sponge cakes rely on the lift mainly from the egg whites. The longer the cake batter sits less volume it will have as the meringue will slowly deflate as it sits.

Prepare 1st batch of sponge cake recipe, divide it into 2-6 inch cake pans and bake it. Baked cakes should be about 2 inches tall.

TIP : Butter and flour your baking pans before pouring in cake batter.

To make red sponge cake, I colored 1 batch of cake batter with concentrated gel food color (steps 1-2).

Hand holding americolor super red gel color bottle and cake pans filled with red cake batter.

HOW TO COLOR SPONGE CAKE BATTER

  • Use concentrated gel color.
  • My sponge cake recipe calls for warm water.
  • Into the warm water pour about 1 to 2 teaspoons of red gel food color, whisk well to combine ( steps 2-3).
  • Pour colored red warm water into beaten egg yolk and sugar mixture, follow the directions in the recipe, basically instead of plain water add colored warm water, (steps 4-5).
  • Fold in the rest of the ingredients as listed in the recipe and divide the red sponge cake batter into 2 prepared 6-inch cake pans (step 6).
  • Bake at 350F for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Take cakes out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Then invert cakes onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. (steps 7-8).
Red cake batter in a bowl and baked red cake.

PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM

My peppermint cake recipe wouldn’t be complete without peppermint buttercream! I used both, pulverized mint candies and peppermint extract to flavor my buttercream.

I tried adding whole peppermint candies (1 cup) to my small chopper but a small appliance couldn’t handle it all at once. Instead, I put candies into a ziploc bag and I used a meat tenderizer to break them up a bit. (step 1). Then I poured them into a small chopper and pulverized them until super fine, (steps 2-4).

Crushed peppermint candies in a small food processor.

To make peppermint buttercream, I used Vanilla Swiss Buttercream, about 2cups, and 1/2 cup. Add Peppermint Candy Flavoring(oil-based) into vanilla buttercream – several drops and up to 1/8 teaspoon; when using alcohol-based flavoring, use 1/2 teaspoon. Then stir in pulverized peppermint candies (steps 1-6).

HOW CAN I MAKE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM ?

Yes, sure you can make chocolate buttercream. Into Vanilla Swiss Buttercream (2cups and 1/2 cup) beat 1/2 cup melted and cooled dark chocolate along with 3 to 4 tablespoons of sifted dark cocoa powder. Then into chocolate buttercream stir pulverized peppermint candy and peppermint candy flavoring (oil-based) – several drops and up to 1/8 teaspoon). When using alcohol-based flavoring use 1/2 teaspoon.

TIP: Oil-based flavorings are very concentrated, be sure to use those sparingly as not overpowering flavor of your buttercream.

Bowl with swiss buttercream, stirring in pulverized peppermint candies and peppermint oil.

FILL THE CAKE

Before I filled the cake I trimmed the domed cakes a little so they would be flat.

Removing domed part of the cake with a cake trimmer.

Spread a little bit of buttercream onto a cake board or a flat plate. Place yellow sponge cake onto the cake board. Spread about 1/2 cup of peppermint buttercream onto the cake layer, (steps 1-3). Then continue, place the red cake layer on top of the iced yellow cake and repeat until you are done will all the cake layers, (steps 2-5).

Though not necessary, I like to put a drinking straw in the center of the cake for support to prevent cake layers from shifting when I’m frosting the cake. Push plastic drinking straw into the cake, trim the end, so it’s not sticking out. Then push the drinking straw in with the trimmed piece so it’s fully inserted into the cake (steps 6-8).

Filling a cake layers with buttercream.

CRUMB COAT THE CAKE

To seal the crumbs it’s best to crumb coat the cake and then chill it.

Use leftover peppermint buttercream to crumb coat the cake and then chill it for an hour (steps 1-8).

Covering cake with a crumb coat buttercream frosting and smoothing it with a cake smoother.

FROST THE CAKE

To frost outside of my Holiday Peppermint Cake, I optioned for Vanilla Swiss Buttercream – about 3 cups (steps 1-8). Chill the cake for 30 minutes.

Smoothing white buttercream onto a cake with a cake smoother.

WATERCOLOR BUTTERCREAM

To create the watercolor-like effect I used a teal-colored swiss buttercream. Swiss Buttercream is notoriously difficult to color with gel food colors. In case you have oil-based food color use those to color swiss buttercream. If all you have are gel food color try this simple technique below.

COLOR SWISS BUTTERCREAM

Add 2 tablespoons of uncolored swiss buttercream into a bowl. Add few drops of teal food coloring. Stir well. Notice color is really muted and not really teal (steps 1-2). Microwave on high for 5 seconds and stir again. Look at the buttercream color now. It’s bright teal (steps 3-4).

Pour microwaved teal buttercream into about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of white buttercream and whisk well until well combined (step 5). If you’d like your buttercream to be deeper teal color, repeat the process. Don’t microwave the whole bowl of buttercream, just small amounts. Learn more about How To Color Swiss Buttercream. Pour teal buttercream into a piping bag (step 6-8).

Buttercream in a small bowl, coloring buttercream with teal color.

Pipe a little bit of teal buttercream on a chilled cake (steps 1-2). Smooth it with a cake smoother ( steps 3-6).

Smoothing teal buttercream onto a white buttercream creating watercolor effect.

DECORATE HOLIDAY PEPPERMINT CAKE WITH CANDIES

Decorate the bottom of the cake with round peppermint candies. Gently push them into the frosting, so they stick. Chill the cake until you are ready for the next step.

Placing peppermint candies around the bottom of the cake.

CHOCOLATE DRIPS

Make chocolate ganache: use 1 cup (6oz, finely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips) and 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream.

Pour chocolate into a heat-safe bowl. Heat heavy whipping cream until nearly boiling; you’ll see tiny bubbles around on the surface. Pour it over chopped chocolate/chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes. Then stir it gently. Try not to whisk it too much, so you don’t add too many air bubbles into the ganache. Allow cooling for 10-15 minutes, so it thickens up a bit before piping drips onto a cake.

Pour ganache into a piping bag. Cut a small opening on a bag and pipe the drips on a chilled cake.

TIP: You can prepare ganache ahead of time, store it in the fridge. When ready to gently heat it in the microwave until it’s fluid enough for piping drips.

Piping bag with chocolate ganache piping drip onto a cake.

CRUSHED PEPPERMINT CANDIES

Decorate top of the cake with crushed peppermint candies.

TIP: You can purchase crushed peppermint candies in the store, they’re available during holidays.

Hand holding a small spatula spreading crushed candied on top of the buttercream cake.

PEPPERMINT CANDY CAKE SAIL

I absolutely love the look of cake sails. They are so unique and add just the right amount of flair to any cake. If you haven’t seen it, I made a Caramel Cake Sail for my Brown Sugar Cake.

TO MAKE PEPPERMINT CANDY SAIL YOU NEED

  • Round Peppermint Candies
  • Silicone Baking Mat
  • Clamps
  • Tall slim object, such as vase, bottle, glass
  • Oven Mittens

Arrange unwrapped peppermint candies on a silicone mat (steps 1-3). Bake in the preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 5-7 minutes, until melted. KEEP AN EYE ON IT SO CANDY DOESN’T BURN (step 4). Carefully with both hands, wearing oven mittens, lift the silicone mat and drape it over a tall object (steps 5-6). DON’T TOUCH MELTED CANDY WITH YOUR BARE HANDS; IT’S HOT.

TIP: Work with hot sugar only under adult supervision.

Melted peppermint candies on a silicone mat.

Fold the silicone mat and secure the folds with clamps. Allow cooling for 15-20 minutes (steps 1-8).

Shaping melted peppermint candies on a silicone mate over a glass.

Once melted, candies harden and cool completely. You can remove the silicone mat, and voila, you have yourself a very cool-looking peppermint candy cake sail (steps 1-6).

TIP: Store candy sail in an airtight container with a bowl of raw rice or food-grade silica gel packets. Both absorb moisture and help keep sugar art stable.

Removing cooled melted candy from a silicone mat.

PME EDIBLE GLAZE

If you can get your hands on PME Edible Glaze you can use it protect your sugar sail from the humidity. Shake the can well, (step 1). Place candy sail on a baking sheet and spray it with and edible glaze. Turn the sail over and spray it from the other side, (steps 2-6). Allow to set and then store it in an airtight container with a small bowl of raw rice or food grade silica gel packets to further protect it from moisture.

TIP : Follow the instructions on the packaging on how to use PME Glaze Spray.

Candy cake sail on a baking sheet, spraying cake sail with a PME glaze spray.

DECORATE CAKE WITH PEPPERMINT CANDY SAIL

Now it’s time to decorate my holiday peppermint cake. Pipe some buttercream onto the cake. Place candy sail onto the buttercream and, using gentle shifting motion securing it on a cake.

Cake with crushed candies on the top.

HOW LONG CAN I KEEP THE SUGAR/CANDY SAIL ON A CAKE?

I kept the cake with the sail attached in the refrigerator for 3 days before serving it with no problems.

TIP: Candy cake sail, when stored properly, can be prepared months in advance. I had mine in an airtight container for several months. Please keep it away from direct sunlight.

Red and white peppermint candy cake sail decoration.

White cake with chocolate drips decorated with crushed peppermint candies on a white milk glass cake stand.

Look how beautiful is this peppermint layer cake! Alternating red and white/yellow cake layers really make it pop.

Sliced cake on a green plate.

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TO MAKE HOLIDAY PEPPERMINT CAKE YOU NEED

  • RECIPES
  • Easy Sponge Cake Recipe ( to make 4-6 inch cake you need 2 batches)
  • Swiss Buttercream
  • TOOLS
  • Get all the supplies you need in my Amazon Store
  • 6 inch cake pans
  • Silicone Mat
  • Cake Frosting Smoother/Icer
  • Clamps to shape the candy sail decoration
  • Red Gel Food Color
  • Teal Gel Food Color
  • Peppermint Candies
  • Peppermint Flavoring
  • Piping bag
  • Cake Turntable
  • Food Chopper to chop/pulverize peppermint candies

MORE HOLIDAY RECIPES

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