White Christmas Peppermint Layer Cake
For cake: Grease two 8x2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper; lightly dust pans with flour; set aside.Advertisement
In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar; beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Alternately add flour and milk mixtures to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes; remove cake layers from pans. Peel off waxed paper; discard. Invert cake layers and cool thoroughly on racks.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a very large mixing bowl, beat 3/4 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/3 cup milk and the peppermint extract. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk to reach spreading consistency. Transfer 2 cups of the frosting to a medium mixing bowl. Add food coloring to make a delicate shade of pink; stir to thoroughly combine.
With a long, sharp serrated knife, split each cake horizontally to make a total of 4 layers. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread top of cake with 2/3 cup of the pink frosting. Repeat with two more cake layers and pink frosting. Top with the last cake layer cut side down. Spread white frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate as desired with crushed or whole peppermint candies.
Peppermint Forest Cake
Turn the White Christmas Peppermint Layer Cake into a fanciful winter wonderland by decorating it with white-chocolate trees. Melt white candy melts following package directions. (We like Ghiradelli's new white melting wafers for their rich flavor.) Using a piping bag or resealable plastic bag with the corner sniped, "draw" varying sized trees on waxed or parchment paper. You may break some, so make extras. Dust with finely crushed candy cane and chill to harden. Bake, fill and frost cake as directed. Using a thin spatula, very carefully lift trees and gently stick them on the sides of the cake. Sprinkle more crushed candy canes on top of the cake. For a how-to-video about making chocolate shapes, go to midwestliving.com/chocolateshapes.