Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake //

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake – Two layers of chocolate cake, smothered in a white chocolate peppermint buttercream, and finished with a thick coating of dark chocolate ganache. A deliciously indulgent Christmas treat!

This cake was the first proper cake I baked after Tilly was born. I have to admit, it took me ages! I baked the cake layers, then the icing had to wait until the next day. It took me the best part of the afternoon to get the cake covered in icing and decorated. Things that normally were quick five minute jobs pre baby took so long with a 3 month old strapped to my chest! I had intended to bring you this cake before Christmas, but blogging, like baking, is so much slower with a baby!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake //

Before your baby is born, no one tells you quite how tough those first few months of motherhood are going to be. Yes, everyone makes jokes about the sleepless nights, but they don’t actually tell you just how extreme the sleep deprivation can be. They remind you how impossible it will be to leave to house, or find time to shower, but they don’t tell you just how much of yourself you lose in those early weeks of baby haze.

Nobody talks about how hard it is to be awake night after night with a baby that will only sleep on you, or how incredibly lonely those first days of solo parenting are. For several weeks the thought of ever baking anything ever again seemed utterly impossible. I could barely work out how to get through the day with us both fed, washed and clothed!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake //

Then, ever so slowly, things started to fall into place. Now, four months in, and we’ve finally found our rhythm together. There’s still tough moments, even tough days, but on the whole we’ve settled into life as a little team of 3.

Tilly’s little personality is emerging, and we are so in love with every beaming gummy smile, and every cheeky little giggle. She watches everything we do with her gorgeous big eyes (which, for now at least, are still blue), and takes an interest in everything around her.

I posted a picture of this cake on my instagram, and was so touched by all the comments and messages of support I got. So I decided even if this cake wasn’t perfect, it was one I was proud of and a recipe I really wanted to share!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake // www.scarletscorchdroppers.comChocolate Candy Cane Cake //

So here it is, my final Christmas recipe of the year, ever so slightly late!

My chocolate candy cane cake is made up of two layers of thick chocolate fudge cake filled with a candy cane stripe of red and white peppermint and white chocolate buttercream. I decided to keep the peppermint quite subtle, so I covered the cake with white chocolate buttercream. It’s not quite as white as I’d like, but I rushed my buttercream a bit as Tilly was getting restless. You could easily rectify this by beating your butter for longer until it gets really pale.

The cake is topped with a generous  drizzle of dark chocolate ganache, and a little forest of candy canes. I added a little bit of crushed candy cane around the bottom, and finished it off with a little sprinkling of edible glitter.

The chocolate, white chocolate, and peppermint all complement each other so well. It’s rich and subtly minty, and the colours are just so festive. I found it incredibly hard to resist going back for slice after slice!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake // www.scarletscorchdroppers.comChocolate Candy Cane Cake //

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Jennie xxx

Notes //

– if you want a smoother finish, double the quantity of buttercream and add an extra layer. Similary if you would like your cake to look whiter beat your butter for longer before adding the icing sugar.

– I’m not sure if it would happen with all candy canes, but I found the colour in my crushed candy canes bleed in the fridge leaving little runs of colour down the cake. If you’re going to make the cake in advance I’d recommend leaving off the crushed candy canes.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake
Chocolate Candy Cane Cake - Two layers of thick chocolate cake, smothered in a white chocolate peppermint buttercream, and finished with a thick coating of dark chocolate ganache. A deliciously indulgent Christmas treat!
Recipe type: Cake
  • Ingredients
  • ----- for the cake
  • 340g plain flour
  • 525g caster sugar
  • 128g cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 375ml full fat milk
  • 188ml light oil (I used a light vegtable oil, but groundnut oils also work well)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 375ml boiling water
  • ---- for the icing
  • 170g white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 230g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 60ml double cream
  • few drops peppermint extract
  • few drops good quality gel red food colouring
  • ---- for the ganache
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200ml double cream
  • ---- to decorate
  • mini candy canes
  1. Grease and line two 8 inch/ 20cm baking tins. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the plain flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk them together to combine.
  3. In a separate jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat well to combine. Add in the boiling water, and slowly mix until you have a smooth, runny batter. At first it will feel like the water won't mix with the batter, but keep going. The batter is very liquid.
  5. Divide evenly between your two prepared tins and bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour, or until the top of the cake feels firm to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes, then carefully turn out of the tins to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. While the cakes cool. Make your buttercream.
  7. Melt your white chocolate in a bowl of a pan of gently simmering water, or in a microwave in short bursts, stirring regularly.
  8. Beat your butter until it is light and pale, then add the icing sugar and beat to combine. Add the double cream and beat to combine, then mix in the slightly cooled melted white chocolate.
  9. Separate off a few tablespoons of the buttercream and add your peppermint extract and red food colouring. Start with just a couple of drops of each, taste, and add more as required.
  10. Assemble your cake. Place the first layer of cake onto the plate or stand you plan to serve it on. Pipe on alternating circles of red and white buttercream and add the top layer. Coat the cake with the remaining white buttercream. Crush a few candy canes and stick them around the base of the cake using the palm of your hand.
  11. Chill the cake while you make your ganache. Finely chop your dark chocolate and put it into a heat proof bowl. Heat the double cream until just below boiling point, then pour over your chopped dark chocolate. Stir until the ganache is smooth and shiny, then carefully pour over your chilled cake.
  12. Once the ganache is set, decorate by piping on any remaining buttercream, and stick in more candy canes.


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