The Year Flew by in an Instagram

So imagine this: Mrs. always-has-to-be-on-the-go, always-baking, always-productive (that’d be me) has been stuck in bed sick for almost 5 days. Yep. The bad news is that I haven’t been able to bake in many days. The good news is that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on my iPhone and laptop organizing my digital life and going through photos from the past year. I, like many others, have been loving the Instagram app on my iPhone, which is really a fun way to share what you do and see in your day with friends and other Instagram followers, but all through photos (with fun filters and such). Here’s a snippet (and by “snippet” I mean the longest post ever) of my year in review by way of my iPhone’s camera (*Warning: This post is a tad long, so if you decided to go clean your pantry, bake a cake or hand-count your sprinkles right about now, I wouldn’t be offended. Pinkie swear.):

I took a lot of country drives with my two cakelets, Reese and Neve. I mean a lot. Like a whole lot. Turns out that little Neve will only nap in the car (parenting gurus look away, just look away), and so, since I love country drives, off the three of us (or two, if Reese was at school) would go everyday after lunch (with the exception of a few days with grandparents). Yep. In 2011, I took over 350 country drives. That’s a lotta cows.

 


And a lot of grass.

And the occasional storm.

 

Oh, and one enchanting and mysterious pie-selling establishment.

 

I bought and read a whole lot of baking books. Actually, I added 29 baking books to my collection in 2011. Is that normal?

 

I baked copious amounts of cupcakes (among other things) throughout the year–double chocolate, campfire delight, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, marzipan & pear–you name it.

 

Oh, and double chocolate & gingerbread cupcakes–one of my favourites of the year. I would give you a how-many-cupcakes-I-baked-in-2011 total, but then I would have to do the math on how many I actually ate… And we’re moving on…

 

Okay, that one I definitely ate. So I ate one cupcake in 2011, give or take.

 

I baked this cake (my current favourite), and a few other cakes while I was at it.

 

Well, I baked a whole bunch of cakes, come to think of it. In 2011, I used approximately 450 eggs, 200 pounds of butter and 100 pounds of sugar for the blog treats (and experimental blog treats) alone. Turns out I like to bake. A lot. I’m glad you do too, or else I’d have a hard time explaining to Mr. Sweetapolita where all of that butter goes.

 

But, of course I had a pretty cute baker’s assistant.

Or two.

 

And the best part was sharing most of our treats with our enthusiastic friends and family, because that’s what baking is all about.

 

I spent many hours watching little ballerinas and princesses embody innocence and inner peace in a way only children can.

 

Even when they’re sick.

 

Or hurt. There were definitely some hard times.

 

And some welcomed silly times.

Plus a few more silly times.

 

And too many belly-aching-giggle times to count, but never too many to be part of.

 

Heck, there were even some downright kooky times, such as, you know, spotting these goats balancing on wooden planks. Or, the un-instagram’ed moment when Pee-wee Herman tweeted and facebook shared my Asparagus Cake to his million+ fans. Or the time an elephant crossed a busy street directly in the path of my car as I was driving to the grocery store (turns out it was Limba the elephant getting some cardio with her trainer from Bowmanville Zoo for a winter show). 2011, you kept me on my toes.

 

In unrelated news, I also attempted to take an acceptable token iPhone self-portrait in the mirror, however I would never actually look into the camera.

 

Okay, I got a bit better at it as the year went on. Luckily that was the day I had makeup on and my hair done. Vain much?

 

There were many random catch-a-cute-kid-in-action shots, probably more than my girls had the patience for.

 

But they’re great sports.

 

Plus, I bribe them with peanut butter pie and stuff.

 

I bought many pretty things to bake and cake with. Some new…

 

Some old (and serious bargains).

 

And some very old.

 

And I always stopped to admire a few lovely baked goods along the way.

 

I took several drives to the peaceful farm in Prince Edward County (Ontario), to visit my in-laws, you know, to escape the hustle-and-bustle of our 4,000 people-filled town.

 

Where I happily photographed this Mad(ish) Tea Party and enjoyed the sounds of, well, silence.

 

Grant and I both had a busy work year, but we made sure to make as many cottage trips as we could with the kids, to take a break from chiropracting and baking.

 

Where, naturally, I baked more cake…

 

And soaked 3,600 Krispy Kreme calories in one bowl for the life-altering purpose of this bread pudding.

 

The year was also filled with many a cookie. Some simple, some fancy.

 

And a few cakelet-inspired ones along the way.

 

There were many brownies, chocolate-dipped and not, and there were sprinkles.

 

A lifetime of sprinkles.

 

There were many wedding cake projects on the go, big and small.

 

There was even a reason to make more fondant asparagus. Like you can ever have too many fondant asparagus.

 

Little 4-year-old Reese unleashed her inner artist, and managed to make one unnamed mommy teary, with her spirited and inspiring painting of these cakes.

 

I think I hit my yearly glitter quota (‘cuz we all have one, you know) when I created a few sparkly cakes for Wedding Bells.

 

But there’s always room for a little more sparkle, especially in the festive winter months.

 

Finally, we ended the year with a POP!

So that was my year (with a few more details in between). Bye bye, 2011–you were good to us.

Oh, and if you’re an Instagram lover like me, or if you just like cute-as-pie treats, check out these genius Instagrahams crackers from Bakerella.

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My 10 Favourite Posts of 2011

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For some reason, I can’t stop exclaiming “Happy New Year!” to anyone who will listen, or even just random passersby. I’m really on fire for 2012, and it’s only two days in. As for 2011, it was definitely a busy and fulfilling year. No major life changes, but a whirlwind of baking, cake decorating, writing, sharing, photographing and family time–a dream come true, really. In (even more) review and reflection of my first year blogging and the end of 2011, yesterday I posted Your 10 Favourite Posts of 2011, based on statistics. I always find that sort of thing so interesting, because sometimes the posts that are the most frequently shared or read, are different than the ones that I hold closest to my baked-good-loving heart. This realization came to me when one of my sugar sisters, Melissa, and a few other friends mentioned that I left their favourites out of last night’s list (you guys are too kind!). In most cases, my favourite posts are a combination of the yummiest recipes (for my taste) and, of course, my emotional attachment to each one, for one reason or another–yes, I am a tad sentimental. So, just for giggles, here is a list of 10 of my favourite posts from 2011:

#10. Chocolate-Dipped Brownies with Sprinkles

#9. Dark Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Fluffy Rosewater Frosting

#8. Campfire Delight: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake

#7. Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns

#6. Bakery Style Vanilla Cupcakes

#5. Six-Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake

#4. Licorice Delight: Vanilla Almond & Anise Cupcakes

#3. Ruffles & Roses: A Mad(ish) Tea Party

#2. Autumn Delight Cake

And, maybe it’s the energy, the colours, the peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream or just my little cakelets in action, but my favourite post from 2011 is…

#1. Art is Joy: Painted Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cakes

See you soon!

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Best of Sweetapolita: Your 10 Favourite Posts of 2011

image: fresh picked whimsy

Happy 2012 to you, my friends!

Are you ready for a new year? Have you jumped right into your resolutions full-force? I sure hope that “no more cake eating” isn’t on your list of 2012 goals. As I get ready to do more baking and creating this year (more than ever), I’ve been reflecting on the collection of cakes & confections I posted in 2011 (my first year of blogging), and what the most popular posts were (this fascinates me!), according to statistics here on the blog.

So, just for fun, I’d love to share the 10 most popular posts on Sweetapolita in 2011 (starting with #10):

#10. Triple Lemon Blueberry Cake

#9. Classic Vanilla Butter Cake

#8. Neapolitan 5-Layer Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

#7. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream Cake with Ganache Drizzle

#6. Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

#5. For the Love of Fondant Asparagus (and 8-Layer Cakes)

#4. Rich & Ruffled Chocolate Celebration Cake

#3. Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

#2. Campfire Delight: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake

And, apparently you all love sprinkles & chocolate as much as I do…

#1. Cake Batter & Sprinkle Bark

Did your favourite recipe make the list?

What an exciting year of blogging it’s been, and I want to thank you so much for spending time with me here on Sweetapolita–I mean that. Because of you, I love life more than ever. Because of you, I am the happiest I’ve been in many years. And, because of you, I want to bake, photograph and share recipes all day long. So this year, together, let’s bake ourselves silly!

To see my favourites from the year, check out Best of Sweetapolita: My 10 Favourite Posts of 2011!

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Pink Champagne Cake Pops

Pink Champagne Cake Pops via Sweetapolita

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Well, you know what they always say: When life hands you Pink Champagne Cake, make Pink Champagne Cake Pops! They do say that, right? So here’s what happened, as there’s kind of a serendipitous story behind these fun, sparkly and boozy Cake Pops. For months now, I’ve planned on doing a girly Pink Champagne Cake post for New Year’s Eve. In preparation for the post, I spent many hours reading what seemed to be every Champagne Cake recipe out there, including every Champagne frosting–I had a vision and wanted to make sure it tasted as decadent and perfect as it sounds. I discovered many (delightful) cupcake variations, but you know me, I had my heart set on a pink fluffy layer cake.

If you’ve not heard of Pink Champagne Cake, it’s a retro American celebratory cake that seems to have gained popularity back in the 1950s. From what I can tell, the original recipe consists of a champagne-infused layer cake (with traditional champagne, not pink) filled with a sweet coconut marshmallow filling and topped with a sugary melted fondant-style frosting (the pink comes into play with pink-tinted frosting, although you can tint the cake pink as well). As you can probably imagine, this rang every single one of my retro-recipe-loving bells. So after much research, I enthusiastically set out last week to make this cake with my own spin on the presentation, but using the traditional combination above. I made it with care, but dare I say the traditional combination just wasn’t for me–the cake layers were wonderful, but the filling was so sticky and tricky to work with, and the frosting much too sugary for me. So…I tried another version I found in the clever baking book, Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer. Again, I loved the cake layers and the frosting was delightful–overall it tasted great, but I really had my heart set on incorporating the traditional coconut and marshmallow! I have since come up with some ways to tie these ingredients in, in a way that makes me much happier, but alas–New Year’s Eve is already here!

So back I headed into the kitchen when I realized that I used my favourite bottle of champagne (Veuve Clicquot) in the cake (which was kind of a good thing, since the champagne taste is very present). There was no way I was going to waste these yummy champagne-infused cake layers, so it came to me: I’ll use the cake layers and the frosting to make Cake Pops (cake + frosting + blend + ball + stick + dip in melted chocolate coating + decorate)! Well, the idea of transforming my cake layers and frosting into Bakerella’s Cake Pops that is, I didn’t come up with the actual concept of Cake Pops. Wouldn’t I be clever if I did? That is the crafty brilliance of Angie (aka Bakerella), and if she only knew that day she created her first Cake Pop that they would change the world of dessert and parties forever. She’s one incredibly talented woman who creates some seriously adorable and unique Cake Pops, among many other fabulous baked goods, and who I’ve discovered is simply as sweet as her cake pops. Strangely, though, I’ve never attempted to make her fabulous creation before, until now.

So off I went to blend my champagne cake layers and champagne frosting (I used my favourite whipped vanilla frosting and modified it to be champagne frosting) and turn them into deluxe cake pops (then I remembered how much I loved the glittery pops I spotted here). I’m sorry for not sharing this earlier so you could have given them a whirl for tonight’s festivities, but how fun for any party, wedding or pretty much any celebration. And, yes, we will definitely be snacking on these tonight as we ring in the new year!

The recipe I’m sharing is for the cake layers and my frosting, which together do make for a wonderful cake, so feel free to create it that way, but I’ve also included the steps I took to make them into cake pops. Consider this a raincheck for my Sweetapolita version of the Pink Champagne Cake!

I also want to say thank you from the bottom of my cake-loving heart for all of the support, kind words and enthusiasm you’ve all showed me and this blog in 2011. My mind is flooded with so many fun ideas to share with you, and I look forward to a year filled with even more baking, blogging and sharing.

I wish you all a fabulous New Year’s Eve and New Year filled with love, creativity and magic. Bring on 2012!

Pink Champagne Cake Pops

Yield: Two 8 or 9-inch cake layers, or 48 cake pops

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 3 cups (360 g) cake flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon (7.5 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 6 (180 g) egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (480 ml) champagne, room temperature
  • Red food colouring (optional)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups (480 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) champagne
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Few drops of red food colour (optional)
  • For the Cake Pops You Will Need:
  • The two 8" or 9" round Champagne Cake layers, broken uup into pieces
  • ~2 cups of the Champagne Frosting
  • 1 lb (453 g) of white chocolate couverture (I used Callebaut Belgian White Chocolate because I love the quality taste, but you can also use chocolate candy coating--note that white chocolate doesn't get as candy-hard as the candy coating)
  • Some coloured white chocolate coating melts (if you want to add colour to the coating)
  • White lollipop sticks (I used 6" Lollipop sticks)
  • Gold Disco Dust, optional
  • Gold Star Sprinkles, optional

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two round 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans with butter, line bottoms with parchment, butter again and dust with flour.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy on medium speed, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the butter and sugar are blending, sift all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) together and set aside.
  4. Gradually add egg whites to creamed mixture with mixer on medium speed, followed by the vanilla. Add and alternate dry ingredients and champagne, beginning and ending with dry (3 dry additions, 2 wet) and mix until fully incorporated, but be sure to not over-mix.
  5. Distribute batter evenly between the two prepared pans (use a digital kitchen scale for perfectly even layers), and smooth tops with an offset palette knife.
  6. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean (don't open the oven door before 25 minutes), about 35 minutes. (Ovens vary greatly, so be sure to keep a close eye.) The top of the cake should bounce back when gently touched. Let sit in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before gently removing from pan. Let cakes rest on wire rack until completely cool.
  7. For the Frosting:
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  9. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  10. If you are using the frosting for the Cake Pops and not to frost a cake, you can simply blend on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.
  11. Assembly of the Pink Champagne Cake Pops
  12. Prepare 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
  13. Place your broken up (but completely cooled) cake layers in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed for a few moments until you have a nice crumbly consistency (or you can do by hand in a large bowl).
  14. Add frosting gradually into the cake crumbs and blend on medium speed until you have a nice dough-like consistency (I found the mixer very helpful for this), about 2 cups of frosting total.
  15. Using a small cookie scoop (or similar), roll dough into evenly sized balls and place on lined cookie sheets, until all of the dough has been rolled and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  16. Melt a small amount of the chocolate in the microwave (10 second intervals and stirring in between). Dip one end of a lollipop stick in the chocolate and insert into the cake ball. Repeat until you have a stick in every ball. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes, or refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  17. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt your chocolate coating in the microwave (20 second intervals and stir). If you're adding some colour, you can include some coloured pieces along with the white.
  18. Dip each ball into the chocolate and gently tap off excess (you may need to place back in microwave for a few seconds if chocolate starts to thicken). If you are serving the Cake Pops ball down (as I did in the photo), you can place onto a clean piece of wax paper or Silpat, stick up, to dry. If you are adding glitter and/or stars, you will want to sprinkle them on immediately after placing each one on the wax paper, as the coating hardens very quickly. If you want to serve your Cake Pops lollipop-style (ball on the top), you will want to insert the end of the stick into a polystyrene foam brick to dry (or florist's foam).
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/12/pink-champagne-cake-pops/

[adapted from Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer and Oceana restaurant’s YouTube video recipe]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

Good luck & enjoy!

// ]]>

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Winter Delight Peppermint Cake

Earlier this season, the stunning, elegant and fabulously talented Camille from the entertaining site Camille Styles asked me to contribute to her 12 Tastes of Christmas series (which has been amazing so far, filled with everything from Candied Orange Peel to Winter Citrus Curd). Camille’s work and blog are centered around “creative parties and inspired entertaining,” so I knew that I wanted to create a little something special that I would like to serve at a holiday dinner or party, but that did not take hours and hours to prepare. So, I came up with this Winter Delight Peppermint Cake. Isn’t it funny how the moment the holiday season arrives, we seem to yearn for minty confections? And chocolate? And sparkles? Well, actually, that may be an all-year-long thing, but it’s definitely a much-welcomed winter treat, and I love bringing these flavours together with some contrast: dark fudgy chocolate layer cake filled with fluffy pastel mint frosting, fine-crushed peppermint candy (or as I like to call it, Peppermint Pixie Dust), and a generous coating of sanding sugar. In other words, winter in a cake!

Image Source 

Remember a little while ago, I was writing about some of the sources of inspiration I love? Well, among those was Pinterest, of course, where I came across this vintage Christmas card (a scanned childhood Christmas card of a fellow Flickr member). When I saw that beautiful holly & ivy-adorned glisteny dome (yes, I am creatively writing to avoid the word “muff,” forgive me!), I was suddenly needing to make a domed-style layer cake. I love the retro quality to it all, and it takes no extra time to make, bake, or frost, so why not? Sometimes I think the classic layer cake needs a twist, don’t you?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a flurry of baking (and other things) on the go at this time of year, so you might agree that fancy-but-fuss-free is a great approach to holiday dessert. Sure, we could stick with just fuss-free, but who doesn’t want to infuse a little fanciness into their holiday? With a simple (but delicious) one-bowl chocolate cake and a whipped version of a classic bakery frosting, I find this cake to be just the answer (not entirely fuss-free, but pretty close if you go with a simple topper). The cake’s unique dome shape paired with the sparkly sprinkling of white sanding sugar gives it a pretty finish that is actually pretty quick and easy to do. A contour cake pan is the easy trick (I used the 8″ Contour Cake Pan with Rounded Bottom Edge, 8 Inch x 3 Inch) to quickly achieving this shape with no carving (I avoid this at all costs), a generous sprinkling of the crushed peppermint candy between the layers and a simple “tossing” of coarse sugar onto the frosted cake adds a snowy twinkle (and a delightful sugar crunch!).

And of course fuss-free really does matter, because there’s just never enough time to get everything done over the holidays, particularly if you are entertaining (you know…planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, baking, cleaning, setting, decorating, hosting–no biggie, right?), but it’s wonderful when fuss-free tastes so good and pleases your crowd (a few oohs and aahs never hurts a hostess’ feelings either). This old-fashioned chocolate cake is dark and decadent (a good quality dark cocoa powder is key), and the whipped minted frosting is light with a supreme fluffiness (a simple extended whipping of the butter is to thank for this texture)–all with a subtle peppermint candy crunch hidden on top of each filling layer. From what I can tell, this combination never disappoints.

You can also add some glittery holly and ivy decorations for some fun and wintery vintage flair (you can even buy a faux-floral decoration or use your imagination–I think even a quirky ornament would be a cute topper!). I made mine by tinting a small bit of fondant raspberry pink and rolling 3 small “holly berries,” and then some green to cut 3 ivy leaves. I let dry and then dusted with edible glitter. I bet any sparkly little cake topper would add a unique touch, sugar or otherwise. I also loved the look of the sugary mint green cake sans adornment, so you truly can’t go wrong.

Happy Holidays!

Winter Delight Peppermint Cake

Yield: One 3-layer, 8-inch round, domed cake (serves 10)

Moist, dark chocolate cake filled with fluffy peppermint frosting, crushed peppermint candy, and topped with sugar-coated peppermint frosting. The holidays in a cake!

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups (550 g) white sugar
  • 1 cup (120 g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Cacao Barry Extra Dark
  • 2.5 teaspoons (12 g) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon (10 g) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon (14 g) salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (280 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (280 ml) hot brewed coffee or espresso
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4.5 sticks (563 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 4.5 cups (720 g) confectioners' sugar (icing, powdered), sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.75 ml) peppermint extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Few drops of green food colour + a few drops of pink (or a drop of red) food colour
  • Crushed peppermint candy, for sprinkling over each layer of filling
  • White sanding sugar for outside of cake (optional)

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare one round 8-inch cake pan with butter, a parchment paper round and cocoa powder. Tap out excess. Prepare an 8-inch contour pan with a generous greasing of butter and cocoa powder (or flour), and tap out excess.
  2. In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift and add all dry ingredients. In a larger measuring cup gently whisk together all remaining ingredients.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix on medium for 2 minutes (you will need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer). Pour into prepared pans--fill the cake pans 2/3 full. Batter will be liquidy.
  4. Bake until a toothpick or skewer comes almost clean, about 30 minutes (this is approximate and can vary) for the standard cake pan and about 40 minutes for the contour pan. Avoid opening oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking, and try not to over-bake.
  5. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then loosen edges with a small palette knife, and gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
  6. For the Frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use "4" on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  8. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  9. If desired, tint ~2 cups of frosting pink (for filling) and remaining frosting mint green (for outside of cake).
  10. For a thicker frosting, you can add and whip in small amounts of icing sugar; for thinner frosting, you can add a touch more milk until it reaches desired consistency.
  11. Assembly of the Winter Delight Cake:
  12. Spread a small dollop of pink frosting onto desired cake plate or cake board (this keeps cake from shifting) and place your 8-inch cake layer (standard round), top-side facing up and trim top until flat, if necessary, using a long sharp serrated knife.
  13. Take your 8-inch contour cake, with bottom up, and trim any doming (from the the flat side), and then make 1 horizontal slice in the middle, resulting in 2 layers. You should now have 1 standard 8" layer and 2 layers from the contour pan, totaling 3 cake layers.
  14. Place 1 cup of peppermint frosting on top of your first layer and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife.Sprinkle a generous layer of the crushed peppermint candy on top of the frosting (I like it really fine, like peppermint a "pixie dust" of sorts, but slightly bigger pieces would be great too, giving more crunch), leaving about a 1" edge un-sprinkled.
  15. Gently place the next cake layer on top, with the more narrow end (contour side) up, then repeat previous step. Gently place the final cake layer, smooth domed side up, on top.
  16. Put a very generous scoop of mint green frosting on top, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife and working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. You will want to start with very generous additions of frosting, as much of it will be scraped off with your palette knife when smoothing. To keep the distinct rounded top, be sure to smooth over the domed top as much as possible. Chill until set -- about 30 minutes in refrigerator or 15 minutes in freezer.
  17. Remove from refrigerator/freezer and cover with remaining mint green frosting. Once your cake is frosted, you can place it (cake stand and all) over a cookie sheet and generously sprinkle with sanding sugar for an icy effect (you will actually need to "toss" sugar at the sides, but your cookie sheet will catch excess, allowing you to return remaining sugar to container when finished). Add wintery topper decoration, if desired.
  18. Store in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerator for 5 days. Best enjoyed at room temperature.
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/12/winter-delight-peppermint-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • Contour cake pans are available in many sizes at baking supply shops. I used 8″ Contour Cake Pan with Rounded Bottom Edge, 8 Inch x 3 Inch
  • You can also bake the cake layers in 3 standard 8″ pans, if you don’t have a contour pan or if you prefer a more classic cake shape.
  • The chocolate cake batter also makes delicious cupcakes. For a Winter Delight Peppermint Cupcakes, you can add a generous swirl of minty frosting and sprinkle with the crushed peppermint candy.
  • For a quick and tidy candy-crushing method (and to get out all of your holiday-induced stress), place your candy on a large cutting board with a tea towel on top and crush away using a meat pounder, or the like. The more you crush it, the finer it will be. Lift towel, and voila!
Good luck & enjoy!
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