Cool peppermint-vanilla cake and fluffy pink buttercream make a merry combination. Finish with whimsical dollops of mint frosting. The cake layers and buttercream can be made ahead to save time. 

Emily Nabors Hall and Pam Lolley


Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe Summary

1 hr 20 mins
2 hrs 40 mins
Makes 1 cake (serving size: 1 slice)


Cake Layers
Peppermint Buttercream
Seven-Minute Frosting


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat granulated sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat just until combined after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture, in batches, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into 2 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  • Prepare the Peppermint Buttercream: Beat powdered sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add crushed peppermints, vanilla, and salt; beat until blended. Beat in 1 teaspoon of the milk. Beat in up to 1 more teaspoon of milk, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Beat in food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is reached.

  • Prepare the Seven-Minute Frosting: Pour water to a depth of 2 inches into bottom of a saucepan or double boiler; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir together egg whites, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a heatproof bowl or top of double boiler. Place bowl over simmering water, and whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until stiff peaks form and mixture is completely cooled, about 10 minutes. Beat in peppermint extract.

  • Assemble Cake: Place 1 Cake Layer on a cake plate. Spread Peppermint Buttercream in an even layer, about 1/2 inch thick, to within 1/2 inch of cake edge. Top with remaining Cake Layer.

  • Spread cooled Seven-Minute Frosting over top and sides of cake. Reserve remaining Frosting for garnish (see below).

Garnish How-To

PREPARE THE CANDY: Roughly crush 1 cup hard peppermint candies into small pieces. Crush an additional 1/4 cup candies into fine pieces and set aside. Add 1 tsp. white Disco Dust to 1 cup crushed candy, and stir to combine. 

DECORATE THE CAKE: Spoon the remaining Seven-Minute Frosting into a ziplock plastic bag, and snip 1 corner of the bag. Pipe swirls of frosting on the top of the cake. Lightly press the Disco Dust-coated crushed candy into the sides of the frosted cake until the sides of the cake are coated. Sprinkle the piped swirls with the finely crushed candy and an additional 1/2 tsp. Disco Dust.