Prize-Winning Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Since posting pictures on facebook of the cake I made for my brother’s birthday, I have received several requests for the recipe (in just one evening!). So, I decided to post the recipe and some instructions on decorating it.

I really did win a prize for this cake (although the winning cake was a slightly different version than what is pictured below). I won 3rd place in the baking contest for the Mother Daughter Extravaganza at Harvest Baptist Church on Mother’s Day weekend. I wonder how the cake would have fared in the current dark chocolate version?

The simple version: Buy a chocolate cake mix and chocolate frosting (I recommend Betty Crocker). Bake the cake. Mix in about 1/2 to 1 tsp of mint extract into the frosting (could be chocolate or vanilla). Frost the cake. I swirl the frosting rather than try to get clean, flat planes (swirled frosting hides a multitude of errors). Decorate the cake with white chocolate curls and chopped up Andes Mints.

The harder version: Bake a chocolate cake from scratch and make frosting from scratch. Then frost and decorate as described above. For Zeke’s cake, I followed the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa container.

Hershey’s “Especially Dark” Chocolate Cake
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Poor batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10-12 servings.

Especially Dark Chocolate Frosting
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2/3 c. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

For mint flavoring, add about 1/2-1 tsp. mint extract (basically, until the frosting tastes minty enough to you).

Tastes great with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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