Happy 86th Birthday, Grandpa! Today we celebrated my grandpa's birthday (even though his birthday is a little later in the week) and it was my duty to make the cake. Of course, I didn't complain; it's more experience in the kitchen, more material for my blog and another chance to make my Grandpa smile! His favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip. As long as I can remember, every single time we have ever gotten ice cream, he always orders mint chocolate chip if they have it. May summers in Frankfort were spent walking down to the Cool Spot and order ice cream with Grandpa. I couldn't think of what kind of cake to make him until I was thinking about how much I wanted some ice cream (even if I can't eat it). Then I remember my Grandpa's LOVE of mint chocolate ice cream and the cake was born!
I looked all over the internet and there were no recipes that I really liked. Some required only mixing together the wet and dry ingredients - I know that wouldn't produce cake results I'd like (it'd most likely come out too dense). Instead I turned my attention to King Arthur. I based my recipe off their Chocolate Cake recipe. I didn't want anything too chocolatey, as it would overpower the mint flavor I was going for. But at the same time, I didn't want it to fall flat and taste boring like milk chocolate. So, I had to improvise. I also used my own recipe for mint buttercream - I just followed the rule of ratios.
- 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup milk, warmed in microwave for 1 minutes
- 1/2 water, boiling
- 4 large eggs, separated & whites beaten until stiff peaks form
- ½ bag of creme de menthe chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour three 8" round pans.
- Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.
- Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.
- Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form, set aside. Beat in egg yokes one at a time. Stir in creme de menthe chips. Then gently fold in egg whites.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes.
- The cake is done when the top springs back when very lightly touched in the center, and the edges just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool before removing it from the pan.
- Once cooled, put the cakes in the freezer for about a half an hour. When 'frozen' remove and cut layers in half (you will now have 6 'layers').
Mint Buttercream Frosting
- 12 tablespoons butter, softened
- 5 ⅓ cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- gel icing, until desired color is achieved
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter at a low speed with an electric mixer or tabletop mixer.
- Add powdered sugar, alternating with the milk, and beat to smooth, but thick consistency (you may need to add more milk or sugar)
- Stir in vanilla and peppermint. If you want a less minty flavor, decrease the peppermint extract or leave out altogether.
Grandpa blowing out his candles!
Look at those six (slightly demolished) layers!!