Get in the holiday spirit with a rich and moist chocolate cake with coffee buttercream and a silky peppermint Italian meringue buttercream. All surrounded by an adorable chocolate town.
Last year I made one of my favorite holiday cakes - a gingerbread cake with a cinnamon buttercream and a mini gingerbread scene nestled on top. I made the cake using Bob's Red Mill's Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Mix and was so impressed with the results. Literally no one was able to tell that both the cake and cookies were gluten-free. I decided this year to continue on with tradition and make another holiday cake using flour from Bob's Red Mill. This year, I had to use their tried and true unbleached all-purpose flour.
This year is a lot different than last year. I did not do any Christmas shopping, and I don't think I will be doing much of it at all this year. We are trying to cut back on material possessions to make the move easier. Instead, I will be getting my daughter one really nice present this year and everyone else will get a food gift and perhaps something homemade (I've been going a little crazy looking at crafts on Pinterest lately) Perhaps I'll do the "One thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, and one thing to read" That always makes holiday shopping easier. Thoughts?
I used the same recipe for the chocolate cake as I used in my favorite chocolate cupcakes I shared last year. I love how light and fluffy and so full of rich chocolate flavor. I wanted to have something with a bit more of an adult flavor so I pair it with a thick and creamy coffee buttercream so the cake has a bit of a mocha feel to it which I love. I had this idea to create another Christmasy scene and I thought it would be so cute to put a mini chocolate town on the outside of the cake (you can find the template here). I knew I needed a white frosting, so I made a silky smooth peppermint Italian meringue buttercream to cover the outside and dusted it with powdered sugar to create the effect of snow on top of the houses.
This cake has layer of flavor and is full of holiday spirit! If you want a more kid-friendly cake, skip the coffee buttercream and use the peppermint frosting in between the layers as well, or swap out the coffee for 3 ounces of melted chocolate. Either way, this cake is so yum!
- 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups hot strong brewed coffee
- 9 ounces dark chocolate
- 2/3 cups Dutch-procesed cocoa powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablepoon instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Peppermint Italian Meringue Buttercream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
For the Chocolate Town
- 2 - 3 oz dark chocolate
- powdered sugar
- Grease and four two 9-inch baking pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together the Bob's Red Mill unbleached all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- Mix together the hot coffee, chocolate, and cocoa powder, it will be almost like a thin paste. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Once cooled. add the oil and eggs into the chocolate mixture.
- Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate and mix to combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans.
- Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Cool for about 10 - 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and allow to cool all the way on a wire rack. (For the easiest time frosting, tightly cover the cakes and place in the freezer for a few hours, or overnight).
- Beat the butter for the coffee buttercream. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until completely combined. Add in the espresso powder and the heavy cream and mix until well combined.
- In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar and water together and heat on medium until it begins to boil. Heat until it is about 235 degrees F for the best results (if you don't have a kitchen thermometer, boil for about 5 minutes).
- While the sugar is boiling, beat the egg whites until it forms soft peaks. Once the sugar is ready, Very slowly begin to add in the sugar to the egg whites between the beaters and the bowl, being sure to not let the sugar directly touch the bowl or the beaters. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
- Slowly add the butter to the egg whites one tablespoon at a time, allowing the butter to fully incorporate before adding more. The mixture may separate, but if you let it continue to mix, it will come back together. Add in both extracts and beat well.
- Spread the coffee buttercream over one layer of cake, leaving a border around the edges. Place the other cake on top, then frost with the Italian buttercream.
- On a double boiler, melt the chocolate, and place in a piping bag with a small round tip. You can also cut out a small tip in a disposable piping bag or the corner of a ziplock bag. Print out the template for the town (or create your own) and place under parchment paper. Trace the houses with the chocolate and allow to harden. Place all around the frosted cake. Top with powdered sugar. To get the tops all snowy, I placed some of the powdered sugar in my hand and blew it onto the top of the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 232mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 52gProtein: 4g