RECIPE: Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

10 years ago, I had a cake at a friend's party around Christmas. It was the most AMAZING cake I had in a while. It also had all my favorite flavors-peppermint combined with rich chocolate. She told me it came out of Kraft's Food and Family magazines they used to print and mail to loyal consumers, and secretly told me it starts with a box cake. The cake always stayed with me, and I always meant to look through my old Food and Family magazines to find the cake recipe. Needless to say I was shocked it was made from a box cake, it certainly did not taste like it at all. This year, I decided to try and find it. Thanks to the almighty Google, I FOUND IT. 

It did not disappoint. The cake was as delicious as I remembered it, and my in laws were raving about it all evening. For the frosting you use non dairy whipped topping, making the cake seem creamy and light. If you want a richer frosting, my whipped vanilla frosting also would be lovely. I posted it below the main recipe here. 

Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cake


1 box chocolate cake mix, we like Betty Crocker
1 package instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1 package (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup crushed candy canes, divided (3 Tbsp. in batter, rest for middle and top frosting)
1 tub (8 oz.) nondairy whipped topping (like Cool Whip) for frosting

Alt Frosting Instead of Cool Whip
Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
1 cup milk (full fat or low fat) 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 well-rounded teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven 350˚. Spray 2 9" round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip 4 eggs briefly, then whip the sour cream and oil until well blended. Next pour the cake mix and pudding mix into the same bowl, and whip on slow until just combined. Then add the wet ingredients (milk and water) and whip until blended, creamy and thick. 

With a spatula, blend in the chopped chocolate and the 3 Tbsp. crushed candy cane bits until evenly distributed. Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake in the middle of the oven until center springs back when touched and toothpick at the center comes out clean-about 30-40 minutes.

Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then invert on wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, defrost Cool Whip.

Spread 1/2 cup frosting on the bottom cake layer. Then sprinkle 2 Tbsp. crushed candy canes on top. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the first, then frost the sides and top of the whole cake. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with the crushed candy canes. If you do it earlier the candy cane gets melty and runny on top.

Alt Vanilla Frosting Directions
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk flour with the milk. Whisk constantly, moving to a spoon midway until mixture becomes very thick. Take off heat and cool completely. It may be a good idea to get this done earlier so it has time to sit and cool. If this mixture is warm in any way, the frosting will not come together, but separate and get congealed and well...weird.

With a mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Gradually add the milk mixture a few Tablespoons at a time until all combined. Add the vanilla and give it a minute more. It should look like a fluffy buttercream, and quite spreadable.



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