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Chocolate Peppermint Cake in a Jar

Chocolate + Peppermint = Big, Mega, Super Love for me.  Maybe that’s why I use the combination in everything from truffles to pretzels to cookies during the holiday season. Actually, let’s be real. That’s definitely why.

Still, despite one attempt at putting it in a cake (it was okay, but not good enough for the blog), I have largely skipped over the chocolate cake + peppermint variation. Until now, that is.

Meet Chocolate Peppermint Cake in a Jar. It’s a moist, airy cake with a secret layer of peppermint cream near the bottom. And it’s topped with a rich dark chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of crushed candy cane.  And yes, it’s absolutely delicious. If you love these flavors, you will be in heaven with this cake.

Creating this recipe so that it was just right was a challenge. There was a moment earlier this week where I thought it might defeat me. I couldn’t get the peppermint center to behave. It kept melting to the bottom, leaving a flavorful cake that was good, until you got to the bottom where it was too stuck to the jar to enjoy. In the end, I found that the peppermint patty wants to be toward the bottom no matter what — but by freezing it and adding it frozen to the cake (and carefully timing it), the peppermint layer remains in tact … a super surprise as you reach the end of eating.

This recipe is adapted heavily from one for a chocolate mayonnaise cake that a former coworker gave to me after I had a disastrous time making chocolate cupcakes from scratch. I have no idea where the original came from. The mayonnaise is such an interesting addition, lending moisture without density to this cake. You won’t taste it in there, but the addition of mayo does a little magic.

Make it. It’s worth it.

You start by beating together eggs, sugar and vanilla until it’s creamy. Then you add the mayo. And a tiny bit of oil.

Then you sift together the dry ingredients. I always sift using a wire whisk. It makes it so easy. Once that’s done, you mix it all together and start filling the jars.

If you happen to have a canning funnel, this is a great time to break it out. It makes jar filling so much easier.

Once the jars are about half-full, place a frozen York Peppermint Patty gently in each jar. The frozen part is really important — if the candy is at room temperature, it will melt into the bottom of the cake, making a hard to scoop mess. But when it’s frozen, it remains in tact … a delicious finish to the cake.

Cover the peppermint patty with more batter so that it’s completely submerged.

Bake them, and then cover them all in chocolate ganache. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Then you have a delicious dessert perfect for the holidays. You could cover these and gift them … or serve them at a party. The single serve portion is perfect since you don’t have to worry about cutting pieces or ensuring there’s enough for everyone.

Also, Hellmann’s is generously sponsoring a holiday giveaway here on Sarah’s Cucina Bella of a KitchenAid Pro 450 Series 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer in Empire Red, perfect for making awesome holiday treats and snacks — like this cake. Scroll all the way down to the end of this post to learn how to enter.

Chocolate Peppermint Cake in a Jar

Chocolate Peppermint Cake in a Jar

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, recommended: Hellmann's mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 miniature York Peppermint Patties, frozen

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 candy cane, crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set six half-pint jelly jars on a baking sheet.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high for 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the mayonnaise, beating until combined. Add the canola oil and beat on medium until fully incorporated (about 30 seconds).
  3. Remove the whisk attachment from the stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. With the stand mixer running on low, add a little of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with the water. Until just mixed (do not over mix!).
  6. Now that the batter is ready, it's time to fill the jars. If you have a canning funnel (it has a big mouth for easy pouring), then I totally recommend you use it. Fill the jars about 1/2 way with the cake batter. Then get out your frozen peppermint patties, unwrap them and place one on each cake, taking care not to let it touch the sides. Then, cover the peppermint patties with the remainder of the batter, dividing it evenly among the six jars.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  8. Once the cakes are cool, it's time to make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a small sauce pan until just before boiling. Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir again, vigorously, until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  9. Pour the chocolate ganache over all the cakes, dividing it evenly among them. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the chocolate. Then devour.

Notes

Making these ahead? Don't add the crushed candy canes to the top of the cakes until just before serving.

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