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Candy Cane Wonderland Cake

Candy canes instantly make us think of Christmas, much the same as Santa Claus. Historians believe the sweet holiday mainstay was created in 1670 in Germany as a treat to keep young choir members quiet during long services. And candy canes have been appeasing children ever since. In the United States, 1.76 billion candy canes are produced annually, with 90 percent sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


The iconic candy makes for the perfect, festive Christmas cake. For this one, I used my favorite chocolate cake and buttercream frosting recipes, added a white chocolate ganache, and let my imagination in celebrating the season run wild. To balance such an elaborate top decoration, I made an additional batter to add a fourth layer and used the remaining batter to make accompanying cupcakes.


Chocolate Cake



1 cup butter, softened

3 cups packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup baking cocoa

3 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/3 cup boiling water



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat three 8-inch round baking pans.

  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

  3. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in water until blended. The will batter be thin.

  4. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.



Vanilla Buttercream Frosting



2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 stick Crisco butter-flavored baking stick

1 2-pound bag of powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. meringue powder

4 Tbsp. milk



In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and Crisco until smooth and thoroughly blended. Add powdered sugar, extracts, meringue powder, and milk. Combine all ingredients at medium-low speed. Once incorporated, increase mixer speed and whip until fluffy, about two minutes.



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