peppermint devil’s food cake

In many ways, my relationship with this cake can be likened to my journey with graduate school. I’d come across Bon Appetit‘s peppermint devil’s food cake time and time again: reading about it in food blogs, getting a taste of it at holiday parties, discussing it with more ambitious (and often traumatized) bakers. I knew I wanted it — I knew it was perfect for me — and I was so afraid. Last year, however, I decided it was time. I was going to tackle this culinary Mount Everest.

I readied myself for the uphill climb. I studied the texts, prepared the materials, steeled my mind. I lost myself in the process, going fully off-radar, before re-emerging victorious. The end result, monstrously imperfect as it was, was beyond words. Yes, the behemoth of a cake looked impressive, towering at a foot tall and weighing as much as a newborn baby. More importantly, though, it was delicious. How could it not be? Three intensely chocolate-y layers of cake alternated with rich, dark chocolate ganache and smooth, whipped white chocolate cream. Not pictured is the veritable blanket of peppermint frosting smothering the cake. (Here I will add that the frosting was excellent but structurally unsound, transforming the cake into an alarmingly gooey blob. A really great-tasting blob. Blobs still count as successes in my book.)

It’s only fitting that I share this now: my first recipe post-graduate school acceptance. I actually made this cake a while ago, around Christmastime for a birthday in Jay’s family. While everyone fully enjoyed their slices, mine tasted especially sweet. The taste of victory.

I used two 9″ round cake pans to bake my cake layers.


I halved each chocolate cake (“hamburger-style,” if you know what I mean) to create four layers total before trimming and leveling.


Dark chocolate ganache at the ready.


Spreading even amounts of dark chocolate ganache on 3 out of 4 cake layers. The fourth was the crowning layer and went untouched during the assembling process.


White chocolate cream! I needed it to stay as nice and thick as possible. I wanted it to be cement in the questionably-structurally-sound building that was my cake.


Assembling begins.

Marshmallow frosting FROM HELL. I highly recommend seeking out a less gooey peppermint frosting.

Devil’s food layer cake with peppermint frosting

Recipe from Bon Appetit with tips and tricks at Epicurious (comments section) and Bon Appetempt



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