Creative cake decorating with Cake by Courtney

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Courtney Rich of Cake by Courtney showed us how to make her white chocolate peppermint cake for the holidays along with some fun decorating options. To see more recipes and tips go to cakebycourtney.com.

WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CAKE

YIELD 1 4-LAYER, 6-INCH CAKE
White chocolate peppermint cake layers with white chocolate peppermint frosting and drip, filled and decorated with peppermint candies.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
4 egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk
6 ounces Guittard White Mint Wafers (or 6 ounces white chocolate and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract)
FOR THE FROSTING
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces Guittard White Mint Wafers (or 8 ounces white chocolate and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract), melted and cooled slightly
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
FOR THE DRIP
1 cup Guittard White Mint Wafers (or 1 cup white chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE CAKE
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside
Using a double-boiler, melt the white chocolate and set aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light in color. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer to medium-low, add in the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and melted white chocolate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, alternate add in the dry ingredients and milk in 3 batches, ending and starting with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans (about 12 ounces in each) and bake until slightly golden in on top, 20 to 22 minutes. (A few moist crumbs should come out on a toothpick when testing the centers).
Let the cake layers cool about 10 minutes in the pans and then invert onto wire cooling racks.
When the cake layers are room temperature, level each layer (if needed), with a cake leveler. Wrap each layer with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Using a double-boiler or microwave, melt the white chocolate bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the melted white chocolate.
Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. Once the cream is incorporated, add the vanilla (and peppermint extract, if using) and increase the speed to medium-high and beat the frosting for five minutes, until light in color and texture.
Measure about one and a half cups of the frosting, and in a separate bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups frosting and 1/2 cup crushed peppermint. This will be the frosting you use between each layer. Save the rest of the frosting to decorate the outside of the cake.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE DRIP
Heat the cream in a microwave safe bowl for 60 seconds. Pour the cream over the white chocolate chips and let sit for five minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
Best to use the drip on a chilled cake.
ASSEMBLY
Place the first cake layer on a cake board and top with about 1/2 cup prepared peppermint filled frosting.
Repeat step two with the remaining two cake layers. Place the final cake layer top-side down.
Apply a thin coat of frosting around the cake to lock in the crumbs and chill for 10 minutes in the freezer to set.
Finish frosting the cake with the white chocolate peppermint frosting and drip.