For the icing (Note: Prepare the mixture for the icing before you start the cake as it will need time to chill):
340g (1.5 cups) unsalted butter
255g (9oz/1.5 cups of chips) good quality white chocolate (min 30% cocoa solids, do NOT use baking chocolate), finely chopped
2 tsp peppermint essence
Additional note: this only just makes enough cake to cover a 3 layer 6″ cake, you can make 1.5x the amount of icing if you are making a larger cake. This icing is quite fiddly to work with and softens quickly at room temperature. If you are not comfortable with icing layer cakes I recommend you use this icing recipe instead.
Prepare the icing mixture ahead of time as it will need to be chilled before whipping. Place butter and white chocolate in a large saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring regularly until smooth (the solids may separate but this is okay).
Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes, then chill in the fridge until solid, about 2 hours. If you are impatient like me you can stick it in the freezer for about half an hour.
Prepare cake as per instructions below.
Before you are ready to decorate your cake, remove white chocolate mixture from fridge at least 30 mins ahead of time to allow it to soften slightly.
Place white chocolate mixture and peppermint essence in a large mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy.
For the cake:
255g (9oz) butter, chopped
140g (5oz) white chocolate, chopped
370g (13oz/about 1 &3/4 cups) caster/granulated sugar
1 cup milk
225g (8oz/about 1 & 2/3 cups) plain/all-purpose flour
85g (3oz/about 2/3 cups) self-raising flour (can be replaced with an additional 2/3 cup plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Optional: red food colouring (I used Americolor gel)
- Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F) (I set my fan-forced to 165°C), grease and line with baking paper three 15cm (6″, this is what I used) or 18cm (7″, will result in slightly thinner layers), or two 20cm (8″) round cake tins.
- Place butter, white chocolate, sugar and milk in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth.
- Set mixture aside for 15 minutes to allow it to cool.
- Whisk in flours, vanilla and eggs until just combined.
- Place about 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl and add red food colouring.
- Pour small amounts of red and white batter into your prepared tins, ensuring there is an equal amount of batter in each tin. Use a butter knife to run through the batter once to help swirl the red and white batter around a bit. I placed my batter into two pouring jugs to make this part easier.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes (longer if your cakes are thicker obviously), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out just clean. If the tops of your cakes start to brown too early you can cover the tins loosely with foil.
- Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then carefully remove from tins and cool completely.
Variety of different sized and coloured candy canes
Red and white candy canes, crushed with a rolling pin
Once your cakes are completely cool and your icing is whipped, place one layer of cake on your cake stand or plate. Spread a layer of icing over the top using a spatula.
Sandwich with another layer of cake and repeat. Top with remaining cake layer.
Crumb coat the cake with some of the prepared icing and chill for about 30 mins.
Cover with a thicker layer of icing and smooth sides with an offset spatula. Running the spatula regularly under hot water will help to smooth the icing.
Chill cake again to allow icing to set. Decorate the edge of the cake with crushed candy canes. You can leave the cake as it is for something a bit simpler/elegant, or go nuts and top the cake with lots of different candy canes.
Chill cake to allow icing to set again. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.