Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Cake

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    So, have I ever mentioned my slight obsession with anything chocolate and mint??  Well……..I have a  slight obsession with anything chocolate and mint.  There, I said it.  I feel better.  Now, let me tell you what I decided to do for my birthday this year.  I decided to bake myself a birthday cake!  But, not just any birthday cake…..a Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Cake!!  This delicious dessert has a layer of scrumptious peppermint cheesecake, sandwiched between two layers of dark chocolate cake.  And to top it all off…a generous coating of peppermint  frosting!!  I had seen this recipe on another food blog called Shugary Sweets. (With that name, you know I had to check it out….and Aimee, the writer of that blog, did not disappoint.)  I had every intention of making it over the Christmas holiday, but I just never got to it.  I still had some Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses and a couple of the bars in my cupboard, just waiting to be eaten, so…… the choice was clear!  After a couple adjustments, this would become the cake for my special day!

     So, there are three components to this cake….the dark chocolate cake layers, the peppermint cheesecake layer, and the frosting.  (I didn’t post pictures from the cake layer recipe because the process is pretty standard, and I wanted to cut down on what you might be tempted to just scroll through)  Here goes:

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Cake

For the chocolate cake layers:

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1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.baking powder
1/2 cup hot water mixed with 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

    Mix the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside.  Now, mix together the coffee mixture and the milk and set aside.  In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, or until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Now, slowly add in the dry ingredients, alternately with the coffee and milk mixture, starting and ending with the dry.  Pour the batter into two, greased and parchment-lined, 9″ round cake pans.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Cool completely on a rack.  Now, place the layers, wrapped in plastic, into the freezer while working on the other components of the cake.

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For the cheesecake layer:

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2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
10 oz. Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses or bars, chopped

The first thing to do is place a large roasting pan in the lower 2/3 of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Wrap a 9″ springform pan with a double layer of foil.  Then spray the pan with some non-stick spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.  Put some water on to boil (You’ll need it when you bake the cheesecake)
Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until it’s creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
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Add in the salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
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Now, beat in the sour cream, heavy cream, and peppermint extract.  Fold in the candy kisses that have been chopped. ( I used my food processor)
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Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan and place in the roasting pan in the center of the oven.  Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan to come about 1″ up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 more minutes.  Remove and cool completely on a rack.  Then transfer the cheesecake, still in the pan, to the freezer, for at least a couple hours.
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And, now, the frosting:
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1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 oz. Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses or bars, chopped
Beat the butter for 3 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat  3-5 minutes more, until fluffy.  Add the chocolate and mix well.
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To assemble the cake:
Lay one of the frozen cake layers onto a cake plate.  Top with the frozen cheesecake and the second layer of cake.
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(Don’t worry that the layers aren’t completely even around the outside.  The frosting will camouflage the unevenness)
Frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs.  Chill the cake for 30-60 minutes.
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Now, frost the cake with the remaining frosting and keep it covered in the refrigerator.  Take the cake out about 15 minutes or more before slicing and serving.
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( Hey, next time I think I’ll try a variation using dark chocolate…my favorite…. and mint, instead of white!!)
For printable recipe, click here

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