Christmas is the time for this Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup) and melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (easily made by adding approximately 1
  • Tablespoon of lemon juice to regular milk; let sit til thickened, about 5 minutes)

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract to taste
    pinch of salt
  • Peppermint stripe candies, crushed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease your pans with butter and dust with cocoa. Cut a piece of parchment to fit inside the pan and grease and dust the parchment with cocoa.
Combine the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix together with a whisk.
Place the oil, butter and sugars in the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat briefly to just incorporate.
Add the melted milk chocolate, and beat until mixed well. Combine the salt, flour, baking soda, vanilla, cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop again and scrape the bowl. Add the remaining buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake: for 8″ rounds, 18 to 24 minutes; for 9″ rounds, 20 to 28 minutes; for cupcakes, 15 to 18 minutes.
The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs. Rest the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Once completely cooled, frost with Peppermint Buttercream and garnish with crushed peppermint candies.

To Make the Peppermint Buttercream:

Beat the butter in a stand mixer until smooth, gradually add the powdered sugar and beat to combine.
Add the vanilla, peppermint extract or Schnapps and pinch of salt and beat to combine.

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