Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cake

Somehow May is almost already half way over, which in my family means it’s time to think up a delicious dessert involving mint and chocolate. My older brother’s birthday is this month, and as an avid fan of the two, his number one request every year almost always involves that pairing. Seeing as how my favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, I never say no to testing out new desserts involving the two flavors! 🍫🌿

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That’s where I got the inspiration to dream up this Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cake. Layers of a rich, dark chocolate cake are paired with a creamy mint chip Swiss meringue buttercream that’s pretty much like mint chocolate chip ice cream in frosting form. Pieces of chopped bittersweet chocolate are added to the buttercream for a little bit of a crunch, and crème de menthe is used to add a subtle, yet creamy mint flavor.

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I found that crème de menthe was the perfect way to add just enough mint flavor without it overpowering the rest of the cake. You can use mint extract if you prefer to, but I think that the creaminess of the crème de menthe is far superior. If you use mint extract, be sure to use less as a little goes a long way.

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A few notes before you get started. The cake can be baked as either a two layer 8-inch cake or a three layer 6-inch cake, depending on what you prefer. I used dark cocoa powder to make it a dark chocolate cake, but you can use regular natural cocoa powder as well.

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Now, let’s talk about this cake. Layers of rich, dark chocolate cake that are tender, yet sturdy enough to be stacked without needing a crumb coat. This is my new favorite chocolate cake. It’s silky smooth and deliciously moist with every single bite. The other amazing thing about this recipe is that even if any crumbs do get swept up in the icing they’ll look like pieces of chocolate!

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I chose to carefully sift the pieces of chocolate once I chopped them so I would only be incorporating the bigger pieces into the buttercream. This extra step is up to you, I just wanted the chocolate to have a cleaner, less speckled look. The frosting spreads like a dream, and there’s just enough to have a little left over to snack on!

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So the next time you’re craving a peppermint patty or some mint chocolate chip ice cream, why not switch it up and make the cake version of that? You deserve it.

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Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cake

Author: Marisa Guerra

Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with your spatula as needed.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk.
  6. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the coffee to the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Coat three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray or butter and cocoa powder and line the bottom of each with parchment. Evenly divide the batter into the pans.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack before gently running a knife along the edge of each pan, topping the cake with another cooling rack and turning each cake out. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Mint Chip Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
  • 4 tsp crème de menthe
  • Green food coloring
  • 3 oz or about ½ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped and sifted
  1. Stir together egg whites and sugar in a double boiler. Continue to stir until mixture reaches 160º F on a candy thermometer.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix with the whisk attachment on high for 8-10 minutes, until somewhat stiff peaks have formed.
  3. Switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment and slowly add in pieces of butter on low. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add in crème de menthe followed by the green food coloring.
  5. Carefully stir in the chopped chocolate.

Cake Assembly

  1. Once your cake layers have cooled, carefully cut the tops off with a serrated knife so that each layer is level.
  2. Place one layer, top side down, on a cake board and spread with frosting. Repeat this step with the next two layers.
  3. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill until you serve.
  4. Enjoy!

Maple Cream Scones

It’s hard not to love a buttery, soft, flaky scone. You know what I’m talking about…the kind that melts in your mouth when it’s still warm out of the oven. These scones are not only lusciously tender, but the maple syrup in them takes them to a whole new level.

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Imagine the perfect balance of creaminess, sweetness, and just a little bit of crunch from the sparkling sugar that’s sprinkled on top. They’re delicate and flaky, but sturdy enough to top with jam and take with you as you run out the door in the morning.

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One of my favorite things about this recipe, besides the end result, is its simplicity. They’re easy to make and don’t require a ton of prep work or baking time. I love making them on weekend mornings or at the beginning of the week to enjoy later on.

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It’s best to splurge a little for good quality Grade A Dark Color maple syrup for this recipe because it will bring out an authentic and strong maple flavor. I chose this particular grade of syrup because it’s dark enough to have a strong, but not overpowering maple taste. Plus, you can always use what you have leftover to whip up a delicious Maple Buttercream or use it as an excuse to make pancakes or waffles (as if you needed one)!

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Just like when you work with any kind of dough, you want to make sure that the butter and heavy cream are chilled before you start. The scones will come together rather quickly and don’t require too many dishes or tools. A pastry blender can be helpful when you’re adding the butter to the dough, but you can also use your hands to really incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it is pea sized.

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Once the dough is formed, you don’t even need to reach for your rolling pin! You can just gently form and pat the dough into a circle with your hands. From there, it’s just a matter of cutting them into wedges, brushing their tops with heavy cream, and sprinkling them with sparkling sugar! Before you know it, you’ll have fresh scones that are ready to be devoured.

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Maple Cream Scones

Author: Marisa Guerra

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, plus 1 tbsp for topping
  • ½ cup Grade A Dark Color maple syrup
  • sparkling white sugar for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the heavy cream and maple syrup in a small bowl and chill.
  4. Add butter to the flour mixture and blend together with a pastry blender or your hands until the butter pieces are no bigger than the size of a pea.
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it begins to come together.
  6. Gently knead the dough together while it is still in the bowl to make sure it is fully combined.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly sprinkle with more flour.
  8. Using your hands, form the dough into a circle that is about an inch or so high. Cut the dough into 8 even wedges and spread the wedges out evenly on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
  9. Carefully brush the tops of each scone with a light layer of heavy cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the sides and bottoms are lightly browned.
  11. Enjoy!

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Peter Pan

A love of baking and Disney movies combined? What’s better than that? Join me as I bake my way through one Disney movie at a time! Follow along at #marisabakesdisney 🎥

Disney’s Peter Pan, an adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s original play, flew into theaters on February 5, 1953, and was instantly a big hit. Did you know that Walt first grew fond of the story when he saw the play as a child? Or that one of the biggest challenges that animators faced when working on the film was learning how to animate a character to look like they were flying?

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I made a colorful funfetti cake and decorated it with a Swiss meringue buttercream because what other cake says “never grow up” more? I topped it with the silhouettes of Peter Pan, Wendy, James, and Michael as they fly towards the second star to the right and straight on till morning.

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“All this has happened before, and it will all happen again. But this time it happened in London. It happened on a quiet street in Bloomsbury. That corner house over there is the home of the Darling family. And Peter Pan chose this particular house because there were people here who believed in him.” – Peter Pan

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