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Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling


12 servings

When I first made this cake it was snowing outside, the entire family was home, and we enjoyed it all together. A perfectly pretty holiday cake for a perfect holiday moment! Be sure to measure the the peppermint extract carefully—it's strong, and a little bit goes a very long way. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional, divided
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) whipped vanilla frosting, divided
  • 1/4 cup peppermint crunch baking chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper.
  2. Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions. Remove 1-1/3 cups batter to a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon extract and if desired, 1/2 teaspoon food coloring until blended.
  3. Transfer plain batter to prepared pans. Top with red batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  4. Mix 1 cup frosting with remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa, 1/8 teaspoon extract and if desired, 1/2 teaspoon food coloring. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup plain frosting. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost sides of cake with remaining plain frosting. Spread red frosting over top of cake. Gently press baking chips into frosting on top of cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 506 calories, 23g fat (7g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 76g carbohydrate (57g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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