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Recipes: candy-cane cake

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Believe it or not, signs of the Christmas season are already appearing in stores – and Labor Day is still several weeks away. Promos for Christmas recipe books are also arriving already, but I suppose that may be to ensure ample time is allowed for the consumer to order – and then receive – said book.

This recipe for candy-cane cake came in a promo for a Better Homes and Gardens Christmas cookbook, Christmas From the Heart. Save it so you will have it handy for the holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces red food coloring (¼ cup)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Crushed peppermint candy

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9 x 1½ - inch round baking pans.
  3. In a bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set pans and flour mixture aside.
  4. Beat shortening with a mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl for about 30 seconds or until softened.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla to the shortening; beat until mixture is well combined.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition.
  7. Beat in the food coloring on low speed.
  8. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
  9. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter, mixing until combined.
  10. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of cakes comes out clean.
  11. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove cake layers from the pans and completely cool on racks.
  13. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  14. Decorate top with crushed peppermint candy.
  15. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Yields 12 servings

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5½ - 6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
  2. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches a spreading consistency.
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