Friday, December 28, 2012

treat queen

every day is a surprise with ingy home.

one of the best things about christmas is having ingrid home.  she makes everything more fun, sparkly, festive, and happy.  she really seems to have a handle on happiness.

and on the fact that cake makes everything better.

i haven't been to seattle's icon grill for years, but i remember the towering texas sheet cake with the frosty little bottle of whole milk on the side.  now they have a new towering cake, the candy cane cake, and ingrid suggested we make it over the holidays.

so she put on her fluffy apron and baked it up for us & served it at the locust salon.  thanks ingy, for cake, ruffles, lipstick, hilarious quips, and helping me keep perspective through baking.

no plans for new year's eve?  bake up a towering cake to serve to someone you love.

icon grill's candy cane cake.

Icon Grill Candy Cane Cake

You will need to make each element of the cake before putting it all together.

White Chocolate Cake

2 oz white chocolate

2 egg whites
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sifted cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
Melt white chocolate in a small glass or metal bowl over a pan of slow boiling water. Set aside to cool. Whip butter with sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Sift together flour, baking power and salt in another bowl. Mix egg and combine on slow speed. Add half the milk mixture and combine on slow speed. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add the remaining dry and wet ingredients separately. Do not over mix. Slowly add in the melted white chocolate while the mixture is running. Place the batter into one 9" buttered and floured cake pan. Bake in a 300° oven for 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack.

Red Velvet Cake
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/4 cup sifted cake flour
3 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white vinegar
Mix vinegar and baking soda and let settle. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl thoroughly. Add one egg at a time, allowing each addition to mix completely before adding the next. Add cocoa, salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Alternately beat in flour and buttermilk. Fold in vinegar mixture at the end. Pour batter into one 9" buttered and floured cake pan and bake at 300° for 40-45 minutes. Rotate cake as necessary, cooking until a cake tester can be removed clean.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
1 lb cream cheese
1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 lb powdered sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl well. Begin adding the powered sugar on low speed, mixing thoroughly before the next addition. Finish by adding the peppermint extract and whipping for 10 minutes on high speed.

Peppermint Simple Syrup
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup peppermint schnapps
Pour boiling water over sugar and schnapps and mix until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

Putting it all together
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
Mint leaves
Maraschino cherries
Cool both cake layers thoroughly and cut each horizontally into 3 equal sized plates, for a total of six layers. (If this seems daunting, try cutting each layer in half to make two equal-sized plates for a total of four. A finished four-layer cake will still look great.) Place a layer on a serving platter and lightly brush with the peppermint simple syrup. Frost, repeat for all layers and frost the outside of the cake. Garnish with mint leaf and stemmed maraschino cherries for a holly-like effect.


  1. Seriously tasty cake. How lucky you are to have your baker babe at home.

    1. i know, geo. can't bear to think of her departure.

  2. how long does it take to make this cake?

  3. beautiful colors in the photos!!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks ma!

    Julie: it's a little labor intensive because of the whole separate-batters issue, but worth it if your alternative activity involves Netflix and a body-shaped dent in the couch!