Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

A moist three layer red velvet cake covered in smooth peppermint cream cheese frosting and crushed candy canes. A perfect holiday cake!

Red velvet layer cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Christmas is officially less than two weeks away! Are you ready or are you totally freaking out now that I pointed that little fact out? Are the presents wrapped and under the tree yet or will they be put out on Christmas eve after everyone is sound asleep?

Presents will absolutely be wrapped by Christmas Eve here, some or probably most will be wrapped that night. I’d say it’s because I’m a slacker, but really it’s that I’ll take no chances in the kiddos finding things before it’s time! And I know what kids do when they know there are presents around… from personal experience. Such a troublemaker around the holidays! I’ve never been a fan of surprises.

I was always excited for the presents and of course the dessert table, so whenever I get to whip up a holiday dessert, I might get a little giddy planning it out. There’s just something special about Christmas treats. From cookies to bars, candies and of course cake – there are so many amazing possibilities!

Red velvet layer cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

I didn’t grow up with red velvet cake or red velvet anything. I only finally experienced it within the last couple years, but I’ve grown to love it’s bright festive color, perfect for a variety of holidays and celebrations. What’s more festive than a red cake with crisp white frosting and crushed candy canes?!

This cake needs to happen now. Drop everything you’re doing and make this moist red velvet layer cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting. Grab a slice while you can because I promise your family and guests will gobble it up!

A festive cake both in color and flavor, thanks to McCormick food color and extracts.

The perfect cake for all of your holiday parties!

Red velvet layer cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Love holiday baking? Create your FlavorPrint profile at McCormick to get personalized recipe recommendations for the holiday season!

Yield: 1: 8-inch round, 3 layer cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 18-20 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours +

Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

A moist three layer red velvet cake covered in smooth peppermint cream cheese frosting and crushed candy canes. A perfect holiday cake!

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 3/4C unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3C granulated sugar
  • 2/3C light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp McCormick Red Food Color
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1C sour cream
  • 2 1/4C all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

Frosting:

  • Crushed candy canes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Lightly grease the top of the parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and both sugars. Mix in eggs, followed by sifted cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, baking powder and red food color. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Alternate additions of sour cream and flour, finishing with flour. Finally, in a small bowl combine vinegar and baking soda. Immediately add to cake batter, mix just until combined.
  4. Divide cake batter between prepared pans, roughly 1 1/2 cups of batter per pan or 6-7 large cookie scoops worth. Use a small offset spatula to spread into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then carefully remove from pans to cool on a wire rack. When room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap to chill thoroughly.
  7. When ready to proceed, prepare frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in butter, followed by 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Cover mixer with a clean towel to prevent sugar escaping. Mix in peppermint extract in last 60 seconds.
  8. Level off and remove any dome from chilled cakes with a serrated knife.
  9. Add several large cookie scoops worth of frosting to first layer of cake, spread out into an even layer. Top off with second tier and repeat. Finally add third cake, top off with additional frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. *This is just a crumb coat. A thin layer of frosting is sufficient.
  10. Chill cake for 1 hour.
  11. Cover cake with remaining frosting, smoothing out with a bench scraper. Use a spatula or spoon to create a swirl in the top. Decorate with crushed candy canes.
  12. Chill cake until nearly ready to serve. This will help to set the frosting.

*Cake will serve roughly 20

Baked by Rachel original

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by McCormick. I was compensated for my time. As always, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
This post contains affiliate links.

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48 Responses to “Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    1
    Nancy Scott — December 12, 2014 at 6:40 am

    It looks BEAUTIFUL! So festive-what a wonderful Christmas dessert! Love your blog. Your pictures are great.

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks so much Nancy!

  2. #
    2
    Rachel+Cooks — December 12, 2014 at 7:36 am

    This is such a gorgeous cake, Rachel! Love that dark deep red with the perfect layers of cream cheese frosting (my favorite!). The addition of peppermint is genius!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks Rachel! :)

  3. #
    3
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — December 12, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Holy BEAUTIFUL cake batman! This would definitely be a show stopper at the Christmas table! Now, to see if it gets there before I eat it all ;) Pinned!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thank you Taylor!

  4. #
    4
    Urvashee — December 12, 2014 at 7:49 am

    The color of red velvet coordinates so well with the peppermint. Very festive. I love it.

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks so much! :)

  5. #
    5
    Linda — December 12, 2014 at 8:01 am

    You make the most beautiful cakes! This screams CHRISTMAS to me.

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks Linda! :)

  6. #
    6
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — December 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I get giddy too when thinking about and planning the big holiday dessert ., you already know this but this cake is stunning and love love love the peppermint cream cheese frosting, yes!!!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks so much Alice!

  7. #
    7
    Ashley+|+Spoonful+of+Flavor — December 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Gorgeous cake! I love the addition of the peppermint and I always love baking with McCormick! I will gladly take a slice off of your hands.

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:49 am

      Thanks Ashley! :)

  8. #
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    Julie @ Table for Two — December 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    The cake looks so perfect!! I loveee the deep red contrast with the bright white frosting. The shattered candy canes as a topping is so simple and elegant!!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:50 am

      Thanks so much Julie! :)

  9. #
    9
    Nutmeg+Nanny — December 12, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I can’t believe Christmas is almost here! I love the flavors (and of course the color!) in this cake. I’m such a red velvet lover :)

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:50 am

      I know!!! How is it already that time?! And thank you :)

  10. #
    10
    Jennie+@themessybakerblog — December 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I absolutely love wrapping gifts. I turn on the holiday music and dance along as I tie the bows. This cake rocks my world. Pinned.

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:50 am

      Haha I don’t get quite that into it since it’s almost always post bedtime wrapping. And thank you! :)

  11. #
    11
    Deborah — December 12, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Well, you know how I feel about red velvet!! This cake is stunning, and I’m in love with the peppermint frosting!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:52 am

      Haha I absolutely do know!! And thank you Deborah! :)

  12. #
    12
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — December 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Stunning cake, Rachel. Love the peppermint frosting addition to the red velvet!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:52 am

      Thanks so much Brenda!

  13. #
    13
    Tori@Gringalicious.com — December 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Peppermint frosting? Shut the front door! You did it again, Girl!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:52 am

      Thanks Tori!

  14. #
    14
    Jocelyn @BruCrew LIfe — December 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Wowzers! That is a gorgeous looking cake! We always wrap presents on Christmas Eve with a bottle of spiked eggnog :-) Why do it early right?

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:53 am

      Haha! That sounds like a fun idea!

  15. #
    15
    Teresa Young — December 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Wow! That sounds delicious and looks beautiful!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:53 am

      Thanks Teresa!

  16. #
    16
    Lexi+@+Sempre+Dolce — December 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    What a beautiful cake – the frosting is perfect!!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:53 am

      Thanks Lexi!

  17. #
    17
    Melanie+|+Melanie+Makes — December 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Peppermint cream cheese frosting?! Yes, please!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:53 am

      It’s SO good! :)

  18. #
    18
    Jaclyn — December 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    That peppermint cream cheese frosting! All desserts are fun, but holiday desserts are the most fun. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:54 am

      I hope you do! :)

  19. #
    19
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — December 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    This cake would be a showstopper at any holiday table! Gorgeous! Love the contrast of red velvet cake with the white frosting. Love that you added peppermint extract!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:54 am

      Thanks so much Anna!

  20. #
    20
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — December 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    can’t decide what’s more gorgeous – the cake or the photos! I love it all!

    • Rachel — December 13th, 2014 @ 7:54 am

      Aww you’re too sweet. Thanks Angelyn!

  21. #
    21
    Katrina+@+In+Katrina's+Kitchen — December 13, 2014 at 11:42 am

    You know how I feel about cake… ;) Really this is gorgeous! Impressive indeed!!

    • Rachel — December 14th, 2014 @ 7:57 am

      I do… and I feel the exact same way lol ;) But thank you!!

  22. #
    22
    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog — December 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Gorgeous cake Rachel!

    • Rachel — December 14th, 2014 @ 7:57 am

      Thanks Sharon!

  23. #
    23
    Amanda — December 13, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Oh my word! I am dying! This is gorgeous!!!

    • Rachel — December 14th, 2014 @ 7:57 am

      Thanks Amanda! :)

  24. #
    24
    Rachel — January 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    All I gotta say is this will be our new family Christmas tradition! The cake turned out excellent and the frosting….mmmmmm! :-D

    • Rachel — January 12th, 2015 @ 7:38 am

      So glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing :)

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