Wondering what to do with all those leftover candy canes? This cake is dreamy and delicious. This recipe is from my Auntie Peg up in the Great Northwest, who serves it every Christmas Eve.
If you don't like to bake, you can make it very easy on yourself and purchase a pre-baked angel food cake at the store. You need only then make the whip cream candy cane frosting. However, it does make a big difference to bake the cake yourself.
Be sure to frost it and add candy canes right before serving. It looks beautiful at the beginning but slowly deteriorates after. Don't be afraid, the delicious taste never goes away!
Candy Cane Cake
1 cup sifted cake or pastry flour
1 3/4 cups sugar (total amount added in various steps)
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces peppermint candy canes
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Sift again and set aside.
In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts. Continue beating until egg whites are firm but not dry.
Sift one-third of the flour-sugar mixture onto the egg whites and, with a rubber or silicone spatula, gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Add remaining flour in two batches, folding gently after each addition.
Turn batter into an ungreased 10-inch bundt pan and bake until browned and firm to the touch, 50 to 60 minutes.
Invert cake (in pan) on a cooling rack for at least an hour. When completely cool, run a long, thin, sharp knife between cake and pan to loosen, and remove cake.
Put candy canes in a large sealable plastic bag. Crush them into small pieces with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or the bottom of a small frying pan. Sift crushed candy with a fine-mesh strainer and reserve candy dust for another use (see Notes). Set crushed candy aside.
When ready to frost and serve, in a large bowl, beat cream with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream using a spatula to form swirls and peaks. Sprinkle frosted cake with crushed candy canes. (To get candy on the sides, hold your hand about 1 inch from the cake and gently toss crushed candy at the sides.)
Serve immediately, using a serrated knife to cut slices. Store in the refrigerator.
Add the crushed candy just before serving; the moisture from the whipped cream makes the peppermint begin to "melt" after only half an hour or so.
The very fine candy "dust" left over from crushing the candy canes is delicious sprinkled on vanilla ice cream or stirred into hot cocoa.
- You can also add a tiny amount of red food coloring to make a pink frosting.