minty snow cake

Minty Snow Cake

at the risk of sounding anti-climatic
my experience with christmas has historically been
there is just something
very undramatical
about my childhood of christmases
until about 10 years old
we never had a tree
and when we did start
i wasn’t allowed to decorate it
what with my lack of artistic spacing
and ornamental picking ability
along with my stepmother’s anal
Type-A desire for
uniformity and beauty
tree decorating is a skill i never learned
in fact,
i am so bad that the one
time i attempted to decorate a tree
as an adult
my then boyfriend took all the shit down
and redecorated the fucking thing
hashtag Eff Off Xmas

it should not be surprising to know
that we don’t have a tree
nor do we have any other decorations up
with the exception
of a few wedding slash thank you slash holiday
card obligations
the days have been business as usual
but there’s been cake
a minty snow cake to be exact

so, from us,
ones who don’t celebrate christmas
wishing you & yours
a delightful week
have cake,
be merry

Minty Snow Cake

Minty Snow Cake
adapted from cook’s illustrated, but published on epicurious, cus i refuse to pay a membership fee to the former site

*note: i ended up doubling the recipe, i was hoping the layers would rise enough to slice in half but they didn’t. my end result was three layers, the fourth layer is being consumed separate. the recipe i post will be single.
my adaption is lactose-free, and for one of the layers i used liquid egg whites which made the cake batter watery-er and it didn’t rise as much as the layers with actual egg whites. the taste is the same though.
also, cook’s illustrated is legendary with their method on time, ingredients, blah blah blah. ain’t nobody got time for that. mix accordingly to common sense, bake based on how you know your oven, not on how far your pans can be from the wall and from each other. i’m just saying. hashtag this is me being ornery and eye rolling at CI.

2 1/4 cups (9oz) cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk or in my case, lactose free half&half, at room temperature, i use organic valley
6 (3/4 cup) large egg whites, at room temperature, or Abbotsford Farm 100% liquid egg whites
2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4oz) granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
12 TBL vegan butter, softened but still cool, i use earth balance vegan buttery sticks

preheat oven to 350F & prepare 2 8″ round pans

in the mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. cream with the butter. it’ll look like sugar cookie batter. scrape down the bowl.

in a pouring vessel, best is a glass measuring cup, add in the half&half with the egg whites, along with the extracts. mix until blended.

pour half the liquid into the batter, mixing until well incorporated. scrape the sides of the bowl often. add remaining liquid and repeat mixing and scraping. pour batter into the prepared pans.

bake for 27 – 30 minutes, until the cake pulls from the sides of the pan smidge, it’ll be a pretty golden on top and a toothpick will come out clean. cool on rack.

i used a typical buttercream recipe, of vegan butter + powdered sugar + a few splashes of peppermint extract.

i used these methods & inspiration for attiring the cake.

for more pretty cakes.

23 thoughts on “minty snow cake

  1. 1. This cake is absolutely gorgeous, so who cares if you can’t decorate a tree? CAKE IS MORE IMPORTANT!
    2. I wasn’t allowed to decorate our tree as a child. None of the children were permitted. Rosie/Martha Stewart simply couldn’t allow it. I recall that we had a “kids” tree for many years, but most years I went to a friend’s house to throw tinsel and ornaments around. For at that house, no one cared about spacing.

  2. For someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, you’ve done a phenomenal job with this cake. It’s pure ethereal beauty, I’m so in love with it! That icing would have taken me forever. And I completely understand about the lackluster Christmas feelings — my boyfriend adores Christmas, but my childhood associations with it have never been fantastic. We’re changing that this year, since it’s our first Christmas together. Maybe I’ll make this cake 🙂 Thank you for sharing this gem.

  3. fwiw, it took me three tries to get the lights on our tree where they were spaced out and not all crowded around the middle. after that, my kids decorated the tree and have been redecorating it every day since. it isn’t pretty but it makes them happy.

    and i can’t ice a cake to save my life. seriously, i make the ugliest cakes ever. yours however, is lovely!

  4. Oh my gosh! Your (evil-sounding) stepmother totally traumatized your desire to ever decorate a tree! That is criminal, she should be ashamed. Even as a perfectionist myself by nature, I don’t care that ornaments are evenly spaced — I do care that we get out our collection each year and unpack all the memories and put the festive goodies up on display. Sad story, Lan! 😦

    But you don’t need a tree. You only need cake! Cake makes everything a celebration! I pin cakes regularly for inspiration but I dont think I’ve seen a wintery cake more pretty, like, ever. Are those snowy rosemary trees?! GAH! You are the master. I salute this cake.

    1. cake does make everything better, especially if everyone eating it likes it.

      you know, i have selective memory, i know this and this particular memory is one that i can recall very vividly. i’m sure there are happy memories of my stepmother, i’m just not recalling them right this second.

  5. Lan, this cake is Epic! Your frosting skills make me jealous. 😀
    I’m not into Christmas either (glad I’m not alone!). I was raised catholic but became a bit of a hedonist/atheist in high school & college – I never really looked back. If only we lived closer, we could celebrate Festivus! xo

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