Everyone needs a fun little holiday dessert to finish off your fabulous meal. And this one fits that role very nicely, especially if you ask my family. We love this cake. It’s moist, full of creamy filling and just enough minty flavor to feel festive. In fact it will likely play the starring role for your holiday dinner meal this year. Your guests will be impressed with the presentation, but it’s really not that hard to make. You’ll need a few hours ahead of time to make sure it gets enough chill time, and the good news is that it can be made ahead. It can even be made a couple of days before serving, but I think it’s best served the day of preparation.
It starts with a spongy chocolate cake baked in a jelly roll pan for just 15 minutes. Then the cake is turned out on to a cotton towel and rolled up and allowed to cool.
Once cool the cake is unrolled and covered with a delicious cream cheese filling flavored with peppermint and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies. The cake is rolled up again without the towel and frosted with a chocolate ganache and then chilled until ready to serve.
It sounds difficult but it’s really just simple technique in a lot of steps. You can do it, I know it. Your guests will be so pleased with your little masterpiece and you’ll feel like a rock star.
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- Peppermint Chocolate Cake Roll
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp crushed peppermint candies (about 12 starlight mints)
- 3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 1/2 cup fat-free half and half
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
- Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form; gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat egg yolks and vanilla in medium bowl on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar; continue beating 2 additional minutes.
- Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg yolk mixture alternately with water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth. Gradually fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off parchment paper. Immediately roll cake and towel together starting from narrow end; place on wire rack to cool completely.
- For the filling: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and peppermint extracts in a small mixer bowl until smooth and spreadable. Stir in 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies. Carefully unroll cake and remove towel. Spread cream cheese filling over cake. Reroll cake and place on serving platter.
- For the frosting: Place chocolate and half and half in a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 to 40 seconds until chocolate is soft. Stir until chocolate is completely melted, microwaving for a few more seconds as needed to melt chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes to reach spreading consistency. Spread evenly over cake. Sprinkle top of cake with remaining 2 Tbsp crushed peppermint candy. Refrigerate cake for at least one hour before serving.
Prep time includes at least one hour chilling in refrigerator before serving.
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