Peppermint Crunch Coconut Christmas Cake

Peppermint Crunch Coconut Christmas Cake

Coconut Cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely ground in the food processor
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
Peppermint Buttercream:
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla
  • 1-2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • assorted mini candy canes, whole and crushed, peppermint M&Ms, red food coloring, etc... 


I doubled the recipe for a large, tall cake to feed a crowd – since my 8-inch pans have high sides, I was able to bake 3 thick cake layers.  If you double the recipe but aren’t sure your pans are high enough, bake in 4 pans instead of 3.

Doubling the cake doesn't mean you need to double the frosting; 1 1/2 x the amount of frosting should be enough for a taller cake.


Bake the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray three 8-inch round pans with non-stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray the parchment as well.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix and coconut.  Add the coconut milk, eggs, vanilla and coconut extract, mixing on low speed to combine, then on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Divide batter between the pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Set pans on wire racks, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.


Make the Buttercream:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter on low just so it sticks to the sides.  In a separate bowl, combine the powered sugar and meringue powder.  Gradually add to the mixer, while mixing on low, and mix until moistened.  Add the milk and extracts; increase speed to medium high and whip for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice, until very light and fluffy.



Level all the cakes with a sharp knife or cake leveler; peel off the parchment paper.  Place one layer of cake bottom side up on a cake board or serving plate.  Spread with a ¼ inch layer of buttercream.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermint candy.  Repeat with the remaining layers of cake.

After you’ve placed the last layer of cake on, frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of frosting.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then frost with the final layer of frosting.  If desired, use any leftover frosting to pipe decorate borders on the cake, or color with red food coloring to pipe the ribbon and bows as shown.

Decorate with the candy canes and M&Ms.

Recipe and design from Curly Girl Kitchen