*if you want to make just a vanilla frosting, just swap out vanilla extract for the peppermint
for the cake:
for the frosting:
for the topping:
Make the cake:
Make the frosting:
Bring a medium pot of water to simmer on the stove. In a medium sized heatproof bowl (I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer Bowl), add the egg whites, sugar and salt and whisk together. Place over the simmering water (don't let the bottom of the bowl come into contact with the water). Keep the water at a gentle simmer and cook the mixture, whisking every once in a while, until the sugar completely dissolves, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the bowl and set it in your stand mixer and add the peppermint extract. With the wire whisk attachment, whisk the egg white mixture at medium high speed for about 8 to 9 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and stiff. At this point, the mixture should be cooled down and the bowl should not feel hot. Lower the mixer to medium speed and start adding the butter, a few pieces at a time. Beat until all the butter is added and the frosting is completely smooth.
After the cake layers have cooled, take a long bread knife and horizontally slice each layer into two layers.
Dab a little frosting onto your cake plate, place the first layer of cake (I place all my layers crumb side down) and spread a layer of frosting on that. Sprinkle some peppermint bits on the frosting. Repeat until the final layer. garnish with more peppermint bits on top and chocolate shavings.
cake recipe from Add a PinchThe Italian Dish