Penguin Skating Rink Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cake

Posted on
Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

One of my favorite beverages on a chilly, winter day is a steaming mug of peppermint hot chocolate. Naturally, though, I couldn’t just leave it at that. So, I used my favorite drink as the inspiration for the cake I’m sharing with you today! Yes, that’s right: a peppermint hot chocolate cake! Y-U-M!

This tasty treat consists of an ultra-fudgy, sweet hot chocolate cake base, layered with a milky chocolate ganache, and crushed peppermint candies. Then, it’s covered in a not-too-sweet, super soft swiss meringue buttercream – perfectly reminiscent of the melty little marshmallows adorning your mug of cocoa. Because, really – is it even a proper hot chocolate if there are no marshmallows? I think not.

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Plus, if that’s not enticing enough, I’ll show you how to create an adorable penguin ice-skating scene to embellish the top of your delicious cake. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely voted in my poll that decided the character for this very design: out of snowmen and penguins, majority rules!

We’ll use isomalt sugar to form a hyper-realistic “ice” base, and then fondant, food coloring, ice cream cones, and a bit of leftover buttercream to add the charming little details. It’s almost too cute to eat… almost.

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Let’s Get Started!

First, peruse the list of materials and ingredients, to make sure you have all of the necessities. Then, read through the recipe method fully, before baking and decorating.

Tools You’ll Need To Create Your Penguin Skating Rink Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cake

The first step to a successfully completed bake is ensuring you have the proper tools. I’ve linked the items I use (unless otherwise noted) for your easy reference! I am an Amazon affiliate, so my site makes a commission (at no additional cost to the consumer) on applicable sales.

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Basic Kitchen Baking Tools:

Cake Decorating Tools:

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cake Recipe & Isomalt Ice Skating Rink Method

Now, let’s get to the fun part: baking and decorating! Peruse the recipe, and feel free to print it out or save it to Pinterest with one of the “pinnable” images below.

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

I didn’t include a video tutorial for the isomalt work, but feel free to leave a comment letting me know you’d like me to create one! If there’s interest, I’ll record a tutorial.

I also didn’t go into too much detail with regards to the fondant figures. If you’d like to see a little introduction to working with fondant, check out the video in this post. I’d love to film a fondant-basics video regarding mixing, coloring, molding, forming, and more. If that’s something you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments below!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

A delicious and fudgy hot chocolate cake, layered with marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, milky ganache, and crushed peppermint candies. This cake is perfectly reminiscent of your favorite childhood winter drink!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, hot chocolate, peppermint, swiss meringue buttercream
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Decorating Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 14 servings

Ingredients

Hot Chocolate Cake

  • cups flour
  • ¾ + cup cocoa powder (extra needed for prep)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ + cup softened butter (1 stick; extra needed for prep)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large room-temperature eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup hot cocoa made with milk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 8 large fresh egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • sticks room-temperature butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

Peppermint Ganache Filling

  • 8 oz milk or bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies (like the round mints or candy canes)

MISC. Decorating Ingredients

  • 1 lb fondant
  • 2-3 small sugar cones
  • 8 oz precooked isomalt sugar cubes

Instructions

Hot Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Thoroughly butter your cake pans. Then, use extra cocoa powder to coat the inside as well.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Then, add the eggs, one by one, mixing for another two minutes. Next, add the vanilla and chopped chocolate and combine.
  • Combine the hot cocoa and coffee in a mixing container with a pour spout. Then, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients to the beaten mixture, starting and ending with the dry. Mix with a spatula to prevent over mixing.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the three prepared pans, and bake for 40-50 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Some moist crumbs are okay, but make sure that the batter isn't raw on the toothpick.
  • Let the pans cool on a wire racking for 5-10 minutes. Then, use oven mitts to flip the cakes out onto the wire rack. Let cool to room temperature before frosting; if you're not stacking your cake right away, double wrap each cooled layer individually in the plastic wrap and freeze.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Wipe down all of your meringue mixing equipment with a lemon slice and then a paper towel to eliminate any remaining grease or fat, which inhibits meringue stabilization. Make sure your butter is naturally warming to room temperature.
  • Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a bain-marie and reserving the yolks for another dessert. Make sure not to contaminate the whites with a broken yolk.
  • Set the water under the bain-marie to a simmer, and add the sugar to the egg whites. Whisk constantly, by hand, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches a temperature of 160°F. Then, with a stand mixer (or handheld mixer, if necessary) mix on medium-high with the whisk attachment until glossy peaks form and the meringue has cooled to room temperature. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter one tablespoon at a time to the mixer. Let each tablespoon fully integrate before adding the next, but take care not to over-mix (otherwise, you can incorporate too much air.) Once you've added all the butter, flavor with the vanilla and salt, mixing just to combine again.
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream keeps covered, at room temperature for two days. If you feel more comfortable, you can refrigerate it. Just allow the buttercream to come to room temperature, and give it a little whip to regain it's fluffy texture once again.

Peppermint Ganache Filling

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
  • In a microwave, or on the stove, heat the heavy cream until it just starts to bubble or scald. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate pieces and let it sit for a minute - untouched.
  • After the minute has elapsed, slowly start to stir the ganache in little circles from the middle, until it's fully homogenized. Let cool slightly to thicken.
  • With a sharp chef's knife, chop the peppermint candies into small pieces. Don't pulverize them to dust, but make the pieces small enough that you won't crack a tooth biting down on one in the middle of the cake.

Frosting & Decorating Techniques

  • After the cakes are cooled, use your cake leveler to remove the caramelized, domed tops of each.
  • Stack the cake layers, piping a ring of buttercream around each edge, filling in the center with ganache and peppermint pieces, before adding the next layer.
  • Use the offset spatula to coat the cake with buttercream. Then, holding the bench scraper at a tight angle to the cake, smooth around the sides. Fill in any holes with the spatula, then smooth again. Chill the cake for 10-15 minutes, and then repeat this process once again.
  • ISOMALT ICE SKATING RINK
    Caution: Always use heat-resistant gloves when working with isomalt. This is IMPORTANT as isomalt is extremely hot and can cause second- and third-degree burns.
    In preparation for creating your isomalt skating rink, trace an approximate shape of your rink on the underside of parchment paper. Form a small tube of tin foil as a mold for the ice-fishing "hole" and place it where you want on the parchment paper.
    Heat your isomalt cubes in a microwave-safe silicone container in twenty-second intervals until melted. Use extreme caution - they're hot! Pour the isomalt sugar on your parchment paper, letting it spread to form your rink shape. Then, use a small amount of blue food coloring gel to dye the remaining melted isomalt sugar, and pour it into the foil tube. Let the sugar dry for 10-15 minutes, until it is cool and no longer tacky to the touch. Slowly peel away the parchment paper and tin foil. Don't put the isomalt in the refrigerator, otherwise, it can become cloudy and tacky.
  • ICE CREAM CONE PINE TREES
    With a serrated knife, slowly and gently trim the ice cream cones to varying sizes. Then, use an open star tip to pipe buttercream around and up the tree. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to complete the snowy effect.
  • FONDANT PENGUINS & BENCH
    Knead the fondant to warm it up, then color accordingly. Roll and mold the pieces to create charming little penguin characters and snowflakes. Let the fondant air dry - don't put it in the refrigerator, otherwise, it begins to sweat and melt. You can use a small toothpick and a piece of sugar isomalt "string" to create a little fishing pole.

Notes

Isomalt is a sugar substitute derived from beets, often used by pastry chefs and culinary artists due to its glassy look when dried, and sculptability when hot. However, when consumed in large quantities (think, more than just a few pieces of "normal-sized" candies), it is known to cause some intestinal distress.
When serving this cake, I preferred to lift up the isomalt "ice" altogether, removing it and the fondant decor from the top of the cake. Then, I placed it next to the cake so we could enjoy the cute scene while cutting into the cake. This way, though the decorations are fully edible, we only ate the truly tasty portions of the cake.     

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Bon Appetit & Happy Winter

I hope you enjoy this peppermint hot chocolate cake as much as we did! The little penguins will make you smile every time you lay your eyes on them. Plus, these flavors are so good, you might just crave this cake all year long. If you’re looking for another tasty and fun winter treat, check out my Chocolate Brandy Snow Globe Cupcakes (featuring delicious Eggnog German Buttercream!)

Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch! I love to see what you’re working on in the kitchen, so feel free to tag me in your next bake – especially if you try one of my recipes! 🙂

And, enter your email below to receive notification of my next blog post like this one. You don’t want to miss it!

Join our e-mail program and receive new post alerts!

* indicates required


Take care guys! Until next time…

XOXO

lexisrose.com small logo

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.

See my privacy policy for the full Amazon Affiliate disclosure. Profits earned from affiliate commissions help to keep this site running, so that I can continue to bring great content to awesome readers, like you! If you would like, you can still support by clicking through this link and making any other purchases you need. 🙂

P.P.S

Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin the image below to save this recipe for later or show it to your friends. After all, sharing is caring. 😉

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

Delicious peppermint hot chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, marshmallowy swiss meringue buttercream, and crunchy peppermint candy filling. Decorated with an adorable fondant and isomalt penguin ice skating rink!

2 Comments

  1. Penguins On Vacation – Triple Chocolate Oreo Crunch Cake says:

    […] in December, I created this Penguin Skating Rink Cake. After that excursion, those little fluffy friends felt a bit adventurous and decided to take a […]

  2. Palette Knife Painted Cake – Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Cake says:

    […] I’ll share with you my new recipe: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Cake. This spin on my popular peppermint hot chocolate cake replaces the crunchy peppermint candy layer with smooth, salted caramel buttercream and a crunchy […]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating