“At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures – be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.” – Albert Camus
While I can’t say I know myself like the palm of my hand and haven’t calculated the exact number of my defects and qualities (despite being older than 30), I can fortell my failures and accept them — at least in the kitchen! Candy canes, December’s First on the First challenge, was a foretold failure, since I hate to make candy and am rarely successful at it.
I do, however, love to bake so I created these Candy Cane Red Velvet Jars. They share the festive red and white motif and peppermint flavor of candy canes without the need for a candy thermometer or pulling.
(If in examining the palm of your hand, candy-making isn’t one of your defects, check out the links below to First on the First posts by blogger friends who took on the challenge!)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (2-pound) package powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- Optional: Crushed candy canes, whole candy canes, peppermint bark
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
- On low, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
- Divide cake batter evenly among prepared cake pans. Bake until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Remove cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans.
- One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Add extracts, beating until blended. Add whole milk; beat on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
Putting It Together:
- Place one layer of cake into jar, pipe frosting to cover cake, sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of frosting. Repeat until jar is full.
- Top with candy cane and peppermint bark, if desired.
More Candy Cane Treats from First on the First Bloggers!