Pound cake: 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 cups granulated sugar 5 large eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 teaspoons peppermint extract 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 3 cups all-purpose flour ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup whole buttermilk 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
Peppermint cream cheese filling: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons whole milk ½ teaspoon peppermint extract ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies (optional, for garnish)
For the cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare a Bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts and vinegar; beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches to butter mixture, beating consistently and ending with flour. Stir in food coloring. Pour half of the batter into Bundt pan.
For the filling: Using a mixer on medium speed, whisk all ingredients until smooth.
Spoon filling into the middle of the batter, avoiding edges of the pan. Spoon remaining batter into the pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove cake and place on a wire cooling rack.
For the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Once the cake has cooled completely, drizzle glaze over cake. Sprinkle top of cake with crushed peppermint candies.
Every holiday season, recipe developer Lynn Wells used to meet family friend Jo Horne to make Jo’s aunt’s fruitcake recipe. Horne, a Burlington home cook, spent all year shopping for ingredients, including a whole coconut, which she’d open using a carpentry table vice. “It’s the only fruitcake I love,” Lynn says.
Horne Family Fruitcake
Yield: 12 to 16 servings.
4 cups all-purpose flour 2¼ cups granulated sugar 1 stick salted butter 1 cup sweet wine, such as cream sherry, or apple juice 1½ teaspoons lemon extract 4 large eggs 3 cups walnuts, chopped 1 (8-ounce) jar cherries, drained 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut 4 ounces citron 8 ounces dried pineapple, chopped 1 pound golden raisins ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon almond extract 1 (12-ounce) jar pineapple preserves or orange marmalade
Preheat oven to 275°. Grease a 9-inch Bundt pan or two 6-inch Bundt pans with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well incorporated. Press cake mixture evenly into the pan. Place Bundt pan into a broiler pan filled with 4 cups of water. Bake for 3 hours.
Note: Recipe yields 1 large 8-pound cake or 2 small 4-pound cakes.
2½ cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 1⅓ cups granulated sugar 5 large egg whites, at room temperature ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 teaspoons coconut extract 1 cup canned coconut milk, at room temperature 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Coconut frosting: 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon coconut extract ⅛ teaspoon salt 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up from the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in egg whites until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla and coconut extracts. Beat until well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients and coconut milk. Beat on low speed until combined, then add shredded coconut. The batter should be slightly thick.
Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
For the frosting: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Switch the mixer to low speed, add powdered sugar, coconut milk, extracts, and salt. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin; add more coconut milk if frosting is too thick.
To assemble, use a large serrated knife to slice a thin layer off the tops of the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place one layer on a cake plate and evenly spread about 1½ cups of icing on top. Top with the other cake layer. Using an offset spatula, spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake. Cover the cake with coconut, sprinkling on top and pressing into sides. Refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing.