NOTE: This cake recipe is flexible in preparation in order to work around your busy holiday schedule. It can be prepared over the course of 2 days. It can also be made in a few hours if you are on a time crunch.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Then, grease two 8 * 2 round pans with baking grease or butter.
TIP: If you would like to double the recipe for thicker layers grease
two 8 * 4 inch round pans.
TIP: Use straight sided, as opposed to slant sided, cake pans for a
Locate all needed ingredients and make sure liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, and butter) are brought to room temperature.
Then, find a minimum of three medium to large mixing bowls, a whisks, an electric mixer, a basting brush, and toothpicks.
Finally, if you are making this recipe a day early, combine 5 tablespoons condensed milk with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons melted butter into a small dish; set aside. If you are making the cake to serve on the same day, skip this step.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir mixture and set aside.
Next, in another mixing bowl, whisk egg whites, milk, and vanilla; set aside.
In a third bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until a smooth consistency is achieved.
Keep the electric mixer on at medium speed. Find the first bowl containing the flour (aka: dry) mixture, and add a cup of this mixture to the butter and sugar.
Allow the mixer to run for about a minute until the flour is well combined.
Then, in identical fashion, secure the second bowl holding the milk (aka: liquid) mixture. Add a cup of this blend to the butter, sugar, and dry ingredient combination.
Provide another minute for the electric mixer to stir.
Continue by alternating one cup of the dry ingredients and one cup of the wet ingredients. Make sure to allow sufficient time to mix in between each addition. Alternate until all has been incorporated and a creamy consistency is achieved. Taste test batter to assure satisfaction.
Finally, evenly divide the batter into two pans and place in the oven to bake. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
TIP: Insert a toothpick into the center of both cakes and pull them
out. If they remove cleanly, the cakes are done. However, if
batter remains bake until the cakes pass the toothpick test.
Allow the cakes to cool for about an hour.
If you are making the cake a day in advance, poke small holes all over the top of both cakes with a toothpick. Then, brush the tops of the cakes with the condensed milk, vanilla, and butter mixture with a basting brush. Cover the cakes and allow them to sit for 12-24 hours. This makes for a moister and more flavorful cake. This step can be excluded for the purpose of time or preference. If you forgo this step, still allow the cakes to cool for an hour or two while preparing the filling and frosting.
For the Filling and Frosting:
In an electric mixer add butter and approximately a third of the powdered sugar.
Mix on low to medium speed until well combined.
Add about half of the milk; mix well.
Add half of the remaining powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, lemon juice, and salt; stir.
Finally, add the remaining powdered sugar and milk. Mix until smooth.
For the Filling:
Remove about a third of the mixture and place into a small mixing bowl to finish the filling. Add peppermint extract and food coloring until desired taste and color is achieved; set aside.
For the frosting:
In a double boiler, bring water to a simmer in the bottom pot. In the top pot, add chocolate chips and leave on low/medium heat until the chips are melted, stirring consistently. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Fold the chocolate into the other 2/3 mixture.
Carefully flip the cakes over onto wax paper to remove from pans. Cut each cake horizontally to make four round layers.
Then, cover one of the layers with pink peppermint filling.
Stack the second layer on, spread on filling, and repeat for the third layer. Finish with the fourth layer (cut surface down).
Spread the white chocolate frosting along the top and sides of the cake, smooth, and decorate with candy cakes .