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White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Cake – white chocolate peppermint cake layers, white chocolate peppermint pretzel filling, and white chocolate peppermint buttercream.
Costco White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels
It’s that time of year again! You know, that time of year when Costco sells those addicting white chocolate peppermint pretzels… and because I panic and think I’ll never, ever, ever see them again after this season, I stock up on about a dozen (or two) bags to get me through the year?
Please tell me I’m not the only one!
I love this seasonal treat so much! The combination of sweet and salty just speaks to me and I can’t get enough.
White Chocolate Peppermint Cake
With a love this strong, turning these flavors into a cake was the only logical thing to do. And really, I didn’t need to do much work. I created my White Chocolate Peppermint Cake a couple years ago, so the only element I needed to add was the pretzel part.
I made a few tweaks to the cake and buttercream recipe (which I’ve also updated on the original post). I then used adapted a Milk Bar recipe for the pretzel filling. It’s the same one I use in my Carrot Apricot Cake. I think you’ll love the added crunch and salty-ness in this version of the cake. I always make a large batch of the filling so there’s plenty to snack on.
Tips for Making Tall, Moist Cake Layers
When making the cake layers, don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:
- Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
- Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Don’t over mix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
- Use room temperature wet ingredients.
- Use fresh baking powder.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it
White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream
For the buttercream I used between layers, I tinted it with true red. You’ll want to reserve and tint about 1 ½ cups of frosting for the center layers. The rest of the buttercream can stay white or be tinted however you like!
How to Make White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
To get this silky smooth buttercream, make sure you follow my tips: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING.
- Sift your powdered sugar
- Use slightly cold butter
- Use heavy whipping cream
- Beat for 5 minutes
- Stir by hand
You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.
IMPORTANT For chocolate and white chocolate buttercream specifically, remember to heat the cream and chocolate together first. You’ll then stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth ganache. Once the ganache has cooled slightly, you’ll add the mixture to the butter and continue making the buttercream according to instructions.
- This cake can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Refer to my post: How to Freeze, Thaw and Transfer Cakes for all the deets on how to best freeze and thaw your cakes. Freezing your cake will help keep the crunch in the filling. You can refrigerate this cake overnight but run the risk of the crunch being a little soft. As always, keep the cake covered in the freezer or fridge so it doesn’t dry out.
- Each element can be made ahead of time. Store the cake layers in the freezer and the filling and buttercream in the fridge in airtight containers.
- With a tender, white cake like this one, always keep your eye on the cake layers for the last few minutes of baking. Remember, when you put a toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Cake
White chocolate peppermint cake layers with a white chocolate peppermint pretzel filling and a white chocolate peppermint buttercream.
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) salt
- 1 1/4 cup (262.5 g)buttermilk, room temperature
- 6 ounces (112.5 g) white chocolate
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) peppermint extract or emulsion
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 8 ounces (150 g) white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) peppermint extract
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.
FOR THE PRETZEL FILLING
- 8 tbsp. (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) milk powder, divided
- 1 1/4 cups (150 g) crushed pretzels, mostly pulverized but some chunks are okay
- 4 tsp. (12.5 g) corn starch
- 4 tsp. (10.4 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. (5.6 g) salt
- 6 ounces (112.5 g) white chocolate
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
FOR THE CAKE
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside
- Using a double-boiler, melt the white chocolate and set aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light in color. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to medium-low, add in the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, peppermint extract and the melted white chocolate. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix on medium-high for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, alternately add in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 batches, ending and starting with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans (about 16 ounces in each 8-inch pan) and bake until slightly golden in on top, 25 to 30 minutes. (A few moist crumbs should come out on a toothpick when testing the centers).
- Let the cake layers cool about 10 minutes in the pans and then invert onto wire cooling racks.
- When the cake layers are room temperature, level each layer (if needed), with a cake leveler. Wrap each layer with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream and the pour it over the white chocolate to melt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. If needed heat the mixture for another 20 to 30 seconds and stir until the chips are melted. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
- Add the white chocolate ganache, followed by the peppermint extract and then increase the speed to medium-high and beat the frosting for about 3 to 5 minutes, until light in color and texture.
FOR THE PRETZEL CRUNCH
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup milk powder, pretzel crumbs, corn starch, sugar and salt. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula or spoon, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
- Spread the clusters on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point. Cool the crumbs completely.
- Crumble any clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter, and put the crumbs back in the medium bowl. Add the ½ cup milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are covered. Add the crushed peppermint. Then continue tossing them every five minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.
- Place the first cake layer, top side up, on a cake board and evenly spread about ¾ cup of the buttercream over the cake. Sprinkle about ½ cup of the pretzel filling over the frosting and press down lightly with your fingers to create a level surface.
- Repeat these steps with the second cake layer. Place the final cake layer top-side down.
- Apply a thin coat of frosting around the cake to lock in the crumbs and chill for 10 minutes in the freezer to set.
- Finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream and top with remaining pretzel filling.