Rich, dark chocolate cake layers with mini chocolate chips and mint buttercream.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
Evenly distribute the batter among the pans. For three 8-inch pans, I usually get about 15-16 ounces in each pan. For the four 6-inch pans, about 12 ounces in each pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar.
Once the powdered sugar has been mixed in, add the mint extract, cream, salt and food coloring (if using). Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for about 5 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a wooden spoon and mix by hand to stir out the air bubbles.
Set aside 2 cups of buttercream and mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. You'll use this in between the layers.
Place the first cake layer on a cake board or cake plate top side up. Spread 1 cup of the buttercream mixed with the mini chocolate chips across the cake layer.
Place the second cake layer on top and spread the remainder of the mini chocolate chip filled buttercream. For the final cake layer, place it bottom side up.
Apply a thin layer of the buttercream around the entire cake as the crumb coat. Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock in those pesky chocolate crumbs.
Continue to frost the cake with the remainder of the frosting.