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Chocolate Peppermint Naked Cake

Yes, this three-tier holiday showstopper is actually called a naked cake thanks to its sheer, stripped-down frosting. Your guests might blush at the name, but you’ll gain points for creating the most epic dessert at your holiday table.

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1 cake
Prep Time
45 min
90 min



  • 2½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka organic sugar)
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each baking soda and sea salt
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 oz dark chocolate (75% to 85%), finely chopped


  • 3 large egg whites (TIP: Use fresh eggs with no speck of yolk in them.)
  • ¾ cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka organic sugar)
  • ¾ cup organic unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • Optional decorations: Berries, figs, grapes, red currants or fresh bay leaves (aka laurel leaves)


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment paper. Mist parchment with cooking spray.

2. Prepare cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, cane juice, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut oil. With beater attachment, beat on low until mixture resembles texture of sand, 30 to 45 seconds.

3. With mixer running, add milk, coffee and vanilla; mix until well combined, 1 minute. Stop and scrape down sides, then mix on medium- low for 1 minute. With mixer V running, add eggs, one at time, and beat on medium until combined.

4. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and sides of cake are starting to pull away from pan, 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cake from pans onto wire racks; cool completely. Peel off parchment.

5. Prepare frosting: In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches water to a simmer. Place egg whites and cane juice into cleaned and dried bowl of stand mixer. Set over pot, making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is pale yellow. Test mixture by rubbing it between two fingers; it should not be grainy. Transfer bowl to mixer and beat on medium-high with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and bottom of bowl has cooled to room temperature, 12 to 15 minutes. Switch to paddle attachment; add butter, one cube at a time, and mix until smooth and thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat 1 minute longer.

6. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread ¼ cup of icing on top, spreading to edges. Repeat with second layer and top with third layer, bottom side up, making sure layers are stacked straight. Using an offset metal spatula, thinly spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake, allowing the cake layers to show through. Chill until serving. Before serving, top cake with optional decorations.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1-inch wedge
  • Calories 259
  • Carbohydrate Content 31 g
  • Cholesterol Content 38 mg
  • Fat Content 14 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 4 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Sodium Content 181 mg
  • Sugar Content 15 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g