Saturday, December 24, 2011

Minty Evergreens

Happy Christmas (Eve)! I can’t believe the month of December has gone by so quickly. I would appreciate it if December was about three weeks longer, that way I could get all of my holiday baking done, but alas it is not and I will have to make the unbaked treats next year…or make them anytime I wish and pretend it is Christmas (shhh).So today’s post is full of random stuff I want to tell you, so here it goes.

1.       We got snow on Thursday. Well, we got more than snow; we got bombarded with powdery and fluffy cold stuff. It was a foot and a half deep. There’s still about a foot outside. Because of the snow, I decided to bake, because nothing says baking weather like being trapped inside your house. (I wasn’t trapped; I still had to go to work).

2.       I found this new thing in the grocery store yesterday. Well I didn’t just come across it, I’ve seen it many a time before, but I just never bought it. Yesterday I did buy it for a special occasion. Wanna know what it is? It’s Pam for bakers. Yup, bakers get their own special Pam, just like the grillers. This special Pam has flour in the mix, and I love it. It’s special because of the magical flour and the fact that it has a smell. Yup, you read correctly, it has a smell. It smells like freshly opened vanilla cake mix. It’s delicious and I went a little overboard when spraying it because I loved the smell so much. I even sniffed the pan when I was done. Is that bad?

3.       I got a new cake pan; it's a Bundt, my first ever. It's also very festive; it's in the shape of Christmas trees. I love it.

4.       I made a cake yesterday. A fabulous, fudgy, festive cake. I made it in my new Bundt pan. Did I mention it’s shaped like Christmas trees? It's very exciting!

So enough randomness, let’s talk fudgy cake, shall we? So When I opened the box containing my festive new pan, there was a recipe for Mint Mountains on the paper wrapped around the pan. The recipe came from Nordic Ware’s 2007 Christmas contest, and I figured why not try it? This way I could test out my new pan.

The cake batter was the most amazing cake batter of all time. It was so fluffy and the smell reminded me of vanilla cake mix. So if I didn’t get my cake mix fix from the Pam, then I certainly got it from this cake. You see, the cake has a vanilla layer and a chocolate layer. The vanilla layer goes into the peaks of the trees, creating a snowy appearance and the chocolate layer goes on the bottom, so I guess it’s supposed to resemble the mountains, but this is a tree Bundt pan, and so the chocolate will resemble the tree bark.

I made a few adaptations from the original recipe, like changing the white chocolate pudding mix to vanilla pudding mix. The recipe calls for the pudding mixes to be 3.9 oz boxes. This is fine for the vanilla batter, but I would use a smaller box for the chocolate fudge batter. The sour cream that was called for was replaced by plain yogurt, and I also omitted the chocolate chips. I don’t think this cake needs them at all, they would be lost in the fudgy interior and then you couldn’t enjoy them. Actually, this cake is so fudgy; I had trouble telling when it was done.  The 50 minute mark went by, as did the 60 minute mark. I ended up taking the cake out of the oven around the 63 minute mark because I didn’t want to outer side of the cake to over bake. Despite that little flaw, this cake is awesome, and I’m glad I got to test out my new Bundt pan and some Pam for bakers. Man, why am I so obsessed with the most random things? Oh well.

Merry Christmas! and Happy Holidays!

Minty Evergreens
Adapted from 207 Nordic Ware Christmas Contest

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg white, seperated; room temperature
1 package (3.9 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 container (6 oz) plain yogurt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup milk, divided
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1 package (3.9 oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray Bundt pan and coat in flour and shake out the excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set that aside as well.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture becomes nice and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg whites and beat for about two minutes or until mixture becomes fluffy. Beat in the vanilla pudding mix, peppermint extract, and yogurt. Slow the speed down to medium-slow and add in about half of the flour mixture. Mix for 30 seconds and then slowly pour ¾ cup of the milk. Mix for another 30 seconds and then add in the rest of the flour mixture. Make sure to scrape the bowl down after each addition. Increase the speed back to medium and beat until all of the flour has been fully incorporated. Spoon about two cups worth of batter into the prepared cake tin. If you are using the Holiday Tree pan, make sure the batter fills the very tips of the trees.
  3. Going back to the mixture in the bowl; beat in the egg yolks, cocoa powder, chocolate fudge pudding mix, and remaining ¼ cup of milk. Beat on medium until everything in incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Spoon the chocolate batter over the top of the vanilla batter. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  4. Place the pan on a baking tray. Place the tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer is inserted in the cake and comes out relatively clean. Once baked, take cake out of the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Shake the pan from side to side to loosen and invert the cake onto a cooling rack.
  5. When the cake is completely cooled, transfer onto a serving platter and finish it off with a dusting of powdered sugar.    


  1. What a fabulous new bundt tin. I love it. Looks so festive dusting in icing sugar too. The cake sounds divine and love the minty twist. Hope you had a fab Christmas

  2. I'm so jealous that you've had all that snow! The cake sounds delicious, so festive and perfect for Christmas. Hope you had a great time celebrating!

  3. You got it! I was just about to as you if you've received everything. It looks so pretty :) Did you get the other two things as well? What a great recipe to try out the Bundt pan. Thanks for sharing the recipe!



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