I got my first glimpse of this cake on the cover of Sunset Magazine about three years ago. With crushed peppermints enveloping the entire cake, it was quite a sight to behold – and so festive for the holiday season! I saved the picture and have been meaning to make it ever since. With my surplus of candy canes this year, I knew it had to be on my list.
I baked an angel food cake using my Perfect Angel Food Cake recipe and set it aside to cool completely. This cake isn’t exactly frosted. It is actually covered in whipped cream. Whipped cream, made from scratch, is a great way top top off an angel food cake. It is very light, like the cake itself is, and so it doesn’t weigh it down. It is also not too sweet, and since angel food cakes are on the sweet side to begin with, this makes for a good balance. I whipped up the cream right before serving this cake and recommend that you do the same, as even with refrigeration it is not a particularly stable topping (meaning it can’t be made a day in advance). I didn’t find this to be much of a problem because the cake is very light and easy to eat in large pieces, so as long as you have a crowd you should get through it in no time at all.
The candy canes are crushed and pressed gently into the whipped cream. Sunset covered the entire cake, while I opted just to do the sides. The more red your candy canes are, the more contrast you’ll have in the finished cake.
A storebought angel food cake will work in a pinch if you don’t have time to make one from scratch. I suspect that you could also get away with using thawed whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip) in place of the whipped cream. I would not recommend using canned whipped cream because it is not stable enough. Starting from scratch with heavy whipping cream is the way to go.
Candy Cane Angel Food Cake
1 baked and cooled Angel Food Cake
8 candy canes
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Place angel food cake on a cake stand or serving tray.
Place candy canes in a large plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet.
Place whipping cream in a large bowl and beat, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until soft peaks begin to form. Beat in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract, then continue to beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks.
Frost the top and sides of the angel food cake using the whipped cream. Working carefully, gently press the crushed candy canes onto the sides of the cake.