Peppermint Swirl Pound Cake – Bake from Scratch



Classic pound cake goes from simple to showstopping thanks to a double dose of peppermint candies and peppermint extract swirled into marbled vanilla and cocoa batters. Topped with a Cream Cheese Glaze, this Peppermint Swirl Pound Cake strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tangy.

Peppermint Swirl Pound Cake

  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1½ cups (187 grams) unbleached cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (25 grams) finely crushed round peppermint candies
  • ¼ cup (21 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) peppermint extract
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: roughly crushed round peppermint candies
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line an 8½x4½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugars and vanilla; beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. (Mixture may look curdled at this point, but batter will come together.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in two additions alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined. Spoon 2 cups (about 406 grams) batter into a medium bowl; fold in crushed peppermint candies. Add cocoa and peppermint extract to remaining batter in mixer bowl; stir until combined.
  4. Using a 1-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, alternately drop batters into prepared pan; gently swirl batters together using the tip of a knife. Tap pan on counter twice to release any air bubbles.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove cake from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack. Place Cream Cheese Glaze in a small piping bag, and cut a ¼-inch opening in tip; drizzle glaze onto cooled cake. Garnish with peppermint candies, if desired. Store unglazed cake, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

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Cream Cheese Glaze

  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk
  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and salt until well combined. Stir in milk until smooth. Use immediately.

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