Fresh mint is one of the first harvests from the spring garden. It's delicious and easily preserved but can be used for so much more than just tea. This spring gather some sprigs of those herbs and bake up this fresh mint cake with dark chocolate mint frosting.
Tricks to Baking with Fresh Mint
Fresh mint seems to lose flavor in baked goods or is easily overpowered by strongly flavored ingredients. These truths, however; can be overcome. Working with fresh mint in baked goods can be a rewarding and delicious pursuit.
The trick to getting the mint flavor heavily embedded into this dessert is two-fold:
- Beating the mint with the butter and sugar in the cake batter. This muddling of the fresh herb helps release all those yummy volatile oils and intense flavor into the fat and sugar which will carry into the entire cake.
- Infusing the mint into the milk in the frosting makes a strong mint tea that shines through even the strong black cocoa flavor.
Don't skimp on the beating or the infusing steps. These two steps are truly the keys to an amazing fresh mint cake that will delight and surprise everyone.
For the cake, do chop the mint finely. The mint stays in the cake, so aim for small specks of fresh herb throughout the cake rather than large leaves that might not be so enjoyable on the tongue in a cake.
A dark chocolate mint frosting was an obvious choice for this cake. Substitute regular cocoa powder for the black cocoa powder, if desired. The overall flavor will be less dark and the color less intense but it will still be chocolate mint.
Chocolate is, of course, a great choice for mint. However, choices abound:
- A plain chocolate honey frosting would be incredible.
- Berries and mint are a great combination making this Berry Cream Cheese Frosting a great choice.
- One can never go wrong with a honey & cream cheese frosting.
Fresh Mint Cake
- 2 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ Cup Chopped Mint (1/2 ounce by weight)
- ½ Cup Butter, softened
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- ½ Cup Milk
Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting
- ⅓ Cup Milk
- ¼ Cup Chopped Mint (1/4 ounce)
- ½ Cup Butter, softened
- ¼ Cup Black Cocoa Powder
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & Flour two 8” round cake pans.
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, mint, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and milk, mixing until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine thoroughly.
- Divide and spread the batter among the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Make the Frosting:
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and mint.
- Bring just to a simmer (do not boil or scald). Remove from heat and cover the pan.
- Allow the minute to steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain the mint from the milk, pressing to squeeze out all the liquid. Let cool completely.
- Cream the butter slightly.
- Add the cocoa powder to the butter and mix well. Alternate a bit of the mint infused milk and powdered sugar and keep mixing until everything is incorporated and the frosting takes on the desired consistency.
- Spread on cooled cake.
Serving Size:1 Large Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 86mg Sodium: 336mg Carbohydrates: 102g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 66g Protein: 6g