So I had this idea of piping candy melt snowflakes for a Christmas cake and I love how it came out! There is definitely a trip to it though. Candy melt is really easy to work with but it does harden quickly so keep a HOT glass of water close by while you pipe and dip your piping bag into it at regular intervals to keep the candy melt at the right temperature. Click here for the printable template I used as a guide for my snowflakes.
Your snowflakes don’t have to be perfect and uniform, real ones are all a bit different after all! You will be whipping up a batch of Italian buttercream for this cake so click over for my IBC recipe and step-by-step. You will divide the buttercream into several batches and tint them in various shades of blue for the ombré.
Candy melt snowflakes make this peppermint-kissed cake a showstopper.
- 3 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 lb confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- blue food coloring
- red food coloring
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 egg whites
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅔ cup candy melt
- parchment paper
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- pinch kosher salt
- 16 oz unsalted butter cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream tartar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Butter and paper three 6-inch cake pans. I use cake strips on my pans for more even baking.
- Sift and mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Beat the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until combined
- Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the centers are springy to the touch.
- Let cool completely.
- Whip the butter for about 5 minutes using a paddle attachment (stand-up mixer).
- Beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly
- Add the cream and vanilla. Beat until you have an even, fluffy consistency.
Transfer a white batch to a piping bag. Add red food coloring to another batch and transfer to a piping bag. Snip off the tips of both and add to a larger piping bag. Pipe a spiral between each layer.
Pipe and smooth a crumb coat with excess.
Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar, slowly add in 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. In a medium saucepan add the remaining sugar and 1/3 cup water then place on medium-low heat. Stir until sugar melts and becomes clear.Maintain at medium-high heat until temperature reads 235-240F.
Drizzle the sugar into the mixer immediately. Run mixer until meringue is cool/tepid. Add room temperature butter into running mixer one tablespoon piece at a time.
Add the salt and vanilla if using. Beat until butter is combined and mixture has reached a silky consistency.
Create a gradient by adding different amounts of blue food coloring to remaining buttercream batches. Transfer each color to its own piping bag. Pipe the ombre color and smooth with an offset spatula.
- Melt candy melts in the microwave.
- Transfer to the piping bag and snip off the tip.
- Pipe snowflakes onto a piece of parchment paper. This can be done freehand or over a snowflake stencil.
- Pipe the red and white buttercream between each cake layer.
- Pipe white, then blue buttercream, lightest to darkest starting from the bottom.
- Smooth with an offset spatula.