The inspiration from this cake came from Tartine's pumpkin tea cake. I wanted to make a lighter, cake-ier cake, closer to a dessert you'd eat at a dinner party than to a quickbread you'd eat for breakfast. The frosting recipe is based on my idol Dorie Greenspan's Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting.
This rich holiday cake is a show-stopper that will become a family holiday classic recipe.Don't be tempted to substitute peppermint extract for the peppermint oil used in this recipe. Peppermint oil, available from cake-supply stores, has an intense, highly concentrated flavor like that found in chocolate-covered peppermint patties.