Aunt Ann's Chocolate Mint Torte!

This "Chocolate Mint Torte" is one of my Aunt Ann's creations.  Aunt Ann is an excellent southern cook and really loves to bake. If you have been here long, you have seen some of her recipes. She also has a flair for making some really beautiful cakes and dishes!  This one just seems perfect for Spring and especially for St. Patrick's Day!  It would also be great for occasions like baby and wedding showers or even Easter!  

A torte makes a nice presentation that looks far more complicated than it actually is.  I think it might be even easier than a 3 layer stack cake, because you don't have to frost the sides.    Here is what you will need for this one:

2 cups self rising flour***
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1  1/2 cups milk

Mint Frosting

1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1  1/2 tsp. peppermint flavoring
1 bar semi sweet chocolate for chocolate curls to garnish

*** If you do not have self rising flour, you can substitute 2 cups all purpose plus 1 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray or grease and flour  three 8 inch round baking pans well.  Cut parchment paper or wax paper to fit in the bottom of each pan and spray or grease and flour it well also.  If you use  nonstick baking spray, be sure to use the kind with flour in it.  I recommend Baker's Joy. 

Sift together the flour and the cocoa powder.  

Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.  Slowly add sugar and beat 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.   Add vanilla.

Alternately add the flour and the milk, beating until well blended. 

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 30 seconds.

Divide evenly and spread into the cake pans.   Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. 

Remove from pans and peel off the paper.  Allow to cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.  Add the mint flavoring and mix well.  If you like a strong mint flavor, you can use 2 tsp. of flavoring instead of 1  1/2.    Stir in the frozen whipped topping.

If you are making this for St. Patrick's Day and want more of green color to the frosting add a drop of green food coloring. 

Stack the cake layers on a cake plate, frosting between each layer and the top.  Sprinkle the top with your chocolate curls.   Refrigerate until time to serve! 

If you like the combination of chocolate and mint, you are going to love this cake!

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