I created this cake based on the inspiration from two main things:
1. My grandfather on my dad’s side used to drink straight up Grasshopper’s every evening after dinner while watching the telly, and I swore I’d never forget the scent that wafted through the room. Nor would I ever forget the bright green food colored liquid resting in the vessel he would raise to his lips. I was frightened and intrigued at the same time. I thought the stuff was cough syrup.
2. My grandmother on my dad’s side would make the classic Crème de Menthe “Grasshopper” sheet cake, full of preservatives with a Betty Crocker cake base mix, the liqueur, hot fudge, and cool whip. An ice-box cake, if you will. It was effing amazing. I can’t assure you at what point of my childhood I finally put two and two together and realized the yummy green minty stuff in the after dinner dessert cakes she’d make was the same stuff I was horrified my grandfather was poisoning himself with. It looks something like this:
Crème de menthe liqueur comes in the clear liquid form, and also in the green-dyed form. As tempting as it was to go without the food coloring, it just isn’t the same experience if it isn’t green, right?! Ok, you feels.
I Googled to the moon and sun and back and couldn’t, for the life of me, find a from-scratch crème de menthe/”grasshopper” bundt cake. At all. So, once again, I took matters into my own hands and found a way to adapt to the “Naughty Senator” bundt cake from All Cakes Considered. No preservatives or trans-fats here. No pistachio pudding mixes. This is straight up hard-core crème de menthe bundt cake purity.
It was super fun to make. Dye-ing things green, separating batter, swirling things together (as shown above). And it smelled incredible. The chocolate is a nice touch to balance the pure mint green batter out. And the swirling effect looks uber pretty, too.
I hope it isn’t too late for your St. Patrick’s Day baking plans to make this. I promise, it’s super easy, you really just need a bottle of that green stuff and you’ll be fine. Promise. You won’t regret it.
Mint Chocolate Crème de Menthe Bundt Cake
Adapted from All Cakes Considered, Food & Wine Magazine
Makes one 12-inch bundt cake
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream (or milk)
- 3/4 cup Crème de Menthe liqueur, plus 2 teaspoons
- extra green food coloring gel (optional)
For the chocolate ganache glaze:
- 3 ounces semi-sweet/bittersweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Center an oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your bundt pan by spraying with cooking oil, and flour. Remove excess by tapping out the rest.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar with all of the cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Using a mixer on medium speed, in a separate bowl, cream the butter then gradually add in the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In another separate large bowl, dry whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add 1 cup of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar bowl, beat, then add 1/3 cup of the sour cream and beat again. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and sour cream are blended into the batter.
- Pour half of the batter into a clean medium bowl. Add the 3/4’ths cup of menthe liqueur. Mix together well. If you’d like the batter greener, just add some gel coloring.
- Pour 2/3rds of the now green batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside the remaining green batter.
- Clean off your beaters, dry, and return them to the mixer. Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to the plain “yellow” batter and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of menthe liqueur. Beat until smooth.
- Using your spatula, pour the chocolate batter over the green batter in the pan.
- Layer the remaining 1/3 of green batter over the chocolate batter and marble (using a small spatula or plastic knife, cut through the middle of the batter ring to the bottom of the pan. Bring the utensil toward you and then up toward the side of the pan. Rotate the cake pan with your other hand and repeat. Do about 2 rotations total, no more).
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. When the cake tests done (check with toothpick), let cool for at least 30 minutes, then invert and unmold onto a cake rack.
- To make the chocolate ganache glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 3 ounces of chopped chocolate with the corn syrup and butter. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the ganache over the cooled cake. Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, at least 30 minutes, before serving.