Grasshopper Martini Cake

Every year for my dad's birthday...

my mom makes a ‘Grasshopper cake.’ It’s basically a sheet-cake-take on the Grasshopper cocktail. The Grasshopper is is typically made with Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream. And it's as delicious as it sounds!

The ‘Grasshopper cake’ we all love is a mint green sheet cake covered with chocolate fudge and mint whipped cream. So when I was put in charge of my dad’s birthday cake this year, I wanted to mix things up just a bit! I wanted a fusion of the ‘cocktail cakes’ I’ve been loving lately AND the Grasshopper cake I grew up with. And this Grasshopper Martini Cake was the result! 

My mom's cake recipe calls for a white cake mix - baked to package directions except that you replace half of the water with Creme de Menthe liqueur to give the cake a mint flavor and light green color. I did the same with chocolate cake mix and Crème de Cacao – and marbled the mixes to make my cake layers!

When I was decorating I sort of split the cake in two parts – part drip cake, but the rest covered in a piped layer of the mint whipped cream that traditionally covers a Grasshopper cake.

My gosh. You guys. It was SO good!! And for as cool as I think it looks – shockingly easy! 

What if I've never made a tiered cake before? 

If you're not sure about the tiers, don't worry; I'll walk you through it! 😉 
This post - How to Make a Tiered Cake - covers the basics! 
When I was making my first tiered cakes, ‘
How to Make a Tiered Cake’ by Chelsweets was my favorite video tutorial. 

(Disclosure: As an Amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, and my posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Don't forget to pin this recipe for later! 

Grasshopper Martini Cake pinterest pin

Grasshopper Martini Cake

For my dad's birthday, I made a 'Cocktail Cake' version of his favorite Grasshopper cake. Here's how to make my Grasshopper Martini Cake!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Decorating time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Andes Mint Cake, Chocolate Mint Cake, Grasshopper Cake, Grasshopper Martini Cake, Mint Chocolate Cake, Mint Chocolate Grasshopper Cake
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 757kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Grasshopper Martini Cake layers

  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (or devil’s food cake mix)
  • 3 eggs + 9 egg whites (divided - or use egg whites from a carton to avoid wasting yolks)
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter melted (divided)
  • 3 cups milk divided
  • ½ cup Crème de Menthe
  • ¼ cup Crème de Cacao

Grasshopper Martini Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese (one and a half packages, softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (three sticks, softened)
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Crème de Cacao

Stabilized whipped cream (optional)

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoons Crème de Menthe

Drip and Decorations

  • 1 jar hot fudge topping (to fill cake)
  • 1 cup White Candy Melts (I used Wilton's Bright White)
  • 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1-2 small drops teal gel food color
  • 1 small drop green gel food color
  • additional small piping bag or squeeze bottle (for drip)
  • 15-20 Andes Mints (for decorating)

Instructions

Grasshopper Martini Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8 inch round pans and two 6-inch pans with baker's floured spray (or grease and line with parchment rounds).
  • Combine your 2 white cake mixes with 1 cup butter, 2 cups milk, 1 egg + 7 whites (1 cup from a carton), and 1/2 cup creme de menthe.
  • Combine your chocolate cake mix with 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup milk, and 2 eggs + 2 egg whites (1/4 cup from a carton).
  • Mix well, scrape down the bowls, and mix for another 30 seconds until well combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans - I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part! I added spoonfuls at a time, using roughly a 2:1 ratio of mint to chocolate per pan. I ended up with about 600g in my large pans and about 400 in my smaller ones. The ratios don't have to be exact, but using the kitchen scale guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired. (This is a great time to prep your frosting or whipped cream!)

Grasshopper Martini Frosting

  • Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with Crème de Cacao until frosting reaches desired consistency. Beat until well combined.

Assembly

  • Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your large cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your large first cake layer in the center of the circle.
  • Spread the layer with hot fudge filling (don’t heat it up or it’ll be too thin to work with!) Sprinkle the filling with chopped Andes mints and add your next cake layer on top. Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
  • Next, repeat the same process with your smaller cardboard circle and cake layers. Of note – if your circles aren’t pre-center-punched, be sure to grab a skewer or knife and cut your own hole in the exact center of the circle! This will allow you to center the tier on the base tier later on.
  • Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
  • Once your crumb coats have set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layers of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. For my larger tier, I was able to smooth the frosting fairly well free-handed, but I struggled getting the sides smooth on my smaller one. Setting a second small cake circle on top and using it as a guide for smoothing my icing worked much more easily for me!
  • Place both tiers into the fridge for about 20 minutes to set the frosting and get the cake cold enough to set the drip decoration.

Stacking the tiers!

  • To place cake dowels (to ensure the top tier doesn't crush the lower one, as well as keep it centered), it helps to have a ruler handy!
  • Push dowels/straws down into the base tier just over one inch from the cake edge, placing them evenly at quarter intervals around the cake. Place your last, tallest straw or dowel into the exact center of the cake, making sure to keep it straight up as you press down.
  • Now you’re ready – center the hole in the bottom of your top tier cake circle over the tallest dowel and let the top tier gently down onto the base tier. The dowel will poke into the center of the top tier to hold it in place.
  • Pat yourself on the back; you did it! I found that my cardboard cake circle showed more than I was happy with, so I piped some frosting onto the base of the top tier with a small star tip to hide it.

Cake drip

  • Place heavy cream and candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. Add gel food color and stir until smooth (it should be about the color of the center of an Andes mint).
  • Allow to cool to a moderate temperature - it should still be liquid but feel only slightly warm.
  • Transfer drip mixture to a piping bag or squeeze bottle. Slowly drizzle ganache around half the edges of both tiers, pausing about every ¾ to 1 inch to let ganache flow down the side of the tiers to create drips. Pour a few tablespoons over the top of the cake and spread gently with an offset spatula, then turn your martini glass over and center it on top of the cake. (If you'd rather not decorate with whipped cream, add drips to the entire cake).

Stabilized Whipped Cream (optional)

  • Chill mixing bowl & beaters in the freezer before beating. Bloom gelatin in water + Crème de Menthe for 5 minutes. Dissolve gelatin by microwaving for 2-3 minutes (until boiling), stirring after every minute. Remove from microwave and allow to stand for 15 minutes; mixture must be liquid but not warm when added to whipping cream.
  • Remove bowl and beaters from refrigerator and pour in the whipping cream and sugar. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show as you beat. Add gelatin mix to whipping cream, pouring in a slow steady stream while beating constantly. Beat to stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag – I smeared bits of hot fudge topping on the inside of my piping to add chocolate streaks to the whipping cream.
  • Pipe stabilized whipped cream onto the sides/top of the cake in whatever amount you’d like – the recipe above makes plenty! You could half it if you don’t want to use as much as I did in the photos/video.
  • Step back and admire your amaaazing cake! Enjoy!

Video

Notes

(Please note nutrition information is an estimate, and may not be exactly accurate. Counts will be lower if not all the frosting is used, or if the whipped cream is omitted.) 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 757kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 38g

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