This mint chocolate cake is an homage to Andes Crème de Menthe Thins. It's rich and quite easy to whip up. Add a touch of food coloring to make the mint buttercream filling pale green if you'd like. Read more about Kristen Hartke's love of baking.
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.
Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk water, oil, vinegar, almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap it lightly on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a couple of crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack. Remove the parchment and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare filling: Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed for 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. Add mint extract and vanilla, then 1/4 teaspoon salt and food coloring, if using. Add 2 tablespoons half-and-half (or coconut milk), and beat, scraping down the sides as necessary, until fluffy and light.
To prepare glaze: Microwave half-and-half (or coconut milk) in a microwave-safe bowl on High until hot, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add salt and whisk until glossy. Let cool for 5 minutes.
To assemble cake: Using a serrated knife, cut the cooled cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom layer, cut-side up, on a serving plate. Spread with the filling and top with the other layer, cut-side down. Spread the glaze over the cake.
To make ahead: Refrigerate assembled cake for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature.
Equipment: Parchment paper