• 1 box chocolate cake mix (for layer cake)
  • 1 (4-serving) box chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped round hard peppermint candies
  • 1 cup vanilla frosting
  • 2 cups chocolate frosting
  • Softened vanilla or peppermint ice cream (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Coat 3 (8-inch) layer cake pans with cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, water, butter, eggs, and peppermint extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds and on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in chips. Pour into pans.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

5. Mix vanilla frosting with 1/4 cup chopped candies. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand. Spread with vanilla frosting. Place a second layer on top and spread with vanilla frosting. Top with third layer. Cover entire cake with chocolate frosting.

6. Press candies into sides of cake with a small spatula or knife. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

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