White Christmas Peppermint Layer Cake

Fanciful pink peppermint frosting and snowy cake layers will brighten any holiday party. To decorate, choose between simple candy adornments (pictured) or whimsical white-chocolate trees.

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups whole milk

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)

8 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Red or pink food coloring

Peppermint sticks, candy canes or peppermint candies

For cake: Grease two 8×2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper; lightly dust pans with flour; set aside. 
In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla; set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar; beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Alternately add flour and milk mixtures to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. 
Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes; remove cake layers from pans. Peel off waxed paper; discard. Invert cake layers and cool thoroughly on racks. 
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a very large mixing bowl, beat 3/4 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/3 cup milk and the peppermint extract. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk to reach spreading consistency. Transfer 2 cups of the frosting to a medium mixing bowl. Add food coloring to make a delicate shade of pink; stir to thoroughly combine. 
With a long, sharp serrated knife, split each cake horizontally to make a total of 4 layers. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread top of cake with 2/3 cup of the pink frosting. Repeat with two more cake layers and pink frosting. Top with the last cake layer cut side down. Spread white frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate as desired with crushed or whole peppermint candies.