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Santa Surprise: Peppermint Buttercream Chocolate Christmas Cake

What’s black, and white & red all over? My newest holiday baking experiment, a moist chocolate cake with a sweet peppermint buttercream!

It feels like it’s been ages since I wrote a baking post! While I haven’t been diligent about documenting my various creations, I love surprising my friends and family with a homemade baked good (typically of their choosing) for their birthday.

For example, my parents’ cake this past July we nicknamed the earthquake/flux capacitor cake. If the photo doesn’t answer any questions you may have as to why we named it that, there was a massive crack/rift that occurred in the top layer. It was a complete and total #pinterestfail and absolutely not “blog worthy”, but rest assured it was delicious and was all consumed in short order.

Alex’s birthday in November brought about a labor intensive but crowd pleasing sea salt caramel cupcake. These little goodies consisted of a caramel cake, filled with gooey caramel, and topped with a swirl of sea salt caramel buttercream. Personally I found them a little too sweet, but the birthday boy gave them two thumbs up.

Which brings me to this holiday season’s latest birthday treat. A good friend of ours has a December birthday, and when I asked her what kind of cake I could make her this year she was brave enough to leave it up to the baker. I poked around online for some inspiration, but no matter what I looked at I ultimately kept coming back to her favorite childhood cake, red velvet with candy cane frosting. I made this for her a few years back and wanted to put a new twist on it this time around. 

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About Ashraf Akkilah

Ashraf Akkilah
Architecture and design is my passion. I'm an architect who is interested in building design and decor trends. I'm also interested in sculpture design and landscaping. I'm "outdoor" architect who love to be involved in the project site and supervise finishing and final touches works. I had contributed to many construction and decor projects.

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The most major of our projects has been our focus on the overall exterior appearance of our Foursquare. As a realtor, I'm keenly aware of curb appeal, and how small differences on the exterior of your home can truly set the tone for how you feel on the interior of your home. But as an owner of a house with wood siding, a large yard, and a lot of plantings around the house, I know what an overwhelming endeavor it can be to stay on top of those items that impact the curb appeal of your home. 

In our case, I'm not so concerned about what people driving or walking by our home think. Instead I'm more concerned with how the curb appeal makes me feel, or how it makes our visitors approaching the house feel. I want our home's exterior to set a tone of relaxation for all of our visitors, and it's hard to feel relaxed when you approach a yard of long unkempt grass, flower beds full of weeds, and significant sections of cracked or peeling paint on the house. After all, it's our goal to have more relaxing evenings like this.

This summer we've decided to approach the curb appeal and exterior maintenance of our home in three distinct phases.

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