Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray. Place a parchment paper round in the bottom of the pan so you can easily remove the cake from the pan.
In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, soda and cocoa powder. Use a whisk to mix and break up any clumps.
Add in the melted butter, milk and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and mix again until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake is set in the center. A toothpick should come out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely.
Make the whipped cream:
Beat the whipped cream until it is stiff. (Make sure the cream is very cold.)
Add in the powdered sugar, extract and food coloring. Beat again until the color is evenly distributed.
Assemble the cake:
Use a thread to cut the cake in half. This gives a nice, almost crumb free cut. You can also use a long sharp knife to slice the cake in half.
Place one cake layer on the cake plate.
Spread the top with half of the peppermint cream. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints.
Place the second cake layer on top.
Dollop and spread the remaining peppermint cream on top of the cake.
Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Refrigerate until serving.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**