Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray liberally. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides when needed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time and beat after each addition, beating just until combined. Beat in the extract. Gradually beat in half of the dry ingredients, then add in the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl and make sure all of the ingredients are combined.
Evenly pour the cake batter into the pans (I like to do this using a measuring cup!). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan and then gently remove onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
To frost these successfully, once they are cool, I wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place is in the freezer overnight. I remove and frost the cake while frozen, just because it’s easier for me. To make the “naked” frosting look, I layered the frosting in the centers of the layers, then spread some on the sides but used a large spatula to scrape most of it off.
As soon as I frost the cakes, I throw white sparkle sprinkles on the frosting. I then stick on the peppermint meringues!
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar with the mixer on low speed, increasing the speed once all of the sugar is added. Add in the vanilla extract, peppermint extract then beat on medium to medium-high speed for a good 2 to 3 minutes until creamy, scraping down the sides if needed. If you find the frosting it a bit too thick, add in some milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. I love how this frosting works on cakes once they are refrigerated! It’s delicious.
To add some pink to the cake, I remove about 1 cup of frosting and add a drop of food coloring to it and mix until my desired shade it reached. Once the cake is mostly frosted, I add this on and use a spatula or bench scraped to make it appear swirled with the white frosting.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fit a pastry bag with your favorite tip (I like the plain old round one). Add a drop of food coloring down the side of the bag. Fill the bag with the meringue mixture.
Pipe out dollops of meringue on the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The meringues should be totally dry on the inside (you can break one open to check) but shouldn't brown. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and let them in the oven until it cools completely. Remove them from the parchment with a metal spatula.