The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

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The Best Chocolate Peppermint Cake — Easy, one-bowl, no mixer cake! Decadently chocolaty, perfectly pepperminty! Your new favorite cake!!

slice of chocolate peppermint cake topped with peppermint candies

Easy Peppermint Cake Recipe 

Nothing says the holidays like chocolate and peppermint. I know Santa will approve of this cake.

I took my favorite chocolate cake, The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache, and adapted it for a peppermint version. I love this cake because it’s a fast, easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that delivers amazing results every time without being fussy or complicated.

The cake is soft, moist, decadently chocolaty, and perfectly pepperminty. The ganache is fudgy, silky, smooth, wonderfully thick and rich. It’s truly the icing on the cake.

I sprinkled the cake with diced Andes Peppermint Crunch mini bars (my grocery store was out of Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips) and they add a perfect amount of crunchy texture and a nice pop of peppermint flavor.

They tend to be seasonal items and Target usually has a good selection or try a variety of grocery stores. Stores tend to carry slightly different items so what one has, another doesn’t, and vice versa. Or you can always order on Amazon. I don’t use diced hard peppermint candies because they’re too hard for my liking.

My daughter loves mint desserts and was in heaven with this cake and said it’s one of her all-time favorites.

a slice of chocolate peppermint cake with a bite missing on a white plate

What’s in Chocolate Peppermint Cake? 

To make this peppermint cake with chocolate ganache frosting, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sour cream
  • Oil
  • Peppermint extract
  • Coffee
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Heavy cream
  • Andes Peppermint Crunch Mini Bars 

close up of a slice of chocolate peppermint cake topped with peppermint candies

How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Simply whisk together the cake batter as you normally would, being careful to let the coffee cool down before adding it to the batter. 

Turn the batter into a foil-lined 9×9-inch baking dish. Bake the cake until the top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely, then top with chocolate ganache frosting. Sprinkle with peppermint candies before the frosting sets.  

a slice of chocolate peppermint cake on a white plate

Can I Omit the Coffee? 

There’s coffee in the cake batter, which brings out and enhances the chocolate flavor and I highly recommend it. It does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake, trust me. And we’re talking a half cup for the entire cake, just teaspoons per serving.

Can I Double This Recipe? 

I haven’t personally tried it so I cannot say for sure. The batter filled up every inch of my 9×9-inch pan, so you may have a little extra batter if you double this recipe. If that’s the case, use the extra batter to make muffins or a mini loaf — don’t overfill your pan! 

The Best Chocolate Peppermint Cake — Easy, one-bowl, no mixer cake! Decadently chocolaty, perfectly pepperminty! Your new favorite cake!!

Tips for Making Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Make sure when you’re adding the peppermint extract to the cake batter that you only add 1/2 teaspoon. Peppermint extract is much stronger and more potent than vanilla extract and adding too much can cause your dessert to taste like mouthwash. Not good.

Make sure the coffee is somewhat cool before mixing it into the batter. If it’s piping hot, you’ll scramble the egg by mistake. 

Note that you must use a 9×9-inch cake pan for this recipe. A 9-inch round cake pan is too small. 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Easy, one-bowl, no mixer chocolate peppermint cake! Decadently chocolaty, perfectly pepperminty! Your new favorite cake!!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces sour cream (lite sour cream or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, any temperature other than piping hot*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Chocolate Ganache

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (Don’t use a 9-inch round pan, it’s too small.)
  2. To a large mixing bowl add the egg, sugar, sour cream, oil, peppermint extract (be careful, measure, and don’t over-add; peppermint extract is very potent), and whisk until smooth and combined.
  3. Add coffee, cocoa powder, and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps. Alternatively use a handheld electric mixer to quickly break up cocoa lumps.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, optional salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula if necessary, and bake for about 25 to 32 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. I’ve found that climate and brands of ingredients used impact the baking time for this cake greatly, and have baked it in as short as 25 minutes and as long as 32; bake until it’s done in your oven.
  6. Allow cake to cool completely in pan on top of a wire rack, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften (they won’t melt); set aside.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, heat the cream (I used half-and-half) on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds.
  3. Pour cream over chocolate chips and let it stand about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and combined.
  5. Evenly pour ganache over cake, smoothing lightly with a spatula if necessary.
  6. Allow ganache to set up and cool for about 5 minutes while you chop the peppermint candies. If you add them while ganache is too warm, they’ll melt. Too cool, and they won’t adhere; use your judgment.
  7. Dice and evenly sprinkle the peppermint candies over cake.
  8. Allow cake to cool uncovered at room temp for at least 2 to 3 hours, or until ganache has set up, before slicing and serving.

Notes

*Note about coffee: The coffee does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake. Rather, it brings out and enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; I highly recommend coffee but use water if you must. The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg.

Storage: I am comfortable storing this cake airtight at room temp for a day or two, and after that I store airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week. Chilling it has a nice effect with the chocolate and peppermint.

Adapted from The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g

More Mint Dessert Recipes:

ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS RECIPES! 

Candy Cane Blossom Sugar Cookies — We’ve all had Peanut Butter Blossoms and these cookies are the holiday version! The cookies are soft, chewy, covered in red sprinkles and there’s a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss in the center. 

Andes Mint Brownies — Super fudgy brownies loaded with Andes! Chocolate + mint is the best! Meet your new favorite brownies and so easy!

Andes Mint Chip Soft Fudgy Chocolate Cookies – Big, thick, fudgy chocolate cookies with a hint of mint and loads of chocolate in every bite!

Fudgy Mint Chocolate Brookies {brownie + cookie} – Part fudgy brownies; part soft & chewy chocolate cookies. Minty, rich & loaded with Oreos!

Creme de Menthe Bars – The classic bar everyone loves!

Creme de Menthe Bars - A classic holiday treat that everyone loves! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Cookies — The cookies are fudgy and full of rich chocolate flavor thanks to both cocoa powder and chocolate chips. There are peppermint patties on the top for a burst of minty fresh flavor.

Triple Layer Mint Oreo Brownies — These layered brownies are loaded with rich textures and flavors, from the dense fudgy brownies layer, to the soft, fluffy minty layer, with oodles of crushed Mint Oreos throughout. 



About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Comments

  1. Hey I’m trying to bake this cake (super exited as I love all of your recipes) but just realized I have a 8 by 8 inch square pan and not a 9 inch one. Any recommendations, can I just fill up this pan and cook the additional batter separately? Thanks so much for any help!

    1. Yes that is exactly what I would do. I would make an 8 in square cake since that’s what you have and then make a couple cupcakes Or mini loaf or whatever you have but you can fit the rest of the batter and if you don’t want to discard it. or mini loaf or whatever you have but you can fit the rest of the batter in if you don’t want to discard it.

  2. I’m currently making a version of this and can’t wait to see how it turns out! I’ll be using chocolate buttercream instead of the ganache since I’m out of chocolate chips (a rare day), but looking forward to the finished result! I’ll let you know how it all turns out! Thanks again for the simple and delicious recipes.

    1. Sounds like it will be great with the buttercream (you can’t ever go wrong!) – enjoy and LMK how it goes!

  3. Awesome post! I would never have thought about putting coffee into the cake mix, I think you’ve blown my version out of the water here :D

    1. Thanks for pinning and I just saw your peppermint fudge – which looks amazing! You make the best fudge :)

  4. I DEFINITELY think Santa would approve of this cake! It’s so simple and decadent AND festive!

  5. Oh my, this sounds fabulous! Chocolate and peppermint are my two favorite flavors. Can this be doubled in a 13 x 9 pan?

    1. Haven’t personally tried it so cannot say for sure…it will be nip and tuck just because it filled up every inch of my 9×9 pan. You may have a little extra batter (don’t overfill your cake pan) and just discard or make a few muffins :)

  6. Instead of cookies this year we might just have to put this cake out for Santa instead. Because I know he would approve of this cake! It looks amazing! Pinned :)

  7. Hi Averie,

    I haven’t commented here for a couple of weeks. Firstly this cake looks amazing. Love the fudgy layer.

    I never got to tell you that for my b-day a couple weeks ago I had asked for your cookbook. (The first one, 2nd one will come later). I have made your recipes at least 40 times this year. That’s not a joke. I never thought of getting your book if I use the site so many times but I decided to get it anyway. I love it too. :)

    Actually tomorrow I get induced for labor. Please keep your fingers crossed that I’m not in labor for too long. I want this kid out asap. When I heal completely I’ll bake some of your goodies.

    Lots of love, and stay warm

    1. I can’t believe you’re writing the night before you’re going to have your baby! Best of luck!!!

      And happy belated birthday! So happy you got the book and I know you have made at least 40 this year! Some weeks you write and say you’ve made 3 or 4 in one week! Happy holidays and I hope your labor and delivery goes smoothly!!

  8. Oh yum… your cake looks like it’s going to be my new favorite dessert! Looks absolutely gorgeous and oh so delicious! :) Pinned!

    1. You could do that, yes! I was going to give it as an option to put peppermint in the icing but then if I give too many options, people get confused, but yes, I think that would be fine!

  9. Nothing screams “Christmas” like peppermint! This delicious has definitely been added to my holiday baking list Averie!

  10. I am definitely going to be on the hunt for these Andes peppermint crunch, I had no idea they existed until now! Coffee in chocolate cake is the best addition ever. I love the way it subtly enhances the chocolate flavor. It makes for one rich and decadent cake :)

  11. I saw these in my IG feed this morning and was instantly craving them – another winner for sure, Averie!

  12. If your daughter gave it the “favorite” label, it must really be the best of the best! After tasting so many of your treats, she has to have the most refined dessert palate of any child. :) And that ganache… I want a bowl full of that and nothing else. Fudgy ganache frosting is my kryptonite!

    1. No there’s not. Promise. If you really think you will hate it, you can use water. I personally think that will make the cake’s flavor taste wimpy and lackluster, so I would go with the coffee. I’ve served this cake, and the original version, to dozens, probably 50+ people over the years, and NO ONE has ever said, oh is there coffee in here? No. Never.

    2. I don’t like coffee. I made it with coffee last night and when I licked the batter I could taste it so I was really worried but no coffee taste in the baked cake at all!

      1. Great and glad to hear that! Agreed…you can’t taste it after it’s baked and really makes the chocolate flavor pop!

  13. I could have a big piece of this right now with a cup of coffee! I do love the way you frost a cake–a nice thick layer of ganache is the best and the Andes give it a bright pop of color. This is a great cake–perfect for the holiday but it would also cheer me up in January when winter really sets in!

  14. I’m making this for a baking contest at work tomorrow. Hopefully I don’t mess it up! and hopefully you produce me with a winner! haha
    It looks fabulous!

  15. I love how thick that ganache is! I used to not like peppermint but now can’t get enough, especially when paired with chocolate!

  16. Oooo, this looks tasty!!! PS. Have you tried the chocolate peppermint pretzel thins from TJ’s? SO good.

  17. Great minds think alike! I just made chocolate cupcakes with mint frosting! I’ll have to try this, too, because it looks insanely delicious :)

  18. I’m trying to take off a few pounds and you’re.not.helping. I’d stop reading your blog, but I can’t help myself … ;)

    1. Haha, same here – I feel like I gain three pounds everytime I visit this blog :D Not helping my weight loss goals! ;)

  19. Averie, this cake is absolutely gorgeous! Your pictures definitely say a thousand words…I just want to reach through my screen and try this cake! I love the thick ganache on top, along with the peppermints. Pinned!

  20. absolutely a beautiful christmas cake, averie! the chocolate ganache might just be my favorite part. it’s so thick and silky smooth.

    1. Thank you, Sally! I can’t believe Christmas is so soon! And yes, the ganache was like a little layer of fudge on top :)