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. 

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4.29 from 7 votes

The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

By Averie Sunshine
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
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

Cake

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces sour cream, lite sour cream or Greek yogurt may be substituted
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ cup brewed coffee, any temperature other than piping hot*
  • ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional

Chocolate Ganache

  • 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 1/2 cups
  • ¾ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 15 Andes Peppermint Crunch] mini bars, diced small for sprinkling (about 1 cup; or use [Andes Peppermint Crunch

Instructions 

For the Cake:

  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, optional salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.
  • 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.
  • Allow cake to cool completely in pan on top of a wire rack, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pour cream over chocolate chips and let it stand about 1 minute.
  • Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and combined.
  • Evenly pour ganache over cake, smoothing lightly with a spatula if necessary.
  • 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.
  • Dice and evenly sprinkle the peppermint candies over cake.
  • 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

Serving: 1, Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 233mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 29g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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. 

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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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 :)