The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Nothing says the holidays like chocolate and peppermint.

I know Santa will approve of this cake.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake

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, and rich. The top is sprinkled with diced Andes Peppermint Crunch mini bars and they add a perfect amount of crunchy texture and a nice pop of peppermint flavor. They tend to be seasonal items; try a variety of grocery stores, Target, or Amazon. Make sure when you’re adding the peppermint extract to the batter that you only add 1/2 teaspoon. Adding too much can cause your dessert to taste like mouthwash. There’s coffee in the cake batter to enhance the chocolate flavor and doesn’t make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake.

Did you make this recipe?

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
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 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 Baking Chips or similar diced mint candies)

Directions:

  1. 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.)
  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. 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.
  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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pour cream over chocolate chips and let it stand about 1 minute.
  10. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and combined.
  11. Evenly pour ganache over cake, smoothing lightly with a spatula if necessary.
  12. 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.
  13. Dice and evenly sprinkle the peppermint candies over cake.
  14. 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. 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

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60 comments on “The Best Peppermint Chocolate Cake”

  1. Yet again you have me drooling and dying to make this! Totally pinned!

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

  3. Santa and I both approve of this recipe :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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 … ;)

  6. Fabulous Christmastime cake!

  7. Santa would definitely approve of this cake!! It’s gorgeous, just looks so fudgy!

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

  9. Oh my gosh it looks PERFECT. Seriously, this is the perfect cake. Pinned!

  10. That chocolate ganache is calling to me! Yum!

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

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

  13. ahhhh, this cake looks SO wonderful!!

  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 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!

  16. OK, you pinky promise there’s no coffee taste? I hate coffee SO hard!

    • 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.

    • 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!

  17. 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!

  18. Yum! This cake looks so delicious. I need some chocolate and peppermint in my life right now.

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

  20. 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 :)

  21. This really IS the best chocolate peppermint cake ever. That ganache. Oh my gaaassh!

  22. Nothing beats a piece of chocolate cake! Gorgeous!

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

  24. This cake is the best I love chocolate and peppermint…That ganache topping looks insanely good…

  25. It looks beautiful! I love adding coffee in my chocolate cake batter! What a nice and thick layer of ganache… :)

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