The Best Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cake


Tis the season to be jolly.   Today I am combining two things that I love, peppermint and chocolate.  It is no secret that I love all things chocolate.   The richer the chocolate the better.  For some time now I wanted to combine peppermint and chocolate to see if it taste as great as I imagined it.  So…. I took the plunge, I made a peppermint dark chocolate cake with peppermint flavored swiss meringue buttercream and to top it off I added crushed peppermint candy.

This peppermint dark chocolate cake is to die for…

The smell of peppermint brings back so many fond memories of Christmas as a child with my grandparents.  Grandma used to make us peppermint candy.  We always looked forward to her peppermint candy and waited by the kitchen for the first portion.  She made candy without a thermometer… something I would never attempt today.  Plus, the peppermint candy had the right amount of peppermint and sugar. All I can say is it’s delicious. Just as delicious as this peppermint dark chocolate cake.

The peppermint is a nice addition to the chocolate.  It is really a hint of peppermint because of the crushed peppermint candy that is added to the buttercream.  I was very careful not to put too much peppermint because I did not want it to overpower the cake.

In our typical wowisthatreallyedible fashion I made this cake to shape like a Giant Candy Cane.Peppermint-dark-chocolate-Cake

To make the giant candy cake I doubled the cake recipe and made it in a 9×13 pan.  In addition, I made one batch of the swiss meringue buttercream.  While the cakes were baking, I drew a large candy cane on a blue cardstock for my candy cane template.

Once the cakes were baked and cooled I filled the cake with the peppermint swiss meringue buttercream and as an extra crunch, I added crushed peppermint candy. Then, placed the cake in the refrigerator for the filling to set.

When the buttercream was set I used my template to cut out the candy cane using my template.  Then, I rounded the edges of the cake.Peppermint dark Chocolate cake candy cane cut-out

I added a crumb coat and frosted the cake with the peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream then covered the cake with white fondant. Peppermint dark Chocolate cake frosted

I added red stripes to get the candy cane look.Peppermint-dark-Chocolate-cake-candy-different-view

Finally the cake recipe

When it comes to cake recipes I have only one requirement, one bowl.  I love recipes that can be made in one bowl.  That tells me it is easy to make and I do not have to worry about creaming butter and sugar or folding the meringue into the batter.

This cake is just as easy as making boxed cake mix.  if you do not like peppermint, just remove it and you will have a great chocolate cake.

For the dark chocolate cake, I used the  Hersheys Dark chocolate cake recipe.  However, I changed a few things.  I replaced the milk with buttermilk, then added some espresso powder and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

The buttermilk adds a little tang, and the espresso powder brings out the chocolate even more.Peppermint-dark-chocolate-Cake

The result, a moist and delicious cake.  Perfect for Christmas dessert or Christmas party.

Have you checked out our post the Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Buttercream Frosting?

Let us know if you have tried this recipe and if you love it.  Don’t forget to share with your friends and pin on Pinterest.  Happy baking.

Peppermint-dark-chocolate-Cake-pinterest updated



The Best Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • Adapted from Hershey's "Especially Dark Chocolate Cake"
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hersheys Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp expresso powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups crushed peppermint candy


  1. Heat oven to 350 Degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and espresso powder)
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients together (eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, vegetable oil), but leave the hot water for last.
  4. Then add wet ingredients with the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix together, then add the hot water.
  5. Mix until combined but do not over mix.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until knife or toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  8. Add egg whites and sugar to a heat proof bowl (preferably the bowl from the mixer)
  9. Then mix until the mixture is smooth and the sugar is dissolved and/or when the mixer gets to 140 degrees
  10. Once the sugar is dissolved mix on high until the meringue comes to room temperature or the bowl is cool to the touch.
  11. Then add butter one piece at a time. It will look like something is wrong, but keep mixing until it comes together.
  12. When it comes together add the vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Add a 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you get to the taste you would like to achieve.
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