Chocolate Peppermint Cake just screams Christmas, don’t you think? I mean, it’d sound good any time of year, but there’s something about the combination of chocolate and peppermint flavors that is just reminiscent of holidays past. This chocolate peppermint cake is a seasonal favorite that I can’t help but want to make every year around this time.
Let’s talk about the icing. I don’t go for a traditional buttercream frosting like most people might. Instead, we do it up with a cream cheese icing which is sprinkled with a generous helping of crushed peppermint candies. The peppermint flavor soaks into the icing and gives it its flavor, so you can get away without using any flavorings.
As for the cake itself, I add extra moisture as well as a subtle peppermint flavor to it by using some mint yogurt, which can be found at Trader Joe’s, or I’ve been advised it’s also sometimes found at Publix if you have one in your area. If you can’t find any, I would think you could quite easily substitute some mint chocolate chip yogurt to good effect.
While you could make this cake quite fancy by using your best cake rounds and layering it, I love the simplicity of using a simple 8×11 cake pan and going old school. I’m a busy mama after all, and this is just for us, and we ain’t fancy.
My kids call this the “Hot Chocolate Cake” because it reminds them of drinking hot chocolate with candy canes. They love it, and so do I, and I hope you will, too.
Next time I make this, I think I might try adding in some white chocolate to the frosting to see if it jazzes it up a bit. I love it as is, but I think the combination of regular chocolate and white chocolate might actually be really nice and bring out the peppermint flavor even more. It’s something I’d really consider. It works really nicely in my White Chocolate Peppermint Pie.
Here’s the full recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Cake. Don’t forget to share. And if you give it a try, definitely let me know what you think!
- 2 C flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 C Cocoa powder
- ½ C vegetable oil
- 1 ½ C sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ C mint yogurt
- ½ C milk
- Handful of crushed candy canes or peppermints
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 C powdered sugar
- ¼ C milk (can add up to another 2 tbsp milk if needed)
- Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Beat vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, and yogurt together with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Gradually beat in dry ingredients.
- Add in milk, and mix until smooth.
- Pour into a square or rectangle baking dish (9x9 or 8x11 is good).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Once baked, cool and turn out onto a serving dish. Set aside.
- Make icing by beating together cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
- Spread onto cooled cake.
- Sprinkle a generous layer of crushed peppermints on top.
- Cut into bars and serve as desired.
For a stronger peppermint flavor, you can add some peppermint flavoring to the cake batter and/or to the frosting. Just be careful not to overwhelm the flavor.
For extra flavor and a more pleasing look, you can shave some chocolate onto the top of the cake or sprinkle some cocoa powder onto it.