Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Growing up peppermint patties and Junior mints were always my favorite candy. Anytime we went to the movie theater it was always a box of Junior Mints (jumbo box if no one was looking). Then in college when everyone was on Weight Watchers (because that is what everyone did then, you remember that right? ) I would forfeit lots of point in exchange for Peppermint Patties. Priorities right?!  That chocolate mint combo is my favorite flavor combo. I make my own homemade peppermint patties now and give them out as holiday gifts. I may make a dozen or two to keep for myself. I honestly can't resist them. When thinking about the perfect holiday dessert I was inspired by three things - chocolate, peppermint and cream cheese. From there this simple yet utterly delicious chocolate cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting was born.

So this cake basically tastes like a Peppermint Patty. Or a Junior Mint. And it is amazing. Deep chocolate layers with peppermint cream cheese frosting, it is everything you want in a holiday dessert. Plus it is a showstopper. I am all about a beautifully frosted cake these days.

I used Ghiradelli chocolate in this cake. It is always my go-to brand for chocolate. Not only because I trust their high quality ingredients but because they are a SF company and I literally walk by Ghiradelli square every day on the way to work. The magic in this cake is the cocoa powder and the coffee and the deep rich flavor it creates. Pair that with peppermint cream cheese frosting and it is heavenly. If peppermint patties are your thing (although I am not sure why they wouldn't be) make sure to check out feedfeed for other chocolate dessert inspiration perfect for the holidays.

Happy Holidays!! (we can say that now, right?)


Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake:

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups Ghiradelli cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, shaken
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the frosting:

  • 1 lb. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ lbs. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes
  • 1 - 3 oz Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate bar, shaved or chopped



Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray then line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a bowl of an electric mixer mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla on low until well combined. In another bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting mix together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

To assemble the cake place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting and sprinkle with ¼ cup crushed candy canes. Repeat with remaining layers and finish with extra crushed candy canes and shaved Ghiradelli chocolate pieces.

Serves 8 to 10