Cakes/ Dessert/ Recipes

Mint Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

Mint chocolate is one of my very favorite flavor combinations.

Orange chocolate? Not so much. I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate and fruit except for one rare exception of these delicious {vegan!} raspberry jam brownies. Oooooooo if you haven’t baked those yet, you must. They’re dangerously good…..kinda like this candy cane cake! What we have here is an intensely mint dark chocolate loaf cake topped with an even more intense dark chocolate ganache and crushed candy canes.

I made this cake the other day for a special treat while we decorated the Christmas tree. We ended up going to three different places before we found the perfect tree this year! Then, as Adam strung the lights and Dexter drank the water in the tree stand, I cut this cake and poured us a mug of peppermint tea to share. I love my little family. Every year Adam gets me a dessert ornament and this year, we found the CUTEST Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream cone ornament at a little shop in Berkeley. I’m hoping by the time I’m forty, I have an entire Christmas tree dedicated to desserts.

Anyway, if you like mint chocolate you will LOVE this cake. It’s perfect for Christmas parties or a special Christmas Eve at home.

To make a fun candy cane layer cake, double the recipe below and divide the batter between two 9″ cake pans. Use a chocolate buttercream frosting with crumbled candy canes to frost.

I want to eat this cake for breakfast. And for morning snack. And for lunch. And for …… get the picture. And don’t tell me that you have enough will power to keep your fingers out of the ganache! Lucky for y’all, I photographed this cake before it sat on my counter all afternoon. By night (when I served it), it had finger swipes all through the sides.

I’m sorry.

Not really.

Mint Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

makes 1 loaf cake

Print this Recipe!

adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt


8 oz dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup cream

3 candy canes, smashed in a plastic bag with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until lightly crushed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix until all is combined.

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and peppermint extract, beating until combined. Slowly stream in the buttermilk alternately with adding the dry ingredients.

Continue beating until smooth then pour batter in prepared loaf pan, smoothing top with a rubber or offset spatula.

Bake cake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert on a cake stand or large plate while you prepare the ganache.

To make the ganache, bring the cream to a simmer on the stove. Pour cream over chocolate chips and mix until all chips melt and mixture is smooth and combined. Pour ganache over cake and scatter crushed candy cane on top. Ganache will harden slightly as it cools, coming to more of a fudge-like consistency.


1.5 hours

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  • AdrienneCarolyn
    December 10, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Perfection! This is my Christmas Eve treat for sure!!

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    December 10, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Yessss, mint + chocolate is a perfect march (almost as perfect as pb and chocolate). I have a peppermint/choco recipe coming up on my blog tmrw that I made for dessert last night!

  • Anne
    December 10, 2012 at 4:21 am

    I was planning on bringing spring rolls to a Christmas party this weekend….I’m thinking this sounds much better 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    December 10, 2012 at 4:34 am

    This looks so beautiful Jenna! That’s so cute that Adam gets you a dessert ornament each year. Hallmark has a small line of baking ornaments and my mum has been giving me one each year as well. So far, I’ve got an oven and a Kitchen Aid-like mixer!

  • Blog is the New Black
    December 10, 2012 at 4:36 am

    This is basically my heaven!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    December 10, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Oh. My. Pure decadence there. Looks insanely good, Jenna!

  • DessertForTwo
    December 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

    This sounds so simple and delicious! Perfect for tree-trimming 🙂

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    December 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Three Christmas tree attempts? That’s dedication. We sorta threw in the towel and ended up with a Christmas tree to wide that it almost takes up and entire room.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    December 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Mint and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations too! This will be a perfect dessert to make over the holidays!

  • Molly @ Happy&Healthy
    December 10, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I love that yall are now a little family, so cute!! Mint and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combos, can’t wait to try this cake!

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
    December 10, 2012 at 5:54 am

    YES!! I’ve been trying to decide what I want to make for our Christmas Eve holiday party dessert and this might just be the winner! 🙂

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    December 10, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I’m obsessed with mint and chocolate right now…this looks delicious!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    December 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I love the dessert ornament idea, how cute and perfect!

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    December 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

    be still my hear!! Mint and chocolate is my all time favorite!! I need this!

  • brandi
    December 10, 2012 at 6:09 am

    i’m a sucker for anything with chocolate + mint. this looks so fun and festive! and easy, which is a requirement for me and decorating.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    December 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I love that tradition, the ornaments sound adorable!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    December 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

    This is so festive and pretty!

  • luv what you do
    December 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Wow, that cake looks incredible! I could spend all day inside with a fork eating it!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Jenna the cake is dark, rich, fudgy and perfect looking! Can’t go wrong with any of Deb’s recipes or with peppermint + chocolate!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    December 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I’m supposed to be looking for a recipe for lemon cake for the hubs birthday cake request. Maybe I can convince him this would be better?

  • K
    December 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Awesome! I’m going to make this for a holiday dessert – I love chocolate-mint (and cake!) too! 🙂

  • Vinita
    December 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Love how decadent that cake looks, like every chocolate cake should 🙂 The candy canes add a special touch to it and lots of lovely colour.

  • Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens)
    December 10, 2012 at 8:24 am

    OMG that looks soooo good! Great pics too, looks like it should be in a magazine!

  • a farmer in the dell
    December 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I love everything about this cake. Perfect Christmas Eve dessert!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    December 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Wow! Is it wrong that I kind of want to lick my computer screen looking at those pictures of that cake? If it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

    Definitely adding to my list of “things from eatliverun to make”

  • Em (Wine and Butter)
    December 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Ha – I am the worst for taking frosting/ ganache off cake. Once I ate ALL the cream cheese frosting off this carrot cake that was inconspiculously hanging in the fridge. Turned out my mum was saving it for a dinner party – whoops!

    Your cake looks totally yum.

  • kalamckala
    December 10, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Whoa this looks ridiculously, deliciously decadent! Peppermint and chocolate is a winner for sure – but I have to say that orange and chocolate are two long lost soul mates! Raspberry and chocolate though…that’s a whole other story (of perfection).

  • Amanda @ The Unfamiliar Kitchen
    December 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Ditto on the fruit and chocolate….especially in cake form. Not my thang. But I love how dark and rich this looks! That ganache looks ridiculous.

  • Caroline L.
    December 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    A Christmas tree full of dessert ornaments? Too adorable! Loooove mint chocolate, this is going to be dangerous…

  • abby
    December 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm And this cake…OMG. I must try it!

  • Sarah
    December 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Woah. You have really hit it out of the park with this cake, and these photos! They are absolutely mouthwatering.

  • Adri {Food-N-Thought}
    December 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I love mint/chocolate combo, I will confess to always having a box of mint thin cookies covered in chocolate in my pantry, and grabbing one {almost} every night 😛
    Must make this cake!
    The idea of the dessert ornaments is the cutest!

  • Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    December 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Yum! So festive! I’m impressed you kept your fingers to the ganache… I would have been cutting myself a slice every time I walked by 🙂

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  • Amy Walters, aDESIGNdock
    December 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Oh yes! Loving the chocolate fix here. I want to eat it for breakfast too ; )

  • Cassie
    December 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Tree pictures!!! (por favor)

  • Wendy
    December 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I love the combination of mint and chocolate. This looks simply divine 🙂

  • Randilea @ Life As I Bake It
    December 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I agree about chocolate and fruit combos! Never been my favorite either. I do love mint, so I’ll have to try this cake 🙂

    Also you should post a picture of your tree! Sounds like an awesome tree! What shop did you get the ornament? I live in Berkeley and would love a cupcake ornament, etc.

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}
    December 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Oh bother….you had to show me something so wonderfully delicious and so totally up by sweet-toothed alley during a time I’m trying to take it easy on the sweets. sigh…you’re one great baker, lady!

  • Jan
    December 11, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Oh man. I think I could eat that 3 meals a day, and of course for snacks too. THANKS for sharing that fabulous recipe!

  • jenn
    December 11, 2012 at 5:52 am

    A few things:


    Every time I try and comment a pop up comes up.

    Please don’t go to posting every other day 🙁

  • Lia
    December 11, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Yuu-um! The ganache looks painfully tempting as it is. It would make a truly festive holiday dessert and, I swear, a good center piece for the table! Why not? Thanks for sharing this recipe and the wonderful pictures!

  • robyn @ thereallife_RD
    December 11, 2012 at 6:16 am

    oh. my. lanta.

    let my wipe the drool off my keyboard.

    then gather the ingredients to make this…like now.

  • Alicia @ Alicia Carlson Photography
    December 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Yummy! My boyfriend’s niece recently told me how much she loves peppermint candy canes. I may have to make this for her!

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs
    December 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Count me in! I definitely need this anytime of the day. Love the combination.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    December 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Mint and chocolate are one of my very favorite combinations. This cake looks wonderful! I love the idea of doubling the recipe and making it into a layer cake.

  • vanillasugarblog
    December 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    that is one gorgeous cake!
    I am on such a peppermint kick lately

  • Katie @ SkinnyMinnieMoves
    December 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    That looks DANGEROUSLY fudgy!! mmmmm

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    December 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I cannot think of anything more perfect for this time of year. Bring on the ganache!

  • Kimberly H
    December 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    This looks amazing! Do you think a double-batch would make a bundt cake?

  • kamrul hasan
    December 12, 2012 at 4:30 am

    i was the looking for the same and related info, what you describe on your article. And found you through google search. Its helps me a lots and i understood that you are one of skill article writer/ blogger. I have book marked your blog and hope to visit again to learn more. Thanks for your valuable efforts and time.

  • Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit
    December 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

    This looks incredible. Forget finger swipes, I’m going for a full-on face-plant… right into this delicious minty dark chocolatey-ness! 😉

  • Gloria
    December 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    That cake looks amazing! Jenna, I made your chocolate peppermint cookies with the white chocolate drizzled on top last year and they were my absolute favorite!

  • Beth
    December 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I made this cake today and it is delicious. My 13 yearnold son said “this may be the best cake I have ever had”. I love that it is a small cake. I will definitely make this again and again. I can imagine several variations on this same concept. Thanks for a great addition to my recipe collection.

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  • Katina
    December 15, 2012 at 4:20 am

    This cake was amazing! Thanks!

  • Courtney
    December 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I made this tonight for my roommates and my boyfriend for our own little Christmas celebration before everyone leaves for home. It was amazing!!!! Very dense, very rich, SO Christmas! With stress of finals hitting everyone, this cake was just what everyone needed. And it came together really simply. Loved it. Thanks!

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  • Jennie
    December 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    If I double it and make 2 9 inch round cakes, how long would I bake them?

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  • Jen
    December 25, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Great mint and dark chocolate flavor, but it came out dry. Was sure not to over bake but it just didn’t work for us.

  • Richa Singh
    January 27, 2021 at 5:10 am

    i just love the combination of mint and chocolate. This looks so delicious.