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Chocolate-Peppermint Cake

Peppermint-flavored icing gives this cake a seasonal flavor; the icing is poured, then spread over the top so the cake has a seamless finish. To help the cake sit level, place the bottom of an empty baking pan on top of the inverted cake as it cools, and gently push down to flatten underside.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Yield: Serves 10
Chocolate-Peppermint Cake

Source: Everyday Food, Special Issue 2007


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Chocolate-Peppermint Icing
  • Whipped Cream, for serving (optional)
  • Chocolate shavings or crushed peppermint candies, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; line bottom with parchment or waxed paper. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches water to a boil. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl; set over (not in) water. Turn off heat; let stand until melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir to combine. Remove bowl; cool 5 minutes.

  3. Whisk in sugar and vanilla, then eggs and buttermilk until combined. Fold in flour mixture until combined.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake pulls away from sides and a toothpick inserted in center has a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert onto a wire rack (and leave inverted) to cool completely, about 1 hour.

  5. Set cake on a serving platter. Tuck parchment or waxed paper under sides of cake. Pour chocolate icing onto center of cake and spread evenly over top and sides. Let set, about 40 minutes. Serve cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or peppermint candies, if desired.

Reviews (21)

  • laurennreiff 5 Feb, 2013

    This cake was almost like a brownie, it was so dense and fudgy. The cake was very easy to make, good for beginning bakers. I reduced the sugar in this recipe by 1/2 cup, ( so I only used 3/4 cup.) Trust me, you don't miss all that sugar. Instead of using the ganache recipe listed I made a chocolate peppermint glaze to top it with (1 1/4 cups 10x, 1/4 cup cocoa, about 3 T. milk, and 1/4- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract. Overall, great flavor combo, everyone loved.

  • Melissa76 4 Jan, 2012

    I have made this cake my holiday tradition! It's super easy and looks so elegant and it always gets rave reviews. I have never had any problems making it. I follow the recipes exactly as given.

  • ltyrpak 26 Sep, 2011

    This is an annual Christmas dinner favorite for me! For presentation, I put the cake on a stand and line the perimeter with uncooked cranberries. (Make sure to remind kiddos not to eat them!) The icing is the best part, in my opinion, but for those who don't like peppermint, you can leave the cake un-iced and offer yummy variations on the icing, using different extracts, and let folks glaze their own slices of cake.

  • RebeccaArtist 20 Jan, 2011

    I served this cake for my Christmas Eve dessert. It was perfect. I topped it with homemade whipped cream and Williams Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate shavings.

  • lindblom 16 Dec, 2010


  • ginnygk 23 Dec, 2009

    I just made it and my cake sunk in the middle? Any ideas for why this happened?

  • MissKey 28 Dec, 2008

    It was good, but I don't think it is worth the extra effort and all of the ingredients. Mine kind of sunk in the middle, but it was still good. The icing wasn't really that peppermint-y.

  • tourtes 27 Dec, 2008

    oops 1/2 tsp!

  • tourtes 27 Dec, 2008

    I made this cake for xmas eve dessert. Turned out great, except the Peppermint Icing recipe did not taste like peppermint at all....and I followed the recipe as written....1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract!!! Will make it again, but add more extract.

  • T27 10 Dec, 2008

    Where did you see that the Chocolate Peppermint Icing was storebought?? If you click onto "Chocolate Peppermint Icing", it will direct you to the recipe. Same goes for the Whipped Cream.

  • Mai-Britt 10 Dec, 2008

    I am so disappointed that the peppermint icing is storebought!!! Isnt there a recipe on how to make that yourself?!

  • AngHorn 9 Dec, 2008

    I wonder if this would make good cupcakes?

  • Coozegal73 7 Jan, 2008

    have to try it my self

  • jan05 18 Dec, 2007

    Thanks very much - can't wait to try it.

  • bethinne 18 Dec, 2007

    For Jan05 - I'd say this cake was actually better after having sat one day. I wouldn't wait to frost it - it was better once it had a chance to set. I just left mine under a dome and it stayed perfectly moist for days. I would just finish it off the day of with the whipped cream and crushed candy cane. So good!!

  • jan05 16 Dec, 2007

    Has anyone made this cake the day before serving or a couple of days before serving it - if so how has it held out? Want to make for Christmas dinner but want to make it the day before and ice it on Christmas day.
    Thanks Jan 05

  • jammiejulie 12 Dec, 2007

    I have made this for several events and everyone has really enjoyed it-The icing has just the right amount of peppermint so that you can still tast the chocolate! For a Christmas party I crushed up a candycane and sprinkled it over the top-it looked great!

  • Nazo 4 Dec, 2007

    I got my son to go through the website and find a cake he wanted me to make for his birthday.. well he chose this one, it was a great choice!! He and his friends loved it and I loved the pepperment extract.. it was a perfect amount it didn't over-power the chocolate cake... it was wonderful!!

  • nytefalle 25 Nov, 2007

    I used a 65% Colombian chocolate for the cake and bittersweet for the icing. It was dense and moist, with very good flavor and not overly sweet.

  • nvnvgirl 24 Nov, 2007

    I love this cake! It's simple and elegant. The cake itself is rich and moist, and the glaze is so delicious and pepperminty, glossy and smooth! If I can make this, anyone can!

  • suzzilady 7 Nov, 2007

    This is the perfect size cake for my holiday dessert table. Every year there seems to be a least one more dessert added, so let it be this one.....
    And the peppermint is just right for the holiday season, it also puts me in such a festive mood.....

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