Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake

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Move aside, chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate has a new best friend for the season and it’s name is peppermint! This Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake is the perfect Christmas Cake for my fellow Peppermint Mocha fans!

This decadent Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake is the perfect Christmas cake for your Christmas party - and is shockingly simple to make, too!

Chocolate Peppermint Cake Recipe

If you haven’t been around Sugar, Spice and Glitter before, you may be unaware that I have a slight… Christmas problem.

I have easily 100 Christmas recipes on this site… no one needs 100 Christmas recipes, but try telling that to me when I get a new idea for a delicious Christmas treat.

This cake? It’s one of easily ten Christmas cakes that we’ve shared. Here are some of my other favorites:

   
Today’s Chocolate Peppermint Cake is a velvety chocolate cake with a cooling but not overpowering hit of peppermint, covered in a rich chocolate frosting and adorned with chocolate drips and crushed candy canes. The hint of espresso in the cake emphasizes the chocolate taste even more (but can be skipped if desired).

To make this cake a bit easier, feel free to use boxed cake mix. Most people can’t even tell the difference and it will save you a bit of time and clean-up. Just add that hit of peppermint extract and you’re good to go.

However, for the love of all things chocolate, please don’t even think about using store-bought frosting for this cake! Homemade frosting has the power to elevate even boxed cake mix into another category of gourmet delights, and it’s truly a make-or-break when it comes to homemade cakes. The chocolate frosting recipe below is super simple and reliable. Just trust me on this.

This cake relies on a couple of very simple decorating techniques to take it from your everyday chocolate cake to a holiday centrepiece. 

This Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cake has it all - velvety chocolate cake, peppermint chocolate frosting, and cute little candy canes to boot!

How To Make Swirly Frosting Dollops

Those swirly frosting dollops are super easy to do with a large star tip. You simply place the tip just above where you want your swirl to go and lightly squeeze on your piping bag while making a small circle with your wrist. When the dollop of frosting is as big as you want it to be, stop squeezing the bag and lightly flick your wrist to remove the piping tip from the frosting, making a clean break.

If you’re nervous about making your first few swirls right onto the cake, you can practice on a plate or cutting board. However, if you do make a mistake on the cake, it’s nothing to worry about. Just use an offset spatula (or even a butter knife) to gently remove the dollop and smooth the frosting before trying again.

If you even make two cakes or cupcakes a year, I highly recommend purchasing a basic piping set like this one – you won’t believe how easy it is to pipe gorgeous decorations yourself using the right equipment!

(For just a bit more, this starter cake decorating set is a crazy good deal – basically everything you will ever need for cake or cupcake decorating is in here!)

How to Make Chocolate Drips

Another super simple technique that gives a dramatic flair to your peppermint cake!

I’ll admit that this one is a bit harder to practice than the dollops, but you just have to be confident with it.

You can make chocolate drips on the side of your cake using a couple of different methods: squeeze bottles, piping bags, or a spoon. I personally prefer to just use a spoon but you may like the control that a squeeze bottle affords you.

What I do is melt my chocolate completely and then allow it to cool. You want it to still be melted and smooth, but starting to thicken slightly so it’s not too runny. Take your spoon and just take a half a spoonful to begin with, and gently place the tip of the spoon on the edge of the cake. Tip the spoon upwards (but holding very close to the cake) to let the chocolate drip down the side of the cake. If the chocolate doesn’t create that pretty “drop” effect at the bottom of the drip, you can gently press the spoon into the end of the drip to press the chocolate out to form a drop shape.

Experiment with it a bit – one side of the cake may end up being prettier than another, but that happens to even the best of us. Have fun with it and if you don’t love how it turns out, just wait for the chocolate to dry and scrape it off. No one ever has to know.

  How to make a decadent Triple Chocolate Candy Cake Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Cake Ingredients

For the chocolate layer cake:

Peppermint Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

Chocolate Ganache (Chocolate Drip) Ingredients

For the candy cane garnish:

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: we used this special dark chocolate to create an amazing flavor and color in this chocolate cake recipe.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

This Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cake has it all - velvety chocolate cake, peppermint chocolate frosting, and cute little candy canes to boot!

How to Make a Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease three 9″ round baking pans. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso and the warm water until the espresso is completely mixed in. Add the vanilla and set aside.

        
Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, buttermilk and oil.

Add in the sour cream and espresso-vanilla mixture and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.

Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, incorporate fully, and then add the remaining half. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter between the 3 pre-greased cake pans.

Place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool completely before attempting to decorate.

Frosting Directions

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, powdered icing sugar and salt.

Add the dry mixture to the cream cheese-butter mixture and beat well for 2 minutes.

Beat in the heavy whipping cream until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Adjust the consistency with additional icing sugar or cream, as desired.

Level your cake by cutting off any rounded dome (I love using this floss method).

Place one cake layer on your serving tray and place 1 cup of frosting on top.

Use an offset spatula to even out the frosting. Repeat with your second cake layer.

Place the last layer on top and frost the entire cake.

Coat the bottom sides of the cake in the crushed candy canes.

To make the chocolate ganache for the melted drips, place the heavy cream in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium heat.

Place the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. When the cream begins to boil, take it off the heat and pour over the chocolate chips.

Allow the cream to melt the chocolate for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Allow to cool until thick and cool (but still melted) before using a spoon or squeeze bottle to place dramatic drips all along the edge of the cake.

Scoop remaining frosting into the large piping bag and pipe dollops of frosting around the top.

Place a mini candy cane on each dollop.

 
 

Pin this Peppermint Bark Cake recipe:

If you're a Peppermint Mocha fan, you're going to love this Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake. It's the perfect Christmas Cake and super simple to make

Grab your free printable for our peppermint mocha Christmas cake recipe:

Yield: 1 Three Layer Cake, 12 servings

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake

A decadent triple chocolate peppermint layer cake - the ultimate Christmas Cake for candy cane lovers!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the chocolate layer cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pure peppermint extract

Peppermint Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened (package)
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk), as needed

Melted Chocolate Drip Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

For the candy cane garnish:

  • 2 cups crushed candy canes
  • 8 mini candy canes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease three 9" round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso and the warm water until the espresso is completely mixed in. Add the vanilla and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, buttermilk and oil.
  4. Add in the sour cream and espresso-vanilla mixture and beat until well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, incorporate fully, and then add the remaining half. Do not over mix.
  7. Divide the batter between the 3 pre-greased cake pans.
  8. Place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
  9. Allow cakes to cool completely before attempting to decorate.

Frosting Directions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, powdered icing sugar and salt.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the cream cheese-butter mixture and beat well for 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the heavy whipping cream until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  5. Adjust the consistency with additional icing sugar or cream, as desired.
  6. Level your cake by cutting off any rounded dome (I love using this floss method).
  7. Place one cake layer on your serving tray and place 1 cup of frosting on top.
  8. Use an offset spatula to even out the frosting. Repeat with your second cake layer.
  9. Place the last layer on top and frost the entire cake.
  10. Coat the bottom sides of the cake in the crushed candy canes.


Chocolate Ganache Directions

  1. To make the chocolate ganache for the melted drips, place the heavy cream in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Place the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. When the cream begins to boil, take it off the heat and pour over the chocolate chips.
  3. Allow the cream to melt the chocolate for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  4. Allow to cool until thick and cool (but still melted) before using a spoon or squeeze bottle to place dramatic drips all along the edge of the cake. (See Recipe Notes.)
  5. Scoop remaining frosting into the large piping bag and pipe dollops of frosting around the top. (See Recipe Notes.)
  6. Place a mini candy cane on each dollop.

Notes

How To Make Swirly Frosting Dollops

Those swirly frosting dollops are super easy to do with a large star tip. You simply place the tip just above where you want your swirl to go and lightly squeeze on your piping bag while making a small circle with your wrist. When the dollop of frosting is as big as you want it to be, stop squeezing the bag and lightly flick your wrist to remove the piping tip from the frosting, making a clean break.

How to Make Chocolate Drips

You can make chocolate drips on the side of your cake using a couple of different methods: squeeze bottles, piping bags, or a spoon. I personally prefer to just use a spoon but you may like the control that a squeeze bottle affords you.

What I do is melt my chocolate completely and then allow it to cool. You want it to still be melted and smooth, but starting to thicken slightly so it's not too runny. Take your spoon and just take a half a spoonful to begin with, and gently place the tip of the spoon on the edge of the cake. Tip the spoon upwards (but holding very close to the cake) to let the chocolate drip down the side of the cake. If the chocolate doesn't create that pretty "drop" effect at the bottom of the drip, you can gently press the spoon into the end of the drip to press the chocolate out to form a drop shape.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 558Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 935mgCarbohydrates: 159gFiber: 6gSugar: 103gProtein: 13g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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This Tripe Chocolate Peppermint Cake makes a stunning addition to your Christmas party. Everyone will think you spent hours working on it – only we will know it was super quick and easy!

For more delicious Christmas recipes, check out our Crockpot Triple Hot Chocolate recipe or our melt-in-your-mouth Fruitcake Cookies.

If you're a Peppermint Mocha fan, you're going to love this Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake. It's the perfect Christmas Cake and super simple to make This decadent Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cake is the perfect Christmas cake for your Christmas party - and is shockingly simple to make, too!

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2 Comments

  1. Please tell me which amount is for baking powder and which is for baking soda. The recipe lists baking soda twice.
    Thanks.

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