This homemade Chocolate Peppermint Dream Cake is as delicious as it is pretty! It has a moist chocolate cake and creamy peppermint frosting that makes a perfect dessert for the holidays.
If you love peppermint and chocolate desserts, you should also try my Peppermint Oreo Mini Cheesecakes!
Chocolate Peppermint Dream Cake
Whoa — this is my 10th dream cake! And big surprise, I made it with my favorite chocolate cake base. I have actually had this flavor combination in my head for the past two years and now this Christmas cake miracle has finally become a real thing!
However, the first year I was pregnant and had zero interest in eating anything chocolate. Year two, I had twin newborns and I could barely make dinner…much less a cake. Turns out, Ellie was the chocolate hating baby and she still has zero taste for it.
My Daughter Loves This Homemade Chocolate Cake
As you can see, Lyla does not have that same aversion to chocolate. In fact, if you look closely enough you will see her clutching the empty container of her mini m&ms from days ago. She keeps carrying it around hoping that more m&ms will magically appear.
As soon as she spotted me taking photos of this cake, she stared me down until I gave her a few huge bites. Bless her little chocolate lovin’ heart.
This Cake Is Perfect For The Holidays And Tastes Delicious
I used my favorite super moist chocolate cake base and topped it with creamy peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes. I considered adding mint to the chocolate cake as well, however I am so glad I didn’t. It was perfect as is…and any more mint would have been too much. It actually turned out tasting like a Peppermint Patty!
I gave over half of this cake away to neighbors and they texted me that by the end of the day there was only a tiny sliver left. To me, that means it was a damn good cake! ;-)
Recipe note: If you use a different type of peppermint extract than I did, I would start with a little and taste as you go. Mint can become overwhelming if you aren’t careful.
Chocolate Peppermint Dream Cake
This Chocolate Peppermint Dream Cake is delicious and pretty! The moist chocolate cake & creamy peppermint frosting makes it a perfect holiday dessert.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup butter flavored crisco shortening (or an additional stick of butter)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Whisk in vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Quickly beat in eggs (do this quickly so they don't cook) into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients, until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch - then frost.
Cream butter and shortening in a stand mixer. Add vanilla, peppermint extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
When all sugar has been mixed in, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Assemble the two cake layers with a thick layer of frosting in between the layers. Frost cake as desired.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. (With no milk in the frosting, it does not need to be stored in the refrigerator.)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1048Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 898mgCarbohydrates: 183gFiber: 3gSugar: 153gProtein: 6g
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i give this a five star review this cake is amazing!!!
After reading the comments I wanted to come make a comment. I made this slightly modified – dairy-free butter and used some canned frosting that was also dairy-free. I also made it in a 9×13 pan because I don’t have round pans. The cake is super moist and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Unfortunately, I didn’t even bake this cake. Dumped it all before I even put it in the oven. I could tell from the way the ingredients were mixing together that it was not going to be a moist cake. Remade with my standard chocolate recipe and given the frosting comments, going to make my own and add the peppermint. Beautiful picture, but the ingredients just don’t seem to be correct.
I’m not sure how to respond since you never even baked it to give it a try.
Note to self: Read reviews before using recipes.
The cake was crumbly; the frosting too stiff (even with added milk).
This cake was absolutely a hit. I had trouble with the cake sinking — and I was going to pitch it but when I was leveling it, I tasted the cake and it was so good. I just piled more icing to make it level. I added a bit more peppermint to the icing and a little more salt. This was a favorite. Super moist!! Everyone loved it and it is definitely on my list of cakes to bake again and again
This cake was a disaster. I didn’t read the reviews online first, becuase all of the other cakes I have made from you were FANTASTIC. This was not. The cake was not usable, it crumbled and fell apart and the icing was way to thick even with only 5 cups of P.sugar.
I really wish I had seen the reviews first.
Hi Lori! I’m sorry to hear this. I wish I could be in your kitchens with you to figure out what is happening. I bake this cake every year, exactly as listed, and it comes out great. :-(
My family got together for Christmas late this year which worked out for me because it gave me time to make this cake. SO FLIPPIN GOOD. My dad had THREE slices throughout the day. He kept telling me I was his new Chef and he was kicking my mom out of top spot. Thanks for making me seem like a better baker than I am.
Not the best taste. The cake tastes a bit watery and like soap. It doesn’t really taste like chocolate.
I made this for Christmas and I was so disappointed. The cake was super crumbly and the icing was unbearably thick. 0/10, worst cake I’ve ever made.
I started making this and the recipe does not separate the cake recipe from the frosting. Very difficult to figure out which amounts go with what.
Hi! I just baked this recipe and the cakes turned out WAYYY too crumbly. They were impossible to work with. What do you think could have went wrong?
I noticed there was not separate recipe for the frosting. It was hard to tell what the correct measurements were for each one.
Something went terribly wrong with my frosting g. It was dry and wouldn’t spread well on my cake. But it taste so good. Any idea what happened here?? Thanks
I so wanted to make this for Christmas Eve…. I knew something was wrong because the 2 8-in pans were way too full. What did I do wrong? Was I supposed to boil off more of the water? Good thing I always have a brownie mix on hand!
I just made this cake. It was a total flop. Everythi g went wrong. Both layers sunk in the middle. The texture was chewy, www. The frosting was actually crumbly. I had to brush my teeth to the the taste off my tongue.
Had to throw the whole thing in the garbage.
I have no idea what I did wrong. Followed all instructions to the letter. So sad…
Just made this cake and like mentioned above, I stopped at 6 cups of icing sugar because it was turning hard like a paste. I also added cream up to 1/4 cup but should of added more. Disappointed with the end result because it was hard to spread which made the cake crumble and it tasted too sweet and not creamy.
Hello Jessica and family, I made this Super delicious cake for New Years Celebration which I also took the opportunity to sing happy birthday to the last 3 birthdays of the love ones before the year 2016 ended, and it came out BANGING the fact that you don”t have to use milk is awesome and the peppermint outstanding , the cake still outside the fridge and we still eating the taste has not changed .I just want to thank you, as a baker myself I can say I have found another way to make chocolate cake to delight whosoever ask for, THANKS AGAIN and may GOD bless you abundantly in this New Year 2017 and throughout your life. With much appreciation Daisy a Satisfied Central Florida Baker.
I just made the frosting, and with 6 cups of powdered sugar, it came out so stiff even after letting the Kitchenaid work it for several minutes. I ended up adding some cream (1/2+ cup!) and 2 tsp meringue powder to make it work for me. With that, it’s delicious on a chocolate cake!
What type of dark chocolate do you use? I looked for dark chocolate in the baking area of my market, but only found milk and bittersweet (at various levels of coco…).
Anything that has around 60% or more cocoa!
Did you use hard peppermint candy or soft? If hard I was thinking wouldn’t it be hard to eat the cake with the hard ….. I want to make this cake it looks awesome….. But I want to make sure I use the right candy….. I just don’t want no one’s teeth to chip if it’s the hard candy…. Can you please give me advice
I used hard peppermint candy – I crushed candy canes with a rolling pin. If you crush it up in fine enough pieces like in the photo it will not hurt anyone’s teeth. :-)
Even though I had made this yummy cake several times, can you tell me, if I’m doing it right, batter is supposed to be a little runny? Not that am complaining, the cakes are so moist, yes, MOIST and YUMMY. I also like to mention that your Red Velvet cake is as moist as the other cakes. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hi Lin! Yes, you are doing it correctly! It is supposed to be a very runny batter. Glad you enjoy them as much as we do!! :-)
I don’t have to look further of what cake to make , as I make cakes for no reason at all!! – I just go straight to you!!I lost count making this cake- so moist and yummy, added to the list of “most liked cakes” to make at home!! Thanks Novice Chef [Jessica}!
For the frosting, how much salt should I add ? It’s not in the ingredients list, should it be a pinch or 1/2 tspn? .. It looks so yummy as with your Pumpkin,Banana, Strawberry and vanilla Dream Cakes to which I already made-
for the family- big thumbs up!!
Hi Lin! So sorry for the delayed response! Just a pinch of salt – 1/4 teaspoon! Hope you enjoy this one too!!
The instructions say to incorporate salt into the frosting but I don’t see it listed in the frosting ingredients. How much salt? Thanks!
Hi Amy! So sorry for the delayed response! Just a pinch of salt – 1/4 teaspoon!
I just discovered your blog last month, when I made your dream pumpkin cake…Twice! One of the best cake recipes I have made in years, ranking up there with the hummingbird and Italian cream (or dare I say, better?). Cannot wait to make this as our “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake for Christmas. Love, love your site…
oh my! This cake is a stunning work of art. Those fluffy chocolate layers slathered with the peppermint frosting makes me want to lick the screen.
Do you think that you could make this into cupcakes?
Yes! It would make about 24 standard sized cupcakes!
I want a slice of this cake right now! It’s absolutely gorgeous and sounds so, so good.
Before the picture loaded and all I saw was the heading I said to myself: “Oh no she didn’t!” But yes. Yes you did. And I can’t wait to make it!
This cake does look like a dream! Peppermint + chocolate can do no wrong… :) Love the crushed candy cane decoration!
Gorgeous! How do you get your sprinkles/crushed peppermint to look so perfect? Mine always end up all over the cake…
I just saw your question with this comment – so sorry it took me so long to respond Carrie! I just use one hand to block the crushed candy canes or sprinkles and the other to gently go around the cake. It’s never perfect, but I am ok with that. If you are looking for cleaner lines, you can cut a round of parchment paper and set it on the center of the cake to block the sprinkles and then go around the outside of the cake. Remove the parchment paper and you have a perfect circle! :-)
This cake is stunning! I need a piece!