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Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Cake with layers of rich, mega moist chocolate cake, peppermint frosting center and shell of rich, silky chocolate ganche frosting. This Chocolate Peppermint Cake will have you singing carols from the rooftops! It is fabulously festive and the only cake you need this holiday season because decadently moist chocolate cake + silky peppermint butter cream = Christmas Cheer!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16


Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 8 oz. container sour cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Peppermint Frosting Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract** see notes

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Garnish (optional)

  • 1/3 cup peppermint candy melts
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 2-3 candy canes, crushed


  • Chocolate Cake: Add chocolate chips to a bowl and melt in the microwave at MEDIUM (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.
  • Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. It is okay if there are lumps.
  • Line 2 10-inch round cake pans with parchment paper then spray with nonstick cooking spray WITH flour (like this one). Divide batter evenly between the pans and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
  • Peppermint Frosting: Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint extract. Mix on high for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. If filling is way too thick, add a couple more teaspoons of heavy cream. When cake has cooled, frost the bottom cake layer with the frosting, leaving 1/2 border around the edge and place in the refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.
  • Chocolate Ganache: Microwave chocolate chips and heavy cream in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt.
  • Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter; let stand 20 minutes. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture forms soft peaks. The ganache should end up with a pudding-like consistency that does not sag off your spatula.
  • Top the peppermint frosting with the top cake layer (top of the cake layer facing down), and frost entire cake with ganache.
  • Optional Garnish: Melt peppermint candy melts at MEDIUM (50% power) until mostly melted then stir until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon shortening and add to a plastic bag, snip the corner and drizzle over cake. Garnish with crushed candy canes.
  • I personally like to microwave individual servings of cake for 20 or seconds or for warm cake and oozing chocolate.


*using anything with less fat will result in a less creamy/thick consistency, causing the frosting to ooze out when topped
**1/2 teaspoon is quite a strong peppermint flavor especially if you are topping with the peppermint candy melts and the candy canes so use less if you are looking for more of a hint


  1. Once cake is cool and the ganache is set, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate up to 6.
  3. I recommend microwaving individual servings of cake for 20 or seconds or for warm cake and oozing chocolate.


Yes! The best way to freeze Chocolate Peppermint Cake is after assembling the filling layers but before frosting it. That being said, you can still freeze it with the ganache frosting but make sure the ganache is compactly set.
  1. Let the ganache set completely.
  2. Double wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
  3. Freeze cake for up to 3 months.
  4. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then unwrap and come to room temperature on the counter before serving.