Peppermint Chip Layer Cake

This Peppermint Chip Layer Cake is made with a super moist and fluffy peppermint cake and peppermint chip frosting! The candy wreath decoration on top is super fun and makes it perfect for the holidays!

Peppermint Chip Layer Cake

Peppermint Chip Layer Cake recipe

Peppermint Chip Layer Cake

One of the things I love about my mom is she knows how to eat some dessert. One year when my brother and I were in elementary school, for her birthday she plunked a cake down right in front of us and brought over three forks. We just dug right. No cutting the cake, no plates, nothing. Just forks. It was perfect. We definitely gave her the “Best Mom Ever Award” that day.

Fast forward several years and I remember her thing was ice cream. I have quite a few memories of her pulling out a carton of ice cream and a spoon and going to town. She’s going to kill me for telling you this, but she has a very funny way of eating ice cream because she likes to eat all the soft parts as it begins to melt. She basically digs craters all over the ice cream getting the good parts. 🙂

Well recently, we were sitting in the kitchen hanging out one evening and chatting and she walked over to the freezer, pulled out a carton of peppermint chip ice cream and handed me a spoon. It was pretty perfect and classic mom. We dug in and had a great time and remembered at all her ice cream eating days.

Perfect Christmas Peppermint Chip Layer CakeBest Peppermint Chip Layer Cake

Shortly after that, I made this cake and thought of her. This cake is definitely all her!

Even though my mom is clearly a peppermint fan, peppermint is one of those flavors that I tend to forget how good it is until I have it again. The ice cream sparked me wanting to make this cake. And it does not disappoint – I’m loving the peppermint flavor!

To start off making the cake layers, you’ll want to cream the butter and sugar. I say this a lot but don’t skimp on the creaming time! The better the butter and sugar are creamed together, the fluffier your cake! Added to the butter and sugar are the peppermint extract and sour cream. Sour cream lends a wonderful bit of flavor and adds so much moisture to a cake. I love using it. Next are the egg whites, which also lend a very soft cake.

From there you will alternate adding the flour and other dry ingredients and the milk and water. You should end up with a lovely, smooth better. Bake the cakes and then you’re ready for the frosting!

Best Holiday Peppermint Chip CakeChristmas Peppermint Chip Layer Cake recipe

The base of the frosting is American buttercream – which is basically butter and powdered sugar. I substitute part of the butter for shortening, because I like the stability that it gives the frosting, plus I don’t necessarily have to refrigerate it that way and I much prefer not refrigerating my cakes. But if you aren’t into using shortening, or don’t have access to it, feel free to use all butter in the frosting. Since I only use half butter, I usually use salted butter. If you use all butter, you might want to do half salted, half unsalted – or just use unsalted and add your own salt. There’s a good bit of powdered sugar in American buttercream and that bit of salt doesn’t at all make the butter salty, it just cuts down on the sweet a bit.

Added to the frosting is peppermint and vanilla extract and broken peppermint pieces. I like a combination of vanilla and peppermint – it makes a more pleasant peppermint flavor. For the peppermint pieces, you can break up peppermints or candy cakes, or buy peppermint pieces. Next, you add water or cream to the frosting until you have a nice, smooth consistency.

Easy Peppermint Chip CakeHoliday Peppermint Chip Cake recipe

Next, frost the cake until it’s smooth (feel free to use my tutorial – how to frost a smooth cake with buttercream) and then top it with some chocolate ganache. I used candy melts for the ganache on this cake, but I think I prefer using colored white chocolate, so that’s what I included in the instructions below. They are basically the same thing, but with white chocolate you add the color to it. The final result of the white chocolate ganache is nicer and smoother. The candy melts end up with a bit of a waxy consistency. But either would work.

To finish off the cake and decorate it for the holidays, I used an assortment of peppermint candies around the edge of the cake. There’s a mix of white peppermint M&Ms, peppermint Hershey kisses, peppermints and Cadbury chocolates that are red and white. I love the final look! It’s so much fun and makes me feel like I’m lost in a peppermint candy land! Of course if that’s not your thing you could totally simplify it, but I thought it was fun. 🙂

This cake was a big hit with all! SO soft, fluffy and moist and the perfect amount of peppermint flavor!

Decorated Peppermint Chip Layer CakePeppermint Chip Layer Cake slice


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Recipe

Peppermint Chip Layer Cake

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 46 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Peppermint Chip Layer Cake is made with a super moist and fluffy peppermint cake and peppermint chip frosting! The candy wreath decoration on top is super fun and makes it perfect for the holidays!


Scale

Ingredients

PEPPERMINT CAKE

  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp (10ml) peppermint extract
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp (15g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water, room temperature

PEPPERMINT CHIP FROSTING

  • 1 1/2 cups (336g) salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (284g) shortening
  • 11 1/2 cups (1323g) powdered sugar
  • 45 tbsp (60-75ml) water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup peppermint pieces

RED WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 5 oz white chocolate chips
  • 34 tbsp (90-105ml) heavy whipping cream
  • Red gel icing color

DECORATION

  • Candy cane Hershey kisses
  • Peppermints
  • Cadbury chocolate balls
  • White chocolate peppermint M&Ms
  • Peppermint pieces

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) .
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla and peppermint extracts and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

9. Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
10. Slowly add about 1/2 of the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth between each addition of powdered sugar.
9. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water and the vanilla and peppermint extract to the frosting and mix until smooth.
10. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar, mixing until smooth between each addition of powdered sugar.
11. Add additional water to the frosting as needed to get a smooth consistency, then stir in the peppermint pieces.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

12. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
13. Spread about 1 cup of peppermint frosting evenly on top of the cake.
14. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of peppermint frosting.
15. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the cake with the peppermint frosting. Refer to my tutorial – how to frost a smooth cake with buttercream, if needed.
16. To make the red ganache, place the white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
17. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it starts to boil. Remove from the microwave and pour over white chocolate chips.
18. Let the white chocolate sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk everything together until it’s smooth. If it doesn’t get completely smooth, microwave for about 10 seconds, then whisk together.
19. Add small amounts of the red gel icing color until you have the desired shade of red.
20. Allow the ganache to sit for a few minutes until it just starts to thicken. To add it to the cake, I used a squeeze bottle so I can control where the ganache goes. I left the center of the cake open and just added the ganache around the edge. Alternatively, you can pour the ganache over the top of the cake and spread it to the edges with an offset spatula, allowing it to drip down the sides.
21. To finish off the cake with candy, use some remaining frosting to pipe a ring around the cake. Place the candy around the right, propping it up on the frosting to give it some height.

This cake can be refrigerated until ready to serve. I suggest serving at room temperature. Note that the candy can sometimes soften when expensed to moisture, so you may want to add it close to the time you are serving the cake.

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Enjoy!

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Peppermint Chip Layer Cake! Peppermint cake with peppermint chip frosting and a candy wreath around the top! Perfect for Christmas!

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32 Comments
  1. Erin

    How would I adjust this recipe to make a three-layer cake with 9-inch round cake pans? Should I 1.5x the recipe? And would this taste good with a white chocolate peppermint swiss meringue buttercream? Thanks! And merry Christmas to you and your family, Lindsay!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure exactly. You could do one and a half times the recipe but I do think it would be a little bit more than you need. You could do it, your layers would just be thicker so they would need to bake longer. And I’m sure a Swiss meringue buttercream would taste great, if that’s your preference as far as buttercream.

    1. Lindsay

      You should be able to cut it in half without a problem. I just haven’t baked it as a smaller cake so I’m not sure what size pans would be ideal.

  2. Sera

    I’m new to cake making but I wanted to give this a shot because it’s so pretty and I love peppermint. Do you have any videos that more clearly show how to drizzle the ganache? I don’t really have a steady hand, so I was thinking of just dumping it in the middle and pushing it to the edges.

    1. Lindsay

      You can see how I use a squeeze bottle to add the drip in this video. You could try dumping it and pushing it to the middle, but it would probably give a slightly different look. Totally fine – just depends on what you want.

  3. Zoe Hearnsberger

    Hi! Thinking of making this for Christmas Eve! It’s SO STRIKING!!! Anyways I was wondering if it would be tasty if made without peppermint flavoring in the actual layers just the icing, or would it not tie together well? I’m trying to please a crowd that can be picky at times 🙂  

  4. Jen

    Do you think that I can make this cake on Sunday afternoon. Then refrigerate the cake pieces until Thursday when I will assemble and decorate that night for eating the cake on Friday at an office Christmas party? Or do you think the cake would taste “old/hard”? Thanks for answering all of our questions! Happy Holidays!

    1. Lindsay

      Sunday to Friday might be a little long for it to retain a fresh taste. If you need to bake it that far in advance, you could try freezing the layers.

  5. Jen

    Hi Lindsay, this peppermint cake is beautiful! I plan on making it in two weeks for my office Christmas party.

    I have a question though.

    I plan on assembling and decorating the night before the party but when should I make the cake? Can the cake be made a few days ahead of time and then just decorated the night before? How many days do you feel I can make this ahead of time but still taste fresh? And if I can make it ahead of time, would I put the un-decorated cake in the fridge or freezer or somewhere else? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      I would recommend making the cake 2-3 days ahead of time. This cake can be refrigerated until ready to serve. I suggest serving at room temperature. The candy can sometimes soften when expensed to moisture, so you may want to add it close to the time you are serving the cake.

  6. HeatherMurphy

    Very tasty – I love the crunch in the frosting and the great peppermint flavor. The cake was moist and tender but the peppermint flavor didn’t come through so most of the flavor was from the frosting. I used my measuring cup to make and ganache then just drizzled using the measuring cup- worked great.

    Thank you for the great recipes!

  7. capturing joy with kristen duke

    Just had to comment and say this cake is GORGEOUS!!! Beautiful images, just found your blog and having a look around;)

  8. Karen Sedor

    By the way, the frosting is awaiting the cooled cake and it is amazing!!  Does need a little thinning at the end.  Can’t wait to decorate for our office Xmas party tomorrow!

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you’re happy with it! If you think the frosting is a bit thick, you can definitely thin it with water or milk.

  9. Karen Sedor

    Hello,
    Did you mean the egg whites to be beaten or directly put into the batter?  I just finished making this cake and it is cooling.  Layers were not high at all.
    Thanks,

    1. Lindsay

      How high were you expecting them? They should be around an inch or so tall if you did the 3 layers. If they didn’t rise correctly, it’s likely not the eggs but the creaming of the butter and sugar. You want to be sure to full cream them together for 3-4 minutes. It adds air to the batter that gives it that rise and fluffy texture.

  10. Amy

    I am going to make this cake for Christmas Day and your Egg Nog Layer Cake for Christmas Eve. 🙂

    What are your thoughts on making the cake a day ahead – then wrapping it in plastic wrap and refrigerating it overnight- then frosting it the day of?

    I did that with a carrot it cake I made on Thanksgiving and everything went fine.

  11. Erin R.

    Please tell your mom I love her. I have, once or twice in my life, sat around the table and dug straight into a cake with forks. Also, I end up with a tower of ice cream in the middle of the carton because I scoop around the edges to get all the melty parts out. We are sisters, your mom and I.

    1. Lindsay

      Nope, the 11 1/2 is correct. 🙂 I know it’s quite a bit. It’s more of a decorators frosting that I use. Feel free to reduce it to meet your preference.

  12. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    Lindsay, this cake is a real beauty! And I know I’d like the flavor as well. Pinning! Sounds like good times with your mom.

  13. Zooze Marie

    OMGosh!! It looks amazing! Not to mention I want to eat it right now…
    I will have to try your cake out, the texture looks perfect, I love fluffy cakes! The theme is so beautiful and festive too…I can see round eyed kids begging for a piece, big kids too… 🙂

    Your blog is delightful btw! Just started following,

    Xx

  14. Brittany

    Oh my goodness!!! I am so glad you posted this!!! I have been looking for a cake with peppermint in the actual cake layers!!! I cannot wait to make this!!! I know it is going to be amazing since every single thing I make from your blog is =)

  15. Dawn

    This looks amazing, and I will definitely be trying it. I am a new fan of your amazing cake recipes. I made one of your banana cakes and the maple pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving, and my family could not stop talking about how delicious they were. That led me to ordering your book and making plans to cook my way through the entire thing!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12