Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cake
This chocolate peppermint bark cake is perfect for the holidays! A moist sour cream chocolate cake with white chocolate peppermint buttercream topped with a dark chocolate drip and peppermint bark!Jump to Recipe
WHY WE LOVE THIS CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK CAKE
Peppermint Bark screams Christmas! And it happens to be a favorite holiday candy in our household. We opted to make our own peppermint bark this year. You can find the How To Video and Recipe on Instagram Reels:
We wanted to create peppermint bark candy in cake form! The base of this cake is a sour cream chocolate cake that has the perfect soft and moist texture.
The cake is then filled and frosted with a white chocolate peppermint buttercream and decorated with a dark chocolate drip, crushed peppermint candy and finally topped with peppermint bark!
CHOCOLATE CAKE INGREDIENTS
- Granulated Sugar. I use organic cane sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners but regular granulated sugar works great too!
- Unsweetened Chocolate Bar. This can also be found in the baking section at most grocery stores. Here is an example of what it looks like- Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate Bar
- Oil. any neutral flavor oil will work. I usually opt for grapeseed oil or vegetable oil as they are the most neutral and won’t add additional flavor to the cake.
- Espresso Powder. The espresso powder is not required but does help elevate the chocolate flavor. Espresso powder can be found in the baking aisle at most grocery stores.
- Sour Cream. Full fat sour cream works best. You can also substitute for full fat greek yogurt.
- Vanilla Extract. I’m a bit of a vanilla extract snob and usually prefer the vanilla paste because nothing compares to the intense flavor from the vanilla beans. Here is an example of one we use regularly on Amazon.
- All-purpose flour. Our go-to flour is an unbleached flour by King Arthur
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK CAKE
A layered cake can feel intimidating to make but follow these tips and you are sure to make the perfect cake every time!
USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS
Set eggs to sit a room temperature for 30 minutes before baking or in a bowl with warm water for 5-10 minutes. Take butter out of the refrigerator 45 min-1 hour before baking. Measure sour cream and set to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
MEASURE FLOUR ACCURATELY
Always scoop flour with a spoon into measuring cup and level off with a knife for the most accurate measurement (unless you have scale at home). Otherwise you may have a cake that is too dense. Tips on how to properly measure are on our Instagram Reel videos!
MAKE SURE YOUR BAKING SODA/POWDER IS NOT EXPIRED
Baking Soda and Baking Powder can expire within 4-6 months so I always write the date I open the box. This may impact your cake from rising properly!
DO NOT OVER MIX THE BATTER
Once the wet ingredients are incorporated with the dry ingredients, this incorporates gluten. Too much gluten yields a denser cake. Gently fold or mix until just combined. And add wet ingredients in 3 increments.
HOW TO DECORATE THE CAKE
Step by step video can be found on Instagram Reels!
There are several ways you can decorate the cake. This is the fun part because it allows you to get creative! Here is the step by step guide how to achieve the look from the photo above.
1: In a microwave safe bowl- melt the chocolate candy melts. You can also use any dark chocolate chips but I find that candy melts drip more perfectly and easily.
2: While the chocolate is melting, place the peppermint candy in a ziplock bag and crush into pieces using a rolling pin or heavy bottom cup.
3: Pour melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle or ziplock bag with the tip cut off and carefully create a chocolate rim border from the top of the cake, allowing the chocolate to drip off the sides.
4: Add crushed peppermint candy to the bottom of the cake
5: Using a 1M piping tip- create a ruffled border along the rim of the cake over the chocolate border. Top with fresh cranberries and insert peppermint bark into the center of the cake.
HOLIDAY BAKING TIMELINE
- Cake can be made 2 weeks in advance. If making the cake more than 2 days before you plan on serving, wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap then foil and in a freezer ziplock bag. Store flat in the freezer.
- Take cake out of the freezer the day before you serve and finish frosting.
- Frosting can be made 1 week in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator or stored in the freezer for 1 month in an airtight container. Take frosting out of freezer to thaw and re-whip in a stand mixer until light and airy. Frost Cake
*IF YOU WANT MORE BAKING & PARTY TIPS, RECIPES, AND LITTLE DOSES OF JOY- SAY HI ON INSTAGRAM & PINTEREST OR SUBSCRIBE TO MY BAKING TRIBE E-MAIL LIST! MY HEART IS ABOUT SPREADING JOY AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!
If you make cake, please leave us a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers.
Happy baking and EAT MORE CAKE!
For more holiday inspired desserts:
Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate bar- finely chopped
- 2 cups strong hot coffee
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 Tablespoon espresso powder *can omit if you you don't have on hand
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup neutral oil vegetable, canola, grapeseed
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 6 cups confectioners sugar sifted
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup melted white chocolate chips
To decorate the cake
- Crushed Peppermint Candy to decorate cake
- 1 bag dark chocolate candy melts
- Peppermint Bark
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 8" round baking pans with parchment rounds, spray with oil and lightly dust with flour. Set aside. For a smaller cake- Fill 2 6" cake pans. Will have enough extra batter to make 24 cupcakes which can freeze and enjoy later.
- Using a food processor, pulse the chocolate until you have finely chopped chocolate pieces. Combine the chocolate with the hot coffee and let it melt for several minutes. Add vanilla and stir until well blended. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the oil until combined. Whisk in the sour cream to the egg and oil mixture until combined. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
- In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, espresso powder, and baking soda and mix for 10 seconds on lowest setting.
- Beat in the wet ingredients, in 3 batches. Mix until just combined, do not over mix the batter. This is create a dense cake.
- Divide into two or three cake pans (depending on the size cake pan you are using). Bake for 35-40 min for 8" cake, 30-40 minutes for 6" cake, 15-18 minutes for cupcakes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with a few crumbs. TIP: set timer for minimum time and check doneness by inserting a toothpick.
White Chocolate Peppermint ButterCream
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until light and creamy. Add confectioners sugar, 1 cup at at time and mix on low until just incorporated. Beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. *If buttercream isn't sweet enough- add up to 7 cups of confectioners sugar. I test at 6 cups before adding more.
- Combine the remaining confectioners sugar and heavy cream and mix on low speed for 1 minute, until combined. Add peppermint extract and melted white chocolate and incorporate until well combined.
- Raise the speed to high and mix for an additional 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. The buttercream should be spreadable
- *See Notes for Buttercream Tips
- melt 1 bag of dark chocolate candy melts in the microwave on 30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted.
- Pour chocolate in a ziplock bag and snip off the tip or plastic squeeze bottle. Squeeze chocolate along the border to the top of the cake, allowing chocolate to drip down the sides.
- Using a 1M piping tip- pipe border over the chocolate rim on the top of the cake. *optional step
- Add peppermint candy to a ziplock bag and crush using a rolling pin or bottom of a mason jar. Spread crushed candy along the bottom of the cake. This step is messy and works best if done over a big cookie sheet to catch the excess candy pieces that fall.
- Break pieces of peppermint bark and insert in the center of the cake. *Optional for decoration.