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chocolate holiday cake slice with hot cocoa

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cake

Moist sour cream chocolate layered cake with white chocolate peppermint buttercream topped with a chocolate drip and peppermint bark candy.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 people


Chocolate 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


  • CAKE
  • 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

Cake Decoration

  • 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.


Recipe adopted by Back in the Day Bakery 
Buttercream Tips: I usually add 6 cups of confectioners sugar and test for sweetness level and will add up to 7 cups if needed. Because the white chocolate is sweet, I usually stay between 6-7 cups of confectioners sugar to manage sweetness. 
Keyword baking, cake, chocolate, chocolatedrip, chocolateganache, christmas dessert, holiday, holidaybaking, holidaydessert, layercake, peppermintbark, sourcreamcake