My peppermint mocha cake is minty, chocolatey and candy-cane colored for the holiday season! During winter, one of my favorite drinks is a hot cup of peppermint mocha! So I thought, ‘why not make a cake to capture all those flavors?’! This mocha cake is made with rich and moist chocolate-coffee cake layers, peppermint buttercream and garnished with candy canes. It’s the perfect Christmas cake to celebrate the season!
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Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions for making this stunning chocolate mint cake! Want to receive new recipe updates? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications.
Ingredients for Peppermint Mocha Cake
Here are the main ingredients for making this delicious Christmas cake:
- Butter, Sugar, Eggs, Milk, Flour: for making the cake batter.
- Strong Coffee: adding a little bit of coffee to a chocolate cake helps intensify the chocolate flavor.
- Cocoa Powder: try using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder to make the cake batter extra rich and chocolate-y!
- Peppermint Oil: for adding the peppermint flavor. If you want to use peppermint extract, you’ll need to use more of it since the oil is concentrated.
- Butter: use unsalted butter softened at room temperature for making the buttercream.
- Confectioner’s Sugar: for making the peppermint buttercream.
- Candy Canes: use crushed candy canes for garnishing the cake.
Chocolate Mint Cake Layers
I start my Peppermint Mocha Cake with rich and decadent chocolate cake layers. They’re made with a combination of chocolate, cocoa and a touch of coffee. The coffee adds just a light hint of coffee flavor and intensifies the chocolate! The layers turn out moist and delicious! I also soak each cake layer with Kahula coffee liqueur for more coffee flavor and to make the cake layers even more moist.
Making the Peppermint Buttercream
The mocha cake is then frosted with a melt-in-your mouth peppermint buttercream! I love this buttercream for Christmas! To make the cake really stand out, I divide the frosting into two batches to make one white and one festive red. And to make this cake even more eye-catching, I added crushed peppermint candy to the sides and top. I love everything about this cake, from the festive holiday colors, to the incredible chocolate and mint flavors. Serve this at your next holiday party to impress your guests!
Assembling the Peppermint Mocha Cake
Once you have the chocolate cake layers done and cooled, and the peppermint buttercream prepared, it’s time to assemble this holiday cake!
- To assemble the cake: place the first cake round onto a cake platter and soak the layer with Kahlua coffee liquor.
- Add a generous amount of red frosting, spreading it to the sides with spatula.
- Repeat with second cake layer but use white frosting for the middle layer. Add third layer and frost top and sides of cake. Use a flat spatula to even off the tops and sides.
- Use a spoon and your fingers to press crushed candy canes into the sides of the cake, if desired.
- Transfer the remaining white frosting into a pastry bag tipped with a star tip and create rosettes on top of the cake. Top with mini candy canes. Keep cake refrigerated; remove 30 minutes prior to serving.
Looking for more Christmas cake recipes? Check out some of these desserts you’re sure to enjoy!
- Irish Cream Peppermint Cheesecake – you’ll love the minty and chocolate flavors!
- Peppermint Chocolate Trifle – super easy Christmas dessert that feeds a crowd!
- Peppermint Eclairs – the most delicious eclairs, filled with a vanilla mint cream!
- Orange Cranberry Cake – cranberry white chocolate cake with orange essence! Perfect for the season!
- Mint Chocolate Cake – rich and luscious chocolate mint cake frosted with vanilla mint buttercream, then garnished with chocolate ganache!
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Peppermint Mocha Cake (video)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups butter; softened at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- red food coloring
- 1/3 cup Kahlua coffee liquor or strong espresso
- 3 to 4 crushed candy canes
For the Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray sides with non-stick baking spray. Can also use 2, 9-inch pans.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites and peppermint oil. Whisk the mixture until egg whites are fluffy. Then add the remaining liquid ingredients: coffee and milk. Make sure coffee is cooled to room temperature.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using a fine mesh strainer/sifter, sift the flour into the cake batter in small batches, mixing after each addition just until combined.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. I recommend using a kitchen scale for accuracy. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely. Once cooled, use a long, serrated knife to level off the tops of cake layers if needed.
For Peppermint Buttercream:
- Prepare the buttercream: place softened butter into mixer bowl and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add the peppermint oil and gradually add the confectioner's sugar, mixing well after each addition. Once all sugar is added, continue whisking the buttercream for another 3 to 4 minutes, until very fluffy. Reserve 2 cups of white buttercream in a separate bowl, then add red food coloring to the remaining buttercream.
Assembling the Cake:
- To assemble the cake: place the first cake round onto a cake platter and soak the layer with Kahlua coffee liquor. Then add a generous amount of red frosting, spreading it to the sides with spatula. Repeat with second cake layer but use white frosting for the middle layer. Add third layer and frost top and sides of cake. Use a flat spatula to even off the tops and sides.
- Use a spoon and your fingers to press crushed candy canes into the sides of the cake, if desired. Transfer the remaining white frosting into a pastry bag tipped with a star tip and create rosettes on top of the cake. Top with mini candy canes. Keep cake refrigerated; remove 30 minutes prior to serving.