Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Christmas is the perfect time for this Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. It’s seasonal and beautiful and a wonderful addition to holiday festivities.

Milk Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

I just love this cake and am doubly excited to share it with you today. There is a bit of a story and it was one of those experiences that went from super sad 🙁  to absolutely elated! 🙂

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I actually made this cake last year. I was invited to join a friend at a women’s get together at her church and everyone was bringing something to share. I love making and sharing desserts equally as much as cocktails so I offered to bring a dessert and of course I wanted it to be a special holiday offering; something that would taste wonderful but also really evoke the holiday season.

I’ve got a chocolate and peppermint cake on this blog that is from SO long ago that I hesitate linking to it because I’m not fond of the images. So my first thought was to make it again and take new photos. Great idea but I was a bit concerned about the yield; I needed something for a larger group and that dessert wasn’t quite up to snuff.

Milk Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Enter this lovely. Really it’s quite simple. The cake is chocolate through and through. You can choose to add milk chocolate or dark chocolate depending on your preference (I did dark). The buttercream frosting has some peppermint extract and tastes of those yummy little butter mints my Grandma always had around over the holidays. Garnish with some crushed candy canes and you’re got a winter hit on your hands. The taste and color both are perfect for the holiday season.

I choose to accentuate my cake with some Ghirardelli squares of chocolate because they were the perfect flavor and color; white chocolate with red peppermint candy on side and chocolate on the other. That being said, they are pretty but totally optional. I happened to find the ones I didn’t use in a container in my Christmas stuff yesterday…even a year later and they are still yummy.

Milk Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Because I was bringing this Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting to an event, I was only able to capture some photos of the whole cake before I left. Luckily there was so much food that everyone had a slice but insisted it be thin and I had just enough to photograph a plated slice the next morning. Done and done. Except for one little detail. A day or two later when I went to find the images, they were nowhere to be found. Not on a memory card, not on my computer, nowhere. There is that sad part.

A year later I wish I could remember exactly where I located them a few weeks later but the moment I saw them in a folder I’m certain neighbors heard me squeal…I really was that excited…and there is the elation. Maybe I was just tired and overlooked them somehow but I just know I was so happy they were found; it’s a great cake and looks absolutely beautiful on a Christmas table.

Still, the holidays were over by then and it made no sense to do a post about a cake and suggest that you could make it the following year so I held onto it and here we are. To be honest, I was pretty excited this week when I opened up the photos and still liked them. There are some posts where I’m sure that would not be true; I’m feeling very grateful right now.

Surprise your family with this treat; they will love you forever! And do yourself a favor too. I’ve recently begun using parchment paper for EVERY cake I make. Adding a layer of parchment to the bottom of cake pans insures they will not stick and I like that insurance. Until recently though that has meant folding and cutting paper into a 9″ circle to fit my cake pans. Then I found this Parchment paper for 9″ cake pans. Already cut in circles? Yes please. I may not make a lot of cakes but these circles are my new heaven; so quick and easy and perfectly sized; I love them.

Before you leave, make sure you visit my friends and check out their contribution to this fantastic party; all are talented cooks and great friends…party with us!

Progressive Eats

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Our menu this month features terrific cocktail, appetizer and dessert recipes fit for an elegant cocktail party! All perfect for your entertaining needs during the holidays! Hosting this month is Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

An Elegant Cocktail Party




  • Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting from Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
  • Cranberry Panna Cotta from Spice Roots

[mv_create title=”More Chocolate Cakes for Celebrating!” key=”422″ type=”list” layout=”numbered”]

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Milk Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Creative Culinary
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 566 kcal


  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate chopped (about 1 cup) and melted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk easily made by adding approximately 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to regular milk; let sit til thickened, about 5 minutes

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup butter room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • Peppermint stripe candies crushed
  • Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares optional


  • To Make the Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease your pans with butter and dust with cocoa. Cut a piece of parchment to fit inside the pan and grease and dust the parchment with cocoa.
  • Combine the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix together with a whisk.
  • Place the oil, butter and sugars in the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat briefly to just incorporate.
  • Add the melted milk chocolate, and beat until mixed well. Combine the salt, flour, baking soda, vanilla, cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop again and scrape the bowl. Add the remaining buttermilk and beat for 30 seconds.
  • Pour the batter into the pans and bake: for 8" rounds, 18 to 24 minutes; for 9" rounds, 20 to 28 minutes; for cupcakes, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs. Rest the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  • Once completely cooled, frost with Peppermint Buttercream and garnish with crushed peppermint candies.
  • To Make the Peppermint Buttercream
  • Beat the butter in a stand mixer until smooth, gradually add the powdered sugar and beat to combine.
  • Add the vanilla, peppermint extract or Schnapps and pinch of salt and beat to combine.


I added Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares for decoration.


Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword buttercream, cake, chocolate, christmas, dessert, peppermint
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  1. This Cake looks delicious and I would love to make it. But I am confused there are 2 cups of golden brown sugar and three large eggs in the ingredients list but I don’t see them in the directions. Where do they come in?

    1. Uh oh…I had my assistant combine two documents with my notes and she picked up a couple of items that I had lined through…not good! Those are redundant Judy and need to be deleted from the ingredients list; I’m going to find my notes now and double check the list. So sorry and THANK YOU for the catch!

  2. Barb, Your story of the lost-then-found photos sounds like something that would happen to me, not you:) Anyway, this cake is simply spectacular. I cannot imagine a more scrumptious way to combine two of my favorite sweet flavors.

    1. Well if you could have seen the craziness of me trying to take photos and get ready and hurry out the door to not be late for an event; it would make PERFECT sense! 🙂

      Still I was a bit verklempt so it was a surprise and a delight when they appeared…not to mention a relief!

    1. Thanks John; so was I! It’s a great combination of flavors…about as Christmasy as one can get almost. 🙂

  3. Wow, this is a show stopper, Barb!! It’s perfect for any holiday gathering!!!
    P.S. I’m SO with you about those parchment rounds. I try to have all 3 sizes in my pantry at all times 🙂

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