Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Hands-on Time
40 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 25 Mins
Makes 10 to 12 servings

This outstanding Peppermint-Hot Chocolate Cake is full of holiday cheer. This winning cake combines the flavors of a favorite cozy winter drink with the ultimate Christmas candy--fudge.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.

Step 2

Pour boiling water over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Step 3

Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Step 4

Beat egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 40 minutes).

Step 6

Meanwhile, prepare Fudge Filling; spread between cake layers. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake.

Ratings & Reviews

December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016
Not sure so I refrigerated mine to be safe

BleueAlouette's Review

December 08, 2012
Not sure what the previous commenter is getting upset about. There is mention using 3 8-inch cake pans in the very first step in this recipe ("1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans."). The décor on top and around the sides was obvious, in my opinion: garnish with some mint sprigs, peppermint candy balls, and stick vanilla "cigares" (rolled hollow butter cookies) around the edges of the cake. Voilà! I used a 4-oz dark chocolate baking bar and 2 cups of cake flour, and the cake turned out incredibly delicious! Yesterday was a practice round; I can't wait to make this again for Christmas! Because of its height, though, I'd say this yields more like 14-16 servings instead of 10-12 - but to each his/her own!

Great cake -- you need 2 containers of Pirouettes!!

December 25, 2017
Used 2-8" pans (because I didn't have 3) and split the layers to get the height.  Worked out fine.    I'm not a big fan of peppermint, but the flavor was very subtle.  In case anyone is wondering, you'll need 2 containers of Pirouette cookies to make it all the way around the cake.  Don't be like me and wait until Christmas morning to figure this out:)

lp291906's Review

December 31, 2012

mepoulin's Review

December 07, 2012
The recipe isn't complete! There is no mention of using 3 baking pans or what is put around the outside of the cake after frosted. Also no mention of the peppermint balls and greenery on top!. The cake sounds delish, but needs more recipe information please!

Rose13's Review

December 23, 2012
I think the description was just fine. It gives you the reign to do whatever you want to the cake. To make the cake your's.

sabbyalder's Review

December 21, 2012
Yummy cake. Easy to make. I am curious as how to store it. With the frosting having cool whip I wonder if it needs to be refrigerated? Or does the marshmallow creme support the consistency of the cool whip? Any thoughts?

Patilee's Review

January 02, 2013
Delicious! Made as directed but with only about half of the fudge filling which was more than enough. I was afraid that the peppermint would be overwhelming but it was just right. Its a keeper and perfect for the holidays.

lillygirl67's Review

December 22, 2012
I'm making this cake now. My frosting is shiny but no where near stiff. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm thinking of adding some powdered sugar. Had several family members (even non-dessert eaters) absolutely fall in love with this cake! It was delicious. I added powdered sugar to the icing because mine was a gummy mess for some reason. It looked like fondant/snow on the cake. I will definitely make this again!