peppermint and chocolate cake

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache #bundtbakers

It seems that no one single flavor is more universally popular during the holidays than peppermint!

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Appropriately enough, the theme for this month’s #bundtbakers event was mint! Fresh mint, mint extract, mint oil, mint candies, mint chocolates, candy canes, you name it. It’s all fair game this month. I want to say a great big thank you to our host this month, Laura Tabacca of The Spiced Life, and encourage you to scroll down past the recipe to check out all the other amazing minty bundts this month!

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

When I was growing up I was a HUGE mint fan, and always got a pack of Andes mints and peppermint Altoids in my stocking for Christmas. I also loved baking with mint and drove my mother crazy putting peppermint extract in everything.

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

I remember when I was just learning to bake, my sister and I made a peppermint cake that stuck to the pan when we tried to invert it. Instead of accepting defeat, we just scraped the cake out of the pan into a tupperware container. We then took the tupperware full of minty cake crumbs to my grandmother’s house and proudly presented them as “dessert”. We were young and I keep telling myself that we didn’t know any better.

Now that I’m older my taste for mint has waned a bit. I still like mint candies, and I only chew mint flavored gum (I don’t know why, but I HATE fruit flavored gum), but these days I almost never bake with mint.

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Since I bake with mint so rarely, I felt a lot of (self-imposed) pressure when coming up with my bundt this month. I went through a ton of ideas, bouncing some off friends at work and actually laying awake at night thinking about what I might do. Finally I decided to keep it classic and simple, and went for a really solid chocolate bundt cake topped with peppermint dark chocolate ganache.

There’s no mint in the cake itself because I thought it would be the perfect subtle touch if it were just in the ganache. Once the cake is topped with crushed peppermint candies there is plenty of minty goodness happening here, trust me.

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

I used peppermint oil in the ganache rather than extract. The oil has a much fresher, greener, herbal mint flavor than extract, which has more of a peppermint candy flavor. I did this, again, in the name of subtlety and elegance, and I was really happy with the way it came out. I will warn you though that, if you’re used to working with the extract, the oil is MUCH stronger and more concentrated, and should be used very sparingly. When I first made my ganache I actually used WAAAAY too much (1/2 teaspoon) and it tasted like chocolate toothpaste. I adjusted the recipe and decided just a few drops was plenty to give the ganache all the mint flavor it needed. If you really like mint you may want to use a few more drops, but don’t go crazy or you’ll regret it.

If you can’t find peppermint oil, or don’t want to buy one more thing for the pantry, peppermint extract would be totally delicious too. Since it’s not as strongly concentrated, you’ll probably want to use a bit more, but I suggest you start with about a 1/4 a teaspoon first and see if you need to add more.

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

After all that planning and brainstorming, I’m so happy that I went with these classic flavors.

I cannot say enough about this chocolate bundt cake recipe. It’s adapted from my favorite chocolate bundt cake ever, and it’s my go-to recipe whenever I want chocolate to be the star of the show. It’s unbelievably moist and tender and richly, deeply, darkly chocolatey. The original recipe calls for brewed coffee, but I didn’t want the coffee flavor to compete with the mint so I just used water this time. It’s highly adaptable, and I’ve even had great success substituting an equal amount of orange juice for the coffee (or water), in my chocolate orange bundt cake.

The peppermint dark chocolate ganache on top takes everything to a whole other level of holiday perfection. It’s the perfect touch of mint to make this cake scream “HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” To break up all the dark brown chocolate and add a pop of festive holiday color, I sprinkled crushed peppermint candies over the ganache before it set. Not only does it look pretty, but it adds even more of that sweet peppermint flavor!

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

Best Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peppermint Dark Chocolate Ganache

adapted from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup peanut oil or any neutral vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

For the Peppermint Dark Chocolate Ganache:
4 oz best quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
a few small drops of peppermint oil
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes, if desired.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Liberally butter and flour a 10 to 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Whisk water and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk on low for just one minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix on low again for another minute.
Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes more.  Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The batter will seem quite loose and liquid.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55-65, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan and then invert onto a cooling rack.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a heavy pot, just until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt for a minute or so, then whisk to combine. Add a few small drops of peppermint oil, and taste to see if you’d like to add more. DO NOT add more than 1/4 teaspoon. Peppermint oil is STRONG.
If using peppermint extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste, and adjust if necessary.

Drizzle ganache over the cake while it’s still warm and liquid. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies over the top if desired. Let the ganache set for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Don’t make this too far in advance of serving, or the candies may begin to melt. If you want to make in advance, I’d just bake the cake ahead, cover tightly with wrap, and wait to top with ganache and candies until you’re almost ready to serve.

best chocolate bundt cake with peppermint dark chocolate ganache | Brooklyn Homemaker

All these amazing minty bundts sound so festive and delicious! Check ’em out y’all!


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