Making Mealtime Meaningful: Discover how we're giving back with the 12T Cares program →

Holiday Peppermint Cake

And it tastes just as good as it looks!

Are you in search of a show-stopping holiday dessert that’s actually easy to make, but packs a huge punch in terms of flavor and looks? We were on the hunt for a recipe that fit the bill and then we created this cute little number. A triple peppermint cake not only tastes amazing, but basically shouts “Festive!” from the rooftops. So what makes this a triple peppermint cake, exactly? Well, we really doubled (read: tripled) down on the peppermint, using peppermint syrup in the cake batter, peppermint extract in the buttercream frosting and straight up, crushed peppermint candy canes to garnish the whole thing.

Now, okay, if candy canes aren’t your thing, we can see how this might seem a little overwhelming, but we’re here to assure you that the flavor is actually really balanced and strikes just the right chord. After deciding to commit fully to the peppermint, we whipped up a box cake mix – we find that sprucing up a store-bought mix is just as flavorful and delicious as a from-scratch cake, plus it’s way faster! – and then made our frosting. To prepare the layered cake, you’ll want to place one of your cakes on a cake stand or serving platter and use one half cup of frosting to cover the middle in an even layer. Place the second cake on top, then gently cover the top and sides with another even layer of frosting. If you like thick layers of frosting, you might want to add another half batch of frosting to this recipe, but once you’ve got your cake frosted, it’s all about that decoration.

Doesn’t this cake look amazing?? People see it and always think it required way more effort than it actually did. We just bought a pack of candy canes, put ‘em in a resealable plastic bag and crushed them until they were roughly pebble-sized. Here’s the best part: it doesn’t take any sort of special skill or technique to place the candy cane pieces on the cake, literally, you just (gently) smush them onto the sides and sprinkle them on top of the cake. That’s it! Take a handful and press it into the cake until it adheres and sets in the frosting. What a simple way to get such a great effect, right?! Trust us, this cake tastes just as great as it looks – you’re sure to steal the show with this!

Serves 8-10

2 hours

  • Cake:
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Torani peppermint syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1-2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 (6 oz.) box candy canes, crushed, garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Place cake mix in a large bowl and whisk in water, eggs, vegetable oil, peppermint syrup and vanilla extract until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly and pour into greased cake pans, then place in oven.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. For the frosting, beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy, then gradually beat in powdered sugar and peppermint extract.
  6. Working with one tablespoon at a time, mix in milk until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Once cake is cooled, frost cake, then take crushed candy canes and gently press into top and sides of cake.
  8. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes