Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake
Rich chocolate bundt cake, peppermint cream cheese frosting, and a chocolate ganache drizzle – this one bowl Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is perfect for holiday entertaining.
Did you guys realize that December is this week? I mean, I’m sure you did – you guys have calendars. But are you ready for it to be December already? The holidays are right around the corner!
We don’t even celebrate Christmas, and yet we’re seriously feeling the hustle and bustle of the season. Our schedule is jam-packed with holiday parties, dinners, and festivities – and I’m sure yours is, too!
The holiday season is full of entertaining – both at our homes and visiting others. Food always plays a central role in gatherings, and especially desserts (everyone loves dessert!). What’s better than an easy one-bowl cake full of festive holiday cheer? Not much, which is why I’m sharing this easy, delicious peppermint bundt cake recipe with you!
Bundt cakes are so much easier than layer cakes, but somehow a little fancier than layer cakes. They’re beautiful, easy to decorate, and most importantly: delicious!
Picture this: a rich, moist chocolate bundt cake, adorned with a silky smooth peppermint cream cheese frosting, and finished with a decadent chocolate ganache drizzle. This festive delight not only tastes like a winter wonderland but is also a breeze to make.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cocoa Powder: Use good quality unsweetened cocoa powder – some of my favorite brands are listed below!
- Half and Half: If you don’t have half-and-half on hand, substitute 3/4 cup whole milk plus 1/4 cup heavy cream. Make sure the half-and-half or substituted milk is at room temperature!
- Sour Cream: Whole-fat yogurt or mayonnaise can be substituted for the sour cream.
- Vanilla Extract
- Peppermint Extract
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour or swap a 1:1 gluten-free baking mix containing xanthan gum to keep the cake gluten-free.
- Espresso Powder: This is optional, but it enhances the chocolate flavor and takes this from a chocolate peppermint bundt cake to a peppermint mocha bundt cake!
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Cream Cheese: Make sure it’s room temperature for easy mixing!
- Confectioners’ Sugar
- Food Coloring: Optional, if you’d like to tint the cream cheese frosting red
- Decorations: Also optional, but I love to cover this cake with either peppermint sprinkles or crushed candy canes!
How to Make Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake
- Prep the Bundt Pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and generously grease a 12-cup metal bundt cake pan.
- Melt the Butter: Melt the butter, then whisk in the cocoa powder and salt. Whisk until the clumps of cooca power have dissolved. Set aside to cool; once the butter is no longer warm, stir in the room temperature half-and-half.
- Add Remaining Wet Ingredients: Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the sour cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking soda, and baking powder to the batter. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula. The resulting batter will be thick.
- Bake the Cake: Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a moist crumb. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out of the pan and cool completely.
- Make the Frosting: While the cake is cooling, prepare the peppermint cream cheese frosting. In a bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, half-and-half, and peppermint extract. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
- Drizzle with Chocolate Ganache: Heat the half-and-half and chocolate in a microwave on low power, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake and top with sprinkles or crushed candy canes.
Blooming Cocoa Powder
This cake derives all of its rich chocolate flavor from cocoa powder. There are two huge tips for getting the most out of your cocoa powder: use a high-fat, good-quality cocoa powder and start by blooming your cocoa powder!
Want to know how to make your chocolate desserts taste even chocolatier, using always-available cocoa powder? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
For the richest, most deep chocolate flavor, make sure to bloom your cocoa powder. By mixing cocoa powder with a hot liquid, the cocoa powder dissolves and releases its flavor particles. Properly dissolving the cocoa powder also helps combat the drying tendency of cocoa powder, resulting in a more moist cake.
For this peppermint mocha bundt cake, we’re going to start by adding cocoa powder to still-hot melted butter. Whisk until the cocoa powder is fully dissolved and the mixture looks nice and chocolatey!
Then set aside this mixture to cool and bring the rest of the ingredients up to room temperature. If you add cold milk to the melted butter mixture, the butter will solidify into lumpy particles. We need to keep the butter in solution for the best texture! If you forget to pull your milk out ahead of time, warm it slightly in the microwave – until it feels just barely warm to the touch or registers around 90°F with an instant read thermometer.
Recommended Tools to Make Chocolate Mocha Bundt Cake
- Bundt Pan: This recipe is written for a 12-cup capacity metal bundt pan.
- Cocoa Powder: I always high-fat cocoa powder for the best texture and flavor!
- Mixing Bowls: This is my favorite set of mixing bowls – lots of sizes and microwave and dishwasher safe.
- Stand Mixer: My trusty stand mixer is my favorite way to make the cream cheese frosting for this cake.
- Beater Blade: I always pair my mixer with a Beater Blade which scrapes down the side of the bowl for me.
- Cooling Rack: This collapsable cooling rack is still sturdy enough to support the pan while it cools.
- Peppermint Sprinkles: These fun sprinkles add a little extra peppermint taste and lots of sparkle!
Tipis and Tricks for the Best Peppermint Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your half-and-half, eggs, and sour cream are at room temperature before starting and the melted butter has cooled to room temperature. Adding cold ingredients to the butter mixture will cause the butter to solidify and clump.
- High Quality Cocoa Powder: Invest in high-quality cocoa powder with a higher fat content for a richer and more decadent chocolate flavor – look for an option with at least 20% cocoa butter, such as Ghirardelli.
- Bundt Cake Tips: For all the best tips on baking bundt cakes, don’t miss this article on bundt cake tips which covers everything from how to ensure our bundt cake doesn’t stick to the pan to how to prevent the cake from doming at the bottom.
- Decoration Ideas: Add your favorite decorations on top of the frosting and chocolate drizzle. Crushed candy canes, sprinkles, edible glitter, or chocolate shavings are beautiful with minimal extra effort.
- Leftover Storage: Because of the cream cheese frosting, this cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
More Chocolate Bundt Cakes:
- Zucchini Bundt Cake
- Mint Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
- Triple Chocolate Pound Cake
- Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
- Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake
- All Bundt Cake Recipes ≫
For the cake:
- 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227 grams) half-and-half, room temperature
- 2 2/3 cup (320 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups (284 grams) confectioners' sugar
- 4 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- red food coloring (optional)
For the chocolate drizzle:
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- peppermint sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a 12-cup metal bundt pan.
- Melt the butter in the microwave in one-minute intervals at medium power, stirring after each until fully melted. Whisk in the cocoa powder and salt and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once cool, whisk in the room temperature half-and-half, followed by the eggs, mixing completely after each addition, along with the sour cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder to the batter. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. The batter will be thick.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a moist crumb; about 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cake rack and cooling completely.
- While the cake cools, prepare the peppermint cream cheese frosting. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar, continuing to mix until completely combined. Slowly pour in the half and half, peppermint extract, salt, and two or three drops of red food coloring and beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Spread the frosting over the top and partially down the sides of the bundt cake. Refrigerate to set the frosting.
- Combine the chopped chocolate and half-and-half in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture to a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off the corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake. Cover with peppermint sprinkles. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
- Make sure the half-and-half, eggs, and sour cream are room temperature or slightly warmed to prevent the butter from solidifying and clumping.
- Top the cake with peppermint sprinkles, crushed candy canes, edible glitter, or chocolate shavings.
- Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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