Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: it’s the dessert your family wants you to bring to the holiday get together this year! Trust me!!
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Okay. Confession time. When my kids were little I hated having them help in the kitchen. I mean seriously, I love my kids, but baking a batch of cookies would take about ten times as long.
And don’t hate me for this okay.
Cause I don’t know too many people who LIKE bringing their kids to work.
And cooking and baking in the kitchen, it’s my job. It’s a fun job, don’t get me wrong, but the kitchen is my office.
Fast forward a couple years and suddenly I’m all about having assistants. I can be writing a blog post and editing pictures on my laptop while putting my kids to work, baking and cooking.
Teaching them young paid off in the end. They know how to read recipes, crack eggs, and use the stove top. Most of the time.
It’s especially helpful when mom has a migraine and deadlines. I knew I wanted to bake….but I also knew my migraine was keeping me 10 feet from all food due to nausea.
Fortunately my youngest LOVES to help out!
And guess what? This cake is so easy, even a ten year old can make it (you may have seen this photo on instagram…do you follow me yet??).
How to make a Chocolate Candy Cane Cake
I started with a box mix, and then grabbed some of my favorite ingredients from my pantry and refrigerator. And by “I grabbed” I totally mean my daughter did. Because I sat in a chair on the island, supervising.
To the chocolate cake mix, you’ll want to add a box of JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding mix (wow does this add some moisture to the cake!!), as well as your eggs, oil, water, milk and some sour cream. No one is going to believe this cake started from a mix.
I also put my daughter to work pounding out 18 small candy canes. This is where our first “happy error” came about. The original recipe called for about 1 cup crushed candy canes, divided. Whoops…that ALL went into our batter! And our cake never tasted so good. Seriously. It was minty and delicious, and I’m writing the recipe just as she made it.
That’s why we call it a Happy Error!
She also chopped up some semi-sweet chocolate and added that to the cake batter. What a wonderful surprise to the cake. It’s like chocolate chips, but bigger chunks. The sweet peppermint, the moist and rich chocolate cake, and the surprise crunches of chocolate…this is seriously one splendid dessert.
Bake the cake 35-40 minutes and allow to cool in pans 5 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans and invert onto wire racks. Cool COMPLETELY before frosting. We chilled our cake layers in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Once we chilled our layers of cake, my daughter made a quick chocolate ganache by using another bar of Semi-Sweet Chocolate and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. This was spread over the bottom layer of cake. We also doubled the amount of COOL WHIP in this recipe. First, who doesn’t love extra COOL WHIP? Second, we wanted a nice thick layer in the center of the cake, without being skimpy on the sides.
She also then crushed up a few extra candy canes for garnish.
The best part of this Chocolate Peppermint Cake recipe? You can make it ahead of time! We made ours the day before serving and stored it in the refrigerator. Such a cool, refreshing treat after dinner. This one is sure to please this holiday season.
What you will need to make a Chocolate Candy Cane Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding mix
4 Large Eggs
Oil (vegetable or canola)
2- 4 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars
18 small candy canes coarsely crushed (plus extra for garnish)- or substitute peppermint candies
Heavy Whipping Cream
2- 9″ cake pans
Baking Spray (or cooking spray)
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Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: it's the dessert your family wants you to bring to the holiday get together this year! Trust me!!
For the Cake:
- 1 package (2 layer cake size) chocolate cake mix
- 1 package (3.9oz) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 container (8oz) sour cream
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 package (4oz) semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
- 18 small candy canes, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
For the topping:
- 1 package (4oz) semi-sweet chocolate bar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tub (8oz each) COOL WHIP, thawed
- 4 small candy canes, coarsely chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix with JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, water and milk. Blend completely for about 2-3 minutes. Fold in crushed candy canes and chopped chocolate.
- Spray two 9inch cake pans with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Divide batter evenly into the pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes and allow to cool about 5 minutes in the pan. Loosen cake from the sides and invert onto wire racks. Cool cakes COMPLETELY before frosting. We chilled our cake layers in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- For the ganache, combine the chocolate with the heavy cream in a small glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and heat an additional 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth.
- Place bottom layer of cake on cake plate. Top with melted ganache. Allow to cool slightly before adding COOL WHIP. Spread 3/4 of one container on top of ganache. Top with second layer of cake. Using the remaining COOL WHIP (from the first container and the second), spread evenly over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes for garnish.
- Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. ENJOY
- Lining the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper is optional. But with the full cup of candy canes crushed into the batter, some parts may be sticky. This helps it remove from the pan easily!
- recipe adapted from [Kraft recipes]
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Today’s recipe was originally posted on November 23, 2014 and has been republished in November 2018