Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

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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! Rich chocolate cake with Cool Whip filling and crushed peppermints!

If you LOVE homemade chocolate cake, be sure to check out my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe too!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: no one will know it started from a box mix! So rich, fudgy, and full of peppermint candy!

Why this Cake is Best

Most people think about Christmas candy recipes and holiday cookies, but what about cake?

Today’s chocolate candy can cake is a cross between our favorite Ding Dong cake and this rich and fudgy chocolate pudding cake.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: no one will know it started from a box mix! So easy, even a TEN year old can make it!

Ingredient Notes

  • Chocolate Cake Mix – any variety and brand that make two 9-inch round cake layers.
  • Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix- adds moisture AND MORE FLAVOR to the cake mix.
  • Basics- eggs, oil, water, milk (for structure).
  • Sour Cream- adds moisture.
  • Chocolate Chunks- could swap out for chocolate chips.
  • Cool Whip (thawed)- you’ll fill the layer and cover the entire cake. You can also use whipped cream or our homemade cool whip if you prefer.
  • Peppermint candy- while this cake is perfect any time of year, adding the peppermint gives this cake color and flavor for the holidays.
Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: no one will know it started from a box mix! So rich, fudgy, and full of peppermint candy!

Step by Step Instructions

Bake the cake. 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.

Frost. Add chopped candy canes or sprinkles (if you choose not to make it peppermint flavored).

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.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: no one will know it started from a box mix! So rich, fudgy, and full of peppermint candy!

More Holiday Recipes

  • Take your love of chocolate peppermint cakes to a new level. This Christmas favorite is a Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Cake and is layered with rich chocolate cake, peppermint cheesecake, and peppermint frosting!
  • I’m obsessed with making these cheesecake cakes. And it was only necessary to make an eggnog version. With a homemade spice cake. And eggnog buttercream frosting. This Eggnog Cheesecake Cake is a true Christmas treat!
  • Have a little fun this Christmas and make an entrance at your next holiday party with this easy Ugly Sweater Cake!
  • The most delicious, from scratch, white cake recipe is used to create this perfect Coconut Cake!
  • Old fashioned, best ever, 7 Up Pound Cake recipe! You’ll love this classic cake with it’s perfect texture!
  • Don’t forget the fudge! This Candy Cane Fudge recipe is packed with peppermint and creamy vanilla fudge flavor.

Holiday Cake Recipes

See all Cake recipes

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Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

5 from 4 votes
By: Aimee
Chocolate Candy Cane Cake: it's the dessert your family wants you to bring to the holiday get together this year! Rich chocolate cake with Cool Whip filling and crushed peppermints!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 16 servings


For the Cake:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix 2 layer cake size
  • 1 package JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding mix 3.9 ounce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 container sour cream 8 ounce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped 4 ounce
  • 18 small candy canes coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

For the topping:

  • 1 package 4 ounce semi-sweet chocolate bar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tubs COOL WHIP, thawed 8 ounce each
  • 4 small candy canes coarsely chopped, for garnish
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  • 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!


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 351kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Sodium: 298mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 30g
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on November 24, 2018

Comments & Reviews

  1. I am so excited to try this cake. Love peppermint and chocolate. However, not a fan of Cool Whip. Do you have any suggestions for different topping? Maybe chocolate or vanilla buttercream? Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

    1. I personally would go with a homemade whipped cream instead of buttercream for this cake. The cake itself is very dense, moist, and fudgy, so something light would be much better! If you still opt for buttercream, go with vanilla 🙂

    2. I made this for the Christmas holiday and it was a big hit! It was really good served with a scoop of peppermint ice cream. Next time, I will probably not put crushed candy canes on the top. I didn’t like the crunchiness.

  2. Oh wow! That cake is beyond amazing. The chocolate lover in me is itching to make it. I definitely will. Thanks for your recipe and wait a new your post!!

  3. What a sweet story, Amy! I love knowing that you taught your children kitchen skills early. Your cake looks minty divine! But, I am so sorry to hear about your migraine headache. I finally figured out why I used to get them. (Actually, mine were diagnosed as “cluster headaches” which can be worse than migraines, believe it or not.) Perhaps what I have learned can help you. I’ll send you an email, my friend. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas (belated) and Happy New Year! 🙂

  4. I made this cake for Christmas. It was so easy, so pretty and delicious! Everyone loved it. Someone said it was the best thing they had ever eaten! Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe!

  5. I made this cake for a dinner party that I attended (Turkey was the main course) and it was a big hit! I have never made ganache before, I was a little alarmed that I was essentially putting hot liquid onto the bottom layer when assembling.

    All turned out of course, and that step made the cake even more wonderful.

    I did have to refrigerate it for 10 hours as I made it on the morning of a very busy day. I found that there were little pools of liquid around the crushed candy canes on the outside of the cake. It did not detract from the presentation, really, but I wonder if that would happen if I had finished it only a couple of hours before serving…

    1. Refrigerating food made with candy canes does seem to create a little bit of a stickier mess. Did you sprinkle the candy canes on the Cool Whip and then refrigerate? I would wait (next time :)) to sprinkle candy canes immediately before serving! Hope that helps (glad you still enjoyed the cake)!

  6. I made this tonight! I am taking it to my ugly sweater party tomorrow…. It sure isn’t as pretty as your 10 yr olds!! 🙂 Hopefully it’ll taste alright. I think I needed to pound the candy canes more, but, at least it’ll be a lesson learned!!! Thanks so much for this!

  7. Hi there,
    Do you think that this cake would work using something besides the Cool Whip? I’m not sure that real whipping cream would hold up very long, even with the addition of a bit of instant vanilla pudding. (Great trick, by the way!) I also thought about using vanilla buttercream, but I’m concerned that it might be over the top sweet. Any ideas? Just not a fan of Cool Whip.

    1. Vanilla buttercream would be good, but yes, very sweet. You can also buy Dream Whip (in the Jell-O aisle) and make that as your topping.

  8. 1-this cake is beeeautiful

    2-I love that your daughter made this! So sweet!

    3-delicious, obviousyyyy

  9. That cake looks so good, my daughter who is a little older than 10 (great age btw) is dying to make this cake. Thanks

  10. I love that your daughter made this cake!! My daughter is also ten and loves helping in the kitchen as do all my kids!! It is precious!! This is totally my kind of cake. It looks incredible!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving Aimee!! 🙂

  11. May I borrow your daughter for a day?? I could totally use a baking assistant! My guy offered to help one time, but… Well, let’s just say I redid that entire recipe. 😉 And hooray for happy mistakes!! Pinned!

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