Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake - Handle the Heat

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

By Tessa Arias
December 4th, 2018
5 from 2 votes
5 from 2 votes

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is the absolute PERFECT holiday cake! It's as easy as it is beautiful and loaded with chocolate, coffee, and peppermint flavors.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Jam packed with decadent festive flavors that everyone loves!
Texture: The cake is tender and ultra moist, the glaze is rich and fudgy, and the peppermint on top adds a perfect crunch.
Ease: WAY easier than a traditional layer cake. Pretty much anyone could make this cake.
Appearance: Just gorgeous. This would be a show stopper on any family table.
Pros: Favorite Christmastime cake. This just smells like chocolate heaven from a mile away!
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Definitely.

Oooh guys am I excited to share today’s recipe for Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake! Mostly because I’m still dreaming about just how incredibly good this cake smells. I know, that’s kind of a weird thing to say.

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is the absolute PERFECT holiday cake! It's as easy as it is beautiful and loaded with chocolate, coffee, and peppermint flavors.

The chocolate + coffee + peppermint combination is overpowering and I don’t know how anyone could resist taking a bite once they’ve smelled this cake!

I drove this cake over to to a friends and it made my car smell like absolute chocolate heaven. I had noticed the strong chocolate aroma in the kitchen, but my place has an open floor plan so it wasn’t until I got into the tighter space of my car did my mouth start watering. I would’ve snuck a bite right then and there if it wouldn’t have been so obvious!

The perfect easy Christmas Cake - Peppermint Mocha Bundt cake tastes like your favorite Starbucks drink in dessert form!

I’m happy to report this cake tasted as good as it smelled. In fact, my friend even said that this chocolate cake was “by far the most delicious thing I’ve ever had.” I’d say that’s a pretty stellar review! I hope you’ll make this cake for your family this holiday season!

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is the absolute PERFECT holiday cake! It's as easy as it is beautiful and loaded with chocolate, coffee, and peppermint flavors.

How to Make A Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

How is Bundt Cake different from regular cake?

Bundt cake recipes must be very moist to avoid drying out during the long baking time. Since you have so much batter in one pan, they must have enough chemical leavening (like baking soda or powder) to ensure they don’t end up overly dense. Otherwise, layer cakes and bundt cakes are actually pretty similar! It’s the pan, batter volume, and baking times that are the most different.

Natural vs. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

I definitely prefer Dutch process in this recipe. It gives this cake a perfect cocoa flavor and deep bold color. I’ve even seen Dutch Process Cocoa Powder at Target and Walmart recently! If you can’t find it, you can also use regular natural unsweetened cocoa powder instead. This recipe can work with both since it uses baking soda + acidic ingredients (brown sugar, coffee, and sour cream). You can learn more about the differences between cocoa powder here.

The Coffee / Espresso

I don’t have an espresso machine that I use regularly so I just combined hot water + instant espresso powder for this recipe. If you’d like, you can just use 3/4 cup hot espresso instead, or very strong hot coffee. Or, if you’d prefer no “mocha” element, just omit the espresso powder altogether.

The Peppermint

The glaze is where the peppermint flavor lives in this recipe. We use peppermint extract and crushed candy canes to flavor it. The peppermint flavor remains intense in the glaze since it doesn’t get baked. I found it to be perfect! However, if you want a stronger punch of peppermint you can swap out the vanilla extract for peppermint in the cake batter.

How to get a cake out of a Bundt pan and prevent sticking:

Some pans stick more than others. If you have issues with your cake sticking, try brushing melted shortening all over your pan just before pouring in the batter. I have tons more tips for stopping your bundt cake from sticking here.

Should you let a Bundt Cake cool before flipping it?

Let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes once you remove it from the oven. Then flip the cake onto a cooling rack upside down and let it rest for about 5 minutes before you remove the pan. A little trick here is to use a grid cooling rack, not one that has big gaps. That can cause the cake to settle into the gaps and makes it harder to remove to a platter.

How to glaze a Bundt Cake:

Bundt cakes are nothing without their beautiful luscious glazes. This glaze is a variation on chocolate ganache and is thick, fudgy, and shiny. To make for a perfect presentation, place the baked cake on a cake stand.

Tear strips of parchment paper and slide them so they are slightly under the cake and covering the stand around the entire circumference. This will prevent the glaze from getting all over the cake stand. Wait until the ganache has cooled enough so that it is very thick. You can pop it in the fridge or freezer to speed this up. Slowly pour the ganache over the cake, letting it drip over the edges on its own. I like to use a glass measuring cup with a spout and just slowly pour the ganache out in circles until the cake looks beautiful.

Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is the absolute PERFECT holiday cake! It's as easy as it is beautiful and loaded with chocolate, coffee, and peppermint flavors.

More Christmas Dessert Recipes

Be sure to also check out my CHRISTMAS HEADQUARTERS for more holiday recipes!

5 from 2 votes

How to make
Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake is the absolute PERFECT holiday cake! It's as easy as it is beautiful and loaded with chocolate, coffee, and peppermint flavors.


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup (64 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 3/4 cups (222 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 candy canes, crushed


Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth. Be careful not to overmix.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

Make the glaze

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot (but not boiling). Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Add in the peppermint extract. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from this recipe
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American

Originally posted in 2014. Updated with new photos, weight measurements, and more recipe tips. Photos by Patty Kraikittikun-Phuong.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    VY Cakes — March 7, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    YUMM…chocolatyy,,creamy,,fluffyThanks for the recipe

  2. #
    SARAH — December 23, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Recipe did not fulfill it’s promise. I followed the recipe to a T. The cake never firmed up in the oven. It stayed batter like. I made the most of the situation and served it like a molten chocolate cake. It tasted great, however still can’t get over that it never set as a cake.

  3. #
    Kristen Greiwe — December 14, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Hi! Planning on making this tonight and taking it to a party 4 hours from our home tomorrow. When should I put on the glaze?

  4. #
    Evelyn — November 24, 2018 at 7:14 am

    This cake looks amazing. I would like to know if peppermint extract can be substituted for some of thee vanilla in the cake?

  5. #
    Pam — January 2, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Made cake as directed…but overflowed in bundt pan, eggs were large size, medium nor extra large.I’ve made several bunds cake before, from scratch & never had this happen!
    Wondering if you live in high altitude, if that would be the problem? Otherwise, can’t explain it.
    I made a trifle out of what I could salvage with whipped cream & peppermint chip & glaze. Guests did like it
    I thought chocolate flavor was really good. Disappointed of semi- disaster & throwing out of lots of cake
    & the clean up after.

  6. #
    Kelsey Moore-Nielsen — December 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Planning on making this for Christmas! Can I make a couple days before and store in the refrigerator?

    • #
      Joseph — December 8, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      I have made days ahead and kept in fridge… it as ll depends on how you plan to store in fridge if you should glaze or wait..

  7. #
    Riya Ahuja — May 6, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Oh my gosh this looks so good! I am over here drooling over this dish right now. I am all over this. I can’t even stop starring.

  8. #
    Monica — March 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    I still haven’t gotten over your ultimate brownie recipe! The.Best.

    I’d like to make this cake for my son’s third birthday because he wants a “candy cane cake with lollipops.”

    If I leave out the espresso powder do I need to decrease the amount of water, and do I still need to let the cocoa powder and chocolate sit with water for 5 minutes?

    Thanks for your feedback!

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Yay! Keep the recipe steps exactly the same, just omit the espresso powder.

  9. #
    Roshani — January 18, 2017 at 3:10 am

    this is AWESOME!!! yummy. I can’t wait to try this! Pinned! so healthy!!

  10. #
    Beet Juice — December 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Made this last Sunday…loved it!!

  11. #
    Maryam — November 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    What’s the size of your bundt cake pan?

  12. #
    Sally H. — January 29, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Hi Tessa,
    I made this cake using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa which it says is a combination of natural and dutched cocoa. It tasted good, but it did not rise as much as I would have expected. The bottom of the cake almost looked as if it had fallen a bit. After baking it, I read your article on Dutch and Natural cocoa and now I wonder if the problem was that I was using mostly dutched cocoa with baking soda as called for in the recipe. Do you think it would work to use baking powder as a substitute in this recipe?
    I really appreciate your explanations of the science of baking. I have used many of your recipes and my family and friends love them! Thank you!
    Sally H.

  13. #
    Leah — December 23, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Can you make these in a mini- bunt pan? What adjustments would you make to temp and timing?

  14. #
    Allison — December 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This looks delish! Plan on making this for a friends party this weekend. I want to make it the day prior. Refrigerate or no?

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      Should be fine either way! I like refrigerating, makes it even more fudgy 🙂

  15. #
    Nancy — December 14, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I just made this for my husband’s Christmas party at work, too bad for me. It smells incredible! Thanks for the recipe.

  16. #
    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — December 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Crushing on this cake! I would have a hard time not licking the bowl after making that amazing glaze!

  17. #
    Gaby — December 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Oh man, that chocolate glaze is so glossy and gorgeous! What I wouldn’t give for a slice of that right now!

  18. #
    Baby June — December 12, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Wow, that sounds like my kind of bundt cake! Love the chocolate glaze on there, so rich and chocolaty 🙂

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