Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

My #1 top favorite holiday dessert!  I’ve been making this mint brownie recipe since I was a kid and during Christmas time we love replacing the green food coloring with red, and giving them a festive sprinkling of crushed candy cane.  This starts with a super rich and fudgy brownie, topped with a cool layer of peppermint frosting, and finished with a creamy chocolate ganache.

Peppermint Candycane Brownies

I made a jumbo batch of these yesterday to deliver to neighbors and think it’s worth the highlight here.  These brownies have a few steps, and take a little extra planning, but they’re so, so worth it.  You can even make them all the way, or part of the way, a day ahead of time and spread out the work.  This is my Mother’s recipe, and something I requested from her often, so I have tender memories associated with it.

Step 1 Make the Brownie Layer:

You’ll start by making the brownie layer. You want to use unsweetened baking chocolate, which is sold in bars by the chocolate chips. Make sure it is unsweetened.  Place it in a microwave-safe bowl along with 2 sticks of butter that you’ve chopped up.

Butter and Chocolate
Melt in 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside. Don’t accidentally stick your finger in the melted butter and chocolate combo because it will laugh at you for forgetting that it is unsweetened.  I do it every. single. time.

Beat eggs and sugar for a minute, until they’re nice and smooth.  Then slowly pour in your chocolaty butter mixture and mix just until it’s combined.

Pouring in Chocolate
You’ll add a bit of flour and baking powder, and again just mix until it’s combined.  You never want to over-mix brownies.  I also always sift my flour for this recipe.  You can just put it in a mesh strainer and shake it right into the batter.  I’ve noticed when I don’t, I sometimes get little visible flour spots in my brownies.

FlourBake those until a knife comes out clean.  I’ve found that baking time really varies on these, so make sure to do the knife test. And I always line my pan with foil because it makes cutting and serving so much easier when you can just lift the whole sheet right out of there.

Brownies BakedLet those cool all the way.  If it’s cold out, pop them outside, otherwise after they’ve cooled to room temp, I just stick them in the fridge.

Step 2: Make the frosting Layer:

Next layer is the frosting.  Whip up some butter (real butter!) and then add powdered sugar.

Powdered SugarYou’ll add a little milk (this frosting is on the firm side, don’t go crazy with the milk),

Milk and Frosting
and quite a lot of peppermint extract.  It will probably seem like too much, but it’s purposely strong.  This is the only peppermint going into the brownies, and it’s a thin layer.  So that one cool, creamy layer has to be enough to contrast all of the rich chocolate.

Peppermint ExtractWhip, whip, whip,

Frostingto creamy perfection.

Whipped FrostingAdd a couple drops of red food coloring. These AmeriColors gel colors are my new favorites.  I LOVE that they conveniently squirt out instead of me having to get out a toothpick to dip into the little jar and then inevitably getting it all over my hands and counter.

Christmas Red ColoringA couple of drops will do it.

Pink FrostingThen carefully spread the frosting on your cooled brownies.  You have to use a soft hand in order to not tear up the top of the brownie layer.  If you get a few bits in there it’s okay though, because we’re going to cover that up anyway.

Frosting Spread onPop that in the fridge again to chill.

Step 3: Make the Chocolate Topping Layer:

And while that’s happening, melt some semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips and more butter.  I prefer to use unsalted in this top layer, but you can use either.

Chocolate Chips and ButterMelt it until it’s smooth and creamy. Remember in the first step when I told you to not accidentally let your finger fall in the chocolate butter mixture? Totally doesn’t apply to this chocolate butter mixture.

Melted Chocolate ToppingLet it cool off so it’s still super spreadable, but not hot (if it’s hot it will melt your frosting and make a big gooey mess.

Pouring ChocoalteJust spread it on quickly and evenly.

Spread with ChocolateWhile it’s still wet, sprinkle on some crushed candy cane.

Crushed CandycaneA little, a lot, whatever floats your boat.

Sprinked with candycanesYou can make this whole pan a day ahead of time.  Just cover well and place in the fridge (uncut) overnight.)  When you’re ready to serve, pull the foil out so you remove the whole sheet of brownies and cutting is a cinch.

You get three distinct layers here of rich and fudgy brownie, cool creamy frosting, and smooth decadent chocolate.

peppermint brownies

The little bits of candy cane are icing on the cake.  Or topping on the brownie. Whatever.

Candycane Brownies


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brownies stacked up

Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies


These Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies from Our Best Bites are the ULTIMATE holiday dessert! They require a few extra steps, but they’re definitely worth it!



4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 tablespoon milk
pink or red food coloring

Chocolate Glaze

6 ounces (about a cup) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
6 tablespoons real butter (I suggest unsalted just for this step)


1/21 cup crushed candy canes (Use Bob’s or Brach’s; I don’t recommend Spangler’s)


the Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and grease the foil. Set aside.

Roughly chop baking squares and 1 cup of butter. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat eggs for about 3 minutes until thick and frothy.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat to combine, then add in the reserved melted chocolate and butter combination. Combine flour and baking powder and whisk into brownie batter by hand until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness and don’t over bake! When a toothpick comes out clean, cool on a cooling rack. When completely cool, place the pan in the refrigerator to chill (this makes spreading the peppermint icing easier).


Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Add extra milk by teaspoonful if you need a little more. Spread evenly over cooled/chilled brownies and place back in the fridge to chill again while you do the final step.

Chocolate Glaze

Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in 30 second intervals until smooth.

Set aside for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so it can cool off just a bit. Quickly spread on top of brownies. You need to work quickly so the chocolate glaze doesn’t melt the peppermint frosting.

Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and return to the fridge until chocolate is set on top.

Remove from fridge a few minutes before cutting into squares. Enjoy!


  1. Those look awesome.

    And am I the only one who hasn’t heard Celine Dion’s “Feliz Navidad”? One of my earliest memories is my mom and I stopping to get soft tacos at Taco Time to take to my dad at work for lunch and listening to “Feliz Navidad” in the car.

  2. Chocolate and mint is my favorite flavor combination, this is sure to be a hit!! Ok, maybe I better actually have an occasion to make these, otherwise, I’ll end up eating 95% of the pan myself. Is that bad? It’s Christmas afterall…

  3. I am so excited you posted this recipe. Our family was so lucky to try these babies last week. I can say they are worth every step they take to make. Super moist and the combo of pepperiment with chocolate very tasty! The presentation is super impressive. These brownies would make a great gift. People will be begging you for the recipe. Thanks again!

  4. I love love love love mint brownies! I’m so excited to try these and since I have some ganache in the fridge I just may have to!

  5. Ha ha. My kids regularly ask for “that one Spanish song that the lady sings.” (Feliz Navidad by Celine Dion)

    Anyway, these look so good. And so festive! Thanks for all of the yummy Christmasy stuff you have already posted, and all of the stuff you will yet post!

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