Here you’ll find the recipe for a moist one-layer Chocolate Cake, smothered in a Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream, laced with chocolate flakes. Top this decadent dessert with crushed peppermint candy canes for even more minty deliciousness!
What is Stracciatella?
Stracciatella is an Italian term that actually has THREE very different meanings:
- A soup containing eggs and cheese
- A stringy cheese.
- And my personal favourite: a vanilla ice cream with flakes of chocolate in it.
Obviously this Chocolate Cake recipe has nothing to do with the former two but everything to do with the third one.
My first taste of this glorious thing called Stracciatella began on my second trip to Germany. If you’ve ever been to Europe, you know that there’s gelato shops EVERYWHERE and they display their assortment of gelatos in such a beautiful, enticing way too. (Gets me everytime!)
My FAVOURITE Flavour extract company, Nielsen-Massey sent me their holiday extract bundle to use for all of my Christmas baking. One of these extracts was a peppermint extract–now I had never baked with peppermint in my life so I was intrigued.
Peppermint anything and everything is such a popular flavour this time of year–especially with all of the candy canes around us. Peppermint drinks (Starbucks heyyyy), candies, chocolates, and of course, DESSERTS. I wanted to come up with the perfect peppermint dessert.
I essentially owe this Peppermint Stracciatella dessert to my sister, who helped me brainstorm the idea. Obviously I needed help since I’m a peppermint no0b (old school gamer language–where are my gamers at?!). I even wanted to call this dessert “The Kristina” but I figured it would confuse alot of people and nobody would have a clue what flavour this cake actually was!
So, thanks Kristina!
When my sister sister told me she had a taste of a delicious Mint Stracciatella gelato the other day, I knew that a Peppermint Straciatella Buttercream HAD to happen. And since I have the BEST chocolate cake recipe on the planet, I knew that the buttercream had to be smothered onto that cake. Because we all know that chocolate and peppermint are a match made in Heaven!
This Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream is essentially a fancy way of saying “Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream”. Except instead of ice cream, it’s a buttery and sweet buttercream with notes of vanilla and peppermint. And instead of chocolate chips, it’s laced with chopped up/flaked semi-sweet chocolate.
I can’t even tell you how pleased I am with how this recipe turned out. I really didn’t think I would fall in love with it as much as I did, you know, because I constantly have lemon-blueberry desserts on the mind. But this Chocolate Peppermint Stracciatella combo really takes the cake and it’s just so perfect for the Christmas season!
Notes On Baking The Cake:
Bake a Layer Cake Instead:
This one-layer chocolate cake recipe gets baked in an 8×8 (square) pan and makes about 9 evenly sized squares. It’s the perfect dessert for a small get together. If you’re more interested in layer cakes, simply double this recipe and prepare two 8×8 square pans OR two 9″ round cake pans. Easy as cake!
For the Chocolate Flakes:
To create “chocolate flakes” I just took a few pieces from a semi-sweet baking chocolate bar, placed it on a cutting board, and chopped the chocolate with a sharp chef knife.
To make Crushed Candy Canes:
Put a couple of peppermint candy canes in a ziplock bag, and start pounding the bag with a heavy object. I like to use my marble rolling pin. It works like a charm with anything candy you need to crush.
I hope y’all enjoy this baking this cake AND eating it as much as I did–I’m seriously in love with it. Share it with all your friends and family this Christmas. Merry Christmas, friends!
Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream
A moist one layer Chocolate Cake smothered in a Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream, topped with extra flaked chocolate and crushed peppermint candy canes.
- 1 cup Sugar white or cane
- 3/4 cup + 2 TB All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 TB Cocoa Powder unsweetened
- 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg large
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil I use Avocado Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Coffee or Water boiling
Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup Butter softened to room temp
- 2 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract add a little at a time to taste
- 5-6 tsp Milk
- a pinch of Salt
- 3 TB Semi-Sweet or Dark Baking Chocolate chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×8 square baking dish.
In a medium bowl/or stand mixer bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Once combined, add the egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. scrape down the bowl with a spatula halfway through.
Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in boiling coffee/or water by hand with a spatula until evenly incorporated and smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out of centre clean. Place pan on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting it.
Whipping up the Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream Frosting
Put softened butter into a bowl of stand-mixer and using the paddle attachment cream butter at medium speed until smooth, fluffy, and whiter in color. At least 2 minutes.
Stop mixer and scrape down sides with spatula. Add in the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, milk, and a pinch of salt. Mix on low until incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and mix for at least 2 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
Taste buttercream to make sure it has enough peppermint flavour. If buttercream is too stiff, add more milk; if it’s too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Remove bowl from stand-mixer and using a spatula, and gently fold in chopped chocolate. Use a spatula to evenly smooth Peppermint Stracciatella Buttercream on the cooled chocolate cake.
Top with extra chocolate flakes and crushed candy canes. (I crushed candy canes by sealing them in a ziplock bag, then pounding my heavy marble rolling pin on them–works like a charm!)