This Mint Chocolate Chip Cake is a delicious blend of bold chocolate and zesty mint flavors, making it a hit for any occasion. The cake's texture is incredibly soft and moist, with a frosting that's creamy and packed with a minty punch, complemented by the crunch of chocolate chips.
Mint chocolate chip ice cream has always been my absolute favorite. There's something about that cool mint flavor mixed with rich chocolate that just does it for me.
So, I thought, why not turn that amazing ice cream flavor into a cake? And let me tell you, this mint chocolate cake was a hit—a moist, flavorful cake that captures all the goodness of the ice cream in every slice. It's a delicious cake recipe you'll want to make again and again.
If you're into chocolate as much as I am, you might want to check out some of my other recipes, like our Chocolate Whiskey Cake or our Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes. They're all about bringing that rich, indulgent chocolatey goodness to your table in new and exciting ways.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- The Flavor Combo: It's hard to beat the classic mix of mint and chocolate. This cake brings you the best of both in a way that's refreshing yet indulgent. It's like enjoying your favorite ice cream, but in cake form.
- Just the Right Texture: We're talking about a cake that's soft and moist on the inside with a frosting that's smooth and creamy. And those little bits of chocolate chips? They add a nice little crunch that surprises you in the best way possible.
- Looks Good, Too: This cake doesn't just taste great; it looks pretty awesome as well. The green frosting makes it stand out, so it's not just another chocolate cake. It's something special you'll be proud to show off.
- Any Day, Any Time: Sure, this cake could be the star at a birthday or holiday, but why wait for a special occasion? It's perfect for making any day feel a bit more special.
For this cake recipe, we'll need ingredients for the chocolate cake recipe and ingredients for the mint buttercream recipe.
Flour: The base of your cake; opt for all-purpose flour for the best results.
Cocoa Powder: Choose a high-quality cocoa powder for a deep, rich chocolate flavor.
Sugar: Sweetens the cake; granulated sugar works best.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These leavening agents will help your cake rise beautifully.
Salt: Just a pinch to balance the flavors.
Oil: Keeps the cake moist. Vegetable or canola oil are good choices.
Eggs: Bind the ingredients together; ensure they're at room temperature for the best incorporation.
Vanilla: A splash of vanilla extract enhances the cake's flavor.
Buttermilk: Adds moisture and a slight tanginess, complementing the chocolate and mint flavors.
Hot Water: Helps to intensify the cocoa powder's flavor, making the cake even more chocolatey.
Butter: For the frosting; make sure it's softened for smooth blending.
Powdered Sugar: For a creamy and smooth frosting.
Peppermint Extract: Adjust the amount to get the perfect minty flavor you desire.
Chocolate Chips: Choose semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips for little bursts of chocolate.
Green Food Coloring: To give the frosting its iconic minty color.
Optional: Small ice cream cones for decoration.
- Two 9” Round Cake Pans: Essential for baking the layers of your cake. If you don't have round pans, you can use square pans but adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Electric Mixer: Ideal for creating the perfect frosting consistency. A hand whisk can also be used, but it will require more effort.
- Food Processor: Useful for chopping the chocolate chips into smaller pieces. If you don't have one, a knife works fine for chopping.
Getting Started: First things first, heat your oven to 350°F (that's 175°C for the metric folks). You'll want to grab two 9-inch round cake pans and grease them up well.
This prevents the cake from sticking, ensuring it pops out easily after baking. If you're using non-stick pans, a light coating of grease will do just fine.
Mixing Dry Ingredients: In a big bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sifting helps to break up any lumps and mixes the ingredients evenly, which is key for a smooth cake batter.
Whisking Wet Ingredients: In a smaller bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. This mix will help make your cake super moist and flavorful.
Combining Wet and Dry Mixes: Pour the wet ingredients into your bowl of dry ingredients, then throw in the buttermilk. Stir them all together until you've got a nice, smooth batter.
Now, gently mix in the hot water. It might seem odd, but this thins the batter and helps the cocoa powder to "bloom," giving you a richer chocolate flavor.
Baking Time: Divide your batter evenly between the two greased cake pans. Slide them into the oven and let them bake for about 23-25 minutes.
You'll know they're done when you can poke the center with a toothpick and it comes out clean, without any wet batter sticking to it.
Cooling Down: After baking, let the cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes. This makes them easier to handle.
Then, flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. This step is crucial because frosting a warm cake can lead to a melting mess!
Making the Frosting: While the cakes cool, let's whip up the mint chocolate chip buttercream. Beat the softened butter and powdered sugar together until it's nice and smooth.
Then, mix in your mint extract—start with 2 teaspoons and add more if you want a stronger mint flavor.
Next, tint your frosting with green food coloring to get that iconic mint chocolate chip look.
Chop your chocolate chips into smaller bits (this can be done with a knife or pulsed in a food processor) and fold them into the frosting.
Assembling the Cake: Place one cake layer on your serving plate with the flat side up. Spread a generous layer of frosting on top.
Then, stack the second layer on top, flat side down, to get a nice, even cake. Now, frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
For a smooth finish, dip your spatula in hot water; it helps the frosting spread easier.
Decorating: For an extra touch, you can make the upside-down ice cream cones mentioned earlier or simply sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top. You can get as creative as you want decorating your cake.
I scooped a lump of frosting with an ice cream scooper to make it look like the cones are full of ice cream.
Then I popped several of them around the cake.
And that's it! You're mint chocolate chip cake is ready to serve! If you don't like the ice cream cone idea, you could decorate with mini chocolate chips or a chocolate ganache.
To ensure all your ingredients, especially the eggs and butter, are at room temperature before starting. This helps the ingredients blend more smoothly, resulting in a better texture for both the cake and the frosting.
- Buttermilk Substitution: If you don't have buttermilk, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before use.
- Peppermint Extract Alternative: If you're not a fan of peppermint, you can use vanilla extract in the frosting for a classic chocolate-vanilla flavor combo.
- Chocolate Mint Layer Cake: Add a layer of mint custard or ganache between the cake layers for an extra minty kick.
- Mini Cakes: Bake the batter in cupcake pans for individual mint chocolate chip cupcakes, perfect for parties.
- Vegan Version: Use plant-based substitutes for the dairy and eggs, and ensure your chocolate chips are vegan-friendly.
Need to store your mint cake for later?
Fridge Storing Option: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cold will help keep the frosting firm and the cake moist.
Freezer Storing Option: You can freeze the unfrosted cake layers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before frosting and serving. This is a great way to have a delicious dessert ready for unexpected guests or cravings.
Reheating: This cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. If refrigerated, let it sit out for a bit before serving to allow the frosting to soften and the flavors to meld perfectly.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
For the Chocolate Cake
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup hot water
For the Mint Chocolate Chip Icing
- 1 ¼ cups butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons peppermint extract
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- Green food coloring
- 6-8 Small ice cream cones optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 9” round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients with buttermilk, mix until smooth. Stir in hot water.
- Divide batter between pans. Bake 23-25 minutes or until toothpick is clean.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to racks.
- For frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Mix in peppermint extract and green food coloring. Pulse chocolate chips in food processor until small, stir into frosting.
- Assemble cake with frosting between layers and on top/sides. Decorate as desired.
Absolutely, you can use a boxed chocolate cake mix as a base for this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake. It's a great shortcut for when you're short on time or just prefer the convenience. To bring it closer to the homemade taste and add the minty flavor, mix in 1-2 teaspoons of peppermint extract into the batter. This simple tweak will transform a standard boxed mix into a minty delight that closely resembles the scratch-made version.
If you're out of buttermilk, there's an easy fix you can make with ingredients you likely have on hand. For each cup of buttermilk needed, take 1 cup of regular milk (any fat percentage will do) and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to it. Stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This mixture will thicken slightly and take on a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk, making it a perfect substitute for the real thing in baking recipes.
Knowing when your cake is perfectly baked is key to its texture and taste. Start checking the cake for doneness about 5 minutes before the suggested baking time ends. Insert a toothpick or a cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached, the cake is done. If there's wet batter on the toothpick, give it a few more minutes in the oven and check again. Keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking, which can dry out your cake.
Yes, you can still make the frosting even if you don't have a food processor. If the recipe calls for finely chopped chocolate chips or other ingredients, simply use a sharp knife to chop them as finely as possible. The goal is to incorporate them into the frosting evenly, without large chunks. This method might require a bit more elbow grease, but it's just as effective in achieving delicious results.
The beauty of making your own Mint Chocolate Chip Cake is that you can easily adjust the intensity of the mint flavor to suit your taste. If you prefer a subtle hint of mint, start with a smaller amount of peppermint extract in the frosting and taste as you go. For a more pronounced mint flavor, gradually add more extract until it reaches your desired level. Remember, it's easier to add more flavor than to remove it, so start conservatively.
Yes, both the cake and frosting can be prepared ahead of time, which is a great way to manage your time when planning for an event. Bake the cake layers and let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. They can be stored at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The frosting can also be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Before assembling the cake, let the frosting come to room temperature and give it a quick whip to ensure it's smooth and spreadable.