Oooh guys am I excited to share today’s recipe! 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.
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!
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 Tips
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 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 Prevent a Bundt Cake from Sticking to the Pan
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.
Bundt cakes are nothing without their beautiful luscious glazes. This glaze is a variation on chocolate ganahce 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.
More Bundt Cake Recipes
Be sure to also check out my CHRISTMAS HEADQUARTERS for more holiday recipes!
Originally posted in 2014. Updated with new photos, weight measurements, and more recipe tips. Photos by Patty Kraikittikun-Phuong.
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
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
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. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.
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.
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
In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. 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 candy canes. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.