Somehow May is almost already half way over, which in my family means it’s time to think up a delicious dessert involving mint and chocolate. My older brother’s birthday is this month, and as an avid fan of the two, his number one request every year almost always involves that pairing. Seeing as how my favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, I never say no to testing out new desserts involving the two flavors! 🍫🌿
That’s where I got the inspiration to dream up this Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cake. Layers of a rich, dark chocolate cake are paired with a creamy mint chip Swiss meringue buttercream that’s pretty much like mint chocolate chip ice cream in frosting form. Pieces of chopped bittersweet chocolate are added to the buttercream for a little bit of a crunch, and crème de menthe is used to add a subtle, yet creamy mint flavor.
I found that crème de menthe was the perfect way to add just enough mint flavor without it overpowering the rest of the cake. You can use mint extract if you prefer to, but I think that the creaminess of the crème de menthe is far superior. If you use mint extract, be sure to use less as a little goes a long way.
A few notes before you get started. The cake can be baked as either a two layer 8-inch cake or a three layer 6-inch cake, depending on what you prefer. I used dark cocoa powder to make it a dark chocolate cake, but you can use regular natural cocoa powder as well.
Now, let’s talk about this cake. Layers of rich, dark chocolate cake that are tender, yet sturdy enough to be stacked without needing a crumb coat. This is my new favorite chocolate cake. It’s silky smooth and deliciously moist with every single bite. The other amazing thing about this recipe is that even if any crumbs do get swept up in the icing they’ll look like pieces of chocolate!
I chose to carefully sift the pieces of chocolate once I chopped them so I would only be incorporating the bigger pieces into the buttercream. This extra step is up to you, I just wanted the chocolate to have a cleaner, less speckled look. The frosting spreads like a dream, and there’s just enough to have a little left over to snack on!
So the next time you’re craving a peppermint patty or some mint chocolate chip ice cream, why not switch it up and make the cake version of that? You deserve it.
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cake
Author: Marisa Guerra
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with your spatula as needed.
- With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk.
- Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the coffee to the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Coat three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray or butter and cocoa powder and line the bottom of each with parchment. Evenly divide the batter into the pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack before gently running a knife along the edge of each pan, topping the cake with another cooling rack and turning each cake out. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
Mint Chip Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- 4 tsp crème de menthe
- Green food coloring
- 3 oz or about ½ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped and sifted
- Stir together egg whites and sugar in a double boiler. Continue to stir until mixture reaches 160º F on a candy thermometer.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix with the whisk attachment on high for 8-10 minutes, until somewhat stiff peaks have formed.
- Switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment and slowly add in pieces of butter on low. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in crème de menthe followed by the green food coloring.
- Carefully stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Once your cake layers have cooled, carefully cut the tops off with a serrated knife so that each layer is level.
- Place one layer, top side down, on a cake board and spread with frosting. Repeat this step with the next two layers.
- Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill until you serve.