Peppermint Chocolate Cake Pops

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Which means it’s time for cookies, gingerbread houses, and everything peppermint chocolate! To kick off the holiday season, I decided to recreate Starbuck’s new holiday cake pop, peppermint brownie. No offense to them, but I was pretty sure I could make a better version at home and with fewer hard to pronounce ingredients too. These pops were more time consuming to make than I had anticipated, but it was well worth the effort.

The recipe makes 50 pops, so I was able to bring them to both of my workplaces and share them with friends, and everyone raved about them. As one coworker put it, they’re really moist inside, with just the right amount of crunch on the outside from the candy coating.

I forgot to take a photo of the inside of the pops (what can I say, I was eager to eat them) but the inside is chocolate cake mixed with a chocolate peppermint buttercream. The cake and frosting are combined, rolled and then dipped in white chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes.

These pops would make a great gift in lieu of holiday cookies – simply wrap each pop in a little cellophane bag and tie with a festive ribbon. To make the sticks look like candy canes, buy the thinnest red ribbon you can find and wrap it around each stick, putting a dot of glue on each end. If you’re bringing them to a party, you could display them in a styrofoam block (you can buy them at craft stores) or in jars (the one above is filled with salt and sugar would work too).

What are you baking this holiday season?


Chocolate Peppermint Cake Pops

Makes 40-50 cake pops

Chocolate Cake

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar.
  3. Add butter to the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for a minute. Keep the mixer running while you add the oil and mix until the mixture looks like sand.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine vanilla with milk and water. Add to sand-like mixture and mix for a couple of minutes at low speed.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating at medium speed between each one until thoroughly combined.
  6. If needed, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a minute more. At this point, the batter will be thin.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for around 35 minutes. When the cake is done, the sides will just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan and the top will spring back when lightly touched. You can also test it by inserting a toothpick, which should come out clean.


Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • 4 candy canes (around 6.5 tablespoons), crushed to powder in a food processor or blender
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and vanilla until combined.
  2. Adding 1 cup of sugar at a time, mix into butter until thoroughly combined.
  3. Mix in milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Add crushed candy canes and stir until combined.


Assembling the cake pops

  • 18 oz. white chocolate
  • 1/8 cup canola oil (you can use less for a thicker coating/more for a thinner coating)
  • 40-50 lollipop sticks (I used 6″ but I think 4″ would work too)
  • 6 candy canes (around 3/4 cup), crushed
  • Styrofoam block
  1. Once cake is completely cooled, cut into 6 pieces. Using your hands, crumble each piece into a large bowl (you could use a food processor instead).
  2. Add frosting to bowl and mix with the back of a spoon or your clean, dry hands until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls (I used a cookie scoop to measure the cake and rolled it with my hands).
  4. Place cake balls on a baking sheet covered in wax paper and chill for several hours in the refrigerator or for 15 minutes in the freezer. (I found it worked best to chill in the fridge until I was ready to dip them and then put them in the freezer while I melted the chocolate.)
  5. In a double boiler or in a microwave, melt the chocolate and oil together, stirring until all lumps are gone.
  6. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and pour into a small cup. Let cool for a few minutes.
  7. Place crushed candy canes in a bowl and set aside.
  8. Remove cake balls from freezer. One at a time, dip the tip of a lollipop stick in the melted chocolate, then insert the stick straight into a cake ball, pushing almost all the way through.
  9. Hold the lollipop stick and dip the entire cake ball into the melted chocolate until it is completely covered and quickly remove.
  10. Hold pop over cup while excess chocolate drips off (if needed, tap your wrist with the opposite hand to help the process).
  11. Once excess and dripped off, let chocolate set for a few moments and then roll in crushed candy cane.
  12. Push stick into styrofoam and let chocolate harden.
  13. Once all cake pops are completed and cooled, cover and store in refrigerator.


29 Comments on Peppermint Chocolate Cake Pops

  1. Herocakepops
    December 5, 2011 at 11:48 am (11 years ago)

    These came out lovely

    • Stephanie
      December 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm (11 years ago)

      @Herocakepops – thank you!

  2. Danica
    December 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm (11 years ago)

    Steph, your coworkers must LOVE YOU.

    • Stephanie
      December 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm (11 years ago)

      @Danica – haha! They do love it when I bring things in that I’ve baked. In my office, one of my coworkers has a cupcake business and brings delicious baked goods in too. Someone said it was like desserts wars, except everyone wins.

  3. Jen @ A Touch of Lovely
    December 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm (11 years ago)

    OMG these sound incredible! I think I’m going to have to attempt them!!!

    • Stephanie
      December 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm (11 years ago)

      @Jen – you should! They were delicious 🙂

  4. Kim
    December 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm (11 years ago)

    Could you also use a boxed chocolate cake mix and store bought butter cream?

    • Stephanie
      December 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm (11 years ago)

      @Kim – absolutely! Use a chocolate cake mix and chocolate (or vanilla if you want) frosting. Mix crushed candy canes into the frosting. Then follow the rest of the directions.

  5. Natalie
    December 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm (11 years ago)

    These look delicious!

  6. vianney
    December 7, 2011 at 9:20 am (11 years ago)

    so pretty!!

  7. Nicole
    December 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm (11 years ago)

    For the frosting is that regular butter or the non salted?

    • Stephanie
      December 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm (11 years ago)

      @Nicole – I used unsalted butter.

  8. Betsy
    January 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm (10 years ago)

    could you use a little peppermint extract in the chocolate cake instead of crushed candy canes?

    • Stephanie
      January 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm (10 years ago)

      @Betsy – absolutely!

  9. Robin
    April 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm (10 years ago)

    Just made these for an co-workers daughters 2nd birthday. Left out the peppermint and used pink candy melts with either hot pink or butterfly sprinkles. They turned out perfect! Had made cake pops before and they were a disaster. Your instructions were easy to follow and turned out a great product. THANK YOU!!

  10. Eva
    July 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm (10 years ago)

    Hi Stephanie, I love your site! Would you please tell me how long these keep for and whether or not they need to be refridgerated? Thanks

    • Stephanie
      July 8, 2012 at 9:39 am (10 years ago)

      @Eva – I think I’ve kept cake pops in the fridge for about a week. To be on the safe side, I’d keep them refrigerated.

  11. Michelle Morris
    December 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm (10 years ago)

    Would I be able to mix the cake and frosting with my Kitchen Aid. I can’t stand the thought of eating other people’s cake pops because just the thought of someone’s hands all in it bothers me. I’d like to tell others that it wasn’t mixed by hands in case they feel the same way. Would this make it too mushy? Thanks. Oh and we both prefer baking everything from scratch which is what attracted me to your blog.

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      December 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm (10 years ago)

      Michelle, I think it would work just fine to mix in a stand mixer (in fact, I think I’ve done that once or twice). Have fun!

  12. Tami
    December 18, 2012 at 11:20 am (10 years ago)

    I see that it is called Chocolate Peppermint buttercream frosting but there is no chocolate in the ingredients. Is that right?
    Tami recently posted Coconut Semolina Cake

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      December 18, 2012 at 11:25 am (10 years ago)

      Tami, that was a typo and I’ve fixed it. The cake brings the chocolate flavor to the pops and the frosting is just peppermint.

  13. Tami
    December 18, 2012 at 11:21 am (10 years ago)

    I was posting on the peppermint chocolate cake pops not coconut semolina cake


5Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Peppermint Chocolate Cake Pops

  1. […] them again. It seemed to take forever. There are so many steps. To make matters worse, I was making peppermint chocolate cake pops, so after I dipped each one in white chocolate, I waited 30 seconds for it to set before rolling it […]

  2. […] What would be the best treat for Christmas? A treat with sweet chocolate, candy cane and something easy to eat.  In other words, cake pops. It’s perfect to hand out around and it’s just the small sweetness you need after a big Christmas dinner.  I think it’s the first recipe I made that took me more than two hours to make but it’s totally worth it! I split it in two because I didn’t had the time in one day so I made the cake and the balls and I refrigerated them overnight. I heard stories about how everyone messed up the first time they tried to make some but they ended up pretty good! So I adapted a recipe from 52kitchenadventure. […]

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