These thick and fudgy Peppermint Mocha Brownies are the perfect combination of chocolate and peppermint. They’re made with dark chocolate, cocoa and peppermint bark, along with peppermint extract, candy canes and a hint of coffee!
Whether you need a festive treat for a holiday gathering, annual cookie box or a way to use up leftover peppermint bark and candy canes, you’ll love these rich and indulgent peppermint mocha brownies.
They’re similar to these raspberry brownies, with a few adjustments to make them pepperminty and festive!
*This recipe was originally published in November 2017. It has been updated with new photos, helpful tips for readers and changes to the recipe.
Table of contents
What makes these peppermint mocha brownies so good?
- Chocolate and peppermint is a truly festive combo, and adding ground coffee really elevates this flavor pairing.
- These brownies are rich and fudgy thanks to the mix of melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder and chopped dark chocolate peppermint bark.
- Speaking of peppermint bark, this recipe is a great way to use up some leftover bark from the holidays as well as candy canes!
- There’s no electric mixer required for these brownies. Just a whisk, spatula and a few bowls!
Ingredients and substitutions
Below is a brief overview of the ingredients and recommended substitutions. The recipe card at the end of this post includes the exact quantities used.
Flour – Just one cup gives these brownies structure. We’re using white, all-purpose flour here. I haven’t tested this recipe with any other type of flour.
Cocoa – I opted to use Dutch-processed cocoa as opposed to natural cocoa as it adds more intense chocolate flavor. I haven’t tested these brownies with natural cocoa.
Dark chocolate – Melted dark chocolate adds a fudgy texture to these brownies. I recommend using good quality dark chocolate (70% cacao) instead of chocolate chips. It tends to melt better and adds a richer flavor.
Peppermint bark – You can make your own or use store-bought. I normally use store-bought to keep things easy. I prefer to use peppermint bark that’s made with dark chocolate, but milk chocolate will work too.
Butter – This is melted together with the dark chocolate to form the base of the brownie batter. I use unsalted so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Feel free to use plant-based butter if you prefer.
Sugars – The recipe calls for a mix of coconut sugar and cane sugar. You can substitute with brown sugar and granulated sugar if you prefer. The brownies may be a little more moist and require a few minutes extra baking time. If you prefer a crinkly top on your brownies, just use all granulated sugar (315 grams) in the brownies.
Eggs – You’ll need three in this recipe for binding, rise and moisture. Be sure they’re brought to room temperature so they easily whisk together with the other wet ingredients.
Instant coffee – To enhance the chocolate flavor of these brownies, we’re adding a tablespoon of instant coffee. While not pictured above, be sure to grind the instant coffee until it is powdery. Otherwise, your brownies may have a slight gritty texture. You can also use regular ground coffee (not instant) or espresso powder for a more intense flavor.
Baking powder – Used for leavening.
Salt – To enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. I like fine sea salt but kosher salt or table salt work too. If you’re using salted butter, I suggest omitting the added salt here.
Vanilla extract – Try to use real vanilla extract instead of artificial.
Peppermint extract – To ensure the peppermint flavor shines through, you’ll need two teaspoons of peppermint extract. It might sound like a lot, but it really doesn’t overwhelm the brownies.
Crushed candy canes – I crushed up 2 candy canes to sprinkle on top. If you don’t have candy canes, a handful of hard peppermint candies will work too.
How to make peppermint bark brownies
Below is a brief overview of the steps to make these brownies along with photos. For further details, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Leave out the peppermint bark and use all chopped dark chocolate.
- Top with frosting. This chocolate avocado frosting (with a drop of peppermint extract added) pairs nicely with these peppermint bark brownies.
For convenience, US cup measurements are included in the recipe card for this recipe. To ensure greater accuracy, however, weight and volume measurements are also provided. So, if you see grams (g), you’ll want to use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients, and if you see milliliters (ml), you’ll want to use a liquid measuring cup. Smaller quantities of ingredients are provided in teaspoons and tablespoons.
Storage and freezing tips
These brownies should be stored in a covered container at room temperature for no more than 1-2 days. After that, they start to dry out. To keep them longer, you can store them in the fridge for 3-5 days.
To freeze, be sure the brownies are fully cooled. Then, cut them into squares and arrange in a single layer in an airtight container, or between sheets of parchment paper. They will last for about 1 month in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, just thaw at room temperature.
Key recipe tips
- Melting chocolate. I melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals. As chocolate burns quickly in the microwave, stirring after every interval will help prevent this. If you prefer, you can use a double boiler instead of the microwave.
- Measuring flour and cocoa. If you’re using cup measurements instead of weighing the ingredients, be sure to use the spoon and level method for the flour and cocoa. Scooping them out of the bag or container will pack them into your measuring cup and result in too much for the brownies.
- Grind instant coffee. Instant coffee usually has large granules. To ensure your brownies don’t have a gritty texture, grind the instant coffee into a powder. You can also just use regular ground coffee or espresso powder.
- Let the melted chocolate mixture cool. Once you add the sugar and coffee to the melted chocolate and butter, let it cool for 5 minutes before adding the eggs.
- Room temperature eggs. To ensure the eggs incorporate well into the wet mixture, bring them to room temperature first.
- Peppermint bark. When adding pieces to the top of the batter in the pan, place the bark white side down into the batter. White chocolate tends to brown quickly, so I like to bake the brownies with the dark chocolate side up.
- Line the pan. I normally grease the brownie pan and then line it with slightly overhanging parchment paper. Once cooled, you can use the sides of the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan.
- Don’t over bake. The brownies will be too dry. For a fudgy brownie, take them out of the oven at the lower end of the baking time range.
Peppermint mocha is a beverage typically made with steamed milk, chocolate, coffee or espresso and peppermint flavoring. These peppermint mocha brownies are inspired by this beverage flavor.
Adding some ground coffee or espresso powder will enhance the richness of brownies, making the flavors from the cocoa and dark chocolate more pronounced.
Since we’re going for a rich brownie, I recommend going with dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) and try to use good quality chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips.
These brownies take anywhere from 30-35 minutes, depending on how fudgy you like your brownies and the type of sugar you use. For instance, if you use a mix of coconut sugar and cane sugar, they will be ready quicker than if you use all granulated sugar or a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar. Since oven temperatures can also vary, check your brownies by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out with moist crumbs on it, you’re good to go.
Yes, for a thicker brownie, you can use an 8-inch square pan. Just be sure to add at least 5 minutes to the baking time, if not more.
More brownie recipes
- Almond Butter Brownies
- Tahini Brownies
- Oat Flour Brownies
- Peanut Butter Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Thick and fudgy Peppermint Mocha Brownies are made with dark chocolate, cocoa and peppermint bark, along with a hint of coffee and crushed candy canes!
- 1 cup (140g) all purpose white flour
- 1/3 cup (35g) Dutch-processed cocoa, sifted if lumpy
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 ounces (170g) dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (230g) cane sugar
- 1/2 cup (90g) coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules, ground
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (113g) peppermint bark, chopped
- 2 candy canes, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9-inch square baking pan with slightly overhanging parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, add the dark chocolate and butter. Microwave on 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until melted together and smooth.
- Whisk in the sugars and coffee and let cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
- Whisk in the eggs, peppermint and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be thick. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the chopped peppermint bark (reserving some for the top).
- Spread the batter out into the prepared pan. Top with remaining pieces of bark.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out with moist crumbs on it.
- Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
- Let cool on a wire rack before lifting out of the pan and cutting into squares.
- Microwave chocolate and butter together in intervals to prevent it from burning. You can also use a double boiler instead of the microwave.
- If you don’t have a kitchen scale, be sure to use the spoon and level method to measure out the flour and cocoa.
- Instant coffee usually has large granules. To ensure your brownies don’t have a gritty texture, grind the instant coffee into a powder. You can also just use regular ground coffee or espresso powder.
- When adding pieces of peppermint bark to the top of the batter in the pan, place the bark white side down into the batter. White chocolate tends to brown quickly, so I like to bake the brownies with the dark chocolate side up.
- If you prefer fudgy brownies, bake for roughly 30 minutes. Do not over bake as the brownies will be too dry. Check for doneness using the toothpick test.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: brownies, peppermint, mocha, fudgy, peppermint bark, candy canes