This Chocolate Mint Layer Cake recipe has tender layers of chocolate cake with fluffy mint buttercream and smooth, melt in your mouth chocolate mint ganache.
If you are a long time reader you already know how much we love chocolate mint brownies. I’ve told you about how we served them at our wedding and that they continue to be a family favorite.
My favorite part of the chocolate mint brownies is the mint buttercream frosting together with the mint chocolate ganache. So that got me to thinking, why not make a cake that includes those two items. This chocolate mint layer cake is what I came up with and it is definitely worth making!
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Where is the Chocolate Mint Layer Cake recipe? In this post, I will share step-by-step instructions with photos for how to make this cake, as well as answering FAQs about the recipe and sharing a short video showing the recipe in motion. But you can go directly to the recipe by scrolling down to the bottom of the post.
How To Make Chocolate Mint Layer Cake
Step One: Cakes
Bake three cakes and let them cool completely. I started with chocolate cake mix and added some coffee for more intense flavor.
Use a large serrated knife to level the cakes. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden before assembly.
Step Two: Buttercream
While waiting, make the mint buttercream frosting. Beat butter and shortening for two minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk and the mint extract. Slowly stir until moistened and then beat until smooth.
Stir in green gel paste until you have the shade of green you want.
Step Three: Ganache
Make the chocolate mint ganache and set it aside to cool.
Step Four: Frost First Layer
Place one of the cakes on a cardboard cake round and frost it with mint buttercream frosting.
Step Five: Barrier
Pipe a wide rim of mint buttercream frosting around the bottom layer of cake. The buttercream barrier will hold in the chocolate mint ganache.
Step Six: Ganache
Pour about 1/3 cup of chocolate mint ganache inside the frosting barrier and spread it out into an even layer.
Step Seven: Second Layer
Repeat the frosting and ganache with the second cake layer.
Step Eight: Third Layer
Add the third layer of cake and frost it but skip the ganache for now.
Step Nine: Frost Cake
Spread the mint buttercream frosting over the sides of the cake.
Step Ten: Ganache Topping
Pour the remaining chocolate mint ganache on top of the cake and us an offset spatula to spread it out allowing the chocolate to drizzle down the sides.
Step Eleven: Chill
Put the cake in the fridge to allow the chocolate mint ganache to harden and the mint buttercream to set.
I ran into some issues while making and decorating this cake. If you watch the video at the beginning of the post you might be able to spot some of my mistakes.
Instead of doing a second video, I decided that my motto would be “Rather than striving for perfection, I strive for delicious!” You don’t have to make your dinners, your desserts or your cakes perfect. Just give it a try and enjoy what you come up with!
Chocolate Mint Layer Cake FAQs
1. Can I use a “from scratch” cake mix instead? Yes, I used a boxed cake mix but that doesn’t mean YOU have to. Feel free to use whatever chocolate cake recipe you desire.
2. Why is there coffee in this chocolate cake recipe? This recipe was inspired by my Chocolate Mint Brownies and that recipe has coffee in it. The coffee in this chocolate mint layer cake recipe enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake. If you prefer, you can substitute equal amounts of another liquid like water or milk for the brewed coffee that is in this recipe.
3. What is chocolate ganache? Chocolate ganache is typically made with chocolate and cream. This recipe uses chocolate and butter. I decided to call it ganache anyway.
4. How can I minimize cake crumbles when frosting the cake? Decorating the cake is easier if you put the cakes in the freezer for about 30 minutes before assembly.
5. What kind of icing bag should I use? To pipe the rim of frosting around each layer I used a 16-inch disposable icing bag with the tip of the bag cut off (no icing tip).
6. Which frosting tip did you use for the sides of the cake? In the video, you can see that I used an extra large tip to frost the sides of the cake. It is this Wilton No. 789 Cake Icer Tip.
7. What tool did you use to smooth the frosting? To smooth the frosting on the sides of the cake I used this Ateco Icing Smoother. You can see it in the video above.
8. Which food coloring did you use? To get this shade of green frosting I used Wilton Kelly Green Gel Paste from this set.
9. Where did you buy that cake stand? Finally, many readers have asked me about this cake stand (I love it too!). It is from a Hobby Lobby spring collection several years ago so I don’t think it is available any longer.
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- 1 chocolate cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee cooled
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup shortening
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- Green gel paste or food coloring
- Put chocolate cake mix, eggs, brewed coffee, milk, and vegetable oil in large bowl. Mix for thirty seconds on low and then beat for two minutes. Divide to cake batter between three greased, floured and parchment lined 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 325° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 30 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. To make the decorating easier, use a serrated knife to level the tops of the cakes and then wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 30 minutes before assembly.
- Beat butter and shortening for two minutes. Add the powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk and the mint extract. Slowly stir until moistened and then beat until smooth. Stir in green gel paste until you have the shade of green you want. (I used Wilton Kelly Green from this set.)
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in the microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power and stir until smooth. If necessary, continue heating at 50% power for 15-second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool for about 5 minutes. You want it to still be spreadable but cool enough that it doesn't melt the buttercream frosting.
- Place one of the cakes on cardboard cake round and top with mint buttercream frosting. Spread out the frosting with an offset spatula. Put some frosting in a decorating bag and pipe a wide rim of frosting around the outside of the cake to hold the ganache in place. Pour about 1/3 cup of chocolate mint ganache in the center of the cake and spread it out with an offset spatula. Repeat with the second cake layer.
- Top with the final cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Remove and excess frosting and smooth the sides of the cake. Pour the remaining ganache on top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread out the ganache allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
- Put the cake in the fridge so that the chocolate mint ganache can harden and mint buttercream frosting can set before serving.
- Store in the fridge.