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Treat yourself to a slice of this deliciously dairy free Chocolate Mint Cake. It’s made with healthy ingredients while still tasting rich and decadent.
Is there ever a bad time for chocolate cake? I don’t think so! It’s why I’m always making this Chocolate Mint Cake for special occasions, birthdays, or when I’m simply craving that refreshing, chocolatey goodness.
This peppermint chocolate cake features a refreshing hint of mint without skipping the rich chocolate flavors that you know and love.
I wanted to keep things on the lighter side so I substituted a few of the typical ingredients you would find in chocolate cake recipes for healthier options (like applesauce instead of vegetable oil and almond milk instead of regular milk). Bonus: the dessert is entirely dairy free!
I decorated the cake with a luscious mint chocolate buttercream frosting on top, but you could take it up a notch by dying the icing green (perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!) or adding chocolate shavings on top. This cake may look like a regular chocolate cake on the outside but offers the perfect pairing of mint and chocolate together in every bite!
- Chocolate + mint = love!
- I swapped a few of the traditional chocolate cake ingredients out for healthier alternatives. Plus, it’s completely dairy free!
- It’s a simple one-layer cake, so adding the chocolate frosting on top is super easy.
- Applesauce - The applesauce adds to the moisture to the cake but won’t affect the flavor. If you don’t have applesauce at home, you can substitute it for more coconut oil or replace the coconut oil with more applesauce to make an oil free cake.
- Almond milk - Any dairy free milk will work. My favorite alternative is oat milk!
- Maple syrup - I like the natural sweetness and warmth the maple syrup adds, but you can always replace it with honey or more cane sugar if you want.
- Peppermint extract - For that refreshing mint flavor of course!
- Chocolate mint buttercream - This easy buttercream recipe is made with butter, milk, powdered sugar, peppermint extract, and cocoa powder. It looks like your everyday chocolate icing but has a burst of refreshment from the mint. To keep the entire decorated cake dairy free, feel free to replace this with my vegan chocolate buttercream.
Step 1: Mix the wet ingredients. Whisk the eggs, applesauce, milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and peppermint together in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
Step 3: Finish the batter. Pour the dry mixture into the wet and stir to combine. Pour it into your prepared cake pan.
Step 4: Bake the cake. Place the cake pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the baked cake cool while you make the icing.
Step 5: Make the chocolate icing. Mix the butter, milk, and peppermint together. Next, add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Step 6: Decorate the cake. Place a big dollop of icing on the cooled cake, spread it along the top, then serve and enjoy!
Expert tips and FAQs
- Prepare your cake pans by lightly greasing the sides with coconut oil and a light dusting of flour, then add a round piece of parchment paper to the bottom.
- To enhance the chocolate flavor, add ½ cup of brewed coffee or espresso to the cake batter.
Can mint chocolate cake be made vegan?
Simply swap the eggs for 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons of water) to make this chocolate cake vegan. You could also use vegan butter and dairy free milk instead of the regular butter and milk in the frosting, or use my vegan chocolate buttercream or vegan vanilla buttercream recipes instead.
Can it be made gluten free?
I haven’t tested it but the all purpose flour could possibly be swapped for a 1:1 gluten free flour blend. Want to use almond flour or coconut flour instead? Be sure to check out my almond flour chocolate cake and coconut flour chocolate cake recipes.
How do you decorate mint chocolate cake?
Are you making the cake for a crowd or a St. Patrick’s Day celebration? To give it that true “minty” look, you can omit the cocoa powder from the icing and add 1 or 2 drops of green gel food coloring. Or, if you’re serving it for Christmas, add red food coloring instead! From there, add chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chips, fresh mint, chocolate shavings, or ganache on top.
How do you make this into a 2 or 3 layer cake?
Simply double or triple the recipe and bake the batter in two or three 9-inch cake pans.
Refrigerator: The baked cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored whole or sliced in the fridge for up to 5 days. The chocolate buttercream can also be made ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.
Freezer: Bake the cake, wrap it in plastic, and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. The icing can also be frozen for about 3 or 4 months.
More delicious cake recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Chocolate Mint Cake
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a round 9" cake pan with parchment paper (or grease with coconut oil); set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, applesauce, milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and peppermint together.
- In a separate bowl, stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine using a rubber spatula. It's ok if there are some lumps in the batter! Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Wait for the cake to cool before icing it.
- For the icing: whisk the butter, milk and peppermint together with an electric mixer, then add the cocoa and powdered sugar and continue mixing until the icing is smooth. If it seems too thick, add 1 more tablespoon of milk. If it seems too thin, add ¼ cup powdered sugar.
- Place a large dollop of icing on top of the cooled cake, then use an offset knife to stir until the top of the cake is coated. Slice and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in March 2016. It was updated with new text and photos in March 2022.