This Mint Chocolate Chip Cake is a mint lover’s dream! Layers of decadent chocolate cake topped with a silky mint chip buttercream.
Did you know that there is only one Olive Garden restaurant in Vancouver? It’s not really even in Vancouver, it’s in a suburb called Langley about 40+ mins outside of the city. Further research tells me there is actually only ONE Olive Garden in all of BC. Meanwhile, just south of the border it seems like there’s one every few blocks.
The one location we do have is about 20 mins from where we live, and always has at least a 1 hour wait. With such high demand, you think they’d expand to more locations?! So, I think I’ve only been to Olive Garden two or three times in my entire life. Sad, right??
One of these times was actually just a few weeks ago, when Ryan and I spontaneously decided to go there for a late dinner. Very out of character for us — both the spontaneous Olive Garden trip and the late dinner. The wait was only 45 mins this time. It was worth it though — we got a great table and the food was delicious. Those breadsticks and dipping sauces (five cheese marinara, omg yum) and I finally got to try the infamous Zuppa Toscana. Maybe only infamous to me though. As a food blogger I see that recipe everywhere. Now I see why. I could happily have had free refills of that as my dinner and been content. Well, that and the breadsticks.
Anyhow, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, and what on earth it has to do with this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake. Well, I had forgotten that at the end of the meal they give you these Andes Chocolate Mints and omg they are GOOD. I love the combo of mint and chocolate (hello After Eights ♥), but these mints are honestly the best. The BEST. Someone tell me where I can get these in Canada! I was hoping I’d find a giant tub of them in Costco, but no luck. I need these in my life, and my once-in-a-blue-moon trips to the Olive Garden aren’t going to cut it.
So, inspired by the delicious Andes Chocolate Mints, and in an attempt to recreate this flavor and try to satisfy my craving, I bring you this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake!
For the cake layers, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe. It truly is the best if you like a rich, chocolatey flavor. I debated putting mint extract into the actual cake batter, but I stuck with vanilla. I wanted the frosting to contrast with the cake, and didn’t want the mint flavor to be too overpowering.
The frosting is a classic Swiss meringue buttercream but with mint extract instead of vanilla, some green color gel, and chopped chocolate added in. I recommend using good quality chocolate for the chips and the ganache. It really makes a difference! I use Callebaut, but you can use any good quality chocolate that’s available to you. If you’re limited to a grocery store, Lindt is your best bet.
To me, this cake tastes just like those delicious Andes Chocolate Mints, but in cake form. A worthy substitute until I can get my hands on some. If you love mint chocolate candy, ice cream, or any other form, you will love this cake!
Tips for this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake:
- To enhance the chocolate flavor of the cake, you can use strong hot coffee instead of hot water.
- Use good quality chocolate if you can. I use Callebaut, but Lindt will do if it’s easily available to you.
- I used Kelly Green color gel to color the frosting.
- For the ganache, I let mine set overnight (with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface). It will be too thick at this point, so I microwave it for 5-10 secs and stir it until it’s the right consistency.
- The drip technique works best on a chilled cake so that the drips set quickly.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, see my Flat Top Cakes post.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
Mint Chip Buttercream:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
- 1 tsp mint extract
- 3 oz good quality dark chocolate chopped
- green color gel
- 2 oz good quality dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 oz heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350F, grease three 6″ round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
- Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
- Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
- Bake until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. A total of 30-35mins.
- Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Mint Chip Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch — approx. 5-10mins).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add peppermint extract.
- Stop the mixer. Dip a toothpick into the green color gel then dip it into the frosting. Whip until smooth and evenly green. Add more color gel if desired.
- Fold in chopped chocolate.
- Place chopped chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until ganache is smooth and silky. Set aside to cool completely and thicken slightly before using on cake. See notes.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving dish. Top with about 2/3 cup buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost and smooth the outside with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake.
- Using a small spoon, place dollops of ganache around the top edges of the cooled cake, allowing some to drip down. Fill in the top of the cake with more ganache and spread evenly with an offset spatula.***
- Top with fresh mint if desired.
** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
*** You may have some ganache left over. For the ganache, I let mine set overnight (with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface). It will be too thick at this point, so I microwave it for 5-10 secs and stir it until it’s the right consistency.
I made this for a Christmas party and everyone loved it. The swiss meringue buttercream frosting is amazing. I don’t have 6 inch cake pans, so I used 2 8 inch instead. It would have been prettier taller, but it was fine and the taste is delicious. I will definitely make this one again!
Hi Christi! I’m so happy everyone loved it. Thanks for the feedback!
The recipe gives me the option x1-x3 Changing the quantity of the ingredients for the expected yield. Does the standard times one recipe yield enough batter for three cakes?
Hi Virginia! The x1 recipe as listed will make the cake shown in the pictures. Three 6″ layers.
Linda Thompson says
Hoping to make this cake for my birthday this week.
Just wondering what would be the best substitute for mint extract as I can’t find any anywhere local (and online won’t be on time unfortunately as I left it too late.)
Hi Linda! Here are some options: https://www.gourmetsleuth.com/ingredients/detail/peppermint-extract
This is my first cake on your website. I love to bake, and mint chip is my favorite thing in the world. This cake was seriously to die for. The chocolate cake was amazing. The icing is my new favorite thing, and I never thought that buttercream was “all that” until now. I made some rookie mistakes and I should have done a practice one before making the “real thing” to bring to Thanksgiving. For one thing, I put the icing in the fridge and it got too hard to frost the rest of the cake after putting the 2/3 cup on the layers. I tried to whip it back to shape but it kind of curdled, and I didn’t know the hair dryer trick. But the color had changed by then too, so it was something to keep in mind. Also, I read everything you posted about flat cakes and bought the cake belts (can’t remember what they’re called) and then FORGOT to use them, so between that and the fact that I didn’t reduce the baking soda and powder enough for the high altitude, I had some puffed up layers! Despite that, the ganache was great and it tasted sooooo good. THIS IS A CAKE THAT IS BEST SERVED COLD A DAY AFTER IT’S MADE. The flavors meld, the icing firms up, and there is just such a fabulous balance to the cake. I will definitely try another one of your cakes really soon. Thank you for this!
Hi Sochet! I am so happy you loved this one. Thanks for all your tips! I hope the next time goes more smoothly 🙂
The actual cake tasted pretty good and so did the buttercream. Though, the buttercream still had butter chunks in it and wasn’t nearly thick enough to put on a cake. I would suggest that if you are making this cake you make sure the butter is really soft before mixing it. I also added a little bit of powdered sugar, cornstarch, and I put it in the fridge to make it thicker. The ganache also wasn’t thick enough. Although the buttercream and ganache didn’t turn out too well, I did make the cake for my dad’s birthday and he enjoyed it so thats a big plus!
Hi Rachel! Sorry to hear this one didn’t turn out perfect for you. It sounds like the buttercream wasn’t emulsified properly. Have a look through my detailed tutorial for tips and troubleshooting: https://livforcake.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/ The ganache takes some time to thicken up, I have a tutorial for that too 🙂 https://livforcake.com/chocolate-ganache-recipe/ Despite the issues I am so happy your dad liked it!
Delicious moist cake with complementary frosting
Hi Lisa! Thank you! I’m so happy you loved it 🙂
Can is recipe be made into cupcakes?
Hi Btown! For sure, the recipe should make 18-24 depending on size. Start checking them at 15mins or so.
Dawnelle Faye Hauber says
Cake recipe is amazing! And that is saying something since I normally don’t like chocolate cake!
The frosting was okay when I followed the recipe, my husband said it tasted like toothpaste. So instead of just adding the chocolate chunks I melted the chocolate, and added more, then added it and it tastes much better.
I’m making this for my dad’s birthday tomorrow so I hope he likes it, specifically requested a Chocolate Mint Cake!
Will definitely use this cake recipe again!
Hi Dawnelle! So glad you love the cake! For the frosting, I would try a different brand of mint extract. I find some much better than others in terms of flavour, and only add a tiny bit at a time until you get the flavour you like.
I want to make this for my mom’s birthday but she can’t have sugar. Do you think it would work with subbing the sugar for Splenda? Or another sugar free ‘sugar”?
Hi Maria! It might work ok for the cake layers themselves but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure. For the frosting it has to be granulated sugar but you could try one of these instead with sugar substitutes: https://livforcake.com/ermine-frosting/, https://livforcake.com/german-buttercream/.
I forgot to ask, should you refrigerate the cake or can you leave it out after assembly?
The cake will be fine at room temperature for a couple of days, but otherwise I would refrigerate.
Should I refrigerate the cake after assembly or is it okay to leave on the counter? Thanks again.
Patience Darko says
I love,love your recipes they a to die for literally.
Thanks so much Patience!
Can the buttercream be made in advance and kept in the fridge overnight?
Hi Emily! For sure, if just overnight though I’d leave it at room temp. It will get very firm and you’ll need it to come to room temp again before you can use it which will take hours. Be sure to rewhip it either way before use. See this post for troubleshooting: https://livforcake.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/
Liv, this was simply amazing and it looked great too. I’m getting better, not perfect like yours but close. My husband loves it. The frosting was a bit too sweet but live and learn. I’ll know for next time. ☺️
Hi Pamela! So glad you both loved it 🙂 You can add a bit of salt to cut the sweetness of the frosting or give one if these a try. They arent very sweet at all!
Hi, I made this for my daughter’s birthday yesterday and it was absolutely delicious. I had to make the merangue icing by hand with a whisk as my hand held broke 5 minutes into whipping but it still worked with a bit of patience and sweat. It was really worth it and the sponge receipie was most and light. Thank you for being so generous and sharing.
Hi Tarren! So happy you loved it. Thanks for the feedback!
This recipe was great! My son surprised me with this cake for my birthday – a combination of my two favorite flavors (chocolate & mint)! It turned out so well that I thought it had come from a professional bakery. 🙂 5 stars all the way!
Hi Jacqueline! Wow, amazing! So happy you loved it 🙂 Happy belated birthday!
Everything was really good. The only thing was my frosting didn’t set up well. It was too runny. I didn’t want to keep whipping it and over whip so I just stuck it in the fridge.
Is there something I can do next time to avoid this? This is my husbands favorite cake.
Hi Andrea! I have a detailed tutorial here with tips & troubleshooting on the frosting: https://livforcake.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/
Can I also use 2 8” cake pans with this recipe?
Hi Melissa! You can but the layers would be a bit thinner. I would recommend this recipe instead: https://livforcake.com/chocolate-cake-recipe/
Doris de Graaf says
Hi! How large should the baking mold be if I make this cake for 6 persons?
Hi Doris! You can cut the recipe in half (change the Servings to 6) and bake one 8″ round layer. You can also bake it in two 6″ rounds but the layers will be thinner so you’ll need to reduce the baking time.
Mindy H. says
I made this cake for my best friends birthday today and it is absolutely fantastic! It’s the first time I have ever made a cooked buttercream frosting and it was so much easier than I thought it would be. It was also some of the most delicious frosting I’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure I will rarely make the American buttercream anymore. I can’t wait to make it as a vanilla frosting! The cake was also really moist and light textured. I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate for the ganache and frosting and Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder for the cake. The cake isn’t even gone and I already look forward to the next time I can make it!
I read through the comments first to see about any issues that may have cropped up for people and wanted to say something about the mixing chopped chocolate into the frosting vs leaving it out and sprinkling on after issue. I tasted my frosting after mixing in the peppermint extract and personally felt like the peppermint flavor could get overpowering without the chocolate to temper it. I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the chocolate as evenly distributed as necessary trying to sprinkle it around so I just made sure to chop mine as fine as I could so it would mix in as well as possible and not make it difficult to (mostly) smooth. I feel like the little bit of bumpiness added some charm and visual texture appeal. Thank you so much for this lovely recipe!
Hi Mindy! I am so happy you loved this cake and that you tried a new buttercream. I never make American anymore either. This one is a winner! Thanks so much for your helpful tips <3
Hello, this is my first attempt at making a cake for my wife. She loves Mint chocolate and is a big fan of kitkat duo (dark chocolate and mint candy). DO you think if I crushed the kit kat up into small pieces I could use in place of the chocolate chips? OR both? TO be honest I am a little scared haha 🙂
Hi Chad! I love that you’re baking a cake for her! What I would do is chop up some of the kit kats and spread them on top of the frosting for each layer. Adding them into the frosting wouldn’t work great as there’s already chocolate chips in there and it’s hard to smooth out. Adding kit kats would just make it messier. I think sprinkling them over each layer and then again on the top will work great. Let me know how it turns out!
Allie M says
This recipe was awesome! A few notes, first, the cake was amazing. Hands down, best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made. Second, I added a little bit too much mint (more than the recipe called for), so make sure you watch your mint addition! Third, I wouldn’t add the chocolate shavings to the buttercream, I would frost the cake and then add the shavings directly onto the cake. It looks prettier.
All in all, awesome recipe! Must try for someone who loves mint.
Hi Allie! So happy you loved the cake! Thanks for your tips 🙂