Uber Fudgy Peppermint Brownies Recipe

The most delicious fudgy peppermint brownies recipe that's glossed up with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and has two crunchy layers of chopped peppermint candies plus a hint of extract for added peppermint jazz hands. The perfect marriage of chocolate and peppermint wrapped in a yummy brownie. These will satisfy your chocolate peppermint craving!
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This Fudgy Peppermint Brownies Recipe is actually my favorite Foolproof Crinkly Fudgy Brownies (the best brownies!) but jazzed up with a heap of peppermint flavor and a luscious layer of dark chocolate ganache.

To really maximize the candy cane flavor, crushed peppermint candies are sifted so you have chunks of peppermint candies as well as peppermint ‘dust’ (see step-by-step photos below).

The peppermint dust is then sprinkled over the brownies mid-bake and then the peppermint chunks are added to the tops of the brownies as garnish for more delicious texture and flavor.

For more brownies, check out my Classic Fudgy Brownies (with the shiny, crinkle top) and The Best Fudgy Brown Butter Brownies (EVER!).

You can find all of my brownie and bar cookie recipes here!

A stack of candy cane brownies and the top one has a bite out of it.

The final brownie dessert has a perfectly fudgy brownie layer with just the right amount of pure peppermint extract, a dusting of, well, peppermint dust. Then a decadent layer of dark chocolate ganache covers the top and the remaining chopped peppermint is sprinkled over the tops.

This is a pretty easy peppermint brownies recipe, but I’m hesitant to label it ‘easy’ across the board because you do need to whip up the ganache.

It’s a painless extra step that happens while the brownies are chilling (and you’re reusing one of the bowls you used to make the brownies), but it’s an extra step regardless, so I won’t totally brag about these being easy peasy brownies.

These are DREAMY (and beautiful) and the perfect holiday treat!

A side profile of peppermint brownies.

Why You Should Make These Fabulous Fudgy Peppermint Brownies

  • They are the perfect balance between rich, fudgy brownie and cool, crunchy peppermint
  • This peppermint brownie recipe is great anytime of year but they are so fun and festive around the holiday season
  • The ingredients are mostly simple ingredients and pantry staples (minus the peppermint candy canes!)
  • This recipe can be made in a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking dish or a 9×9 (23×23-cm) square baking pan. The former will make thinner brownies (that’s what I used in the photos) and the latter will yield a thicker, fudgy brownie with a thicker ganache layer. See the Notes section below the recipe for more details.
  • This recipe is foolproof and will turn out perfect every time!
  • These are delicious as is and would also be delicious as a more elegant dessert served with vanilla bean ice cream and more crushed candy canes!

This recipe was originally posted in 2016 but has been completely revamped, updated and made new and fabulous. I’ve learned so much about baking brownies since then (and from writing the brownie recipes in The Cookie Book), that these Peppermint Brownies (aka Candy Cane Brownies) deserved a much needed facelift. So enjoy!

A overhead close up of a peppermint brownie.

The Best Peppermint Extract for Baking (IMHO)

I have tried many different brands of peppermint extract and my favorite is Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract. This is not sponsored ;), just my genuine favorite peppermint extract.

It has just the right amount of cool peppermint flavor without tasting and smelling like mouthwash.

For this recipe you’ll use 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract. I give a range depending on how peppermint-y you want it to be. I like the 3/4 teaspoon, but if you like to go big on peppermint flavor then use the full 1 teaspoon.

The Baker’s Guide to Measuring Flour

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes in baking is how we measure flour. If you find yourself without a scale, see my top tips on how to properly measure flour for the perfect amount every time!

My Favorite Peppermint Brownie Tips
+ Step-by-Step Instructions

Below are step-by-step photos (with captions) to make The Best Peppermint Brownies perfect every single time! My biggest tips are:

  • Use Quality Peppermint Extract. Peppermint extract taste varies with many tasting and smelling like mouthwash or overly fake. I love Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract.
  • Sift (or Separate) Your Crushed Peppermint Candy. In this recipe the peppermint ‘dust’ is sprinkled over the brownies mid-bake and then the larger peppermint chunks are used to garnish the top of the brownies. I love the two layers of peppermint flavor and I think the larger chunks look cleaner and prettier sprinkled over the top. If you don’t have a sifter/seive, then just use your hands; it doesn’t have to be perfect!
  • Allow Time for the Brownies & Ganache to Cool. You’ll want to let the brownies cool completely before adding the ganache (the fridge speeds this up) and then you’ll want to chill them once again to set the ganache before cutting them. Factor both of these steps into your baker’s timeline.

Let’s make some super festive Candy Cane Brownies!

To Start

Crushed candy canes in a sieve.
STEP ONE: Separate the crushed peppermint candy (candy canes) with a fine-mesh sieve or use your hands; it doesn’t have to be perfect…
Two white bowls of crushed candy canes.
STEP ONE: They’ll look like this; peppermint ‘dust’ on the left and the larger crushed peppermint chunks on the right.

For The Brownies

A glass bowl filled with butter, cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
STEP TWO: In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or let the water come to a boil. Stir frequently until melted and smooth and set aside (but keep warm). While this is melting, you can move onto the other steps…
A bowl filled with sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, peppermint and salt.
STEP THREE: In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer or a whisk), add the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, peppermint extract and salt…
A mixer frothing up brownie batter.
STEP THREE: …and whisk on medium-high for about 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and light in color.
Mixing chocolate into the brownie batter.
STEP FOUR: Add in the melted chocolate mixture (no need to let it cool) and run the mixer for 30 seconds on low to combine (you can also mix in with a spatula like I did here).
Brownie batter in a glass bowl with flour.
STEP FIVE: Fold in the flour until just combined (make sure there aren’t any flour pockets).
Brownies in a pan before baking.
STEP SIX: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the brownies in the center of the oven for 15 minutes…
Fine crushed peppermint candies sprinkled over unbaked brownies.
STEP SIX: …then sprinkle the tops of the brownies with the peppermint dust (reserving the bigger bits of peppermint to garnish the finished brownies). Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking for 10-12 minutes.
Peppermint Brownies fresh from the oven.
STEP SEVEN: When done, the tops will be puffed with some cracks and if you test with a toothpick some moist crumbs will cling to it. Let them cool in the pan for about 30 minutes and then transfer to the fridge to cool completely for 1 to 2 hours.

For the Ganache

A glass bowl with cream, chocolate chips, salt and light corn syrup.
STEP EIGHT: Wash and dry the medium bowl that you used to melt the chocolate for the brownies and add the chocolate, cream, butter/light corn syrup (optional) and salt and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or let the water come to a boil.
Smooth chocolate ganache in a glass bowl.
STEP EIGHT: Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes…
A pile of melted chocolate on top of fudgy peppermint brownies.
STEP NINE: …and then pour over the cooled brownies…
Smoothed ganache over the top of brownies.
STEP NINE: Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the ganache over the tops of the brownies.
Crushed peppermint candies over brownies.
STEP TEN: Sprinkle with the larger peppermint chunks and place the brownies back in the fridge to fully set, about 1 to 2 hours.
A bunch of brownies on a white surface.

Favorite Brownie Equipment

9×9-inch (23×23-cm) pan for thicker, fudgier brownies

9×13-inch (23×33-cm) pan for chewier brownies around the edges of the pan and more fudge-like ones in the center

Electric Stand Mixer (I prefer the Artisan to the Professional)

Breville Handheld Mixer, this one has a bunch of speeds, dough hooks, whisks. I was never a fan of handhelds until I got this one! This is the one in the photos and video.

These bowls are awesome for mixing, setting atop simmering water when melting chocolate and for weighing out ingredients before starting (if you’re so inclined!)

Confetti spatula from this set — it’s too cute!

Love this chef’s knife with the white handle…you can also see it in the brownie video

This fine-mesh sieve is awesome for sifting the peppermint candies

A close up of cut brownies.

More Chocolate Peppermint Desserts

If you’d like to see some more peppermint recipes, check out: Peppermint Bark Cookie BarsDark Chocolate Peppermint CupsChocolate Peppermint Skillet CookieHoliday Chocolate Peppermint Breakfast Buns, Vegan Peppermint Brownies, Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cookies and Peppermint Sandwich Cookies.

Click here to see all of the brownie + bar cookies recipes on DisplacedHousewife!

Rebecca Firth

Uber Fudgy Peppermint Brownies Recipe

The most delicious fudgy peppermint brownies recipe that's glossed up with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and has two crunchy layers of chopped peppermint candies plus a hint of extract for added peppermint jazz hands. The perfect marriage of chocolate and peppermint wrapped in a yummy brownie. These will satisfy your chocolate peppermint craving!
5 from 2 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Brownies, Bar Cookiees
Keyword: Peppermint, Bar Cookies, Brownies, Holiday Baking, Fudgy
Servings: 20 Servings

Ingredients

To Start

  • 1/2 cup (86 g) peppermint candies or candy canes

For the Brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups (255 g) dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter (cut into 12 pieces)
  • 1 cup (85 g) unsweetened dark (Dutch process) cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) real vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (see Note below)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (135 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)

For the Ganache

  • 1 1/4 cups (213 g) dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter or 1 tbsp (21 g) of light corn syrup (optional; see Note below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

To Start

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease an 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking dish and line with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. (See note below regarding pan size.)
  • Crush the peppermint candies (candy canes). I usually place them in a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Separate the candy cane chunks from the candy cane 'dust'; I used a fine-mesh sieve for this but it doesn't need to be perfect and you can eyeball separating the two. Set aside.

For the Brownies

  • In a medium bowl (that's heat safe) add the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or let the water come to a boil. Stir frequently until melted and smooth and set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (see mixer Notes below recipe), add the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, peppermint extract and salt and whisk on medium-high for about 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and light in color. Add in the melted chocolate (no need to let it cool) and run the mixer for 30 seconds on low to combine. Fold in the flour until just combined (make sure there aren't any flour pockets). Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for 15 minutes and then sprinkle the tops of the brownies with the peppermint dust (reserving the bigger bits of peppermint to garnish the finished brownies). Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking for 10-12 minutes (for a total of 25 to 27 minutes bake time).
  • When done, the tops will be puffed with some cracks and if you test with a toothpick some crumbs will cling to it. Let on a wire rack and let the brownies cool in the pan for about 30 minutes and then transfer to the fridge to cool completely for 1 to 2 hours.

For the Ganache

  • Wash and dry the medium bowl that you used to melt the chocolate and add the chocolate, cream, butter/light corn syrup (optional) and salt and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or let the water come to a boil. Stir frequently until melted and smooth.
    Set aside for 5 minutes and then pour over the cooled brownies. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the ganache over the tops of the brownies. Sprinkle with the larger peppermint chunks and place the brownies back in the fridge to fully set, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • Cut the brownies when cold for the cleanest cuts. Serve the brownies chilled or at room temperature, whatever strikes your fancy! Store the brownies in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

Choosing Chocolate

Dark Chocolate for the Brownies & Ganache

Use a nice dark chocolate that’s made for melting. Chocolate chips will work in a pinch but they resist melting because of their ingredients (they’re meant to hold their shape!). If you have options, pick bars of chocolate, callets or discs as they’ll melt the easiest.
 I’m loving these baking chips and these are my most favorite Callebaut callets; I used the Callebaut when testing this recipe (delicious chocolate, melts beautifully — LOVE).
Whatever chocolate you use, make sure it’s good quality and can handle melting.

Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder

Double chocolate (both chips and unsweetened cocoa powder) mean these brownies have mega flavor. I love this Hershey’s Dark as it’s easy to find and yields beautiful flavor + color; you can however use any unsweetened cocoa powder you have on hand.
When recipe testing this crinkly brownie recipe I used this King Arthur Flour unsweetened cocoa powder which is a gorgeous color and flavor (and definitely a splurge!).

Peppermint Extract

I have a note above about pure peppermint extract. I love Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Peppermint Extract. Additionally, you can add a full 1 teaspoon of extract if you want to really highlight the peppermint flavor.

Butter or Light Corn Syrup

Adding the butter or light corn syrup to the ganache is optional. I like it because it makes the tops nice and glossy. When chilled, the ganache will turn matte and will start to shine up again as the brownies come closer to room temperature.

Pan Size

You can also use a 9×9 (23×23-cm) square baking pan. Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes (depending on how fudgy you want your brownies to be).

Mixer vs Your Beautiful Arms

I used a hand mixer in the video and mention one in the instruction as well. However, this is definitely a recipe that can easily be made with a large bowl and whisk/spatula or an electric stand mixer (your choice). If you don’t use a mixer, make sure you really whisk the eggs and sugar so that you get that awesome brownie texture.

How to Cut Brownies

The first rule for cutting perfect brownies is the hardest: let the brownies cool completely!
If you want super clean cuts, chill your brownies for several hours before cutting them.
Lastly, use a very sharp knife and clean + dry the knife in between cuts.
 
 
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

Comments

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

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46 Comments

  • Vanessa December 17, 2023 at 2:56 PM

    Hello! Just made these today and am patiently waiting to cut into them while they chill. It’s soooo hard lol! Kids keep asking “when will they be ready?!” Doubt there will be leftovers but in case we want to keep a few for our Christmas cookie plate, do you think they will freeze alright or is that a bad idea? Thx!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth December 19, 2023 at 2:50 PM

      Hi Vanessa! I can’t wait for you to taste them!!

      While I haven’t froze these particular brownies, brownies do freeze well! Wrap tightly before freezing and then defrost in the fridge overnight. Set them on the counter to come closer to room temp (this should take several hours).

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Happy holidays!!! xo

      Reply
  • Amisha December 14, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    These brownies look sooo good Rebecca!! Absolutely decadent and so festive! LOL I have not done any Christmas shopping too and am hitting the mall this weekend ;)

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 15, 2016 at 4:07 AM

      Amisha — So happy to hear I’m not alone on the shopping front!! I tore through some online shopping yesterday and now it feels a little more under control. Thank you so much sweet friend!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Asha Shivakumar December 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Those brownies are simply amazing and YAYYYY for the holidays. My boys would love to be your neighbor.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 15, 2016 at 4:14 AM

      Asha — I would love that!!! Let’s all move to the same city!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Heather December 13, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    I JUST baked brownies last night. They’re awesome, but wish I’d seen your peppermint recipe before that for a festive treat!

    Reply
  • Kathy Nelson December 13, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    Yummmmm!!! Gonna make this for baking day!!

    Reply
  • Anika @milesandmimosas December 13, 2016 at 12:42 AM

    Those brownies sound amazing! So festive for the holidays.

    Reply
  • Laura | Tutti Dolci December 12, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    You are speaking my language with these brownies! Seriously love!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 15, 2016 at 4:16 AM

      Laura — We need to put together a baking date, seriously!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Deepti December 12, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    Going on the ‘must bake for Christmas’, list. Thank you :)

    Reply
  • amanda paa December 12, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    You always know how to do brownies, cookies, cakes, ANYTHING right! these look ooey gooey delicious, and i’m a peppermint bark advocate for life. now i just need a better knife so I can cut my bars better. :) xoxo

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 15, 2016 at 4:22 AM

      Amanda — Girlll, you know how to say all the nice things!! I’m obsessed with the ooey gooey brownie. I swear this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been able to let them sit that long to get a clean cut!! Sending lots of holiday love your way!! xoxo

      Reply
  • heather (delicious not gorgeous) December 12, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    i always have such struggles cutting brownies into nice pieces. probably because i’m lazy and just go at it with a knife when the brownies are hot and i don’t wipe off the knife in between cuts. will have to do both because your cuts are so clean!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:43 PM

      Heather — Yes!! And seriously, the best advice, is to wait until they are cool. It’s so hard, but I swear by it!!! xo

      Reply
  • Cathy | whatshouldimakefor.com December 12, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    i never tire of the chocolate/peppermint combo so keep em coming! and i literally spent the past 4 hours shopping online for presents…it was my first stab at holiday shopping. argh! can’t wait to read about the napa trip…sounds amazing!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:42 PM

      Cathy — Me neither!! I just love them together and it doesn’t seem to work the rest of the year so we need to squeeze it all in now! I’m going to do exactly what you did: a major online shopping bender to get it all done. Wish me luck!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Kaylee Smith December 12, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    It’s too bad I didn’t make these in time for a Christmas party I just went to…now I can’t share () but actually, you kill it Rebecca this recipe is to die for.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:39 PM

      Kaylee — Thank you so much — what a sweet compliment!!! Maybe it’s better you didn’t make them for the party and now you get them all to yourself!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Amalia December 12, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Duuuude. Looks delicious!

    Reply
  • Alida | Simply Delicious December 12, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    These look so utterly delectable!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:34 PM

      Alida — Thank you so much!! Sending lots of love to you!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Stephanie McKinnie December 12, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    Omg, I haven’t bought one present yet either! These look way too good, I literally would eat them all!! I am in need of a real knife like this one as mine are cheap and dull.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:33 PM

      Stephanie — You’re making me feel so much better about the present situation!! I think today I’ll do some serious online shopping. This knife is amazing — good luck to you!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Ruth December 12, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Mint & chocolate are already a match made in heaven… triple mint?!?! OMG I need this in my life NOW!

    Reply
  • Joni Gomes December 12, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    So festive Rebecca!! And always love a grabbing hand in shot ;) ;)

    Reply
  • Patti DeValerio December 12, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    These brownies sound delicious! And that beautiful Henckles knife!! Who can resist wanting either one!! Lol I’ve heard many great things about Henckles knives! Happy Holidays to all!!!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM

      Patti — This knife is no joke, my fav. I use it every day and I have a ton of knives!!! Good luck!! xo

      Reply
  • Angela Packard December 12, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    I bet these are amazing! Peppermint just screams Christmas…then you throw it in a batch of brownies and all is well in the world. XO

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:31 PM

      Angela — Thank you Angela!!! Definitely all is well in the world!! xo

      Reply
  • Leigh December 12, 2016 at 3:37 PM

    This suits my current pregnancy palette to a T! Looks beautiful too!

    Reply
  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings December 12, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Triple peppermint? Is that because double isn’t good enough for you? Ha, love it. These look like the perfect little holiday bites. I’d love to get my hand on that awesome knife!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:29 PM

      Karen — Nope, double wasn’t good enough this time!!! ;) Good luck with the knife!! xoxo

      Reply
  • MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar December 12, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Gorgeous brownies, and gorgeous knife!! I love everything peppermint this time of year – and the peppermint-chocolate combo package? dreamy :) Best of luck with the shopping… We’ve actually ditched present-giving this year in favor of travel and it’s hugely freeing.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:29 PM

      MB — I love that you ditched gift-giving!! I’m trying to do a majorly pared down gift thing…because, frankly, we’re so lucky and I feel like we already have so much. It feels like excess sometimes. But, we’ll see how that goes… Yes to peppermint and chocolate!!! I think it’s all I could do until the end of the year!! Sending lots of love!

      Reply
  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen December 12, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    I’m hoping since these are petite brownies that I get to eat way more than one right?! The chocolate peppermint combo never gets old during the holidays Rebecca! Adding these to my must try holiday baking list! Good luck with the shopping!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife December 12, 2016 at 5:28 PM

      Mary Ann — This combo never gets old — I’m obsessed with it!! I think it’s so funny that I made them petite because that NEVER happens. The 8X8 pan usually yields four brownies!! ;)

      Reply