Chocolate Cake with Candy Cane Forest

I’m going to grab a cup of hot cocoa, get comfy and have a slice of Chocolate Cake with Candy Cane Forest.

I’m sharing a chocolate cake recipe that I make time and time again. The frosting changes on a whim, but the cake stays the same.

My Chocolate Cake has a vanilla frosting and is topped with a candy cane forest. It’s beautiful, delicious and you don’t need any special decorating skills. Yippee for me . . . and you!

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Cane Forest

I love to bake for the holidays and I always make several desserts for Christmas Day. Most of the desserts are family favorites and hold dear and precious memories of Christmases long, long ago.

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Cane Forest

I try to always include one dessert that is spectacular and is sure to receive lots of oohs and aahs. This is the one! It looks and tastes impressive, but it’s not hard to make at all.

It wouldn’t be Christmas at my house without a sprinkle of peppermint here and there. This cake itself doesn’t have any added peppermint and the crushed peppermint discs on the outside add a subtle hint of peppermint – not too much and not too little.

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Cane Forest

Chocolate Cake with Candy Cane Forest

You should see my grandkids’ eyes light up when I serve the cake. One of the grandkids goes straight for the candy canes. One loves the chocolate cake the best and another one loves the frosting. Me? I love it all! It’s one of my favorite Christmas flavors.

Homemade Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Cane Forest


Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting & Candy Cane Forest

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting & Candy Cane Forest

Yield: 15

This classic chocolate cake is topped with a vanilla frosting and a festive candy cane forest.


  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Vanilla Frosting

  • 2 cups butter at room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Candy canes


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease and flour 3 cake pans. Set aside.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.
  5. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in boiling water.
  7. Pour into pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Once cool, frost with vanilla frosting.

Vanilla Frosting

  1. Beat butter on medium until creamy. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and salt.


If you don't like the taste of peppermint, just leave the candy canes off and enjoy a classic chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

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About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. Oh Alli! What a beautiful cake. Thanks for the recipe. I buy extra peppermints this time of year so I have enough the into next year. It’s a favorite candy.

  2. Wow, this is a gorgeous cake! And it sounds delicious too! I’d love to serve this to my guests! Thanks for joining me on my tour again this year!

  3. This cake is so pretty! My family loves chocolate and peppermint together. I can’t wait to make it for them.

  4. Alli, what a beautiful cake! I love all the peppermint canes and crushed peppermint, It surely commands attention. And I know it is yummy…it can’t NOT be delicious with all the yumminess in the recipe.

    Thanks for sharing this family treasure!

    Hugs, Lynn

  5.! This is absolutely stunning! What a gorgeous way to celebrate the holidays.
    Thanks for inspiring me.

  6. Chocolate and peppermint are my favorite flavors for the holidays! And I adore the candy cane forest on top 🙂

  7. Your cake looks so good! The pretty white icing with the peppermint sprinkles and candy cane forest do make an impressive presentation for Christmas. It’s no wonder that your grandkids go strait for this cake!

  8. alli- the cake looks divine. i will be in line with your grandkids. happy holidays!

  9. I could spend hours checking out all the great sites and goodies you have rounded up. That cake is over the top great looking. Something anyone could easily do and impress.

  10. Oh my gosh YUM!!!! Yes please! I love anything Mint, but this takes the cake (HA, HA)! I am totally going to make this over the holidays!

  11. Wow this looks ahhhhmazing! Note to self: Do not read cake post with delicious pictures first thing in the morning because you will think about wanting said cake ALL day! 😉 Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try this…it is going to be my Christmas dessert!

  12. Holy Batcave! This is gorgeous! WOWZERS!

  13. Oh my gosh this looks heavenly!! I love all the desserts that get made up this time of year, this turned out beautiful!

  14. That’s such an adorable cake! I love chocolate and peppermint, and the way you frosted it is wonderful.

  15. The cake looks so good. My kids would pull out and eat all the candy canes and leave holes all over the cake. I’d have to make sure I bought extra!

  16. I think I am about to start stabbing my screen with a fork! How amazingly delicious does that look! I love it!

  17. What a beautiful Christmas cake! I love the vanilla and candy cane frosting. I can’t wait to give this a try with my girls this weekend.

  18. I love this cake. It looks so fun and festive for the holiday season! I would love to make this for our upcoming Christmas party! I think everyone will love this!

  19. YUM!!! Chocolate and mint… 2 of my favorite flavors.

  20. Wow that looks beautiful! I love Peppermint, so this is right up my alley! I will have to make some cupcakes using this idea!

  21. This looks pretty and delicious. I’m a peppermint addict and so this speaks to my addiction. I also love #FatSnacks so this is like the dessert jackpot for me.

  22. This is such a pretty cake for winter! It’s such a classy cake for any kind of winter event you could be going to.

  23. What a gorgeous cake! Great recipe just in time for the holidays!

  24. What a pretty cake! I love chocolate with peppermint. Going to add this one to my must try list.

  25. Oh my god, my mouth is actually watering right now! My favorite thing about this time of year is all the peppermint flavored stuff. That Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting & Candy Cane Forest loos DELICIOUS!

  26. Chocolate! Peppermint! Now that’s my idea of a perfect Christmas dessert and yours looks absolutely delightful!!!

  27. That cake is too pretty to eat!! HA!! But really, it looks super yummy!!

  28. Angela Harris says

    This is such a pretty cake. I bet it taste wonderful. My family would just love it if I made this for the holidays.

  29. Rebecca Swenor says

    This chocolate cake vanilla frosting and candy cane forest sounds like a great cake recipe. I will have to make this for our Christmas party for sure. Thanks for shairng the recipe and I know the kids will love it.

  30. This looks like a little slice of heaven!!!!

  31. That cake looks like the perfect addition to a holiday dinner!! My hubby loves chocolate cakes but I don’t make them regularly. I bet he’ll enjoy this! I like the candy canes on the outside. Agreed, it’s not really Christmas unless there is a hint of candy cane somewhere. It looks amazing!!

  32. This looks like the candy cane forest! Candy land cake is what it is! Love it!

  33. YUM! These are our favorite flavors, all in one cake. Plus, it looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing your recipe! So fun hopping with you.

  34. Wow this cake is almost too pretty to eat! But I would happily have a slice! Chocolate with peppermint…yum!

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