Candy Cane Brownies

I can promise you that Candy Cane Brownies are going to be your favorite holiday treat this year! Every bite of this mint brownie recipe will have you thinking about how many are left waiting in the pan. With a cook time of just 30 minutes, warm and rich brownies will be ready in no time at all! 

Peppermint Brownies decorated with fresh rosemary and mints for the holidays

Making peppermint brownies is sure to become one of your new favorite holiday traditions. The soft and chewy texture of the brownies, paired with the crunch of the peppermint, will be unlike anything you’ve ever had. 

Fill your bellies with this peppermint brownie – trust me, you’re going to love it! And just get ready for everyone to ask for the recipe for these chocolate mint brownies – they’re just that good! 

Why Should I Make Candy Cane Brownies 

These simple brownies are literally a must. When you factor in that you don’t need anything but simple ingredients and a few leftover candy canes from your holiday candy stash, everyone will want to whip up a batch. 

Rest easy knowing that homemade brownies like this taste like they just came straight from the bakery – but these are direct for your kitchen! 

An overhead shot of a circular plate of peppermint brownies decorated with fresh rosemary and mints

Ingredients And Substitutions

  • Unsalted butter – If all you have is salted butter, omit to add extra salt later in the recipe. 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – You can also easily change this up to add any type of chocolate chips that you want. 
  • Peppermint oil – Add a peppermint pop to the brownie top. Peppermint extract can be used. Typically it is a 1:2 ratio to how much peppermint oil is needed as peppermint oil is much more potent. Make sure there is no water in the extract ingredients or adding it to the chocolate will cause the chocolate to seize.
  • Eggs – Used as the main binding agent to hold all the dry ingredients together while baking. 
  • Light brown sugar – Be sure to pack it tightly when measuring. 
  • All-purpose flour – Used to create the fluffy texture of these brownies.
  • Salt – Just a pinch.  
  • Candy canes – Use the food processor to break up the candy canes into smaller bits. Or place candy canes between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin or mallet to crush the candy. With either method be careful not to overdo it. The goal is to have some larger crumbs with less dust.
close up of peppermint brownies

How to Bake Candy Cane Brownies 

Preheat the oven to 350°.  F. Grease an 8″ X 8″ pan for thicker brownies or 9″ X 13″ if you like them thinner. Line the baking dish or choice with parchment paper. I like to add a little butter or spray with a little oil under the parchment paper and up the sides of the pan to help it stick to the pan better. This way it doesn’t pop up off the baking dish and makes it easier to fill with the batter when you are ready.

In a medium bowl whisk eggs and brown sugar until combined. Set aside.

Add 2/3 of the chocolate and the butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on low for 30 seconds at a time to melt the butter and chocolate. Be sure to stir each time in between. Chocolate chips tend to hold their shape so you need to give them a mix so you know if they are melted. You don’t want to overheat and burn the chocolate.

Alternatively, set a heatproof bowl inside a vegetable steamer over top of simmering water.  Add butter and 2/3 lb chocolate and stir until melted. 

Let cool slightly and then scrape into the bowl with eggs and brown sugar and whisk until the batter becomes thick and glossy.

Sift in flour and salt and gently stir into the chocolate mixture below but just until evenly mixed, no more.  Spread the brownie mixture into the baking dish.

Add the remaining chocolate to the heatproof bowl over simmering water and gently melt the rest of the chocolate.  When melted add the peppermint extract and stir. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Add dollops of the peppermint chocolate to the brownie batter mixture evenly over 9 X 13 baking dish.  Gently run a knife through the brownie batter to swirl in the peppermint chocolate.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes evenly over top and then return to the oven to bake for another 15-20 minutes for a 9″ X 13 dish or 20-25 minutes for the 8″ X 8″ dish or until a cake tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs. 

Let the brownies cool for about 2 hours before cutting them into bars to serve.

Peppermint Oil vs Extract 

Peppermint oil is going to have a lot stronger flavor and fragrance than peppermint extract. This is because the extract is processed with other ingredients, while the oil isn’t typically diluted. You can substitute in baking, but just know that you won’t need to use as much oil. 

I prefer the peppermint oil to the extract because I find that with a low-quality extract sometimes the chocolate will seize because water is mixed in. (see more details on melting chocolate below) 

The best way to melt chocolate

To melt the chocolate, I suggest using a low microwave setting and stirring every 30 seconds or so vs. over the stove.  The stove method will work, but if a tiny drop of water gets in the mixture, the chocolate will seize, and it’ll all have to be tossed. 

Can I make these brownies without peppermint? 

Yes, you can. Just completely skip the step of the recipe that calls for the addition of peppermint. This will easily remove the peppermint flavoring and won’t affect the outcome of the brownies.

Maybe to jazz them up use white chocolate for the rippled top instead!

How do I soften stale brownies? 

If the brownies have lost some of the moistness, don’t fret. Not all is lost – you just need to pivot. For brownies that may be a little dry, simply add them to the microwave for a short burst of time. 

A little bit of heat will give them back a bit of that moisture and make them nice and dense again. 

Storage and Freezing

The good thing about leftover brownies is that they’re still excellent! Just make sure to let the brownies cool down all the way before adding a lid and storing them in an airtight container. You can keep them at room temperature or in the fridge, whichever you prefer.

At room temperature, they will store well for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

If you want to freeze the baked brownies, you can do that easily as well. Simply put them in a freezer-safe bag and add them to the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, move them to the fridge overnight. 

More Delicious Dessert Squares To Try

Peppermint brownies on a cooling rack on a holiday table.

Peppermint Brownies with Candy Cane Crackle

Decadent brownies rippled with chocolate peppermint and topped with pieces of broken candy canes.  Absolutely the best peppermint brownies ever!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brownie, Chocolate, Dessert, Dessert Bars, Holiday Treat, Peppermint Brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 32 brownies
Calories: 136kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips divided
  • 3/4 tsp Peppermint oil; or 1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 candy canes crushed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees.  Grease 9" X 13" baking pan and line it with parchment paper. You can also use an 8" X 8" backing dish for thicker brownies just add about 7-10 minutes more to the bake time.
  • In medium bowl wish eggs and brown sugar until combined. Set aside.
  • Set heatproof bowl inside vegetable steamer over top of simmering water.  Add butter and 2/3 lb chocolate and stir until melted.  Let cool slightly and then scrape into the bowl with eggs and brown sugar and whisk until the batter becomes thick and glossy.
  • Sift in the flour and salt and gently stir into batter just until evenly mixed.  Spread the brownie mixture into the lined baking dish.
  • Add the remaining chocolate to the heat-proof bowl over simmering water and gently melt the rest of the chocolate.  When melted add the peppermint and stir. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Add dollops of the peppermint chocolate to the top of the brownie batter mixture.  Gently run a knife or toothpick through the brownie batter to swirl in the peppermint chocolate.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes evenly over top and then return to the oven to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs. 
    Let brownies cool for about 2 hours before cutting them into bars to serve.

Notes

Storage and Freezing
Be sure to let the brownies cool down all the way before adding a lid and storing them in an airtight container. You can keep them at room temperature or in the fridge, whichever you prefer. They will last about 3-4 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.
If you want to freeze the baked brownies, you can do that easily as well. Simply put them in a freezer-safe bag and add them to the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, move them to the fridge overnight. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1.35g | Fat: 6.7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make Candy Cane Brownies Story.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Chocolate chips, NOT cocoa powder???!!!! And then more cholate chips? LOL. These seem so amazing. If Santa was real and had a favorite dessert, I am pretty sure it would be these brownies! I am soooo making them for Christmastime!

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