There’s no reason for the classic pairing of chocolate and peppermint to be reserved for candy cane bark and thin mints at the holidays. Not only do these decadent brownies deliver all of that flavor, but they’ve got an added bonus of fluffy frosting and plenty of minty crunch from candy canes on top. They make an excellent gift–that is, if you can avoid eating them all yourself.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

My testers were incredibly happy that this mint brownie recipe was easy to make and came together with only 15 minutes of hands-on time. Teen Tester Rowan J. describes them as “pure happiness.” I couldn’t agree more.

What You’ll Need to Make This

The ingredients for peppermint brownies--flour, sugar, chocolate, eggs, candy canes, milk, vanilla, and peppermint extracts.
  • Butter–I recommend using unsalted butter, but if you have only salted on hand, don’t add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the batter.
  • Peppermint extract–This is pretty potent stuff, and a little goes a long way. Don’t be tempted to splash in a little extra–the last thing you want is to think you’re biting into a peppermint Lifesaver.
  • Whole milk–It’s just a tablespoon, but it’s enough to give a smooth texture. You can use skim or low-fat milk if you wish.
  • Peppermint candies–Candies or candy canes will work well for this. You might be able to find pre-crushed candy at a bulk store, but it’s wicked easy to crush them at home by placing them in a resealable bag and smashing them with a rolling pin.

How to Make This Recipe

A square baking pan lined with parchment paper; an induction cooktop with a saucepan filled with chopped chocolate and butter.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very low heat.
A man's hand holding a bowl of melted chocolate; a hand whisking sugar into the chocolate.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool a bit. (I used a bowl here to make it easier for you to see!)
  2. Whisk in the sugar, peppermint and vanilla extracts, and salt.
A bowl of melted chocolate with a raw egg on top; the same bowl with flour on top.
  1. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition.
  2. Mix in the flour until it’s just incorporated.
A square baking pan with a man's hands spreading chocolate brownie batter; a bowl of peppermint frosting.
  1. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Mix the frosting ingredients with a hand mixer (or in a food processor) until smooth.
A slab of brownies with a man's hand spreading peppermint frosting on top; the frosted brownies with a man's hand sprinkling crushed candy canes on top.
  1. Spread the peppermint frosting over the cooled brownies.
  2. Sprinkle with peppermint candies and let the frosting set for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Common Questions

Can you freeze peppermint brownies?

Yes. For best results, store the brownie and frosting separately. Wrap the brownie in plastic and store the frosting in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw both at room temperature before frosting and serving.

How can I tell if my brownies are done?

These brownies should be slightly puffed in the center of the pan, with the edges beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. The best way to check doneness is to insert a tester or toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, they’re ready.

Helpful Tips

  • Be sure to crush the peppermints well as larger pieces can be difficult to bite through.
  • I found that tossing the crushed candies into a sieve got rid of the “candy dust,” making the top of the brownies prettier.
  • If you find it difficult to lift the brownies from the pan, pass the bottom of the pan over very low heat. The flame will warm the butter, making it a snap to remove the brownies.
  • There’s just enough frosting to cover the brownies and act as spackle for the crushed candy. If you prefer a thick layer of frosting, double the frosting recipe.
  • Store the brownies in a covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Separate layers with sheets of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
A snowman dish filled with 6 peppermint brownies on a pink background.

More Great Brownie Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Fifteen brownies, frosted with white frosting and speckled with crushed peppermint candies.

Peppermint Brownies

5 / 4 votes
If you love chocolate and mint, then these festive holiday brownies are for you. They're bursting with mint flavor from the cakey brownie, fluffy peppermint frosting, and crushed candy canes on top.
David Leite
Servings16 brownies
Calories253 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes


For the brownies

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the peppermint frosting

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes


Make the brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with butter, then line the pan with parchment, letting the excess parchment hang over two opposite edges.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a large saucepan set over low heat, stirring until smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Whisk in the sugar, peppermint and vanilla extracts, and salt.
  • Plop in the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk until the mixture is velvety and smooth, then add the flour and whisk until it's just incorporated.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Bake until the top is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. (Begin checking at 30 minutes.)
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely before frosting.

Make the peppermint frosting

  • Using a hand mixer or food processor, combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and peppermint extract and process until smooth, thinning with more milk, if needed. The frosting should be thick.
  • Lift the brownies from the pan using the overhanging parchment as handles and transfer them to a work surface. Peel back the parchment from the sides.

Frost the brownies

  • Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the crushed candies over the top. Let the frosting set for 30 minutes before slicing the brownies into 16 squares.


  1. Crushing the mints–Be sure to crush the peppermints well; larger pieces can be unpleasant to bite through. You can do this by placing your candies or candy canes in a resealable bag and smashing them with a rolling pin.
  2. Lifting the brownies–If you find it difficult to lift the brownies from the pan, pass the bottom of the pan over very low heat. The flame will warm the butter, making it a snap to remove the brownies.
  3. Storage–Store the brownies in a covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Separate layers with sheets of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
Baking for Every Season Cookbook

Adapted From

Baking for Every Season

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 brownieCalories: 253 kcalCarbohydrates: 35 gProtein: 3 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 56 mgSodium: 53 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 27 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2022 Williams-Sonoma. Photos © 2023 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A batch of brownies topped with white frosting and crushed peppermint candies.

Yum. Let me count the ways! First, you can taste the individual flavors of chocolate and mint in these peppermint brownies right away. So nicely balanced.

Second, the moist, almost fudgy texture of the chocolate peppermint brownies are slightly offset by a bit of icing and crunchy candy. The textures complement each other. No fighting for attention.

Third, the brownies are pretty; a real showpiece. And we were lucky to find already crushed candy canes at our bulk food store. Red, white, and sparkly green.

The scent of the brownies cooking filled the kitchen with joy. The peppermint was pure happiness. Need we say more?

If you enjoy this flavor profile, this peppermint brownie recipe is for you! It’s spicy with the flavor of peppermint, yet not too much. I typically make peppermint treats for the holidays, but I also think this recipe would be gobbled up at summer picnics.

The brownie is incredibly moist and chocolatey and the peppermint frosting is light and extremely flavorful. This recipe proves that peppermint bark isn’t just for the holiday season anymore!!!

If you like some fancy brownies, you’ve found the right ones. They start out cakey, and if that’s not your jam, cover tightly and wait a day for the icing to do the thing that it does. They won’t be completely fudgy, but they’ll soften a bit. My beloved edges stay a bit dry, but that’s easily remedied by icing right to the edge.

By the way, it looks like there’s not enough icing, but there totally is. So when it’s summer and you can’t get the beloved peppermint bark from that certain cookware store, bake a batch of these brownies. Serve with cold milk or hot coffee, crank up the AC, and flip on some Andy Williams. It can be the holidays anytime you want it to be.

If you love the flavor of peppermint and chocolate, these brownies with peppermint frosting are the treat for you. This recipe was easy, quick, and good. It’s not easy to find a good homemade brownie recipe, but this recipe was the perfect combination of fudgy and moist texture (which is my personal favorite).

My taste testers loved the rich chocolate flavor of the brownies and the little crunch the candy provided sprinkled over the icing. I will definitely be making these again!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Date Bars

These date bars are a classic for good reason. The combination of sweet, sticky date filling nestled between layers of buttery oat dough is completely irresistible.

2 hrs

Chewy Hermit Bars

These chewy hermit bars are a revelation. They’re wonderfully spicy, plumped with raisins, and amazingly chewy–even fudge-like.

45 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Let’s try to celebrate peppermint year round and not just during the season of candy canes! I plan to use your peppermint brownies recipe throughout the year with soft peppermints that are available locally, like Brach’s, Bobs, etc.!

    Thank you for all you share with your readers. Your recipes and writings are most thoughtful!

    I do appreciate you!

    1. Cecile, you are most welcome. And I love your idea of making peppermint a year-round flavor! Hear, hear!