A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (2024)

Chocolate and peppermint is a match made in heaven - there is no question about that. And if the chocolate comes in the form of a fudgy brownie and the peppermint in the form of a luscious, creamy (pink!) cream cheese swirl, well, then all the better.

How to Get the Perfect Fudgy Brownie

Here, an easy, cocoa-based brownie is made with melted butter - for both ease of use and for flavor. Sometimes brownies can call for a mixture of oil and butter, but in this instance, straight-up butter is just perfect for keeping the recipe’s ingredient list short and assembly brief. Moreover, the melted butter (and relatively small amount of flour, plus lack of a leavener) makes these brownies fudgy, rather than cakey which is just what I was after.

Cocoa Powder vs. Melted Chocolate

And I chose to only use cocoa powder here, rather than a mixture of melted chocolate and powder, for the same reasons listed above (I love short ingredient lists and easy assembly!) - and because while recipe testing, I found that an all cocoa powder brownie was slightly firmer than one with added melted chocolate - and that structure works well when swirled.

Peppermint Extract and Candies Bring the Tingle

Finally, the peppermint layer! I wanted it to be beautiful to look at and vibrant with minty flavor to boot, and I discovered that a cream cheese swirl, tinted pink, was the perfect vehicle with which to achieve all of my swirly dreams. The swirl is almost cheesecake like in texture and its subtle tang is a wonderful contrast to the fudgy brownie beneath it. Moreover, the extract in the swirl, plus in the brownies themselves, really gives you all the minty feels you could ask for.

But if that isn’t enough, I just had to gild the lily by throwing some crushed candy canes into the brownies themselves and also on top, about 5 minutes before pulling them from the oven. In the brownies they add flavor and on top, both flavor and wonderful crunchy texture. The brownies are quite soft and the sprinkling of candy on top is such a nice contrast.

Oh, and I like these cold, for the most refreshing of treats. Yes, they are perfect for the winter holidays, but they are also just perfect whenever the craving hits (which, if you’re like me, is often!).

“For a wintery Holiday-themed variant of the classic chocolate treat, try this peppermint filled delight. Careful while making the swirls so you can get the prettiest brownies you’ve ever seen.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (1)

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Peppermint Swirl:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 2 to 3 drops liquid or gel red food coloring

For the Brownies:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

  • 2/3 cup (53 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 2/3 cup (87 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies, such as Star Brite mints or candy canes, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (2)

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan with softened butter. Line the bottom with a large sheet of parchment paper that extends up and over two opposite sides of the pan.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (3)

  3. To make the peppermint swirl, place the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, salt, egg, extract, and food coloring in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium to medium high speed until combined and fluffy. You can also use a stand mixer.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (4)

  4. To make the brownies, microwave the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar on high in a large microwave-safe bowl in a few 30-second bursts, whisking after each, until combined. The batter will be quite thick and fudgy-looking. If you do not have a microwave, you may place the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop until combined.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (5)

  5. Whisk in the extract. Gently whisk in the eggs one at a time.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (6)

  6. Sprinkle the salt over the wet ingredients and whisk it in.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (7)

  7. Finally, fold in the flour and 1/3 cup of the crushed candy until the last streak of flour disappears. Don’t overmix.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (8)

  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, reserving 3/4 cup of it.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (9)

  9. Dollop the swirl mixture over the brownie batter in the pan—about 9 dollops, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon portion scoop, if you have it.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (10)

  10. Dollop the reserved brownie batter in between the swirl dollops. Run a long wooden skewer through both the brownie batter and the pink cream cheese mixture, until the top is completely covered in decorative swirls. Don’t swirl too much: big swirls are what you want, as they are most dramatic. And don’t swirl too deep or the swirl can get lost in the batter.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (11)

  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. At the 25 minute mark, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of candy over the top of the brownies. The brownies are ready when a cake tester inserted into the brownie—not the swirl—comes out with a few moist crumbs—do not over bake.

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (12)

  12. Let cool to room temperature. Lift the brownies out of the pan by the parchment handles. Run a butter knife around the edges not covered by the paper, if there’s resistance. Slice into 9 equal sized squares and serve room-temperature, or refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled (my preference).

    A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (13)

Recipe Tips

  • You may combine the swirl ingredients by hand if you do not want to pull out your hand or stand mixer, but the extra fluffiness that the mixers offer makes dolloping and swirling a little easier. And results in more dramatic-looking swirls
  • To avoid overmixing the batter, stop folding in the flour when the last streak of it just disappears.
  • If you forget to leave your cream cheese on the counter in order to bring it to room temperature, remove it from its foil packaging, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high in 30 second bursts, stirring after each, until soft.
  • When swirling the brownie batter and the pink, minty cream cheese mixture together, do not extend your wooden skewer down to the bottom of the pan: just stick it in deep enough so that you can swirl the brownie and cream cheese dollops together. And make large swirls with the skewer for the prettiest brownies.
  • There is a lot of extract in these brownies, but I promise it is not overwhelming. But if you want a less minty flavor, dial it back.

Make Ahead

Make the swirl up to 24 hours beforehand, but bring to room temperature before using.

Recipe Variations

Omit the red food coloring for different, but equally gorgeous, swirls.

How to Store or Freeze

Keep the brownies tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze them in a zippered plastic bag for up to a month.

The Best Peppermint Bark

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
22g Fat
41g Carbs
6g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g29%
Saturated Fat 13g64%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 229mg10%
Total Carbohydrate 41g15%
Dietary Fiber 1g5%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 39mg3%
Iron 3mg16%
Potassium 72mg2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Recipe Tags:

  • peppermint
  • brownies
  • dessert
  • american

Rate This Recipe

I don't like this at all.It's not the worst.Sure, this will do.I'm a fan—would recommend.Amazing! I love it!Thanks for your rating!

A Brownie Recipe for Peppermint Lovers (2024)


How to pimp brownies? ›

Crushed potato chips, pretzels, and salted nuts stirred in or sprinkled on before baking can add textural interest, plus a little savoriness that can make the rich chocolate flavor more pronounced. A shower of sea salt or flaky salt like Maldon over baked brownies before slicing makes for a dramatic, sparkly finish.

How do you make brownie mix richer? ›

One change is to use milk or heavy cream instead of water. This change will make brownies more moist and gooey since milk is more fatty and flavorful than water. A second change is to use butter instead of oil. For similar reasons to using milk, butter adds a rich and more decadent quality to the batter.

What is a New York brownie? ›

Description. The classic brownie. Rich, moist, soft, chewy and filled with white choc chunks of deliciousness. Vegetarian • No artificial flavours • No artificial colours • No added preservatives • Certified Halal PORTION GUIDE: Approx 20 – 30 portions | SHELF LIFE: Room Temp: 28 Days.

Why are they called blonde brownies? ›

The name 'blondies' comes from their light color, which contrasts with the dark color of traditional brownies.

What does adding an extra egg to brownie mix do? ›

If you opt to add more eggs, say double the amount, something interesting happens. Even though you are adding more moisture, the air bubbles that you catch in the extra eggs add volume, which decreases the density of your final product. This makes your brownies rise and gives them a much more cake-like texture.

What can you add to boxed brownie mix to make it better? ›

Adding a layer of cream cheese, marshmallow fluff, caramel, or peanut butter goes a long way towards turning a mix into something special. You can add this layer before or after baking the brownies.

Does letting brownie batter sit make it better? ›

Alice Medrich, author of Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker's Guide to Chocolate, writes that “refrigerating the brownie batter in the pan for several hours, or as long as two days before baking, wreaks enormous transformations: it improves the top gloss and crustiness, and it also blends the flavors so ...

Is it better to use milk or water in brownie mix? ›

Use Milk Instead of Water

We've encountered mixes in which water is the only liquid. Replace it with a richer, more flavorful liquid, such as milk, buttermilk or coconut milk. The extra fat from the milk will turn a normal box of brownies into a moist and gooey treat.

Does chilling brownie batter make it better? ›

In addition to keeping your brownie mix fresh, refrigerating brownie batter can also help boost the overall texture and flavor of the treat. Refrigerating helps improve the gloss and crustiness of brownies while simultaneously blending the flavors—the result? — brownie that tastes much richer and chewier.

What happens if you use milk instead of water in brownie mix? ›

Brownie recipes traditionally call for water as it serves as a neutral liquid that hydrates the dry ingredients. However, using milk instead of water can impart a creamier texture and richer flavor to your brownies. The milk's fat content adds a smoothness that water cannot provide, resulting in a more indulgent treat.

Is it cheaper to buy brownie mix or make from scratch? ›

A clever hybrid between cake and cookie, brownies are a dense, chocolaty bar cookie baked in a rectangular pan; they can be fudge-like, cake-like, or anything in between. It was about three times more expensive to make the brownies from scratch than to use a mix, owing mostly to the cost of chocolate and walnuts.

Why are brownie fairies called brownies? ›

They received their name from the fact that they are usually described as brown-skinned and completely covered in hair. In the earliest traditions, brownies are either the same size as humans or sometimes larger, but, in later accounts, they are described as "small, wizened, and shaggy".

What did Katherine Hepburn like to eat? ›

Red meat, big salads, tea, butterscotch pudding, ice cream, meatloaf, homemade cookies… those were some of Katharine Hepburn's most favorite foods.

What are brownies in folklore? ›

brownie, in English and Scottish folklore, a small, industrious fairy or hobgoblin believed to inhabit houses and barns. Rarely seen, he was often heard at night, cleaning and doing housework; he also sometimes mischievously disarranged rooms.

What is in brownies on the moon? ›

Description. The most delicious brownies are combined with premium high-quality chocolate cream and vanilla ice cream to give you an experience that is out of this world!


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jerrold Considine

Last Updated:

Views: 6537

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jerrold Considine

Birthday: 1993-11-03

Address: Suite 447 3463 Marybelle Circles, New Marlin, AL 20765

Phone: +5816749283868

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Air sports, Sand art, Electronics, LARPing, Baseball, Book restoration, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Jerrold Considine, I am a combative, cheerful, encouraging, happy, enthusiastic, funny, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.