Peppermint Brownie cake pops are always one of our top-selling flavors of the holiday season. They are the perfect blend of dark chocolate and that oh so Christmassy mint flavor we all love around the holidays. And bonus: they are beautiful! We dip our peppermint brownie cake pops in white chocolate and then sprinkle the tops with red and white peppermint bits. A perfect look for the holidays!
I thought it would be fun to share two versions of a Peppermint Brownie cake pop. The first (this one!) is our ~top secret~ HippoPops recipe. Yes! THE EXACT RECIPE. Hey, why not! The key to this recipe is that the cake is less sweet and has more of a dark chocolate-y flavor.
The second recipe is a quicker version using boxed cake mix and icing. It won’t taste exactly like our peppermint brownie cake pops, but I know not everyone loves baking from scratch! 🙂
About our Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop Recipe
Our peppermint brownie cake pop recipe uses our chocolate cake base and chocolate icing. We do this a lot when recipe developing– use a standard cake base and add additional flavors after baking. Sometimes the flavors are added to the icing, and other times we add something extra to the icing and cake dough. For this particular recipe, we add peppermint bits to the cake and icing mix. Psst… you could always add a little peppermint extract for a more intense flavor!
How to make Peppermint Brownie cake pops from scratch
Our cake pop recipes typically follow the same ten steps (except when we made marshmallow-stuffed s’more cake pops…I digress.) The process starts with cake (imagine that!), icing, melting chocolate, cake pop sticks… ok, ok. It’s a lot. If you are new to cake popping or want a detailed how-to, check out our step-by-step guide on how to make cake pops! Otherwise, read on for our detailed instructions on our exact cake and icing recipes.
Pro tips for the best Peppermint Brownie cake pops
Before I share the recipes, I wanted to first share a few tips. I want your cake popping experience to be the best possible, so here are a few tried and true tips from our kitchen to yours!
- Use a kitchen scale to measure out your ingredients. It’s such a quick way to ensure you have the right amount.
- Replace the vanilla extract in the icing with peppermint extract to deepen the peppermint flavor
- Make sure your cake pop balls are chilled before dipping them! We have had way too many fall off their sticks because they warmed up too much.
- …but also make sure your cake pop balls aren’t too cold! Cold cake pop balls can cause the chocolate shell to crack. Don’t worry, they will still taste great 🙂
- After dipping the cake pops in chocolate and decorating them, immediately place them in the refrigerator to let the chocolate shell dry. This gives it a really smooth and shiny look. Refrigerate for 3 minutes before taking out.
Homemade Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop Recipe
At long last! The recipe! It’s actually several recipes in one because you’ll need to make a cake, make the icing, assemble the two and then dip and decorate the pops. It’s involved but definitely worth it! And there’s always our step-by-step guide on how to make cake pops if you need a bit of help on where to start.
*This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan. Increase bake time to 40 minutes.
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup + 1.5T (35g) cocoa powder
- ½ t baking soda
- ¼ t salt
- 10.5 T (150g) softened unsalted butter
- ⅔ c (125g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120g) hot water
- ½ stick butter
- 50 g powdered sugar
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 2-5 t milk (cream also works)
- ¼ t vanilla extract
Additional ingredients and tools
- Cookie scoop
- ½ cup peppermint bits
- 1 bag white chocolate melting wafers
- Cake pop sticks
- Depending on your desired cake pop format you will either need a cake pop stand or parchment paper. A cake pop stand is needed if you want your cake pops to be in the traditional lollipop format. You can buy a cake pop stand or make your own using a foam block.) Otherwise, you can place the cake pops directly on parchment paper. The tops will dry flat, but this will make it so they can stand with the sticks pointing up on a platter.
Chocolate Cake Directions
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar with a handheld or stand mixer until light and creamy (3-5 minutes on high).
- Add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding the sifted flour mix and hot water until just combined.
- Pour batter into the greased pan.
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, rotating once halfway through. To confirm the cake is baked through, prick it with a toothpick or knife once the timer has gone off. It will come out clean if the cake is done.
- Let cool completely.
Chocolate Icing Directions
- Beat the butter on high until creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla and milk.
- Mix until smooth and creamy.
Cake Pop Dough Directions
- Once the cake has cooled completely, crumble it into a mixing bowl using either a food processor or mixer.
- Add ¼ cup icing to the cake crumbles. Mix until fully combined.
- Continue adding icing a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together. You are looking for an easy-to-roll dough, similar to playdough. Add more icing if it crumbles a bit when rolling. You can read more about cake pop consistency here.
- Divide the dough into golf ball sized pieces, roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. We use a size 40 Vollrath cookie scoop to ensure consistency.
- Chill the cake pop balls for a few hours before assembling.
Cake Pop Assembly
- Pull cake pop balls from the refrigerator and gather your melting wafers, cake pop sticks and peppermint bits.
- Follow the melting directions on your white chocolate wafers. We use a Pyrex measuring cup when making small batches of cake pops because it’s deep and allows for us to fully dip the cake pops.
- Before dipping the cake pops, you’ll need to put a stick in each. We like to dip the sticks in the chocolate before inserting into the cake pop balls. To do this, dip the very end of a cake pop stick in the white chocolate and then gently place in the middle of a cake pop ball about halfway through. Repeat for all cake pop balls.
- Time to dip! Grab the stick of a cake pop ball and plunge the ball into the white chocolate. Dip it straight in and pull it straight out (don’t stir it around or double dip it.) Hold it over the cup while excess chocolate falls off of it. We give ours a gentle shake and after it looks like the flow has stopped, flip your cake pop over and give it a gentle shake to smooth it out.
You can either set the cake pops down on parchment paper with the sticks pointing up or place them in a cake pop stand or foam block to keep them in the traditional cake pop format. If setting straight on parchment paper, do that first and then dust the cake pops while the chocolate is still wet with peppermint bits. If using a cake pop stand, you can dust the tops and sides with peppermint bits and then place in the stand to fully dry.
How do you know if a cake pop is the right consistency?
We spent a lot of time perfecting this over the years and I think we have an easy way to explain it. To put it quite simply, go slow! You’ll notice when your crumbled cake and icing are combining into a dough. Sample a piece and see how it is rolling. You are looking for a playdough-like consistency.
If your cake pop dough is too crumbly, then you’ll need to add more icing (slowly!) Continue to add icing until you can easily roll the dough into balls. When you are getting close, add the icing a teaspoon at a time because you don’t want to miss the window of perfect cake pop consistency.