This mint chocolate chip cake is the perfect combination of rich chocolate and bright mint flavor. The cake is super moist with a hint of mint, all smothered in a mint chocolate chip buttercream. It’s heaven in a slice for mint chip lovers!
Tips for making extra moist mint chocolate cake
What I love about this recipe is just how MOIST the chocolate cake is. It’s tender, rich, and has the perfect texture. Here’s how to achieve the most perfect chocolate cake:
- Properly measure the flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail. If there’s too much flour, the cake will turn out dry and crumbly. If you can, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.
- Use dark cocoa powder – My favorite is Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder because it’s a mix of regular and dutch processed cocoa powder; the best of both worlds! Dutch processed is great for baking because it gives a really rich flavor and color but it does not react with baking soda, so it can sometimes be an issue in cakes. Due to the acidity in the buttermilk, this will react the baking soda thus still giving you a lifted cake.
- Buttermilk – Like mentioned above, buttermilk plays a big role in the leavening of this cake. But it also helps tenderize the gluten, giving you a really soft and rich cake. Because of this, do not swap buttermilk with regular milk in this recipe.
How to make your own buttermilk
If you don’t have buttermilk for this recipe, you can easily make your own with milk and white vinegar. Simply measure out the milk to 3/4 cup. Then remove a scant 1 tablespoon and replace it with a scant 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Stir the two together and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to thicken and curdle – just like buttermilk.
How to make mint chocolate chip buttercream
The real star of the show is the mint chocolate chip buttermilk that looks just like a scoop of mint chip ice cream – and tastes just as good too!
It’s a basic buttercream recipe, just taken up a notch. Once the buttercream is mixed into the perfect consistency, it’s time to add the color and chocolate bits.
For the color, I highly recommend using gel food coloring. It will give you the biggest color pay off and it’s the easiest to control. You also only need a tiny amount so you wont disrupt the consistency of the buttercream.
Start by mixing in a few drops of green food coloring, turning the buttercream into a pastel green color. To make it more mint, add a tiny drop of blue. To take it a step further, I like to dip the tip of a toothpick into brown gel food coloring and add a few dashes to the buttercream. Brown helps mellow out the color so it’s not as saturated and vibrant.
As for the chocolate, you have two options. You can either finely chop the chocolate by hand or run it through a food processor. Either way, you want the smallest bits possible without turning the chocolate into complete dust.
When adding it to the buttercream, scoop it up with your two hands and try to shake off any fine and powdered bits. If you add too much chocolate powder to the buttercream, it can disrupt the color. See the photo above for reference.
Tips for frosting a mint chocolate cake
Since there are chunky bits in the frosting, it can be a bit tricky to apply a smooth and even layer all around the cake. Here are a few tips to help you frost your cake:
- Apply a thick layer all around the outside. This thickness will help create a barrier between the chocolate chunks and the soft cake on the inside, preventing the chocolate from dragging through the cake.
- To get smooth edges, you typically need to drag a cake scraper all around the sides of the cake (see my post on how to frost a cake). But not for this cake. Ditch the scraper and gently smooth out the sides using an offset spatula. Work in small areas and carefully smooth out the buttercream as you go.
- Don’t worry about getting a perfect application. The best part about this cake is that it looks good when it’s a bit messy – resembling a bowl of mint chip ice cream. You can go as messy or as neat as you like!
Can I make this recipe gluten free?
For a gluten free version, I recommend using my chocolate cake recipe from my Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cake. Simply swap out the extracts for what is used in this chocolate cake recipe and you’ll be good to go.
Can I bake this into a sheet cake?
Yes, bake the cake in a 9×13 baking dish that has been well greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Then cut the buttercream recipe in half and spread it on top of the cooled chocolate cake.
How to store mint chocolate cake
If you are storing the cake whole and unsliced, it will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator uncovered. Any longer and it will need to be stored in a cake container.
For leftovers, you can either store the whole sliced cake in a layer cake container or slice the remainder of the cake and store the slices in an air tight container. Either way, store the cake in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 5 days.
For more layer cake recipes, check out my:
- BEST Funfetti Cake
- Extra Moist Carrot Cake
- Cookie Dough Cake
- Gluten Free Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cake
- Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Cake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print