These candy cane brownies are soft and fudgy brownies that are bursting with peppermint flavor. Crushed candy canes are sprinkled on top of the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven, giving you the most perfect Christmas time dessert.
This recipe was originally published in December of 2020, but was updated on November 15, 2023 with newer content.
These peppermint candy cane brownies feature everything I love about homemade brownies: they're ultra fudgy, super chocolatey, and includes the flavor combination of chocolate and peppermint.
Brownies, especially my dark chocolate brownies, are one of my favorite desserts to make and now we get to add these holiday brownies to the list.
Why You'll Love These Brownies
- Both peppermint extract and peppermint candy canes are used.
- They're the best cocoa brownies you'll ever try.
- Each bite is ooey-gooey.
- They're great for the Christmas season and Christmas parties.
- Everything is mixed in one bowl, making this recipe super easy!
One bowl brownie recipes are the best! All you have to do is whisk your fats together first and then you'll gently fold in your dry ingredients. No need for another bowl.
The holiday season wouldn't be complete without these perfect Christmas brownies.
Here are some notes on the simple ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Eggs: A combination of two large eggs and one large egg yolk at room temperature are needed. That extra yolk helps to make the brownies chewy and thick.
- Oil: Just a little bit of vegetable (or canola) oil added to the batter will help to intensify the chocolate flavor, along with adding extra fudginess.
- Peppermint Extract: This is added to the brownie batter before baking. Be sure to use a high-quality peppermint extract, not imitation.
- Cocoa Powder: I used Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa.
- Candy Canes: Use any peppermint candy canes you like. You'll need about ½ cup of crushed candy canes.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make these easy candy cane brownies recipe.
Step 1: Melt the butter. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and allow it to cool on the counter for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and egg yolk for 3 minutes.
Then whisk in the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and melted butter just until combined.
Step 3: Dry ingredients. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt just until combined. Then scrape the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan.
Step 4: Bake. Bake for 23-27 minutes, or just until the edges are set and the middle of the brownies do not jiggle.
Immediately top the brownies with the crushed candy canes and allow them to cool for 1 hour before slicing them into bars.
Keep any leftover brownies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
Expert Baking Tips
- Baking Pan: Line your 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, creating “handles” that hang over the sides. Then grease your pan with non-stick spray. This makes extracting the brownies, once they’ve cooled, extremely easy.
- Cocoa Powder: Use a fine mesh sifter to sift the cocoa powder before adding it to the mixture. This will avoid any lumps.
- Folding: This means we carefully combine our ingredients without stirring or beating. We do this with a silicone spatula until the ingredients are just combined with each other, “folding” everything together.
- Candy Canes: I used 15 mini candy canes but you could also use larger ones. Place your candy canes into a sealable bag and use a rolling pin to carefully crush them. Or you could buy already pre crushed peppermint candies. Do not put the pieces onto the brownies until AFTER they have baked.
- Cooling: To easily cut and serve the brownies, allow them to cool for at least one hour. I like to use a dough scraper to get smooth and even cuts.
In order to create a fudgy brownie, it needs to have a higher fat-to-flour ratio. That means we will use more butter and eggs compared to flour. Adding an extra egg yolk helps to create an even fudgier and chewier brownie as well.
If you really wanted to, you could use your favorite box brownie mix and just add the crushed peppermint candies on top, but they definitely wouldn't taste the same. I highly recommend you make your own.
If you'd like, you could mix in a ½ cup of either chocolate chips, nuts, or even peppermint chips.
You could certainly top the brownies once cooled with cream cheese frosting or even peppermint frosting. Then add on the candy cane pieces.
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Christmas Recipes
Candy Cane Brownies
- 8x8 inch baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Large Mixing Bowl
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- crushed peppermint candy canes (about 15 mini candy canes)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, creating "handles" that hang over the sides. Then spray with non-stick spray.
- In a small microwaveable-safe bowl, melt the butter and allow it to cool on the counter for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and egg yolk for 3 minutes (this step is crucial). Then whisk in the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and melted butter just until combined.
- Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt just until combined. Then scrape the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 23-27 minutes, or just until the edges are set and the middle of the brownies do not jiggle. You can also use a toothpick to check the center (the toothpick should come out clean with just a few crumbs). Immediately top the brownies with the crushed candy canes and allow them to cool for 1 hour before slicing them into bars.
- Keep any leftover brownies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 7 days.