Three layers of rich chocolate cake filled with peppermint cheesecake layers, topped with a peppermint whipped cream frosting – perfect for the holidays!

peppermint chocolate cheesecake cake

peppermint chocolate cheesecake cake

No one should ever have to choose between chocolate or cheesecake. (<– LIFE MOTTO).

Especially not on CHRISTMAS when the most life-altering decision we make should be whether to secretly unbutton our pants under the table or suffer in bloated silence.


Or excuse ourselves to the bathroom so we can change into the stretchy pants we carry with us wherever we go for exactly this purpose.

(Anyone? Just me?)


You see, I’m more of the chocolate AND cheesecake mentality.

Traditionally that means that my holiday dessert plate is piled high with all the things and someone has to roll me back to my apartment.

Unfortunately, now that I live in a five story walk up, that seems, well. Impractical.

Also, I don’t want to break the.boy’s back.


I’m all about solutions, though, so instead of piling my plate with all the cake slices, I thought I could pile all of the cakes into one slice.

Enter The Cheesecake Cake.


The concept is fairly simple: it’s a basic layer cake, but instead of interchanging cake layers with frosting, you fill them with cheesecake.

And then frost them. With frosting.

Sure, this means you have to bake FIVE CAKE LAYERS, but it is so worth it.

And it’s the holidays after all. The season of excess and empty calories and deliciousness in every bite. I love it.


Since we are HUMONGO peppermint chocolate fans in this family, I laced my cheesecake with chunks of Candy Cane Kisses and a dash of peppermint extract, and I have it on the closest authority (i.e. from the.boy’s lips) that this makes it taste like Christmas.

To that I say, bring on the stretchy pants.

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
Three layers of rich chocolate cake filled with peppermint cheesecake layers, topped with a peppermint whipped cream frosting - perfect for the holidays!
Yield: 1 cake
For the chocolate cake
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups boiling water
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the peppermint cheesecake
  • 3 (8 oz) packages low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup Candy Cane Kisses, chopped
For the peppermint whipped cream
  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  1. For the chocolate cake, heat the oven to 350F. Line and grease three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the boiling water, chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until totally combined. Mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in half of the chocolate mixture until combined. Continue to alternate with remaining flour and chocolate mixtures, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter among the three pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. For the cheesecakes, lower the oven to 325. Line two 8-inch cake pans with aluminum foil and grease thoroughly. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and butter until creamy and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, sour cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until well combined. Stir in the chopped Kisses. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecakes inside with a wooden spoon propping the door oven. Let cool like this for 1 hour. Freeze overnight.
  6. For the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract until stiff peaks form.
  7. To prepare the cake, trim and level the chocolate cake layers. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with a layer of cheesecake, a second chocolate cake layer, the remaining cheesecake layer, and the remaining chocolate layer. Trim the sides so that they are even. Frost with the peppermint whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cake adapted slightly from Cook's Country
Peppermint cheesecake adapted slightly from Southern Living
Peppermint whipped cream from I Am Baker
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice

 For more peppermint treats, check out these:

peppermint brownies

Peppermint Brownies

peppermint cream puff ring

Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

mint chocolate chip cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

From Around the Web:

Peppermint Bark “Moose Munch” from The Hopeless Housewife

Peppermint Spiced Cookie Bark from Blahnik Baker

Peppermint Sugar Cookies from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Peppermint Tiramisu Trifles from Bakers Royale

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt from Not Without Salt


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60 Responses to Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

  1. Oh my word, you have outdone yourself this time!!!

  2. CHEESECAKE AND CAKE?! TOGETHER?! Oh my goodness, this is seriously everything that I have ever been dreaming of wrapped in one. Enough to have my husband roll me up our 3 flights of stairs and break his back…and I don’t even feel bad. Pinned!

  3. Zainab says:

    Oh yeas I agree with the.boy, peppermint makes it taste like Christmas! And this is a just the BEST solution I’ve seen! One slice with two favorites!

  4. Monica says:

    This *is* perfect for the holidays! It’s an amazing cake. It looks like a Baked creation and we all know how good those look!

  5. Dixya says:

    You make this look so easy- I wish I lived closer to come for a slice or two…

  6. I think we should make t-shirts that say “no one should have to choose between chocolate and cheesecake”. Love it! This looks heavenly, Joanne!

  7. oh my gawd .. this is the MOTHER of all holiday desserts!! Chocolate cake and peppermint cheesecake?! Good Lord!!! I love this!! And yes, there might have been a time or two where the unbuttoning of the pants under the table happened .. but I think I like the idea of just wearing the stretchy pants to begin with .. that way, we can just eat and be happy and no changing needs to happen. 🙂 God, I love this time of the year!

  8. This is the best of everything in one cake! I love that you aren’t making us choose between chocolate and cheesecake. Pass me a slice, please!

  9. It’s a peppermint kinda day! But this takes peppermint to a whole new level! I could go for a piece right now!!

  10. Christmas perfection! Can we have dessert before dinner?

  11. This cake is insane and I am obsessed. Also, I need a piece so I will take ALL the leftovers!

  12. o my, Joanne, have I mentioned that you are a super woman? Gosh…I love this beautiful cake!

  13. SallyBR says:

    Five layer cake! Filled with cheesecake. Frosted.

    I think you outdid yourself, my friend….

    My department is already blaming me for a certain weight gain on a few members – they say I’m bringing too many irresistible treats. I think if I made this cheesecake cake they would kick me out of KSU

  14. Lynn says:

    OK – the cake place across the street has been advertising chocolate peppermint cupcakes – I’m thinking a lunchtime visit is in the offing now. 🙂

  15. Mira says:

    This cake looks fabulous Joanne! You got the perfect layers in it! Need to try it!

  16. Lori R. says:

    Oh, that whipped cream frosting is deceiving. You think – this is cake. Then BOOM! There is cheesecake, too! Wow! It looks so good!

  17. Meg says:

    Gorgeous, and I’m sure it tastes amazing! Peppermint is absolutely the taste of Christmas for me.

  18. cheri says:

    What a Christmas beauty! This would be a big hit at my house!

  19. Heather says:

    I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. That cake looks amazing!!

  20. Oh good gawsh – I think am in lurrrve – chocolate cake and cheesecake piled all into one slice???
    Yes – I met my ideal match! This is fantastic Joanne!

  21. I always wear leggings on Christmas. Partially because it’s a relaxed day, but partially because they’re so stretchy and perfect for my food baby.

  22. Wow this looks so beautiful! What an awesome idea for a cheesecake. Perfect holiday version. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  23. This looks amazing! There really is nothing better than a cheesecake cake! Love it! 😀

  24. Pam says:

    It looks stunning and delicious! My peppermint/chocolate loving family would really dig this cake.

  25. Kate says:

    I don’t really like peppermint and chocolate, but I bet this cake is just as delicious without the peppermint

  26. a cake that tastes like christmas? yes, please!

  27. THISSS. This this this. You have to stop, Joanne — it’s torture. I cant get over how much this cake screams CHRISTMAS. (And note: suddenly cakes have voices everyone hide.) Gorgeous gorgeous. Pinning!

  28. Eileen says:

    Oh MAN. I can’t help but picture SNL Stefon’s reaction. “This cake. Has. Everything.” 🙂

  29. Donna says:

    Now I how Santa earns his belly! This is just tooooooooo much to resist!

  30. A bite of this will make all my troubles go away! What a beauty. Next time you need taste testers for your cakes, give me a ring, okay?

  31. Roz says:

    Wow, I’d say that this post is one super-marathon of peppermint deliciousness . . . sure to satisfy all peppermint addicts. What a cake, Joanne! WHAT. A. CAKE. ! P.S.: Thank you for allowing me to share those beautiful peppermint macaroons yesterday . . . I can’t wait to bake them!
    Buon Natale!

  32. Oh, you do come up with the most delicious desserts – Joanne – thanks for sharing.

  33. CakePants says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks beyoonnnd amazing! Definitely going to be undoing the pants button to accommodate an extra big slice of this gorgeous cheesecake cake – what an ingenious creation!

  34. Betty says:

    I’m a peppermint/chocolate kinda girl too- this looks absolutely fabulous! 🙂

  35. This is seriously the best cake I have seen this month! I need to go out and buy some stretchy pants!

  36. Julia says:

    Oh the age-old chocolate v. cheesecake dilemma – I could NEVER choose! Gimme both in abundance, PUH-lease! Love this chocolate-cheesecake two-for. Plus the peppermint?! Just stop it. So good!

  37. This cheesecake looks fantastic, peppermint and chocolate are made for each other! 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  38. Hotly Spiced says:

    It’s too hot for stretchy pants here but I’m wearing floaty dresses – nothing requiring a belt! Your cheesecake is gorgeous! I love the pretty layers and it’s very festive xx

  39. Susan says:

    Beautiful cake and luscious combination! The Boy must be very happy he married you 🙂

  40. Nicole says:

    Girl that looks amazing!

  41. Amanda says:

    This looks ridiculously delicious! It’s making me want to lick my screen!

  42. Okay, I’m all over this cake. Swear I’ve had this page open for hours just staring at this cake (only a slight exaggeration). Cheesecake and chocolate and PEPPERMINT means I’ll just send you my address in an email to mail half the cake to – thanks!

  43. Beth says:

    Hooray for excess!
    And I had to thank you for posting the link to Peppermint Crinkles in your cookie roundup the other day. I made them and have just reposted them. Swoon!

  44. grace says:

    this is almost unbelievably decadent and while others might wimp out and not even finish a sliver, i have no doubt i could pack away an entire slab. 🙂

  45. I spend most of Christmas week in my pajamas so I should be ok with chocolate AND cheesecake x

  46. Oh Joanne. I need this in my life. Now!

  47. Treats this decadent and good looking should not be allowed. Like seriously my stomach is growling like crazy!!

  48. This looks completely amazing! Also, my future billion-dollar-idea: Collapsible, travel-sized stretchy pants that fold down to the approximate size of a wallet, and can be carried around everywhere. You heard it here first.

  49. Sues says:

    Um, I think you just determined what I’ll be making for Christmas. YUM!

  50. Johanna GGG says:

    wow this looks amazing – bring on the stretchy pants 🙂

  51. Julie G. says:

    Oh wow! Before I even think about making this recipe, I’ll need to organize a get-together to avoid eating this all by myself! It has all of my favorite desserts all in one. Such a guilty pleasure!

  52. But, wait. I thought calories didn’t count at holiday time. Dammit! Well, I still want a slice of this. A big fat slice.

  53. yummy you have done a great job with the decorating!

  54. I just start with the stretchy pants. No changing for me 🙂

  55. Krista says:

    Oh my goodness, this is one of your best cake recipes yet!! I love, love, love it. 🙂

  56. Yes, why SHOULD we have to choose? What a festive and fantastic looking cake, Joanne! You always amaze…

  57. Kelly says:

    Wow!!! Yes to all these layers! I love that you are not making us choose and putting all of our favorites into this one cake. Peppermint, chocolate, cheesecake = Pure perfection! I would love a BIG gigantic slice please 🙂

  58. Reeni says:

    Hello GORGEOUS! I want to wake up and find this under my tree! It is over-the-top perfect.

  59. Foodiewife says:

    Heavens! Peppermint and chocolate are my favorite couple. But cheesecake and chocolate cake? I’ve always wanted to make something like this. O.M.G. I’m so there!

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