Recipes, Photography, Musings

Candy Cane Brownie Cake

This candy cane brownie cake has everything one could want in a dessert– sweet chocolate flavor, moist cake texture, a layer of chocolate frosting, and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes.  It is also a very pretty dessert, with its bright red and white flecks of candy cane against the dark of the chocolate.  If you are looking for a festive holiday or winter dessert, this is a great one.

I adapted this recipe from a brownie and frosting recipe in my well-worn Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Tenth Ring Bound Edition.  The crushed candy canes were an addition, per my husband’s request, and they take it to an even more delicious, seasonal, and minty level.  Chocolate and peppermint are such a great combination!  I like the brownie cake recipe because it can be mixed together all in one pot, and while it is baking, you can whip up the frosting.  The brownie cake would taste fine without frosting, but the frosting adds more flavor and helps the candy cane pieces stick.

candy cane brownie cake 1494We had quite a snow storm a couple of days ago, and my kids had their first snow day of this school year yesterday.  So they were around to taste test this candy cane brownie cake.  Needless to say, they gave it their approval!  Apparently, our dog gave it his approval as well, as he gobbled up two pieces that I had set up for the photo shoot!

candy cane brownie cake 1501I am trying hard not to succumb to the pressures of the season, but to step back and remember what is important at this time of year.  It’s not so much about spending money as it is about spending time.  Precious time.  Our kids had a band concert last night, and it was so much fun to see them perform.  The music was not perfect, but it was beautiful, and I was so proud of them.

Last weekend we were at an artisan fair in our town and saw these reindeer made from logs and sticks.  I asked my husband if he could make us one, and he did.  I love it!

reindeerI hope you all have a great weekend, and take time to enjoy this special time year with warm food and drinks, sparkling lights, and  beautiful candles.  I am sharing this delicious candy cane brownie cake over at Angie’s virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi @ and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.candy cane brownie cake by door

Candy Cane Brownie Cake

  • Servings: about 30 pieces, depending on size
  • Print


For the brownie cake:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar (I used half white and half brown sugar, but all white sugar is fine too)
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 and 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 candy canes, crushed


For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking pan.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and everything is combined.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Beat lightly with a wooden spoon, until just combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture and the cup of milk alternately to the chocolate mixture, stirring after each addition.  Stir until everything is combined and incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan.  When it is cool to the touch, you can frost it.

For the frosting:

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting.  In a large bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder.  Add the soft butter, the boiling water, and the vanilla.  Stir together carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet.  Then beat with a hand mixer or electric mixer for a minute on low and a minute on medium, or until the frosting is smooth.  If necessary, add a bit more water or a bit more powdered sugar to get the consistency you want.  Let the frosting cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the cake and frosting are cooling, crush the candy canes.  When the cake and frosting are cool to the touch, frost the cake and sprinkle the candy cane pieces evenly on top.  Cut the cake and serve. Enjoy!


  1. Amanda | What’s Cooking

    I love the reindeer! And your holiday take on a classic brownie. Lol re your dog’s approval. Glad you got a nice snow day in already. It’s a crazy time of year with lots of demands that are opposite of what you actually want to be doing. I think it does require conscious effort to stay sane. Enjoy!

    • Jenny

      Thank you Amanda, it really does require conscious effort to stay sane right now! It is a continual effort to keep reigning in the runaway mind! 🙂 Thanks re the reindeer. This morning a cardinal was perching on it and it looked so cute! I hope you have a great weekend!


    My hubby made one of those reindeers too – I wonder if I have a picture of it. It was smaller though… Anything chocolate gets my attention and then adding a little holiday flavor and color makes your cake perfect. Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday Jenny!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Judi! Thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday!

  3. Life Diet Health

    Ooo I need a reindeer to replace the melting snowman! ☃️Such a gorgeous looking brownie cake with a lovely festive sprinkle, thanks for linking and sharing at Fiesta Friday ☺

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Laurena! The snow is melting here today too! Thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week!

  4. Jhuls

    The reindeer is so cute!! 😀 And the brownie cake look so delish! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Jhuls!

  5. Debbie Spivey

    Love the reindeer! That would be perfect outside of my house. Those brownies though!!! I love the very last photo, genius!

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Debbie!

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