This recipe for peppermint brownies is fudgy chocolate squares topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped candy canes. The perfect holiday treat!
No one will ever be able to guess that these rich and decadent brownies came from a boxed mix. They’re a festive addition to any cookie tray or holiday dessert table!
I’m almost done with my holiday baking extravaganza, and I have to say, I saved one of the best for last: these amazingly delicious peppermint brownies. We’ve got layers of chocolate brownie, peppermint cream cheese frosting, chocolate topping AND crushed candy canes. How can you go wrong with that?
How to make peppermint brownies
The first step to making peppermint brownies is baking up a box of brownie mix. You can use whatever brand and flavor you like here. After the brownies are baked and cooled, they’re topped with an easy homemade peppermint frosting.
The final step in the process is a layer of chocolate with crushed candy canes on top. These brownies are so very pretty and impressive looking, yet so very simple to make.
These brownies do need to chill in between adding each layer so that the layers don’t run into each other. That being said, the crushed candy canes should be added at the same time that you spread on the chocolate, that way they’ll adhere properly.
The hardest part about making these brownies is getting them cut into neat squares. I slice the brownies when they’re chilled and clean my knife in between cuts to get the neatest possible end result.
I just love all the flavors and textures going on here – all that glorious chocolate, the cooling mint flavor, the crunchy cane canes and the creamy frosting. These are truly some of the best brownies I’ve ever had, I’m definitely not waiting until next winter to make them again!
More holiday recipes
- Christmas Wreath Cookies
- Red Velvet Cookies
- Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
- Stained Glass Cookies
- Avalanche Cookies
- 1 box brownie mix
- eggs, oil and water as called for on the box of brownie mix
- cooking spray
For the peppermint frosting"
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
For the chocolate topping:
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x9 inch square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
- Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.
- Cool completely in the pan.
- To make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the milk and beat until blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the peppermint extract.
- Spread the peppermint frosting evenly over the brownies, then chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- For the chocolate topping: Place the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly over the cream cheese layer and top with crushed candy canes.
- Chill the brownies for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Remove from the pan using the parchment overhang and cut into squares, then serve.
- Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.
- For neat cuts, slice the brownies while they're cold and wipe the knife clean with a paper towel in between cuts.
- To crush candy canes, place them in a sealed plastic bag and cover with a towel. Use a rolling pin or the flat end of a meat mallet to crush the candy.
This post has been sponsored by MARS, Pillsbury, and Ziploc. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post was originally published on November 20, 2016 and was updated on December 10, 2017 with new photos and content.
Can I make this in an 8×8?
That should work, you might need to adjust the cooking time accordingly!
Do you use unsalted or salted butter?
Either is fine I’ve tested it both ways!
Thanks so much! Can’t wait to make these for Christmas Eve!
Can the peppermint brownies be made ahead and frozen?
Yes that should be fine!
Hi, it says milk or cream. Any specific kind? (Whole milk, non fat, skim, etc)? I’m assuming cream is heavy whipping cream. Which do you recommend is better for the recipe to use?
I prefer to use heavy cream but I know a lot of people don’t have it on hand. The heavy cream makes the frosting a little richer, but any other type of milk will also work. It’s more about using liquid to thin the frosting slightly versus the fat content of that liquid.
I plan to make these for a gathering tomorrow. If I made tonight, would I need to refrigerate due to the cream cheese? Thanks in advance!
I’d keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cut and serve, but they can sit out at room temperature for a few hours during the party without a problem!
This may sound silly but what size box of brownie mix? I currently have TWO different sizes in my cupboard. Would love to make this for the coming weekend.
You want to use a brownie mix designed for a 9″x9″ pan, there’s typically the regular sized brownie mix box and “family size”, and most often both work in a square pan, the family size just comes out thicker. Check the back of the box to see if it can be used in a square pan!
Those peppermint brownies are awesome! I love chocolate and peppermint but to have them together in a brownie recipe is fantastic! I love how pretty it looks too. They’d make wonderful gifts to neighbors and friends this holiday season. Thank you for the recipe!
Mixes are always easier when you’re baking especially this season! I had no idea this came from a boxed mix but it looks OH SO GOOD! It’s definitely something that I’ll try!
These look perfect. The crushed candy canes on top are the perfect added touch