Year after year, you load the family stockings up with candy canes…only to find them smushed and broken in the back of the pantry a month later. We think these obligatory-yet-divisive candies give peppermint a bad name. There are tons of minty, refreshing desserts out there that are just as Christmas-appropriate—and a million times more appetizing. Here are 45 peppermint desserts to whip up this holiday season, from chocolate peppermint linzer cookies to peppermint bark fudge.
1. Chocolate-Peppermint Icebox Cookies
When it comes to cookie swap season, icebox cookie recipes are a total lifesaver. Just make the dough, roll it into a log, wrap it in parchment paper and refrigerate it until you’re ready to slice and bake.
2. Peppermint Devil’s Food Hi-Hat Cupcakes
The more mint-kissed marshmallow frosting, the better. (Plus, the crowning glory is topped in a thin layer of two-ingredient chocolate glaze.)
3. Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
The stripey red-and-white interior will warm any Scrooge’s heart. The trick is splitting the cheesecake batter, dyeing a portion of it red and alternating the mixtures when filling the crust.
4. Peppermint Patties
5. Chocolate-Peppermint Linzer Cookies
Despite the cookies’ crisp texture, they have all the flavor of a fudgy brownie. Trade traditional jam filling for peppermint-white chocolate ganache made from melted peppermint candies.
6. Peppermint Bark Crepe Cake
Your kids will be (almost) as thrilled to see this layered masterpiece on the breakfast table as they will their presents under the tree.
7. Soft Cinnamon Cut-Out Cookies with White Chocolate Peppermint Topping
The definition of sugar, spice and everything nice. Bonus points for adding red and green sprinkles.
8. 3-Ingredient White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels
Behold: a sweet-and-salty holiday miracle. Use regular pretzels instead of thin pretzel crisps for a denser crunch.
9. Peppermint Truffles
Careful, these handhelds covered in velvety, peppermint-spiked chocolate ganache are dangerously poppable.
10. Crinkle Cookies with Peppermint Cream
Not only is the frosting infused with peppermint extract, but it’s also rolled in crushed candy canes for good measure.
11. Peppermint Bark
Unlike its candy cane cousin, this chocolatey seasonal delicacy never gets old. The best part? You’ll only need five ingredients to pull it off.
12. Peppermint Mocha Blossoms
Just like your favorite winter latte, but in cookie form. Whip them up as soon as Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses hit shelves.
13. Peppermint Bark Fudge
Soft, creamy and made from seven easy ingredients. Sweetened condensed milk and Marshmallow Fluff make this fudge recipe pretty darn foolproof.
14. Five-Ingredient Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
How is it possible that these crowd-pleasers only need five ingredients and 15 minutes in the oven to come together, you ask? They start with a box of devil’s food cake mix.
15. Peppermint Chocolate Pie
Save time by using a store-bought graham cracker crust (or better yet, upgrade to a press-in crust made from Oreos instead).
16. Peppermint Mocha Scones
If you don’t wash these babies down with a piping-hot gingerbread latte or peppermint hot chocolate, you’re doing it wrong.
17. Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow
Place a bowl on the kids’ table and watch it disappear in 30 seconds flat. They can even help you shake on the confectioners’ sugar if they’d like.
18. 3-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mousse
She is beauty, she is grace—and she’s vegan to boot. Good looking out, canned coconut cream.
19. Chocolate Peppermint Meringues
Believe it or not, it doesn’t take as much skill to swirl the meringue and dark chocolate as you might think. Just spoon the melted chocolate atop the meringue batter and start scooping—they’ll marble on their own.
20. Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls
While the recipe isn’t minty as is, a few drops of peppermint extract in the vanilla glaze could change that.
21. Chocolate Pound Cake with Peppermint Ganache
Not only does the cake boast semisweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder, it also gets a dash of instant coffee for extra bold flavor.
22. Peppermint Bark Oreo Cookie Balls
Thanks to an entire block of cream cheese and two types of chocolate, these minis are equal parts tangy and sweet.
23. Peppermint Fudge
The recipe calls for semisweet chocolate chips, but you can use dark chips or wafers instead for a bolder contrast.
24. Peppermint Bark Smookies
Summer’s signature dessert (aka s’mores) gets a wintry makeover. Use sugar or chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers.
25. Brownie Cake with Peppermint Marshmallow Frosting
Rich, chocolatey and oh so fudgy. To save time, substitute homemade cake for store-bought brownie mix.
26. White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
Fact: You’re never too old to inhale an over-the-top, festive cupcake. (Especially one topped with seasonal sprinkles and crushed candy canes.)
27. Pink Peppermint Bark Macarons
As if their blush color wasn’t surprising enough, they’re filled with not one, but *two* types of silky ganache.
28. No-Churn Oreo Peppermint Ice Cream
It’s never too cold out for a scoop of ice cream. Make it a sundae by topping your bowl with hot fudge, crumbled sugar cookies and candy cane pieces.
29. One-Bowl Peppermint Brownies
Because the last thing you want to do on Christmas Eve is wash a bunch of dirty dishes.
30. Red Velvet Peppermint Cookies
We thought the combination of rich chocolate and tangy cream cheese frosting couldn’t get any better…until we found this recipe.
31. Peppermint Patty Chocolate Cookies
You won’t have to fuss with making your own peppermint candy here, or even with peppermint extract. Just lean on store-bought peppermint patties instead.
32. Vegan Peppermint Black Bean Brownies
33. Candy Cane Snowball Cookies
If you have limited energy after wrapping a million presents, start with store-bought sugar cookies. But these peppermint-infused ones have toasted almonds in the dough, so they’re worth the elbow grease in our book.
34. White Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Frosting
White chocolate cake meets peppermint-infused Italian meringue buttercream and minty meringue cookies for a stunning dessert that can double as a centerpiece.
35. Peppermint Patty-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
The stuffing method will also work with double chocolate chip dough if you’d prefer.
36. White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Instead of standard dairy, this holiday recipe calls on melted cacao butter and raw cashews. Goji berries make for a rustic, nutritious finishing touch.
37. Grain-Free Peppermint Chocolate Donuts
These morning delights start with boxed chocolate cake mix, so they’re basically impossible to mess up.
38. The Best Homemade Thin Mints
Vegan? Check. Gluten-free? Check. Doused in three-ingredient chocolate-peppermint coating? You bet.
39. Mint Chocolate Cookies with Mint Frosting
For true peppermint stans only. You can skip the green and pink food dye in the frosting if you insist…but where’s the fun in that?
40. Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints
These bakery-caliber goodies are filled to the brim with chocolate-peppermint ganache. Be sure to chill the dough for at least two hours so the cookies hold their shape.
41. Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies
We have a feeling your kids will beg to help you decorate these cute holiday cutouts.
42. Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
TBH, the cookies are so rich and fudgy that they’re basically brookies. The key to their intense chocolatey flavor is dark cocoa powder.
43. All-Natural Peppermint Bark with Cacao Nibs and Flaky Salt
Extra-virgin coconut oil offers a hint of coconut flavor to the bark, so feel free to use butter, ghee or a neutral oil instead if you’re opposed.
44. Death by Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
We’re talking cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips in the dough, plus a dark chocolate coating on the outside topped with white chocolate drizzle.
45. Peppermint Affogato
Classy, minty and caffeinated—just the nightcap for a grown-up Christmas soirée. Pass the hot fudge, please.