Skip to main content

Candy Cane Cake Recipe (Great Idea for Decorating Cakes)

Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Delicious candy cane cake

Delicious candy cane cake

Easy Cake Decorating!

When my daughter wanted a candy cane birthday party theme, we came up with this quick and easy cake. Even though this recipe was quick, it made a very spectacular and showy cake that served as a great table decoration. Better yet, it tasted fabulous. All the girls at the party loved it, and we didn't have much left!

Because my daughter was concerned that not all of her friends would want an all-peppermint cake, we made the cake and icing with vanilla and used the candy canes and peppermints for decoration. However, I'm providing a recipe for peppermint cake and peppermint buttercream icing.

Peppermint Candy Cake

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

27 min

57 min

12–16 servings of cake


  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons extract (vanilla or peppermint)
  • 1/4 cup red sprinkles, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8" or 9" round pans with nonstick spray and then sprinkle them with flour. Set aside.
  2. Put cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs, and extract in a large bowl. Mix on low speed for one minute. Scrape bowl and then mix for 2 more minutes on medium speed. Batter should be thick and well blended.
  3. Divide the batter into the two round pans. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the red sugar sprinkles in a circle on top of each pan. Use a knife to cut the circles to make a swirl. For a stronger mint flavor, you could use crushed candy canes instead.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 27–29 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Take out and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each pan and turn over to remove cake.
  5. Put one cake on a plate and frost top with white peppermint buttercream icing or vanilla buttercream (if you use vanilla buttercream, you can add 1/2 cup of strawberry jam on top of icing in-between the layers for extra flavor). Place second layer on top of first. Using lots of icing, frost the sides and top. Smooth the icing with a knife.
  6. Place large candy canes facing outwards around the cake. Add unwrapped peppermints in between the candy canes. Put a ring of peppermints on top. You can sprinkle with white sparkling sugar too!

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Here's how to make the peppermint buttercream frosting.


  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature or soften in microwave for 5–10 seconds
  • 2–3 TB cream or milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TB Karo syrup
  • 1 tea. extract (vanilla or peppermint)


  1. Mix butter in mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and milk. Mix with beaters until well blended.
  3. Add Karo syrup and extract (vanilla for vanilla buttercream, peppermint for peppermint buttercream). Mix for 1–2 minutes until frosting is fluffy. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff, or a little more powdered sugar if it is too soft.
Candy cane cake

Candy cane cake

Party Ideas

You could use this cake for:

  • Christmas Parties
  • Candyland Birthday party
  • Candy Cane Theme Party
  • Red and White party

Because candy canes come in other colors, you could also adapt the design to use with green candy canes or any other candy canes you can find!

Party Decoration Ideas

  • Tableware: Use red tablecloth with white plates and red and white napkins.
  • Candy Table Decoration: Sprinkle candy canes and peppermints down the table for decoration with the cake in the middle.
  • Decorating Walls: Cut out candy canes from paper in various sizes. Either color them red and white, or have a "crazy candy cane" decorating contest and let party-goers invent a new candy cane and then help decorate for the party.
  • Ceiling Decoration: Hang candy canes from light fixtures or the ceiling using thread so they appear to be suspended in the air. You can also tie on white and red balloons.
  • Candles: Put a white candle inside a larger glass jar. Fill the rest of the jar with peppermints and/or candy canes.
  • Party Favor Bags: Use red and white tissue paper inside of white or red bags for the party favors. You can use white lunch bags for an inexpensive treat.
  • Party Favor Treats: You can make Peppermint Snowflakes and Snowman Soup for the party or as a party favor. Another party favor could be Chocolate Popcorn made with red and white candy melts.

Cake Variations

My Candy Cane Cake recipe is adapted from The Cake Doctor, "Bride's Cake with Raspberry Filling and White Chocolate Frosting." I first made this cake as a wedding reception cake and found it was the most flavorful and moist cake I'd ever eaten. What makes this recipe different is the addition of milk and butter to the mix along with 2 teaspoons of extract. This recipe is so good, that I tend to use it for most of my cakes, so I know that you can make these variations:

  • Peppermint Chocolate Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and peppermint extract. If the batter is too stiff, you might want to add another 1/4 cup milk. Frost with White Peppermint Buttercream Frosting, or Make the icing in my Quick Chocolate Cake recipe.
  • Almond Raspberry Cake: Use a white or yellow cake mix and almond flavoring. Use seedless raspberry jam in between the layers (also works with blackberry, strawberry or apricot jam). Decorate with fresh raspberries or almond slices.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the frosting recipe. You may need to add up to 1 cup more powdered sugar too. Decorate with peanuts or chopped up chocolate.