This chocolate cake, complete with a mint Swiss meringue buttercream and an incredible Chocolate Ganache is seriously a dream come true. And the best part? It’s inspired by Girl Scout Cookies! With mint and chocolate mixed together in the best possible way, you’ll be raving about this mint chocolate cake long past St. Patrick’s Day.
All About Girl Scout Cookies
It’s officially full-on Girl Scout Cookies season, and Thin Mints have ALWAYS been one of my top favorite cookies. I told Andy that I refuse to start my diet until I get my Girl Scout Cookie cravings out of my system. So in other words, bring on ALL the Girl Scout Cookies…my shipping address is at the end of this blog post. ;) Just kidding! We have 365 days a year to intentionally celebrate the every day, and today we’re celebrating BIG with this Thin Mint Party Cake from our sweet cake contributor, Ashley Byma. I just can’t get over this mint chocolate cake and how fun it would be to share a big slice with all of my friends!
Ingredients For The Best Chocolate Cake
This special cake starts out with the best Dark Chocolate Cake as its base. Using both regular cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder, this cake seriously pulls out all the stops. To get things ready, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prep three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray, also lining the bottoms with parchment paper so your cake doesn’t stick! Gather all of your dry ingredients including the cocoa powders, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and brown sugar and mix them all together in a bowl. Then, with the whisk attachment of your mixer, add in the eggs, water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Be sure not to over-mix the batter! Once your batter is ready, separate it evenly into your three cake pans and bake them for 25 minutes. Once you test your cakes with a toothpick to make sure they’re fully baked, set them aside to cool. Once your cakes are cool, wrap them in saran wrap and place them in the freezer to avoid crumbling when it’s time to decorate this delicious mint chocolate cake!
Mint Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Yes, you read that right! Mint Chocolate Ganache! Do away with the boring old chocolate ganache and switch it up a bit. To make the chocolate ganache, put your chocolate in a bowl and place it off to the side. Add heavy whipping cream to a saucepan and heat it on medium as it begins to boil around the edges. Be sure not to let it boil over! Once the cream just starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate, let it rest for about 5 minutes, and then whisk the mixture together until fully smooth. Add the mint extract as you’re stirring for that awesome flavor! Before you use the chocolate ganache to assemble your cake, you’ll want to make sure it’s cool and about the same consistency as peanut butter.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is definitely a favorite, but when you add mint to it too?! This is seriously the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious buttercream ever! And the addition of the mint makes it that much better. To make this buttercream, all you’ll need is sugar, egg whites, salt, butter, and mint and peppermint extract. Whisk your sugar, egg whites, and salt together until combined, while you heat a small amount of water in a saucepan until boiling. Create a double boiler with your mixing bowl and saucepan, whisking continuously while the egg mixture heats up. Begin mixing in a stand mixer, starting on low and gradually moving to high, until the meringue is glossy with stiff peaks. Lastly, mix in your butter until smooth, then add in the mint extracts, switching out the whisk for the paddle attachment to beat the frosting on medium speed until smooth.
Assembling A Chocolate Cake
Once it’s time to start assembling this Girl Scout Cookies inspired cake, it takes a few steps! Start with a frozen chocolate cake layer on a cake board, and top it with a layer of mint buttercream. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the border of the cake to create a barrier before spreading the chocolate ganache over top. Sprinkle with crushed Thin Mint Cookies if you want to add something extra! Repeat this step with the remaining cake layers, and then frost the outside with the remaining Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Thin Mint Cookies
For all of you who are just as crazy about Girl Scout Cookies as I am, this is definitely the cake to put on your list of faves! It’s great inspiration and a perfect reminder that spring is around the corner! Think about how great it could be even in summertime as a mint chocolate ice cream cake! Yum! Assembling this chocolate mint cake does take quite a few steps, and let’s face it, it’ll create a lot of dishes! But the end product is so worth it! But remember, if putting in the effort to make a cake like this isn’t your thing, screenshot the photos and take them to your favorite local bakery as inspiration for your next bash, or just an afternoon get-together with your best friends! I’d love to hear what you end up doing with this mint chocolate cake recipe and inspiration. Be sure to let me know in the comments!
Thin Mint Party Cake
- Dark Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup heaping regular cocoa powder
- ¼ cup heaping dark cocoa powder
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 5 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Mint Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 1 ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ teaspoon mint extract can substitute with peppermint if extract does not contain water
- Optional: crumbled Thin Mint cookies for adding between cake layers & topping
- Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 1 batch of SMBC recipe and directions found here
- ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¾ teaspoon mint extract can substitute with peppermint
Dark Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. *Note that the recipe for this batter typically makes three 8-inch layers; you can make 2 extra 6-inch layers or cupcakes with the remaining batter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add all dry ingredients (cocoa powders, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, white sugar, brown sugar) and mix on low-medium speed until combined.
- Add the eggs+ yolk, water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on low-medium until fully incorporated and there are no big lumps. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter evenly into three 6-inch cake pans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the middle is mostly set. Use a toothpick to test; if it comes out with a few crumbs then it is ready.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to countertop covered with parchment paper by running a knife around the cake edges, then turning the cake pan upside down to release the cake. Once completely cool, you can wrap these in saran wrap and place in a gallon size freezer bag; you can freeze the cake layers for about 2 months. When ready to fill the cake, use frozen cake layers to prevent the cake from crumbling while decorating.
- Mint Chocolate Ganache Filling
- Add chocolate to mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add heavy cream to a saucepan, and heat on medium until it just starts to boil around the edges and center (be careful as this can boil over very quickly).
- Remove cream from heat and slowly pour over the chocolate. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then use a whisk to stir the chocolate/cream mixture until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Add mint extract and stir until fully incorporated. If using peppermint extract, be sure there is no water in the ingredient listing as this will cause the chocolate to seize (oil is fine).
- Let sit at room temperature, or refrigerate, until it is the same consistency as peanut butter. This makes it easy to fill the cake layers.
- If the cake layers do not bake evenly, you can use a bread knife to trim the top off and make it flat which is easier for decorating. You will need to let the cake layers thaw just a bit before trimming.
- Start with the frozen chocolate cake layers, and place one layer on a cake board. You can use a spoonful of buttercream as “glue” between the cake layer and cake board if you like.
- Spread an even layer of mint buttercream over the top of the 1st cake layer. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the perimeter of the cake layer to create a barrier before adding the chocolate ganache (this will prevent the ganache from spilling over the edges of the cake).
- Spread an even layer of chocolate ganache over the mint buttercream and topped with crumbled Thin Mints.
- Repeat with remaining cake layers and frost the outside with the swiss meringue buttercream.