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Fresh Mint Cake with Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting

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Use up the abundant mint harvest in this easy to make and oh-so-delicious mint cake recipe.

This is a simple cake full of fresh mint in both the cake and chocolate mint frosting – making it ideal for the mint lover in your life.

Mint is one of the tastiest and most versatile herbs from the home garden. It can also get a little on the invasive side meaning finding good recipes to use it up is paramount.

A slice of cake on a white plate with a fork, a swath of green fabric behind it and a glass cake plate with remaining cake in the background. A text overlay states: fresh mint cake.

2021 Update – There were a number of reviews about this cake recipe, several folks saying it was wonderful, other folks saying they had trouble with it – that it came out like a scone instead of a cake. I remade and updated the recipe just slightly to hopefully rid everyone of any issues.

Tricks to Baking with Fresh Mint

Fresh mint seems to lose flavor in baked goods or is easily overpowered by strongly flavored ingredients. These truths, however; can be overcome. Working with fresh mint in baked goods can be a rewarding and delicious pursuit.

The trick to getting the mint flavor heavily embedded into this dessert is two-fold:

  1. Beating the mint with the butter and sugar in the cake batter. This muddling of the fresh herb helps release all those yummy volatile oils and intense flavor into the fat and sugar which will carry into the entire cake.
  2. Infusing the mint into the milk in the frosting makes a strong mint tea that shines through even the strong black cocoa flavor.
a slice of mint cake with chocolate frosting on a plate with a fork, green fabric behind it.

Don’t skimp on the beating or the infusing steps. These two steps are truly the keys to an amazing fresh mint cake that will delight and surprise everyone.

Homegrown mint in a basket.

For the cake, do chop the mint finely. Use a food processor to make it small if you desire – just make sure to chop not puree!

The mint stays in the cake, so aim for small specks of fresh herb throughout the cake rather than large leaves that might not be so enjoyable on the tongue in a cake.

Frosting Choices

A dark chocolate mint frosting was an obvious choice for this cake. 

I’ve tested this recipe using a black coca and it is quite dark, as you can see. That black color in frosting isn’t always the most desirable. It is a very dark and wonderful, flavor if the color isn’t bothersome.

A slice of fresh mint cake with dark chocolate mint frosting on a white plate sitting in front of the whole cake on a cake plate.

The triple cocoa blend from King Arthur is quite lovely here because it is such a balance between the various cocoa powders and does provide a quite lovely color.

A mint cake with chocolate frosting sitting on a glass cake plate with one slice cut out of the whole.

Substitute any cocoa powder you have in the pantry. The overall flavor will be less dark and the color less intense but it will still be chocolate mint.

Chocolate is, of course, a great choice for mint. However, choices abound:

If you want some other ideas, be sure to check out my favorite mint dessert recipes.

Yield: 10 Servings

Fresh Mint Cake with Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting

A slice of fresh mint cake with dark chocolate frosting plated.

Use the first herbs of spring in this fresh mint cake with dark chocolate mint frosting for a simple and yet elegant treat.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Fresh Mint Cake

  • 3 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ Cup Chopped Mint (1/2 ounce by weight)
  • ½ Cup Butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk

Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting

  • ⅓ Cup Milk
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Mint (1/4 ounce)
  • ½ Cup Butter, softened
  • ¼ Cup Black Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & Flour two 8” round cake pans.
  2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter, mint, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and milk, mixing until incorporated.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine thoroughly.
  5. Divide and spread the batter among the two prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Make the Frosting:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and mint.
  2. Bring just to a simmer (do not boil or scald). Remove from heat and cover the pan.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the mint from the milk, pressing to squeeze out all the liquid. Let cool completely.
  5. Cream the butter slightly.
  6. Add the cocoa powder to the butter and mix well. Alternate a bit of the mint infused milk and powdered sugar and keep mixing until everything is incorporated and the frosting takes on the desired consistency.
  7. Spread on cooled cake.

Notes

2021 Update - There were a number of reviews about this cake recipe, several folks saying it was wonderful, other folks saying they had trouble with it - that it came out like a scone instead of a cake. I remade and updated the recipe just slightly to hopefully rid everyone of any issues.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 Large Slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 578Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 1gSugar: 58gProtein: 6g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Michael Brohman

Monday 8th of June 2020

I baked these with my daughter and I would agree with the previous comments that they taste very good but they did turn out like scones. The batter was the consistency of cookie dough. I wish that I had read the other comments before I baked them because I think that adding more milk like others did would help. The flavor was still very good.

Daniela López

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Hi! I've just finished baking the cake, but it was turning out like cookie dough so I only used about a cup and ¾ of the flour and had to add approximately four spoons of extra milk so I could achieve the ideal cake batter texture. It looks gorgeous I must say and smells I incredibly minty, I'm loving it!

Lillian

Friday 26th of June 2020

I had the same issue it was like pancake mix. I added a little more milk but was nervous of messing things up. I'm neither a cook nor Baker. I have to follow the recipe to a T. It was good but more like a pound cake.

Ellen

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Followed your instructions explicitly, but the batter turned out more like cookie dough. The cake turned out more like a scone. Frosting is spot on!

I wonder what happened.

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 17th of April 2020

I'm not sure. It is admittedly a drier than usual cake batter but I've had so many emails and comments about the success of this cake - I can't say why it turned out scone like for you.

Anna Ruth

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Thank you for increasing the "palatability" of quarantine for me during this pandemic! I have spent lots of time gardening, and my mint is coming back strong. I used a combo of mountain mint and an unidentified mint that no one can agree on what it is. LOL. My chocolate mint is slower to regrow, so I couldn't use it yet. I made this gluten-free with flour substitutes, and I'm really happy with it! Since I made the recipe as muffins but they came out flat (this is because I don't have the hang of gluten-free cooking... not your recipe!), I am planning to slice the flat muffins open and use a thin layer of the icing to make it like a sandwich cookie! :) Best way I've seen so far to use loads of mint in one go!

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Oh thank you so much for sharing all of this with me. Made my day!

tadpole

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

This sounds amazing. My mint is just now starting to grow after a long winter. I will be trying out this recipe!

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