Carlow Culture

Get Your Mint On

Written by Laney Jessell

Who doesn’t like girl scout cookies? I know I do, and that is why I was so excited to make this cake for a coworker’s birthday. Since I did not have access to any thin mint girl scout cookies, I thought I could switch out the thin mints for Mint Oreos. The Oreos tasted great. The process of making this cake had a lot of ups and downs, but I loved the way this cake turned out. Baking anything in my house is very hectic in my kitchen, but I always love the outcome of what I bake and the joy it brings to people.  

Photo by Laney Jessell


Mint Chocolate Cake 

  • 2 Cups (265g) all purpose flour 
  • 1 2/3 Cups (340g) white granulated sugar 
  • 2/3 Cup (60g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch Process) 
  • 2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1/2 Cup (120ml) vegetable oil 
  • 2 eggs, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract 
  • 1 Cup (240ml) full-fat buttermilk, room temperature DIY recipe in notes below 
  • 1 Cup (240ml) hot water 

Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream 

  • 2 Cups (452g) unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 7 Cups (840g) powdered sugar 
  • 6 Tbsp (89ml) heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 tsp pure peppermint extract 
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • A few drops of green food color gel 
  • 1/2 Cup (92g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, finely chopped 

Chocolate Ganache Drip 

  • 1/2 Cup (92g) semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 Cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream 

Additional Fillings and Garnishes 

  • 8 Thin Mint cookies, crushed into crumbs  
  • 8 Thin Mint Cookies, whole (for garnish) 


Make the Mint Chocolate Cake 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with cooking spray and fitting the bottoms with a wax paper or parchment cake circle.  
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir on low for 30 seconds to fully combine them. Add the vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and buttermilk and mix on low until just combined. With the mixer still on low, add the hot water in a slow stream, then turn the mixer to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. The batter will be very thin.  
  3. Pour into prepared cake pans no more than 2/3 full and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely. 

Make the Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream 

  1. With a hand mixer or paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until it’s creamy and light (almost white) in color. About 7 minutes.  
  2. Add the powdered sugar a few cups at a time, mixing on low and scraping down after each addition to make sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and salt and mix on medium-low for another two minutes until fully incorporated. 
  3. Add a few drops of green food color gel until the desired shade of mint green is reached. Then, gently fold in the chopped chocolate. 

Make the Chocolate Ganache 

  1. Place chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl (glass or metal). 
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm heavy whipping cream until it just starts to boil. I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour it into your bowl of chocolate and let sit for one minute.  
  3. Whisk it together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is room temperature.  


  1. Torte the cooled Mint Chocolate Cake layers and place the first one on top of a cardboard cake circle, ensuring it stays put with a swipe of buttercream between the cake and cardboard. Add a layer of Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream as filling, followed by a layer of crushed Thin Mint cookies. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the fillings before placing the final cake layer, upside down, on top. 
  2. To create the design pictured, frost the cake with Mint Chocolate Chip buttercream and place it into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to firm up before adding the chocolate ganache. Once the chocolate ganache has reached room temperature and the cake finish is chilled, drip the cake with it (here is a great tutorial on how to drip cakes). Place back into the refrigerator for at least five minutes before finishing the cake with buttercream piping and more Thin Mint cookies. 

Recipe Notes 

DIY Buttermilk recipe: For this recipe, add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to a jar and top it with 1 Cup of whole milk. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes before using in the recipe.  
Make ahead tips: the Mint Chocolate Cake can be made ahead and stored at room temperature, covered tightly in plastic wrap, for up to two days. Alternatively, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months before thawing to room temperature.  
The Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day. Alternatively, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip with your stand mixer on medium for one minute to bring it back to frosting consistency.  

Even if you do not make this cake, the recipe is interesting to look at and maybe you’ve picked up a few tips for your future baking endeavors. If you have any tips or if you try this recipe, post them in the comments below! 

Recipe Link: 

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