close up slice of cake with fork taking a bite

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake - With a moist, peppermint and coffee infused chocolate cake, to die for peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes! The perfect cake for Christmas.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 servings
Calories 393kcal
Author Nora Taylor


The Cake

Peppermint Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crushed candy canes


For the Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans. I also line them with parchment rounds for easy removal of the cakes later.
  • Measure 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and set aside to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla, peppermint and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined. 
  • Lower the speed and carefully pour in the hot coffee, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will seem very runny at this point; that is how it should be, trust me!
  • Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting & Decorating

  • In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
  • With the mixer on low-medium speed, add the non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla and peppermint as well, and increase the speed to high. Beat for about 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.
  • If the frosting seems too thick, you can add more non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting is too thin and runny, simply add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost the cake and decorate with crushed candy canes as desired. I like to put a sprinkle of crushed candy canes in the middle layer of the cake as well. Enjoy!


  1. I recommend using dark cocoa powder, such as Hershey's Special Dark if you can, it makes the cake darker and so pretty. But regular cocoa powder will work as well, your cake will just be lighter in color.
  2. I used Earth Balance brand of vegan butter. I prefer the sticks, but the tub will work. You could also use another brand such as Melt, Miyokos or even vegetable shortening if you can't find vegan butter.
  3. I found crushed candy canes in the bulk section at my local store, but you can crush them yourself using a ziplock bag and something heavy, like a cup. Just pound away until you have little candy cane pieces.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 539IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg