Peppermint Bark

Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes. 

peppermint bark

I know, I know. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But with only 5 days left until the foodie holiday of the year, it’s absolutely time to share this peppermint bark recipe with you.

Back in high school, thanksgiving breaks were time for swim team potlucks. I swam all four years (I do NOT miss the early practices) and I loved being apart of the team. One night during the long thanksgiving break, we’d all get together for a potluck and bring some kind of dish. Someone from the team always, and I mean ALWAYS brought a tin of peppermint bark. I’d have a few pieces before grabbing my dinner. I’ve had a major crush on peppermint bark for years and it’s about time I make it at home.

Sooo just in case you’re looking to make something peppermint-y next weekend…

stack of peppermint bark pieces

I feel sort of silly sharing this recipe with you. It’s hardly a recipe at all.

This is one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever thrown together. Which is incredibly dangerous because not much work is between me, you, and this extremely festive peppermint bark. Just warning you now.

You’ll need a few ingredients including white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, candy canes or peppermint hard candies, and peppermint extract. Since there are so few ingredients, it’s important use quality ingredients. Chocolate chips and white chocolate baking morsels do not live up to the real thing! Each contain stabilizers, preventing them from melting completely silky smooth. That’s why chocolate chips don’t melt into a pool of chocolate in your chocolate chip cookies. Not only that, you’ll taste the difference between high quality chocolate and a $3 bag of chocolate chips. I recommend Ghirardelli, Lindt, or Baker’s brand chocolate when making bark of any variety.

3 images of ingredients for peppermint bark including white and dark chocolate and crushed candy canes

Chop up the chocolate separately, melt them separately, and layer them on top of one another. Make sure you let the layers cool  in between layering or else you’ll wind up swirling the two chocolates together. There are three layers of chocolate; a top and bottom layer of white chocolate and a middle layer of semi-sweet. Feel free to switch them around and sandwich the white chocolate in between two semi-sweet layers.

Top with crushed candy canes. A lot of recipes for peppermint bark that I stumbled upon call for sifting the crushed candy canes to rid any of the candy cane powder. I don’t do that; I really didn’t want to dirty my sifter with candy cane bits.

After it sets, break the peppermint bark into pieces, make a complete mess, taste test, taste test again. DONE. I no longer have a hungry swim team to share this stuff with, so I passed our leftovers to my friend Molly and her fiancé the other night. She said her family gobbled it up! Not surprised.

pieces of peppermint bark

It’s not that tricky, I promise. I am just extremely thorough chatty in explaining how to melt chocolate properly.

Peppermint Bark Video Tutorial

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pieces of peppermint bark

Peppermint Bark

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 mintues
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: about 1 and 1/2 pounds
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Incredibly simple white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate layered bark flavored with peppermint and crushed candy canes.


  • 12 ounces (339g) high quality white chocolate, broken into pieces and divided*
  • 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable, coconut, or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • 3 regular size candy canes, crushed


  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Set aside. 
  2. You can temper the chocolate or melt the chocolate without tempering. That is up to you. I melt the chocolate for this bark recipe. If tempering the chocolate, make sure the layers are never refrigerated. Allow them to set at room temperature. There are two ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The double boiler is easier, but the microwave is a little more convenient for most people, so my directions are for a microwave. If you have a double boiler, you probably know how to use it! So, the KEY to melting chocolate in the microwave is to do it in small bursts and stir frequently. Chocolate overheats so fast, so easily. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of oil with 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour melted white chocolate into the prepared baking pan, spreading with an offset spatula into a thin smooth layer. Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers could separate. 
  3. Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil into a small heatproof bowl (or the double boiler) and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Once melted, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer. Spread into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set.
  4. Place the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small heatproof bowl and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.) Sprinkle with crushed candy canes– to crush, I usually do it in a food processor or stick the candy canes in a sealed ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until crushed.
  5. Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break into pieces as large or as small as you want. Alternatively, you can cut squares. To do so, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10-15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife and cut.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Store bark in the refrigerator. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The bark can be left at room temperature for a few days in colder months, but it gets a little soft.
  2. Chocolate: See my notes in the post about which brands I prefer and why subbing chocolate chips isn’t a good idea. High quality chocolate is best.

Keywords: peppermint bark, homemade peppermint bark

peppermint bark on a gold plate


  1. Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar says:

    Mmmm, nothing is better than chocolate and mint together! I love making bark for big occasions, such an easy addition to a hectic menu! Looks delicious as always, Sally!

  2. Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blog says:

    I shouldn’t…because I’ll eat all of it…but I’m going to make this this year!!

  3. This is a classic, yet I have never made it! Perhaps this weekend is the time : )

  4. This is my Mom’s Christmas favorite! I would love to make this for her and mail it. I don’t think I can find peppermint extract but if I find a way to get my hands on some, I will definitely be making this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Phillip || says:

    I grew up being sooo excited to go to my grandmothers house and have peppermint bark. Such a great holiday treat! Looks delicious.

  6. These look so festive, Sally! Can’t wait to start making Christmas candies and sweets. I just bought candy canes the other day. Excited! 🙂

  7. Hi Sally!!! It’s us again, the girls who commented on your mini red velvet cheesecakes! We are in computer class bored (again), and now we are wondering how much of your baked goods you eat? We also want to tell you that we came up with a challenge that we are going to do on our next sleepover. It is called the Sally 24 Hour Challenge! We have to go for 24 hours eating only food from your website. We just wanted to say that we love your peppermint bark. Please tell us what you think of our challenge!

  8. So beautifully Christmas-y!


  9. How do you come up with these designs?! These are incredible 🙂

  10. Is it ok to swirl the chocolate together ?Are there any changes to the recipe?

    Thanks for any help!!!

    1. Swirling is just fine. If you swirl, perhaps do equal amounts of chocolate instead of more white chocolate like the recipe calls for.

  11. I made this Monday evening. OMG. It was perfect. I did the double-boiler method, and no offense to your microwave instructions – those just looked like, WAHT? 🙂

    The only thing that got me was, even after each layer was set, and this was after being chilled a good 15-20 minutes (I was prepping dinner in between layers), layering the next warm layer would inevitably melt the chilled layer slightly, so that it would swirl into the next layer. BUT I could quickly lighten my touch on the spatula and cover up the underlying layer.

    The result was almost identical to your images. I crushed the candy canes with a meat pounder and paper towels. Sure, you lose a few to the paper towel but I got CRUSHED CANDY CANE fairly easily.

    THANK YOU FOR THIS. I am so glad I stumbled upon your recipe. I will be making your Butter Pecan cookies tonight. 🙂

  12. Hello again!

    I posted a while ago with questions about what I might have done wrong, because the recipe didn’t work for me. But, the post with the question seems to have disappeared.

    My son REALLY LOVES the taste of this recipe; I would love to learn how to make it so it stays together. Any idea what happened to my original question?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Shannon! I’m so sorry about that. My website recently switched host servers and I lost some photos, some posts, and some comments in the transition. We’re working on having it restored. In the meantime, are you using the oil? The oil helps soften the chocolate which helps the layers stick together. What also may help is to score the layers of chocolate before pouring on the next layer.

      1. Thank you Sally!! 🙂 I did use the oil; my issue was that the lower layers got so cold that it chilled the upper layers before I could spread them. I’m not sure if that added to the separation issue or not, but it sure didn’t help. 🙂 I will try scoring, and not chilling them quite so much. I also love another readers idea of swirling!

        FYI, my son wanted to use Ande’s peppermint pieces. Very, very tasty but didn’t stick too well.

  13. Debbie Schwartz says:

    Hi Sally,

    Do I have to put this bark in the fridge? I want to use it for holiday gifts and it would not be practical to tell the gift recipients to put it in the refrigerator.

    1. I keep it in the fridge, but during these colder months it is OK to leave out for a couple days. It’s a little soft when it’s at room temperature.

  14. Adrienne Gilligan says:

    Hi Sally,
    I plan on making this recipe as Christmas goodies for colleagues at work. Out of the canola, coconut or vegetable oil, do you have a preference? Does one work better than the other or provide better flavor? Thank you!

    1. I find the canola oil to be the best. There’s so little oil in the chocolate that it truly does not make a huge difference though!

  15. Definitely do not store bark in refridgerator. All my peppermint candy melted into puddles and ruined. Chill in fridge to start and then leave sealed in room temperature.

  16. Is there anything I should change in the recipe if I’m using peppermint oil rather than peppermint extract?

    1. Yes, you’ll need to reduce the amount. The flavor of peppermint oil is much more intense and concentrated than extract, I believe it’s around 4x as potent.

  17. What type of pans do you use? 8 or 9 inch sheet pans? Rectangular? How deep?

    1. Hi Jenny- Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.

      I use metal. If that is what you were asking too?

      1. I was actually wondering this too. Are they sheet pans with sides or is it more like a cake pan?

      2. A cake pan

  18. Another winning recipe, Sally! I’ve tried numerous bark recipes over the years and feel like I’ve finally found one that I’ll return to every year, thank you!

  19. do you have to use peppermint extract or could you use essential oil peppermint

    1. For the peppermint oil, you’ll need to reduce the amount. The flavor of peppermint oil is much more intense and concentrated than extract, I believe it’s around 4x as potent.

  20. I couldn’t find peppermint extract at the store

  21. Maybe I’m crazy trying this out in March? I wanted to do a test run to see how it went and candy canes were reduced at the super market so I took that as a sign. Hubby not a fan of candy canes but he loved this! I guess mint chocolate goodness can make anything taste good!

  22. Going to try peppermint bark 😀 but the peppermint bark fudge doesn’t look as appetizing.

  23. Christine Sunita says:

    Hi Sally, i was wondering if you have this recipe in grams, because i dont use ounces.

    1. I added grams!

      1. Christine Sunita says:

        Thank you very much!

  24. I thought that it might be fun to try this recipe with a shortbread crust.  Have you ever tried that?  

    1. I haven’t, but that sounds delicious. I would prick holes in the shortbread crust (with a toothpick) before pouring on the chocolate layer. To make sure the chocolate really stays put on the crust!

  25. Looking forward to trying this recipe but was wondering on the size of the candy canes that should be used? The mini’s or the regular size?

    1. Regular size

  26. Oh my gosh I made this today and it is so good! My only regret is that it’s for Christmas Eve, so the little taste test I had today when breaking the bark up is all I get 🙁 

    Reading the comments, I thought the bark was going to separate or that this recipe wouldn’t work so well, but I was wrong! It came out perfectly, almost exactly like the photos (except I didn’t cut the bark neatly, just broke it up with a butter knife)!

  27. Hi Sally,
    Any tips or advice on using peppermint oil vs. peppermint extract?  I’ve never used oil in baking but I’m looking for a really good punch of peppermint in my bark, and possibly hot chocolate mix.  Just curious if you’ve tried it and how much I should use in this recipe if I substitute it. 
    P.S. I made your Vanilla cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream frosting for my kiddo’s 5th birthday. The kids gobbled them up, no surprise, but the parents RAVED about them. (Kid birthday parties can be painful when it comes to the cupcakes-at least for me.) Yes, separating and beating egg whites, room temp ingredients.  All those little details made ALL the difference.  WOW! Thank you!!

    1. Thanks Erin! I’m so glad everyone loved those cupcakes!

      I don’t use peppermint oil much since extract is just so easy to get my hands on right at the store. (I have trouble finding oil!) It’s MUCH more potent than already-strong peppermint extract. I read that you need to use half or 1/3 the amount of oil.

  28. Gonna make it for Xmas for family!

  29. I love peppermint bark and I’m excited to try this out. I wanted to make this for my colleagues at work but I had a question on what chocolate to use. I read what you wrote about what chocolate to use but I’m still a little confused. When at the store they had Ghirardelli baking chocolate but I wasn’t sure if I should use that or regular chocolate. They don’t have bitter sweet regular chocolate though. What should I use?

    1. Ghirardelli baking chocolate is exactly what to use, yes!

  30. Is the oil necessary? Will the recipe work without it?

    1. Helps smooth out and safely melt the chocolate.

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