Peppermint Bark

published Dec 7, 2023
christmas
Peppermint Bark Recipe

It’s so easy to make this holiday treat at home with just dark chocolate, white chocolate, peppermint extract, and candy canes.

Serves12 to 16

Prep25 minutes

Cook5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Overhead shot of pieces of peppermint bark, topped with crumbled candy cane.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

I’m a fan of all holiday sweets, be it toffee, gingerbread, or Linzer cookies. So it should come as no surprise that every year, I pick up a tin of peppermint bark. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered I could easily make my own bark at home with ingredients I already have in my pantry and just 30 minutes of hands-on time. Now every December from here on out, I’ll be ready to whip up a big batch of peppermint bark to enjoy solo — or to share with family and friends (if I must). Here’s how you can make the iconic wintery treat at home.

What Is Peppermint Bark Made Of?

Popularized by Williams Sonoma, peppermint bark consists of just four ingredients.

How to Make Peppermint Bark

  • Chop and melt your semi-sweet chocolate. Start by coarsely chopping semi-sweet or dark chocolate, then placing it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in short intervals, stirring in between each, until the chocolate is fully melted. Add in a tiny bit of peppermint extract, then transfer to a foil-lined baking dish and spread it in an even layer. Refrigerate until almost set. 
  • Crush the candy canes. Unwrap the candy and place it in a large plastic bag. Use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer to crush the candy into small, unevenly sized pieces. 
  • Chop and melt your white chocolate. Repeat the process of chopping and melting your white chocolate in the microwave. Add in the rest of the peppermint extract, then drizzle evenly over the chilled dark chocolate. Spread the chocolate with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top, pressing them in gently with your hands.
  • Chill, break, and enjoy. Refrigerate the candy until fully hardened. At this point, you can either use your hands to break it into irregular shapes, or let the bark sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting it into neat squares with a sharp knife. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Other Ways to Enjoy Peppermint Bark

I call for using a 9×13-inch baking dish because I like the thickness that its size lends to the candy. If you want a thinner, snappier bite, spread the chocolate on a rimmed baking sheet instead. 

This recipe makes a large batch so feel free to get creative with how you enjoy yours. Here are a few ideas.

  • Stir it into hot chocolate
  • Fold chopped pieces into cookie dough or brownie batter. 
  • Use it to decorate a cake or cupcakes. 
  • Sprinkle small pieces on top of ice cream.

Peppermint Bark Recipe

It’s so easy to make this holiday treat at home with just dark chocolate, white chocolate, peppermint extract, and candy canes.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 12 to 16

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces

    dark chocolate (about 70%) or semi-sweet chocolate

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    peppermint extract, divided

  • 8

    regular-size candy canes

  • 16 ounces

    (1 pound) white chocolate bars or discs (see Recipe Notes if using white chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Coarsely chop 12 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 1/2 cups) and place in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes total. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract and stir to combine.

  2. Pour the chocolate into the baking dish. Using the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread into an even layer, completely covering the bottom. Refrigerate until the chocolate is almost set, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap 8 regular-size candy canes and place in a large zip-top bag. Using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, crush the candy canes into small pieces.

  3. Coarsely chop 16 ounces white chocolate (about 3 3/4 cups) and place in a clean, dry medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir to combine.

  4. Drizzle the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate. Using the back of a clean spoon or small offset spatula, spread the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top and gently press them in with your hands. Refrigerate until the peppermint bark is set, about 35 minutes.

  5. To serve, break into irregular pieces by hand. Alternatively, if you prefer pieces with cleaner edges, transfer the peppermint bark to a cutting board, remove the foil, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Recipe Notes

White chocolate chips: Only white chocolate chips which contain cocoa butter, such as Guittard Choc-au-Lait, will melt smoothly enough for this recipe. If you can’t find white baking chips with cocoa butter, opt for bars or discs of white chocolate instead. Don’t use white candy melts, which aren’t as flavorful as white chocolate.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.