Nothing screams “Christmas” like peppermint, am I right?! This festive peppermint marble loaf cake is the perfect treat to make when you’re wanting a little Christmas cheer in your life. It’s fluffy, buttery, and swirled with dark chocolate and vanilla batters. You’ll want to add this one to your holiday baking list!
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It’s hard to believe that it’s December and Christmas is just a few weeks away! I love this time of year. The festivities and baking just can’t be beat!
Every year when December rolls around, I start dreaming of pretty, festive desserts that incorporate the famous red and white candies – candy canes! There’s something about little flecks of peppermint adorning baked goodies around this time of year. It makes desserts extra special!
If you feel the same about peppermint, then you’re going to want to bake this festive peppermint marble loaf cake right away! It’s a fun take on a classic pound cake, with dark chocolate and vanilla batters swirled together! Top with some crushed candy canes and cream cheese drizzle and you have yourself one yummy holiday treat!
Read on for how to make this yummy peppermint pound cake!
Ingredients for Festive Peppermint Marble Loaf Cake
This holiday marble pound cake really takes most of your basic kitchen staples like eggs, milk, sugar, etc., but you’re going to want to pick up a few extra items to be sure that this cake comes out tasting superb!
Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder – because this recipe uses baking powder, you’ll want to be sure to use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is a bit less acidic than natural cocoa powder (like Hershey’s). It interacts best when it is paired with a leavening agent like baking powder, which does not require as much acidity to make baked goods rise properly! My favorite Dutch-processed cocoa powder to use is this Rodelle cocoa powder. It has a rich flavor and a darker color, making baked goods extra special!
Peppermint Extract – This peppermint marble loaf cake contains a dark chocolate peppermint batter that is oh-so-irresistible! In order to make it deliciously pepperminty, you’ll want to buy a high-quality peppermint extract. Again, I believe Rodelle’s peppermint extract is the absolute best!
Cake Flour – You can certainly use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but I urge you to go ahead and buy cake flour instead! All-purpose flour has a higher gluten content, which creates more sturdy baked goods. Cake flour, on the other hand, has a lower gluten content. This creates more tender and fluffy treats. Using cake flour in this marble loaf cake makes it extra fluffy and gives it the best cakey texture! I like using this flour here.
High Altitude Adjustments for Peppermint Loaf Cake
For reference, I live at 5,800 feet. These adjustments would likely give you the result that you are looking for if you live within a few hundred feet of where I am at. But high altitude baking can be a lot of trial and error! I’ll provide my explanations below for each adjustment I made. This should then give you a starting point to go off of to experiment with your own ingredients at whatever elevation you live at! I would also recommend checking out this guide here.
- Flour – increase by 1½ tbsp. Additional flour helps to strengthen the structure of the baked good so that it will rise correctly.
- Granulated Sugar – decrease by 1 tbsp. This should hold true at most high elevations. Always decrease your sugars by 1 tbsp. per cup.
- Brown Sugar – decrease by ½ tbsp.
- Use 4 eggs. This will keep the baked good from drying out at a higher baking temperature and evaporation rate. If I am baking a cake, I like to add one more egg to increase the liquids in most recipes. This should hold true at most higher elevations, but experiment with it, of course!
- Baking Powder – decrease to ¼ tsp. You can see this table on King Arthur’s website for how to adjust leavening agents for higher elevations (scroll down a ways to the “Leavening” section on their site). For my elevation, I typically cut all leavening agents in half. This allows for the right chemical reactions to happen between the other ingredients for the perfect rise. If there is too much leavening within the batter, not all of it gets used up (not all of it reacts with the other ingredients), so you are left over with a soapy bitter-tasting baked good due to the excess baking soda or baking powder in the batter.
- Increase oven temperature to 315° F. Since rising and evaporation proceed more quickly at higher elevations, you will want to use a higher baking temperature to set the structure of the baked goods so that they don’t sink in the middle and dry out on the edges. I recommend starting with increasing the baking temperature stated in the recipe by 10 – 15° F and go up from there in small increments (all the way up to 25° F increase if needed).
- Decrease baking time by 5 or more minutes. This is because you will be baking at a higher temperature. You don’t want your cake to burn! I usually decrease by 5-8 minutes per 30 minutes of baking time and adjust from there. Keep a close eye on your dessert in the oven while you are experimenting with time and baking temps.
I hope that you enjoy this peppermint marble loaf cake this Christmas season! It’s such a fun, festive dessert to have around for the holidays.
More Christmas Dessert Recipes
- Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Espresso Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Mint Tart
- Easy Gingerbread Blondies with White Chocolate Chunks
- Festive Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Festive Peppermint Marble Loaf Cake
For the Peppermint Marble Loaf Cake
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 4 oz full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1½ cups unbleached cake flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp whole milk (room temperature)
- 3 tbsp finely crushed peppermint candies
- ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 oz cream cheese (softened)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp whole milk
For the Peppermint Marble Loaf Cake
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang off of the sides of the pan (for easy removal of the loaf cake).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugars and vanilla and beat until fluffy (3-4 minutes).
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and do not overmix.
- Spoon about 2 cups of batter into a separate bowl. Fold in the finely crushed peppermint candies.
- Add the cocoa and peppermint extract to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
- Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, alternately drop chocolate and vanilla batters into the prepared loaf pan. Gently swirl batters together with the tip of a knife. Tap the pan on the counter to remove air pockets.
- Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze once cooled!
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and salt. Mix until well combined. Stir in milk until smooth.
- Loaf cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Flour – increase by 1½ tbsp
- Granulated Sugar – decrease by 1 tbsp
- Brown Sugar – decrease by ½ tbsp
- Baking Powder – decrease to ¼ tsp
- Eggs – use 4 instead of 3
- Increase oven temperature to 315° F
- Decrease baking time by 5 or more minutes