Peppermint Mocha Brownies

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Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in holiday heaven! The addition of instant coffee is optional but highly recommended, as it intensifies the chocolatey flavor. This is a quick and easy, one-bowl recipe that can easily be made gluten-free with the substitution of an all-purpose gf flour blend (I like this one by Bob's Red Mill). I use half oil and half applesauce to keep these slightly lower in fat, but feel free to use the full amount of oil (or even melted vegan butter) to make them extra gooey, moist and decadent. You can also make classic chocolate brownies by simply omitting the crushed candy canes and peppermint extract.

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Peppermint Mocha Brownies

prep time: 30 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 55 mins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or sub gluten-free)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy canes (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well and stir in water, instant coffee, oil, applesauce and extracts. Fold in chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons crushed candy canes.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are visibly cooked and center is set.
  4. Sprinkle remaining crushed candy cane over brownies while still slightly warm.


For fudgy brownies, cook for closer to 25 minutes. They may seem slightly undercooked when they first come out of the oven, but they'll firm up as they cool. 30 minutes will result in more cake-like brownies. Brownies will get more moist overnight.
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