13 Mar Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com

A few years ago, just a few short weeks after I had staked my claim on this little corner of the internet, I hopped across the pond for a quick week’s trip to the old sod, or as you may be more familiar, Ireland.  My father’s mother, better known as Nana, was a 100%, pure-blooded Irishwoman, which makes me a very proud quarter Irish lass. County Tipperary, Silvermines — represent! Way back when, I wrote two slightly embarrassing posts about the aforementioned trip – they were some of the very first words to which I had the nerve to hit the “publish” button, and my novice is quite evident. (You can find those posts here should you be curious.)

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.comMint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com

Now, don’t be fooled. While I may claim the roots, this cake isn’t exactly steeped in Irish tradition.

In fact, I don’t recall having anything minty at any time during my visit. But because of its fresh green color, mint seems to have become a common theme for St. Patrick’s Day celebratory desserts. Plus, let’s be honest, the Irish aren’t exactly famous for their cuisine – I can’t recall one iconically Irish dessert — instead, us Irish have focused the majority of our efforts on perfecting the distillation (and consumption) of the adult beverage. Speaking of Irish cuisine (or lack thereof) I actually got food poisoning while we were there, which as you can tell has since tainted all food-related memories of the trip. I’ll spare you the details and instead just leave you with this one, small tidbit of advice – avoid the pork ravioli.  <— Yeah, I know. What was I doing eating Italian food in Dublin, anyway?

The very roundabout point I’m making here is that while it may not be authentic, this cake is definitely green. Plus minty. And as St. Patty’s Day approaches, that counts for something.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.comMint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com

And this green, minty cake, y’all.

Where it lacks in authenticity, it makes up in flavor. It’s three layers of the richest, moistest chocolate cake in all the land. Spiked with a whole cup of freshly brewed coffee and rich with bittersweet chocolate notes, it’s the only chocolate cake that I make. All others pale in comparison. So naturally, it’s Ina’s. Each indulgent chocolate layer is separated by a healthy smearing of fluffy mint buttercream that’s dotted with flakes of chopped, dark chocolate, providing just a hint of texture before melting into oblivion on your tongue. (Yes, it does taste like the ice cream.)

But that’s not all. No, no, there’s more. To take this cake to next-level awesomeness, I’ve added an additional layer of Momofuku Milk Bar’s Chocolate Crumb. I like to think of it as a new (divinely crunchy) spin on an old classic. Seriously, the chocolate crunch is pure perfection — don’t leave it out! It’s reminiscent of Oreo cookie crumbles but without the overt sweetness of the cream filling plus an added salty bite; each mouthful is pure bliss. I want to use it to top all the things — classed up worms in dirt, anybody? GENIUS.

(And in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been drawing a ton of inspiration from Momofuku Milk Bar as of late. For more recently inspired recipes, check out this and these.)

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.comMint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.comMint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com

So, there you have it. This year’s over-the-top, perfect-for-St.Patrick’s-Day-but-totally-appropriate-for-any-day-of-the-year cake.

And on a quick, unrelated note — the madness of South by Southwest is creeping into Austin as we speak, so shit’s about to get crazy around here. Hoards of tech nerds, film geeks and struggling musicians are taking over my city and I won’t be able to drive, walk or or even think without pushing and shoving through a crowd for the next 10 days. That said, I may not come up for blog-air until the week after next, so if that’s the case CHEERS & HAPPY ST. PATTY’S (and pi day!!!) TO ‘YA! <– said in my best Irish accent.  Drink a green beer, eat a slice of pie and think of me! I’ll be seeking comfort in the chaos via free tacos, free live music, and of course, thoughts of this chocolate cake.


Mint Chocolate Chip Cake // butterlust.com

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake


    For the chocolate cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups natural cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed, hot coffee
  • For the chocolate crumb:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the buttercream:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • scant 2 teaspoons mint extract (spearmint is preferred over peppermint)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • A few drops green food coloring
  • 6 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate


    For the chocolate cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl or in a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
  • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • For the chocolate crumb:
  • Preheat the oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend on low speed until mixed.
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
  • Spread the clusters on your parchment-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch after 20 minutes and will continue to dry and harden as they cool.
  • Remove crumbs from the oven and cool completely before using.
  • For the buttercream:
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until it starts to become fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the cream. Once the cream is incorporated turn the speed back up to high a beat from another 2 minutes.
  • Add the extracts and mix to combine.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the green food coloring until a desired shade of green is achieved, then turn the mixer up to high and beat for 5 minutes, or until icing is light and fluffy.
  • Add in the chopped chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.
  • To assemble:
  • Place one layer of cake onto a cardboard cake round or directly onto the serving dish. Spread on one third of the mint buttercream, pushing the icing as close to the edges of the cake as you can get without spilling over. Top with one third of the chocolate crumb.
  • Repeat for the second and third layers.
  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Posted at 09:37h, 13 March Reply

    This cake is so freaking pretty! I love that frosting!
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar recently posted…Guinness Chocolate CheesecakeMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 10:07h, 13 March Reply

      Thanks, Katrina!!

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High
    Posted at 11:16h, 13 March Reply

    Ahh! This cake <3 <3 <3

    Also, it's crazy how Austin gets for SXSW. I went once for work, and oooohhh boy, my temper was through the roof by the end of it. Good luck!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 15:20h, 13 March Reply

      Oh girl, my temper is already in bad place. I’m a total SX grinch this year, I need to snap out of it!!

  • brita britnell
    Posted at 12:44h, 13 March Reply

    I’ve been on a huge cake baking kick lately and this is definitely going on my list!! Yum! Mint chocolate everything is my favorite
    brita britnell recently posted…Happy Birthday to me!My Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 15:21h, 13 March Reply

      Thanks, Brita! It’s such a classic — never disappoints!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche
    Posted at 12:58h, 13 March Reply

    This cake is PERFECTION Katie.. and that gif at the end.. wow is all I can say!
    Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted…Honey and Saffron Zabaglione with Amaretti CrumbleMy Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 15:21h, 13 March Reply

      Thank you, Thalia!! I’m working on my gif skills…I think I need to embrace the tripod/remote situation a little more. 🙂

  • cynthia
    Posted at 14:12h, 13 March Reply

    THIS CAKE!!! I’m with Thalia, just when I thought it couldn’t get better….there was a GIF. Perfection. And your writing always makes me smile (except boo food poisoning!!) Love this, Katie!
    cynthia recently posted…Scallion kimchi & fried egg tortillas.My Profile

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 15:24h, 13 March Reply

      Total BOO to food poisoning! It was NOT a fun ending to my Irish adventure! And as always, thank you thank you for being so darn sweet!

  • Alexandra @ Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker
    Posted at 19:20h, 16 March Reply

    Yay for this cake and that GIF at the end! Loving it!!
    Alexandra @ Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker recently posted…Irish Car Bomb CupcakesMy Profile

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant
    Posted at 16:06h, 17 March Reply

    I’ve had Momofuku on the brain lately too! Ina’s cake is fairly close to perfection, but I bet is taste’s better with that chocolate crumb. I will echo the sentiments of fellow commenters and say that I also love that GIF!
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant recently posted…Momofuku Inspired Chocolate Stout, Pretzel, and Marshmallow CakeMy Profile

  • Alli
    Posted at 18:07h, 17 March Reply

    Can I skip the coffee? I hate the taste of it!

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 11:56h, 18 March Reply

      Hi Alli! Sure, I you could use water, or even milk! The coffee flavor is pretty subtle, though!

  • Bea
    Posted at 16:14h, 18 March Reply

    Katie!This looks absolutely awesome!Ohh and the gif <3

  • Ella
    Posted at 19:09h, 07 September Reply

    The cake in the frosting ingredients calls for finely chopped chocolate but the doesn’t say what to do with it. I assume I just mix it in?

    • KWahlman
      Posted at 20:49h, 07 September Reply

      Hi Ella — Great catch! Yes, mix it into the icing as the very last step. Recipe updated! Hope you enjoy!

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    Posted at 21:06h, 01 April Reply

    Content excellent .. beautiful images

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