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This easy Homemade Peppermint Bark only takes 4 ingredients and about 10 minutes to make! Layers of rich dark chocolate and creamy white chocolate, laced with a hint of peppermint and crushed candy cane for good measure make this treat a Christmas tradition!
Looking for more easy Christmas candy recipes that are perfect for gifting to friends, neighbors, and co-workers? Be sure to check out my easy Peppermint Bark Caramel Corn (made in the microwave!), Puppy Chow (aka Chex Mix Muddy Buddies), and Grandpa Johnson's Easy Homemade Rocky Road Fudge. And if peppermint is your jam, be sure not to miss my Peppermint Macarons!
I am always drawn in by those gorgeous red and white tins of chocolatey-minty peppermint bark that show up in Williams Sonoma this time of year. I love the smooth, rich feel of the white and dark chocolate and how they go perfectly with the light peppermint flavor and crunch from the crushed candy canes sprinkled on top.
And they just look so darn beautiful broken into large, rustic crags with chunks of candy cane adoring the top like jewels!
But it is expensive! You can make this easy homemade peppermint bark for a fraction of the cost and it's just as good, if not better.
See, my other favorite commercial peppermint bark is from Ghiradelli. They make little squares of peppermint bark wrapped in shiny striped wrappers that are adorable.
And what I love about Ghiradelli peppermint bark is two-fold: 1. I think they use superior chocolate to the chocolate used by Williams Sonoma, and 2. their candy cane pieces are mixed in to the white chocolate layer.
But I prefer Williams Sonoma's thicker, less polished looking peppermint bark to Ghiradelli's perfectly glossy squares. And it's a bit thicker, which gives a different peppermint bark experience that I also appreciate.
I know I overthink these things. Feel free to use the "jump to recipe" button at the top of the blog to skip my analysis of what is really just a four-ingredient, 30 minute recipe (most of the time is spent waiting for the chocolate to set up).
When I make peppermint bark at home, not only is it less expensive, but I can combine my favorite things about my two favorite brands. I can use my favorite high-quality chocolate, and I can mix some of my crushed candy cane pieces into the white chocolate, just like Ghiradelli peppermint bark.
But I can also make it as thick or thin as I like, break it up into rustic-looking shards, and bedeck the top of the peppermint bark with even MORE candy cane bits for extra sparkle and crunch like William Sonoma peppermint bark.
Best of both worlds. We CAN have it all, I tell you!
Peppermint Bark Ingredients & Supplies
It only takes FOUR ingredients to make this homemade peppermint bark recipe.
- Dark (or semisweet) chocolate
- White chocolate (I recommend REAL white chocolate made with cocoa butter, not candy melts)
- Peppermint Extract (make sure it's peppermint!)
- Candy canes
NOTE: The quality of your chocolate really does matter for this recipe. I almost always use Ghiradelli white chocolate and Trader Joe's dark chocolate (semisweet works too), but Lindt, Baker's, and Guittard also make good chocolate. Just please don't use chocolate chips. They don't melt as well and they don't set up the same, so you won't get good results with this recipe.
You will also need the following tools:
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cutting board & knife (for chopping chocolate)
- Mallet or rolling pin (for crushing candy canes)
- Glass bowls (for melting chocolate)
- Spatulas or spoons
How to Make Homemade Peppermint Bark
First, if you are going to make homemade peppermint bark, you've got to know how to melt chocolate.
How to Melt Chocolate
I find melting chocolate in the microwave easier and faster than using the double boiler approach.
If your microwave has a "melt chocolate" function, use it! Or just microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, followed by 20 second bursts at 50%, stirring between each interval just until the chocolate is melted.
But if you prefer to use a double boiler, bring a small to medium saucepan filled about ⅓ of the way with water to a simmer. Then nestle a heat-safe glass bowl filled with your chopped chocolate into the pan so that it is not touching the water.
The chocolate will melt over the gentle heat as you stir, then you can remove the bowl from over the simmering water and use it in this peppermint bark recipe.
Assembling the Peppermint Bark
Once you know how to melt chocolate, it's really just a matter of assembling your peppermint bark to have this holiday treat.
Start by melting the dark chocolate first and spreading it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. It's super important to have a piece of parchment paper under there because otherwise you are going to lose all of your chocolate to the pan.
Then melt the white chocolate and stir in about half of your crushed candy canes along with the peppermint extract.
Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate layer and nudge it around with the back of a knife or spatula to evenly cover the dark chocolate on the bottom.
If the dark chocolate isn't set up, this can be tricky and you might prefer to swirl the two chocolates together for a marble look.
But you don't have to wait for the dark chocolate to set up completely before adding the white chocolate either. I did this batch while the bottom layer was still completely melted.
Let the chocolate set up completely at room temperature, which usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Then cut with a sharp knife or stick your hand in a plastic bag and snap pieces apart. The plastic bag keeps your hand from melting the chocolate and leaving fingerprints all over it.
I do a combination of both cutting and snapping so my pieces have a nice rustic, homemade look to them while still being evenly sized.
How to Store Peppermint Bark
Homemade peppermint bark will last about 2 weeks in an airtight container on the counter.
In the fridge, it will last up to 3 weeks, although the candy cane pieces on top can become a bit sticky. You can even freeze it for up to 2 months. Just wrap it in foil first.
Peppermint Bark Variations
Swirled Peppermint Bark: Add the white chocolate to the dark chocolate before the bottom layer has a chance to set and swirl them together for a pretty marbled peppermint bark look.
Upside Down Peppermint Bark: Flip the script by making white chocolate your bottom layer and sprinkling the crushed candy canes on a dark chocolate layer on top.
Ultimate Peppermint Bark: Sprinkle some of your favorite peppermint candies like peppermint M&M's, peppermint Hershey's Hugs, or chopped red holiday Oreo's on top. You might need to press them into the chocolate just a bit.
More Homemade Candy Recipes
- Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Old-Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe
- Grandpa Johnson's Easy Homemade Rocky Road Fudge
- Grandma Nash's Best Butter Almond English Toffee
- Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
- Southern Pecan Pralines
- Christmas Pretzel Hugs
- Twix Caramel Popcorn
- Homemade Butter Mints
Homemade Peppermint Bark
- 12 ounces dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 16 ounces white chocolate chopped
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 6-7 candy canes crushed
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark or semisweet chocolate at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, then continue to heat in 20 second increments, stirring between each interval until melted.
- Spread the dark chocolate in a large rectangle on the parchment paper, then let it begin to set slightly while you melt the white chocolate.
- Melt the white chocolate in the same way as the dark chocolate, by microwaving at 50% power for 1 minute, then stirring and continuing to melt with short 20 second bursts of heat in the microwave, stirring between each burst until melted.
- When the white chocolate is melted, stir in the peppermint extract and ½ of the crushed candy canes.
- Drizzle the white chocolate over the partially set dark chocolate, gently nudging it around to cover the surface (or swirl, for a marbled effect). Immediately sprinkle with the remaining crushed candy canes.
- Let the peppermint bark set at room temperature for 30-90 minutes until hard, then cut apart with a sharp knife or break apart with your hands inside plastic gloves or a ziploc bag so you don't leave fingerprints on the peppermint bark.
- Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- For best results, I recommend storing at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. But you can refrigerate or freeze to make it last longer, although the candy cane pieces on top might start to get sticky.
- Swirled Peppermint Bark: Swirl the white a dark chocolate layers together for a pretty marbled peppermint bark variation.
- Upside Down Peppermint Bark: Make the white chocolate your bottom layer and sprinkling the crushed candy canes on a dark chocolate layer on top for a different look.
- Ultimate Peppermint Bark: Sprinkle peppermint M&M's, peppermint Hershey's Hugs, seasonal sprinkles, or chopped red holiday Oreo's on top of the chocolate while it is still melted.