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Peppermint Bark Recipe

Peppermint Bark is easy to make if you know just a few tricks. It’s perfect for holiday gift-giving!

I still remember the first time I tried Peppermint Bark. It was one of those head-slapping moments when you think “How did this never occur to me?!” The crunchy peppermint candy adds a nice texture that makes this chocolate holiday dessert worth making year in and year out.

Peppermint Bark Ingredients

This peppermint bark recipe is made with just 4 ingredients so quality will matter!

  • Dark Chocolate: Use any chocolate bar you want as long as it’s high quality. You can’t go wrong with Ghirardelli.
  • White Chocolate: Use chocolate with cocoa butter, no palm or kernel oil.
  • Peppermint Extract: The extract adds a little extra peppermint flavor. You substitute with peppermint oil or omit.
  • Crushed Candy Canes/Peppermint Candies: Use candy canes or peppermint candies, whatever you prefer but stick to the classic version of these candies.
Homemade chocolate peppermint bark in decorative tin with candy cane

How to Make Peppermint Bark?

This holiday candy is SO easy to make!! Perfect as homemade gifts for family, friends and teachers and in less time than it would take me to make one batch of cookies!

  1. Melt the Dark Chocolate Bottom Layer
  2. Melt the White Chocolate Top Layer
  3. Pour the White Chocolate over the Dark Chocolate
  4. Sprinkle with Crushed Candy Cane or Peppermint
  5. Allow the Peppermint Bark to Harden

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave

There are two methods to temper chocolate (melting), a microwave and over a stovetop. I used the microwave for this recipe and it worked great. Here is a bit more detail to get it just right.

  1. Break chocolate into small pieces
  2. Microwave two-thirds of the chocolate at medium (50%) power for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir, once melted mix in remaining chocolate and continue in 30 second increments, stirring each time.
  4. Continue stirring until it’s melted and smooth.

Use a candy thermometer to avoid over-heating chocolate above 130°F as it will scorch at or above that temperature. Heat in a microwave-safe bowl.

How to Break Your Bark Into Pieces

The best way to break your bark into pieces is to score the bark, a fancy word for making shallow cuts on the surface. This will help prevent separating (see below) and allow for a more uniform look, if desired.

Simply, use a paring or a chef’s knife to score the white chocolate layer while it’s still firm in the fridge but not yet hardened. It’s the perfect time to score if the chocolate holds a fingerprint but doesn’t get your finger wet. Once completely cooled, break it apart along the score lines.

Why Does Peppermint Bark Separate?

Through trial and error, I have discovered several reasons why my peppermint bark layers separate. Here are the reasons I have identified:

  • Use high quality white and dark chocolate, not the morsels, chocolate flavored or anything else but high quality chocolate bars. For instance, I used white chocolate with palm oil in a batch which doesn’t bond well with the dark chocolate. White chocolate should have cocoa butter, not palm or kernel oil.
  • The first layer is completely hardened by the time you add the next layer. So be sure that the dark chocolate is slightly set but still slightly warm and tacky when you pour it on the next layer.
  • Score the white chocolate layer while it’s still firm in the fridge will make easier to cut and less chance of separating.
Snowflake mug of hot cocoa and festive bowl filled with chocolate peppermint bark

Peppermint Bark Variations

Now we’re getting to the fun part! Here are some ways you can switch things up. I’ll sometimes make a few variations at once, then mix them up so everyone gets a few different kinds in their homemade gift.

  • Triple Layer Bark: Start with white, then do your dark chocolate and another white on the top. It’s not much extra work and it looks extra special.
  • Sprinkle Bark: There are so many cute Christmas sprinkles out there that you can make your bark look very different. I’ve used these many times and, this year, I’m trying these for something really unique (and for the Frozen fans out there)!
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bark: Try milk or semi-sweet instead of the dark. Then mix and match, unless you know what someone’s favorite is.
  • Christmas Candy Bark: M&M’s are a popular choice, and you could even try flat chocolate Christmas trees! Just be sure to break the bark around them so each piece has a whole tree.
  • Snow Bark: Use all white chocolate instead of white and dark.
Homemade chocolate peppermint bark in decorative tin with candy cane

Storing Peppermint Bark

Peppermint bark is the perfect make ahead gift giving holiday treat. The bark can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. I would recommend storing it in the fridge if the climate is warmer but I don’t recommend freezing.

Empty peppermint bark tins are tough to find but you can also use a Christmas candy or cookie tin as well. You can also find plain tin boxes, Aluminum foil cookie tins and cookie boxes that are perfect when giving the bark out as gifts.

Homemade chocolate peppermint bark in decorative tin with candy cane

Peppermint Bark

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Peppermint Bark is an easy but always-loved Christmas dessert that is perfect for gift-giving, your cookie tray or just because!


  • 12 oz high-quality dark chocolate, chopped or broken up
  • 16 oz high-quality white chocolate chopped or broken up
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies


  1. Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a large cookie sheet.
  2. Place the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue in 30-second increments just until most of the chocolate is melted (stir each time), then continue stirring until it's melted and smooth.
  3. Pour the chocolate onto the cookie sheet then spread it into approximately an 11x14 rectangle using a spatula or the back of a large spoon. Set it in the refrigerator while you melt the white chocolate.
  4. Follow the same process with the white chocolate as you did for the dark. Once it's melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
  5. Remove the dark chocolate from the refrigerator. Pour the white chocolate over the dark, spreading it out to cover the dark chocolate completely. Immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.
  6. Allow the peppermint bark to harden/cool completely at room temperature for a couple of hours, or place it in the refrigerator to speed things up.
  7. Remove the bark from the parchment paper and break it into pieces. (I like to use the paper as a barrier between the bark and my hands so none of the chocolate melts, but bare hands will work just fine, too.)


Don't let the dark chocolate layer harden completely in the fridge or the layers may not stick together completely.

Make sure to use high-quality white chocolate that doesn't contain palm oil or another similar ingredient. This can also affect whether it sticks together!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 45gProtein: 4g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

More Christmas Dessert Recipes:

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Sunday 4th of December 2022

I made this bark twice. The first time I used Ghirardelli dark morsels with cocoa butter and Ghirardelli white morsels with palm kernel oil because I couldn't find white morsels with cocoa butter. When cutting the bark, the white layer separated from the dark layer pretty much throughout. Oh well! The second time I used white chocolate candy bars with cocoa butter for the top layer. Eureka! No separation of the two layers! The bark is delicious. I guess trying to mix palm kernel oil with cocoa butter is like trying to mix oil and vinegar. Get good quality white and dark chocolate with cocoa butter and the result will be perfect.

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