This easy, make-ahead Peppermint Candy Cane Tart is a super festive crowd-pleaser. It's also melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Everyone needs a simple yet sensational dessert recipe for holiday celebrations. With an easy graham cracker crust and a short ingredient list, this make-ahead Peppermint Candy Cane Tart will be a huge hit at any party or family get-together!
Did you know it's illegal to go through the holiday season without some type of peppermint/chocolate dessert or confection? You've never heard this law before? Well, maybe it's only true here in North Carolina...
Okay, maybe it's not true at all, but I know what is - this heavenly flavor combination is quite irresistible and I find that chocolate peppermint desserts are always holiday crowd-pleasers. This Peppermint Candy Cane Tart is a favorite of ours and when the holidays roll around, it's a "must make".
The delicious filling is made with marshmallow creme, cream cheese, heavy cream and finely crushed candy canes. There's also a splash of peppermint extract (or peppermint schnapps) for an added layer of flavor. And, for garnish (and a delicious crunch) a pretty topping of crushed candy canes is added before serving.
Serve as is or dress it up!
This Peppermint Candy Cane Tart is wonderful just as it is, but if you want to be a bit decadent, whip up a batch of this Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce. Oh my! Schmakalaka (that's what my mom would say if something was particularly delicious)!
There's a funny story about this Peppermint Candy Cane Tart. Emmy and Hayes, our two youngest grandchildren were spending the night. After dinner, I gave them the choice of a lollipop or a piece of "cake" (this Peppermint Candy Cane Tart). They both initially chose lollipops, but Emmy wanted to make sure she made the right decision: "Could I just see the cake, Gigi (that's me!)?"
I pulled the tart from the freezer and set it in front of them. Emmy's eyes got big and she quickly turned in her lollipop. After taking the first bite, she blurted out: "This is really, really good for the blog!"
Hayes also changed his mind about dessert. He quickly ditched the candy and, even faster, gobbled up his slice... then he picked up the plate and licked it clean!
Put it on your holiday "must-make" list!
So there you have it! Find some way to sneak this delicious Peppermint Candy Cane Tart into your holiday recipe repertoire. I can assure you, it will be enjoyed by family and friends of all ages!
Café Tips for making this Peppermint Candy Cane Tart
- An 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom is ideal for this Peppermint Candy Cane Tart as you can remove the outer ring after the dessert is frozen for a pretty presentation. If you don't have a tart pan you could also make this dessert in a deep-dish pie pan.
- This dessert can be made ahead as it's stored in the freezer. I like to freeze it in the tart pan, uncovered. Then, when it's completely frozen, I cover it with plastic wrap. The tart will keep well in the freezer for up to a week.
- This recipe calls for 2 cups of cream, whipped until soft peaks form. You can use an electric mixer for this, but that's not really necessary. If you have a balloon whisk that will do the trick nicely. Just start out with a cold bowl (refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes before starting) and cold cream and it will take you 2-3 minutes to whisk the cream to form soft peaks.
- No need to add any sugar to the whipped cream since you'll be folding it into the sweet marshmallow cream mixture.
- You might be tempted to add the candy cane topping before freezing this tart. I found that it's better to add the topping just before serving. The candy tends to "melt" into the filling and doesn't look as pretty if you add it right away. Just sprinkle the topping over the tart before serving.
- To break up the candy canes, I put them in a large ziplock bag and use the back of a soup spoon to crush them. I just tap until all of the large pieces are small.
- Chocolate graham crackers are available at most groceries stores right next to the regular graham crackers. If you can't find them or live in another country where they're not available, you could use regular graham crackers, increase the sugar to ¼ cup and add ¼ cup of cocoa.
- Feel free to use either peppermint extract or peppermint schnapps in the filling. I've tried both with delicious results!
- Peppermint extracts vary in intensity. Start with a half teaspoon and add more, to taste.
- If you don't live in the U.S. you might not be familiar with marshmallow creme. Marshmallow creme is an American confectionery. It's a marshmallow-like substance that's spreadable. If it's not available, you can make your own! It takes about 10 minutes. Here's a link for Homemade Marshmallow Creme.
Thought for the day:
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
This make-ahead Peppermint Candy Cane Tart is a super festive crowd-pleaser. It's also melt-in-your-mouth delicious and easy to put together!
- 12 whole chocolate graham crackers not chocolate-covered finely ground, crushed (should be about 1 ¼ cups)
- 7 tablespoons butter melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 8 5-inch candy canes crushed (3 ½-ounces)
- 1 7- oz jar marshmallow creme
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups heavy cream whipped until soft peaks form
- ¼ cup peppermint schnapps or ½-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2-3 drops red food coloring optional
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in the middle position.
Combine crushed chocolate graham crackers (see Café Tips above), sugar and butter in a medium-size bowl. Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Crush candy canes (see Café Tips above) into fairly small pieces (don’t completely pulverize). Pour candy cane pieces into a medium hole strainer and shake to separate the superfine powder from the pieces of candy cane. Place ¼ cup of the larger pieces in a small airtight container and reserve till just before serving. Set aside the remainder of the crushed candy.
Combine marshmallow creme and softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.
Fold in the whipped cream, finely crushed candy cane and peppermint schnapps (or peppermint extract) until everything is well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared crust and place in the freezer until firm (3-4 hours). Just before serving, top with reserved crushed candy cane pieces. Serve frozen or just slightly thawed.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.