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Marbled Peppermint Bark

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With swirls of semi-sweet and white chocolate sprinkled with crushed candy canes, peppermint bark makes a festive holiday treat.

marbled peppermint bark on serving platter.

If you’re looking for a homemade Christmas gift that’s super quick and easy, look no further than the marbled peppermint bark from America’s Test Kitchen. With swirls of semi-sweet and white chocolate sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies, it makes a festive treat. And when I say the recipe is super quick and easy, I’m not exaggerating. It was created for the America’s Test Kitchen kids website for children ages 5 to 8, has just three ingredients, and is made entirely in the microwave. Marbling the chocolate not only looks pretty but also prevents the layers of semi-sweet and white chocolate from separating when cut (a common pitfall when making homemade peppermint bark).

What You’ll Need To Make Marbled Peppermint Bark

peppermint bark ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Crush the Candy

Place candy canes or candies in a resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag, making sure to press out all the air. Use a rolling pin to gently pound the candy into small pieces. Do your best not to pulverize the candy, as small pieces look prettier on the bark (you should have just shy of ½ cup pieces).
crushing the candy canes with a rolling pin

Step 2: Melt the Chocolates

In a medium bowl, heat the semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave at 50 percent power until mostly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Note that the chips may not appear melted after the full cooking time in the microwave, but when you stir them, you’ll find that they’re very soft and will melt quickly once stirred.

softened chocolate chips

Stir until smooth.

melted chocolate chips in bowl

In a second medium bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave as directed above.

softened white chocolate chips in bowl

Stir until smooth.

melted white chocolate chips in bowl

Step 3: Layer and Swirl the Chocolates

Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted semi-sweet chocolate into a foil-lined baking dish and smooth the top, making sure to get all the way to the corners of the dish.

spreading melted chocolate in foil-lined cake pan

Drizzle the melted white chocolate in ribbons over the entire semi-sweet chocolate layer.

drizzling white chocolate over chocolate layer

Drag the tip of a butter knife through the chocolate to create swirls, lifting the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate to create nice marbling. Be careful not to swirl too much – less is more here! Don’t worry if the surface doesn’t appear flat.

swirling the two chocolates with a knife to make marbled peppermint bark

Sprinkle the pounded candy evenly over the chocolate. Tap the pan firmly against the counter three or four times to level the chocolate (this also helps the candy sink into the chocolate and adhere).

sprinkling the candy cane pieces over the swirled chocolates

Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes, and then remove the pan from the refrigerator. Use the foil overhang to lift the bark out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board.

using the foil overhang to remove the sheet of peppermint bark from the ban

Peel off the foil.
removing the foil from the barkUsing a sharp chef’s knife, cut the bark into pieces.

cut peppermint bark on cutting board

Store the bark in a covered container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Do not freeze.

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Marbled Peppermint Bark

With swirls of semi-sweet and white chocolate sprinkled with crushed candy canes, peppermint bark makes a festive holiday treat.

Servings: About 24 pieces
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus about 45 minutes to chill

Ingredients

  • 6 large candy canes, 18 mini candy canes, or 20 peppermint candies
  • 1 bag (about 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips, best quality such as Ghiradelli
  • 1 bag (about 2 cups) white chocolate chips, best quality such as Ghiradelli

Instructions

  1. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with wide heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing a slight overhang on each side.
  2. Place candy canes or candies in a resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag, making sure to press out all the air. Use a rolling pin to gently pound the candy into small pieces. Do your best not to pulverize the candy; small pieces look prettier on the bark (you should have just shy of ½ cup pieces).
  3. In a medium bowl, heat the semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave at 50 percent power until mostly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. In a second medium bowl, repeat with white chocolate chips. Note that the chips may not appear melted after the full cooking time in the microwave, but when you stir them, you'll find that they're very soft and will melt quickly once stirred. (Pro Tip: When working with chocolate, be sure your bowls and utensils are completely dry. Water is the enemy of melted chocolate and will cause it to seize up.)
  4. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted semi-sweet chocolate into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top, making sure to get all the way to the corners of the dish.
  5. Drizzle the melted white chocolate in ribbons over the entire semi-sweet chocolate layer.
  6. Drag the tip of a butter knife through the chocolate to create swirls, lifting the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate to create nice marbling. Be careful not to swirl too much – less is more here! Don't worry if the surface doesn't appear flat.
  7. Sprinkle the pounded candy evenly over the chocolate. Tap the pan firmly against the counter three or four times to level the chocolate (this also helps the candy sink into the chocolate and adhere). Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Use the foil overhang to lift the bark out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the bark into pieces.
  9. Store the bark in a covered container at cool room temperature, or in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, let the bark come to room temperature before serving. Do not freeze.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 piece bark
  • Calories: 186
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hoping to make this for guests tomorrow, but I only have normal non-stick spray, not with flour. Should I coat the pan with the Pam spray and then dust with flour, or is there a better alternative? I want to be sure the cake comes out of the pan in one piece! Thank you!

    • — Trisha on December 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Trisha, You’ve left the question on the peppermint bark recipe, so I’m not sure which cake you’re referring to, but what you’ve suggested should be fine. 😊

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I love all of your recipes! Can I use Bob’s soft peppermint candy instead of candy canes. Thought it might be softer on the teeth for the elderly.

    • — Shelly Kuhn on November 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Shelly, So glad you like the recipes! Yes, I think you could get away with using those peppermints. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    Thank you for your recipes and books – we love everything you do!
    As it’s almost that time of year again, I thought I’d give this a try for my family and friend gifting idea this year. Yesterday I tried the famous version but salted – yum! For this recipe, after adding the candy, can I just sprinkle on some Maldon Sea Salt flakes that I have?? How much do you think?? Thanks so much! Cheers

    • — Donna on November 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, thanks for your nice words about the recipes — so glad you like them! Yes, it would be fine to sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the top. I’d guesstimate about 1 teaspoon would be good. Just make sure it’s evenly sprinkled. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • Lovely recipe, however if using chocolate chips other than Ghirardelli, such as Nestle Toll House chocolate chips, be sure to microwave in short intervals to a total time of two minutes to prevent burned chocolate. I used Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chocolate chips which can go for the full two minutes at once and the Nestle Toll House white chocolate chips which need to be microwaved in intervals as they almost burned when I tried not doing intervals. This was an error on my part and is an easy fix! I am excited to taste the final product! Thank you for your tasty recipes!

    • — Abby on January 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, how about chopped nuts instead of peppermint? Would that work? Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah!

    • — Sue Shortley on December 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Sue, that should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • My husband purchased milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet. Will this still work?
    Thanks.

    • — Sharen on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sharen, It should still work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks so much Jenn. Merry Christmas!

        • — Sharen on December 18, 2022
        • Reply
  • Is there another brand of chocolate you recommend? It’s been impossible to find Ghirardelli. Thanks!

    • — Catherine on December 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Catherine, either Bakers or Nestle would be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn! I hope this get this message in time! Can I mail this in a tin? Will it melt? I want to get it in the mail today if possible!

    • — Colleen on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Colleen, It should be fine assuming you’re not sending it to a hot climate. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – a quick question…..for a dark chocolate person, can the Ghiraradelli bittersweet chips be used instead of the semi-sweet ones? You are the best – my family and I love all of your recipes! Italian Meatloaf and Parmesan smashed potatoes will be made tomorrow for Sunday dinner.

    • — Joan M on December 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joan, Yes bittersweet chocolate chips will work perfectly. So happy you enjoy the recipes! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi, Jen, I don’t have a microwave Can I melt the chocolate on the stove over simmering water?

    • — JOANIE on December 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • love making this for Christmas each year, but I never tried the swirling before. Thanks so much for the idea. I do add peppermint extract to the chocolate and white parts to give it a bit more peppermint taste, though. 🙂

  • Hi Jenn,
    I love, love, love this easy peppermint bark. Not only is it super easy to make, my grandchildren couldn’t get enough of it.
    Thanks Jenn, you’ve done it again!
    Merry Christmas, Fran

  • Easy peasy and addictive. I crush the peppermint quite a bit to avoid large chucks of candy cane but I definitely use the whole amount (6 candy canes). Super delicious and so pretty on a Christmas goodie platter.

  • delicious! Fast and Easy…being from central PA we are Hershey fans, but Ghiradelli – wow what a difference in taste! Will be purchasing Ghiradelli from now on. Unfortunately the supple chain was broken with no candy canes! Used pre-crushed which worked well just no big chunks.
    Thanks for recipe! a

  • I made this last week to bring to a Christmas party. It was so good the Hostess hid it until everyone was gone so she could have it all to herself! It’s so easy and so good.

  • This was easy and delish. My only recommendation is don’t buy the small individually wrapped candy canes—they are a royal pain to unwrap (and time consuming). Next time I make this, I will be sure to buy the large candy canes! (Easier said than done—I was lucky to find what I did. So tired of the supply chain issues, etc.). We also found that we prefer small bits of peppermint rather than larger pieces. Thanks for the easy, festive recipe!

  • This recipe is fantastic!! I just finished making this with my 11 year old son and it turned out just like the pictures. We placed it into Christmas snowflake cellophane bags and put into Christmas tins. He was so excited that he wants to make it for all his Christmas list. I honestly thought it was just as good as the expensive peppermint chocolate bark found at WS. We found the Ghirardelli chocolate chips on sale and it’s a great affordable gift for a child to make and give others using their chore and allowance money. Wonderful, wonderful recipe!

    • — Debbie from TN
    • Reply
  • Loved this and so easy. Made last minute to take to a xmas gathering, was a huge hit. To speed up the cooling I did pop it in the freezer for about 10 min after being in the fridge for about 20 min. Then back in the fridge for the last 10 min. (I was in a rush)

  • Is there a reason to use aluminum foil on the pan or can parchment be used?

    • Parchment should work just as well. Enjoy!

      • I made my first batch yesterday and used red-white-green candy canes. Very pretty and tasty. Took it outside to cut it to avoid little candy cane shards all over my kitchen.

  • My grandchildren and I made this last night. I also was concerned about bigger pieces of candy cane so after the candy canes were mostly broken up, I put them in a mini food processor to make very small pieces. I actually pulsed some into a peppermint powdery form and the grandchildren loved sifting the “peppermint snow” over the bark. It doesn’t not have the strong peppermint taste that bigger chunks would give but there is still the smell and taste of peppermint and perfect for gift giving.

  • My husband loves peppermint bark so I rushed out to get the ingredients. No Ghiradelli chocolate white or semi sweet to be found. This time of year, you snooze you lose. Have you tried this this Guittard white and semisweet chocolate? Will it work and are there any changes?Our family loves your recipes. Last night was your White Chicken Chili which was the best on a windy rainy day in Northern California. I have both of your cookbooks. How about a soup cookbook?

    • Hi Sandy, I think Guittard should work well too (no changes). So glad you’re enjoying the recipes and cookbooks! 🙂

  • Actually, a question: I have a smaller, counter-top microwave so it is not as powerful as larger microwaves. Would it be wiser to use a double-boiler for the chocolate melting or simply watch closely and guess at the microwave temps?
    Thanks!

    • Yep that will work too. Please LMK how it comes out . 🙂

  • Marbling the chocolates when both are wet is a great idea, better than spreading hot white chocolate over cold chocolate and attempting to cover the darker chocolate layer, which results in beige areas. The hard peppermint candy is always a trial to peoples’ teeth, and it’s hard to get that sweet spot of a consistent texture (not powder and rocks) with either hard peppermints (candy canes) or soft peppermint candies, which are hard to crush. I just wish there existed an easy-to-find at the grocery store sort of peppermint chip for the top. The only thing I think may possibly improve this recipe would be a bit of peppermint extract in the melted chocolates, but that would be a personal preference! Thanks, Jenn! I love your recipes. Almost every really good thing I have made for my family has been from you.

    • — Natalie George
    • Reply
    • Hi Natalie, I’m so glad you enjoy the recipes! I wanted to advise against adding peppermint extract to the melted chocolate (though I agree it would be delicious!). Any liquid added to melted chocolate will cause the chocolate to seize up. Some recipes call for a few drops of peppermint oil, which is a good option and won’t cause the chocolate to seize, but it can be hard to find.

  • Will this recipe work well with the equivalent amount of bar chocolate, or does it need to be chips? (I know that they don’t always behave the same and you can’t always substitute one for the other.)

    • Hi Kelly, Technically chocolate bars will work, but peppermint bark can be really finicky, and I like how the stabilizers in the chocolate chips help the bark hold up at room temperature without getting soft (and melting all over your fingers when you eat it).

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