Thick, fudgy chocolate brownies topped with peppermint cream cheese frosting and drizzled with chocolate. Make them for a fun St. Patrick’s Day treat or just because!
This is officially the week of St. Patrick’s Day desserts and the theme is lots and lots of chocolate. If you’re here, I know you’re on board with these brownies for so many reasons already.
- They’re made from scratch (no box, no mystery ingredients)…
- …THEY’RE STILL EASY PEASY!
- Fudgy gooey-ness
- Rich chocolate
- Creamy peppermint frosting
- And lots of it. I mean, LOTS.
- Chocolate + Peppermint = a match made in heaven
Peppermint Brownies have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. I’m going full-blown on the childhood nostalgia here.
Way back then, they were called Grasshopper Brownies. I am pretty sure the name came from the mint and ice cream beverage called the Grasshopper.
Now, since I assume that if you read “Grasshopper Brownies” as a title somewhere, your mind could go all sorts of directions, we’re gonna stick with Peppermint Brownies.
Regardless of their name, the pairing of rich, chocolate fudgy-ness in the brownies and the decadent, luxurious cream cheese peppermint frosting is a GAME CHANGER.
HOW TO MAKE PEPPERMINT BROWNIES
You’re gonna love how easy these brownies are to make – including the mint cream cheese icing!
Dare I say it’s so easy you might find yourself making them all the time, no matter the time of year.
St. Patrick’s Day? Yes, of course. A potluck party? Most definitely. A random Tuesday because nothing else will do? Most definitely.
The brownie recipe is (dare I say it…) just as easy as a box. Brownies from scratch? ANY DAY! Give me a little cocoa powder, a whisk, and some sugar and leave your boxed brownie mix behind.
First up: melt the butter and chocolate chips together.
Dishes saver tip: use a microwave-safe bowl to melt them in, and then use the same bowl to mix the rest of the ingredients right in!
You got it – that means ONE BOWL to brownie bliss!
While those fudgy brownies bake, mix up the peppermint icing for the brownies.
That way, once you have cooled brownies, you will be ready to spread it on and devour.
The cream cheese frosting gets its minty flavor from the mint extract. I like to make sure I’m using pure peppermint extract for the most natural flavor.
It’s a mix of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar mixed together using an electric mixer. If you want, add food coloring to make it festive (yes, I did mention St. Patrick’s Day!).
I recommend using food coloring with no artificial dyes, too. There are many out there, but I find Watkins Food Coloring works well and is affordable (not sponsored, just a fan…but that is an affiliate link). Win!
Do note: the frosting is thick. The layer of frosting is basically equal to the brownie layer. Because who would want it any other way?!
Not to call you out or anything, but I suppose if you’re not a thick-frosting lover, feel free to halve the icing recipe. *Also note, this is not recommended 😉
Tips for Making Brownies with Mint Frosting
Want the brownies to be extra minty? Add mint extract TO the brownie batter!
I don’t usually don’t this because I love the balance between the simple, rich, chocolatey brownies and the creamy mint frosting. But I won’t be stopping you.
If you want extra, extra chocolate, add chocolate chips to the brownie batter just before baking. More chocolate? Of course, I fully support this decision.
I also recommend lining your pan with parchment paper for easy brownie removal. I follow Food52’s recommendation for folding your parchment to match the pan size.
How do I store Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting?
I’ve been known to store some cream cheese frosting desserts (ahem, pumpkin bars) at room temperature for a day or so.
But these bars? I highly recommend storing them in the fridge.
Mostly because something magical happens when the thick fudgy brownies and the decadent mint cream cheese frosting are chilled.
It’s that mint-chocolate combination that once cold, becomes exponentially better. So just as you would those Thin Mint Cookies, go ahead and keep these ones in the fridge.
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Optional: 8-10 drops green food coloring
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F and grease or line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. If microwaving, melt in 25-second increments, stirring in between, for approximately 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into mixing bowl if double broiling and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Whisk the sugar into melted chocolate. Add eggs one at a time, whisking between each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are set and center doesn't jiggle. A toothpick should come out with moist crumbs to ensure you'll have fudgy brownies! Let brownies cool completely before frosting.
- Cream together the room temperature cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer. Add the milk, vanilla extract, peppermint extract. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, fully incorporating between each addition. Add food coloring until desired color is reached, if using. Spread the frosting on cooled brownies.
- Melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in the microwave, checking them every 15 seconds and stirring until melted completely. Drizzle over frosted brownies.
This post was originally published March 6, 2016; the photos were updated March 2020 and no changes were made to the original recipe. The text was updated for clarity.