Vegan All Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
This 3 ingredient dark chocolate peppermint bark is one of my favorite festive treats because it’s not too sweet and comes together in about 10 minutes of hands on time because there are no layers. It’s a nostalgic, comforting treat that’s easy to make with the kids, or whip up for last minute hosting or gifting.
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My love of mint chocolate runs DEEP: after a childhood filled with After Eights and Ovations, mint is the first chocolate I’ll pick from the box. Chocolate chip mint ice cream is a forever fave. And I never met a vegan peppermint brownie I didn’t like.
So for me, this vegan dark chocolate peppermint bark is a BIG win because it combines my two favorite things: refreshing mint chocolate, and developing ridiculously easy and delicious plant-based recipes that take minimal time in the kitchen because I’m a lazy cook and still want to eat yummy stuff.
I make multiple batches of this during the holiday season so you’ll notice another thing that makes this recipe very me: no white chocolate. Most of the peppermint barks on the internet have a white chocolate later but I always found white chocolate WAY too sweet…and now that I’m plant-based, vegan white chocolate is either A) hard to find B) way too sweet or C) the really good stuff, made with mostly cocoa butter, is super expensive.
So, I’ve just left it out…which makes this peppermint bark the perfect recipe for anyone who, like me, prefers really good dark chocolate and doesn’t want to wait around for layers to set so you can whip it up as a last minute holiday gift for when you need a little something extra for your party spread. In just 30 minutes, including chill time, you’ll be ready for eating.
And I’ll put my dietitian hat on here to say that around the holidays, I know that navigating different dietary needs can be a bit of a challenge…and this dark chocolate bark is a clear win because it’s vegan, gluten free, low FODMAP, and nut free so everyone can enjoy it!
Speaking of holiday gifting…if you’re looking for a gift for anyone who wants to eat more plants or is looking for nourishing plant-based recipes, check out my books Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut!
Choose your ingredients carefully to make the best peppermint bark
When a recipe is just 3 ingredients, it means ingredients matter…so I wanted to share a little bit of insight into why I choose the ingredients I do (not sponsored, just my opinion!)
- Dark Chocolate: I cannot say this enough…you have to use dark chocolate you LOVE the taste of, or your bark won’t be delicious. If your chocolate is too sweet – or too bitter – for your tastes, or you don’t like the texture of the chocolate, you won’t love the bark. For this reason, I like to use a dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao solids otherwise I find the bark too sweet. You can use high quality real dark chocolate chips or choose your favourite bar and just chop it up. I really love Cocoa Camino Bittersweet or Enjoy Life Dark chocolate chips. For bars, Lindt and Alter Eco make an 85% vegan-friendly dark chocolate (not all are vegan) with a high cocoa content without being bitter or too pricey.
- Peppermint extract: My favourite peppermint flavouring is from Simply Organic. It’s oil-based, which in my opinion makes for a far richer mint flavour (fat carries flavour!). If you already have a mint extract you love then use that, but if not try Simply Organic. If you have a pure culinary peppermint oil, you’ll want to use a fraction as it’s super potent! Substitute ⅛ tsp of pure culinary peppermint oil instead of ½ tsp of peppermint extract.
- Candy Canes: compared to the other two ingredients, I feel like there is less variation on the flavour and quality of candy canes…but it doesn’t hurt to try a piece of candy cane first to make sure you enjoy it!
How to make dark chocolate peppermint bark in less than 30 minutes
Just 3 simple steps and a single chocolate layer of dark chocolate means it fully sets in just 20 minutes so you can be eating or gifting in no time. It’s so easy – and so delicious – that I highly recommend you make a double or triple batch!
Step One: crush the candy canes. Holiday stress getting to you? This will help, I promise. You’re going to pop those canes into a strong zipper bag and then bash the heck out of them with a rolling pin. You have a choice here: larger chunks look cuter but bashing them finer means more flavour and less crunching.
Step Two: melt the chocolate. I don’t have a microwave, so I melt chocolate on the stove by making a double boiler situation, which is just a heatproof bowl that fits over a small pot simmering with 2 inches of water. Pop the chocolate into the bowl, stir often until melted and then stir in the peppermint extract. Some other recipes use a bit of oil for easier melting here but I find that I don’t need it. I’ve popped instructions on how to melt chocolate in the microwave into the recipe below.
Step Three: spread the chocolate and sprinkle with candy canes then chill until set. I line a rimmed quarter sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up and pour over the chocolate, spreading it to to my desired thickness (I like it thinner, you do you!) then sprinkle the candy canes and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge or freezer.
The bark keeps well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for a few weeks. The candy canes will get a little less crunchy and a bit more chewy as time goes on but it’s actually kind of nice!
Looking for more easy vegan holiday treats? I’ve got you covered
- Quick vegan snowball cookies with almond flour
- Vegan gingerbread cookies with almond flour
- Easy Mini Vegan Turtles Recipe
- 4 Ingredient Vegan Shortbread Biscuits
Vegan All Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate, see post for tips on my favourite brands
- ½ cup crushed candy canes, about 5-6 regular sized candy canes
- ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- Crush the candy canes: place them in a sturdy zipper bag, seal and then bash the canes with a rolling pin until desired size. A finer crush means less to crunch through…but maybe you like it crunchier!
- Melt the chocolate…here's how to do it without a microwave: add 2 inches of water to a small pot. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Fit with a heatproof bowl, add chocolate chips and turn heat down to medium low. Stir often, until chocolate is fully melted, then stir in peppermint extract.
- Alternately, if you have a microwave, you can use that to melt the chocolate! Put your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat them in 15-20 second increments, stirring well in between to ensure you don’t scorch the chocolate. Once fully melted, stir in peppermint.
- Prep a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Pour over the melted chocolate and spread to your desired thickness (I like mine thinner!). Then pop into the freezer or fridge to set for 20 minutes.
- Once set, break into pieces and transfer to a resealable container and store in fridge until ready to serve or gift. Will last for at least 2-3 weeks in the fridge but the candy canes will get less crunchy and more chewy as they sit.