Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake

| by | Brownies, Cakes & Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, Desserts, Holiday Recipes, Recipes

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake: Why choose between three desserts when you can have all three? This Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake features three decadent layers of brownie, peppermint cheesecake, and chocolate cake. With a light peppermint whipped cream frosting sandwiched between, and topped with a chocolate ganache glaze, this cake is a stunner. 

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake | Sempre-Dolce.comYou’ll never believe this, but I’m writing this post in the mall. Truth. As I sit here waiting for my brother, the rush of people are, well, rushing by – although some might just be sauntering. A bench is serving as my office in the mall that was a Christmastime tradition, more than a dozen years ago. Even now, the Scrooge puppet show that we watched as kids has just finished, I heard it not too far off.

You might be wondering what could be so special about a mall. Especially a mall at Christmas during the utter chaos of the season. I’d be wondering too. But memories are filled with· my mom and aunt taking all of us cousins to see the big train display, marvel at the outrageous toys at FAO Shwarz and pick up some treats in the adjoining candy store. It may seem weird, but this mall was a fun place to visit during the festive season.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake |

How things change, but at least we have memories to hold on to! Unfortunately, many things have changed about this mall since I was a youngster. The arrival of new shops and the loss of some dearly loved shops; the big train display, the puppet shows, and the lack of penguins which used to appear around this time (yes, penguins). Even so, through all the changes, it is still a family tradition – which is partly why I’m here today. :)

Do you have any special Christmastime memories/traditions?

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake |

Now about this cake… Oh, this cake. It’s not a memory or a tradition, but it should become one. If you’re an indecisive person, the person where the ice cream shop with 50 flavors is more nightmare than pleasure, you will love this dessert. Even if you’re not indecisive. It consists of three layers.. and three different desserts. Why choose between options when you can have them all?

Am I right or what?

OK, so more on these layers, these THREE luscious layers. They consist of:

  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. Peppermint Cheesecake
  3. Brownie

And sandwiched between said layers is a peppermint whipped cream frosting. On top? Ganache. Pure ganache.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake | Sempre-Dolce.comI chose the whipped cream frosting because I’m not a big fan of the usual frosting fare paired with something other than pure cake. The idea didn’t just seem to work and the thought of cheesecake paired with a buttercream frosting wasn’t thrilling me. But whipped cream? That’s different. And it’s really what this cake needs as it’s heavy enough already.

And that’s also partly why I chose a ganache glaze for toppers – well, that and the fact it’s ganache. Ganache! Ganache goes with everything and is awesome with everything. Ganache and cake? Yes. Ganache and cheesecake? Heck, yeah. Ganache and brownies? One of the best toppings for a brownie! Ganache and burgers? Ok, not that, but you get my point.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake |

Now, let’s break down the layers individually. First, there’s the cake. This cake is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe and I don’t I’ll ever make another. It’s moist (which is pretty much all I look for in a cake) and full of chocolate goodness (um, it has coffee!). It also makes a wonderful accompaniment to the cheesecake.

Then there’s the peppermint cheesecake. It’s peppermint cheesecake and I shouldn’t have to tell you anything more… but I will. The highlight is the peppermint candies inside which melt into the batter and make for wonderful flavors. This not only goes well with the chocolate cake but is lovely with the brownie – think of a brownie base cheesecake.

Finally, the brownie. I chose one of my go-to recipes; it’s a good amount of fudgy and good in the way only a brownie can be. It’s also no muss, no fuss to make, which is what you need for this cake.

Put these layers together and voila, chocolate peppermint heaven.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake |

Before making, here are a few things to note:

  1. Make sure all your pans are exactly the same size. If you look, you can see the cake is a little off and that’s because one of my 3 identical cake pans went missing (how does that happen?) and so I used one that was a little deeper than the others. Not good.
  2. The brownie layer is definitely thinner than the other layers. If this bothers you, you can either, trim a little more off the cake (it’s pretty thick), double the brownie recipe, or use your personal favorite brownie recipe.
  3. Cold brownie can be a little hard to cut through, so be sure to use a sharp knife for cutting.
  4. If you want to decorate the top with some whipped cream, then I recommend doubling the whipped cream frosting recipe – it’s better than using store-bought whipped cream

And I think that’s about it!

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake |

Cottura felice!

P.S. Please pardon the million steps (I wish I could break them up more!) and please don’t be intimidated by them – the time involved is really the hardest thing about this recipe. It’s worth the effort and you can do it! I have faith.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Cake
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    Cheesecake Layer:
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. half and half
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract
  • ⅓ C. + 2 tbsp. peppermint crunch baking chips (I use Andes)
  • Chocolate Cake Layer:
  • 1 C. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 C. buttermilk, shaken(I recommend full-fat buttermilk!)
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Brownie Layer:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 C. cup all-purpose flour
  • Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 1 C. heavy whipping cream, well chilled
  • ½ C. powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Peppermint extract
  • Ganache:
  • 1 ½ C. (9 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C. heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream)
  • Garnish:
  • Crushed peppermint candies
  • Whipped cream frosting, optional


    For the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8 in. round cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  4. Add in sugar and beat until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add eggs, beating after each addition.
  6. Beat in half and half, then extracts. Beat until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  7. Stir in peppermint baking chips.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until set in center and edges are puffed.
  9. When done baking, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool slightly, then run knife around edges of cheesecake. Cool completely.
  10. Once cool, invert cheesecake onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap then place in freezer while making other layers, at least 1 hour.
  11. For the cake:
  12. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  13. Line the bottom of an 8 in. round cake pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or grease with butter and flour).
  14. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  15. In a small/medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla until combined.
  16. Add coffee and whisk until just combined.
  17. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached when inserted.
  18. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
  19. For the brownies (if you have double ovens, the brownies can bake separately while the cake bakes to save time):
  20. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  21. Line the bottom of an 8 in. round cake pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray (or grease with butter and flour).
  22. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt.
  23. Add butter, pouring in a steady stream, and whisking constantly until blended.
  24. Add in vanilla and whisk to combine.
  25. Add eggs one at a time, whisking vigorously to blend after each addition.
  26. Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour and stir until just combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  27. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached when inserted.
  28. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
  29. Once cake and brownies are cool enough to handle, invert onto cooling rack to cool completely.
  30. Once ready to assemble, make frosting.
  31. For the frosting:
  32. Place the bowl of a stand mixer (or a metal bowl and beaters of an electric mixer) along with whisk attachment in freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.
  33. In the chilled bowl using the chilled whisk attachment, whisk the cream until frothy and slightly thick.
  34. Gradually add powdered sugar then peppermint extract and beat until thick. You will want it thick enough for spreading as a frosting.
  35. If you have doubled the frosting recipe to use for garnish, reserve about ½ C. and place in fridge.
  36. To assemble:
  37. Remove cheesecake from freezer.
  38. Trim top off of cake.
  39. Place the brownie, top side down on a cake plate/pedestal.
  40. Place ½ of the frosting on the brownie and spread evenly over the top.
  41. Unwrap cheesecake and place top side up on top of brownie layer.
  42. Spread remaining frosting evenly over the top of cheesecake.
  43. Place cake top side down on top of cheesecake layer and place in fridge.
  44. Make the ganache:
  45. Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.
  46. In a microwave safe bowl/container/measuring cup, microwave on high setting for 1 ½ - 2 minutes, or until just beginning to simmer. (This can also be done on the stove top in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, if you prefer.)
  47. Pour cream over chocolate and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  48. Then, whisk together until mixture is smooth and chocolate is completely melted.
  49. Remove cake from fridge and pour ganache over the top, spreading with a spatula so it goes over the sides.
  50. Using the spatula, spread ganache around the sides of cake until thoroughly coated.
  51. Decorate the top with crushed peppermint candies and place in fridge to allow ganache to set.
  52. If decorating with whipped cream frosting: once ganache is set and you are ready to serve, pipe some of the reserved frosting around the top of cake and sprinkle with peppermint dust (or very finely ground peppermints), if desired.
  53. Store any leftover cake in the fridge and make sure it does not sit out for too long at room temperature.

Recipe Adapted from Epicurious (cheesecake & brownies), Ina Garten (cake), and (frosting)

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Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl

| by | Desserts, Holiday Recipes, Ice Cream & Frozen Treats, Recipes, Seasonal

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl: This ice cream starts with a rich chocolate peppermint base and features a peppermint crunch marshmallow swirl throughout. Creamy in texture, perfectly decadent, and full of chocolate and peppermint flavor, this ice cream is the perfect cold Christmastime treat!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl |

Hi there! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food, laughter, good times, and more food. :)

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl |

As I mentioned in my last post, we celebrated the holiday in Texas this year. However, for me, the fun began on Friday. For a few weeks prior, my mom and I discussed the idea of taking a day trip the day after Thanksgiving for some hiking and relaxation, and to get away from the madness that is called Black Friday. I was happy that the sibs were in favor of the idea (you know, they really can be wet blankets sometimes… just kidding! kind of.), even though there was grumbling about the early departure time involved. The two state parks we originally discussed visiting were a little too far for a day trip so Caddo Lake was settled on.

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl |

I had heard and seen pictures of Caddo Lake and from what I could tell it looked lovely. Also, the general feedback was very positive; people seemed to love it. Anyway, so on Friday morning (after a two hour delay in leaving…) we headed off. After spending way too long in a Texas-sized-are-you-kidding-me-this-place-is-huge rest/truck stop, three hours of sore bums, and arriving three hours later than planned, we arrived at the park. Let me tell you, drive included, I saw a side of Texas I had no clue existed. If it weren’t for the fact that the people around gave it away – Texans will be Texans – I’m not sure I would have known we were still in the state! It’s a beautiful area and the lake itself is truly magical with the bald cypress trees adorning it. And guys, there were trees all around! Even on the drive there – I mean, I. never. knew. (The area I live in, Dallas/Fort Worth, is not aesthetically pleasing with its many buildings and roads.)

Caddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.comCaddo Lake State Park | Caddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.comCaddo Lake State Park |↑ This photo was taken by my mom :) 

The east side of Texas, however, is obviously different (the state park is right on the Louisiana border and the lake actually goes into Louisiana). Trees lined the highway and when hiking around the park, I actually felt like I was on the east coast.

We spent the first bit of our time canoeing and kayaking around the lake (I must say I was disappointed and somewhat relieved at the same time at not seeing any alligators) and the other bit taking a short hike in the park and taking in the beautiful scenery until sunset. I’m so glad we went and am already longing to go back and explore more of the lake (it has over 50 miles of paddling trails!).

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl |

OK, so now that you have probably been thoroughly bored by the wordy details of my family’s trip, let’s talk about this Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl (< good grief, what a mouthful). This recipe is another in my growing list of no-churn ice cream recipes and it’s the perfect cold Christmastime treat.

I can never say enough about this no-churn ice cream base – the texture is amazing and the flavor possibilities endless. This particular combination is super yummy, perfectly Christmasy, and the flavors are out of this world amazing. The peppermint crunch candy gives it just the right amount of crunch without being overly crunchy. I also loove the way the chocolate flavor shines through, making it rich and decadent. So if you plan on making any ice cream this winter, consider making this one – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl |

Cottura Felice!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl
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  • 2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 C. marshmallow creme
  • ⅓ C. peppermint crunch baking chips (I recommend Andes)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  2. In a large bowl and using a rubber spatula, stir together sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and both extracts, stirring until well combined.
  3. Fold in whipped cream, making sure all ingredients are combined (this might take a little muscle! ;).
  4. Pour into a 2 quart container (a freezer safe loaf pan works well)and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together peppermint chips and marshmallow creme.
  6. Spoon marshmallow/peppermint mixture in 3 dollops on top of ice cream mixture.
  7. Using a knife, swirl marshmallow creme through ice cream (be sure to use knife to break up large clumps) until incorporated.
  8. Cover pan and freeze for six hours, or until firm.
  9. If desired, serve with ganache/hot fudge and/or extra peppermint chips.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping

| by | Bars, Cheesecakes, Desserts, Recipes, Seasonal

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping: These pumpkin cheesecake bars start with a flavorful gingersnap crust and in the middle feature a luscious pumpkin filling. To finish, the cheesecake is topped with a deliciously tangy marshmallow-sour cream topping. Perfect for the upcoming holidays!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |“People who love to eat are always the best people.” ~ Julia Child

One of the most used quotes by foodies, but truly one of the best. When I first read it, it was a YES! moment, because no words could speak more to the heart of a person who loves food. :)

I mean, for me, people who enjoy food to the measure my family and I do are seriously fun people to be around; the kind of people who enjoy the delicacies of eating pastry, the people who say you should try x bakery/restaurant and you know it’s going to be good. Also, the people that when traveling know the trip doesn’t just revolve around seeing the sites, but also checking out the local eats.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |

Food is a powerful thing and can break many a bond. Why a conversation could get started just by someone asking for a recipe; a friendship could be formed over a mutual love of waffles or, you name it. Food can give us something to talk about when other words fail; food can comfort and bring joy. Food is a wonderful thing, people.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |

Anyway, so I’m assuming that if you’re here, you might perhaps love food too. Great, because I love sharing recipes with you, and it gives me great joy to experiment around that I might bring tasty treats to this blog. No recipe ever gets posted on here unless it brings me personal excitement to do so. That said, there is the occasional recipe that excites me beyond all excitement. A recipe that has me wanting to tell the whole world how awesome it is and wanting e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. to try it. That’s how it was (and still is) with this pumpkin cheesecake from Epicurious. I don’t know what possessed me to try it a few years back – I don’t even like cold pumpkin desserts (sorry pumpkin pie lovers)! – but I did, and it was love at first bite.

The combination of the gingersnap/pecan crust with the flavor of the crystallized ginger shooting through every bite, paired with the flavor and texture of the cheesecake itself (not to mention the marshmallow sour cream topping…) is absolutely killer. Guys, for the first time in my life I was passing the chocolate cheesecake up for this – and if you knew me (#chocolateobsessed) you would know what that means and the volumes it speaks for this cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |

You need this pumpkin cheesecake in your life, your family/friends need it as well. And for the pumpkin pie adverse readers who think this dessert falls in that same category, I hear you. I truly do. I’ve never liked pumpkin pie, still don’t, and never will. But for some reason this cheesecake is different, it has magic powers or something.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |

I was going to originally post the recipe as is from Epicurious but then decided to try making it in bar form. If you will be making this to take to a gathering, I might suggest making it this way. It’s easier to present (no trying to figure out how on earth I’m going to get that whole thing from the pan to a serving plate) and might be easier for people to carry around and eat. Also, what’s awesome about making cheesecakes for gatherings is that they can be made up to two days in advance (just wait to make the topping until the day you serve it) and actually taste even better the longer they chill.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping |

Well, there it is; my rhapsody of love on a theme of pumpkin cheesecake. I hope you get to make it and then experience the luscious joys of consumption!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping
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  • 2 C. (about 9 ounces) gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1 C. pecans
  • 1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • ½ C. pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. (1 ½ tbsp = 4 ½ tsp.) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (freshly grated can also be used)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Topping:
  • 2 C. mini marshmallows (or large marshmallows cut into ½ in. cubes)
  • 1/4 C. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. sour cream


    For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment or foil (making sure parchment/foil comes slightly over sides of pan) and spray with cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, grind gingersnap crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger until pecans are finely ground.
  4. Gradually add the melted butter using brief pulses to blend.
  5. Transfer crust mixture to prepared pan and press evenly across the bottom.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, or until crust is set and lightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. While crust is cooling, make filling.
  9. For the filling:
  10. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  11. Add in pumpkin, mixing until combined.
  12. Beating on low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing briefly after each addition.
  13. Add flour, spices, and salt, beating until just blended.
  14. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
  15. Transfer filling to crust and bake for 35 minutes, or until filling is just set in the center and edges begin to crack.
  16. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool, about 1 hour.
  17. Transfer cheesecake to fridge and chill uncovered for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  18. For the topping:
  19. In a medium saucepan set over low heat, stir together marshmallows and milk, until marshmallows are melted.
  20. Remove from heat then stir in the vanilla and salt.
  21. Let mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  22. Once mixture is at room temperature, add sour cream. Stir (using a combination of stirring and folding) until combined.
  23. Pour topping over top of cheesecake. Spread evenly and leave about 1/2 in. uncovered around the edges.
  24. Return to fridge and let topping sit at least 1 hour, preferably longer.
  25. When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from pan by gripping parchment/foil corners and lifting out. Cut into squares sized about 2 ½ in. x 2 ½ in. (or your desired size) and place on a serving plate/platter.

Recipe only slightly adapted from Epicurious

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Halloween Shortbread Cookies

| by | Cookies, Desserts, Holiday Recipes, Recipes

Hello! And a Happy Halloween to all ghouls, goblins, and whatnots.

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Can you believe how close we are to November?? Wow. Time just needs to stop. Like, right now.

I’ve mentioned before to you how much I love Halloween but dislike the gruesome side of it – which, maybe you’re thinking “what exactly do you think the point of Halloween is?” Uh, cute costumes, pumpkins, festivals and, well, all that the holiday is just without the oozing blood and extreme obsession with death and darkness. This, of course, is coming from the person who went into a Halloween store once and was totally freaked out by the room they had dedicated to the darker side of things. Hey, I can take spook but in moderation, please. And let’s keep it family friendly, k?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Really though, I think I always envisioned and loved the idea of Halloween being what I read about in children’s picture books; sort of a celebration of fall with the aforementioned cute costumes, candy… and all that good stuff.

Can I hear an amen?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I tell you what though, one place I’ve been to and would not want to be on Halloween is Salem, MA (totally cheesy). I visited Salem several years back with high expectations and came away sorely disappointed (I wasn’t there on Halloween and sure wouldn’t want to be either!). It was nothing but a tourist trap.

Sooo, are you a Halloween fan or do you think it’s overrated?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I don’t know what your plans are and whether you’ve had everything planned for weeks, or are more like me and tend to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (← there, my attempt at Halloween gore) trying to make sure everything’s ready in time, but regardless you need these cookies in your life asap. And, they’re good for the planned and less planned as they are so easy (I ♥ easy!) and oh-my-goodness delicious. This shortbread is a family recipe and you’ve seen no shortage of it around here and won’t anytime soon. (Of course, I must note that to have it the authentic way, you need to experience it plain with nothing inside and nothing on top – this version will be coming your way soon! – but it is also a very versatile cookie and fun to create with.)

This version I have for you today is extremely easy to make. And if you are still in need of a Halloween treat, these will come together and be ready for eating in time for your parties or after-trick-or-treating crash. We all need a little ease in our life, don’t you think? Especially during these next two months – oh, these next two months… #notready

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

The Lowdown: Rich, buttery shortbread covered in a marshmallow buttercream and topped with chocolate Halloween designs will beat any treat on the block! 

Halloween Shortbread Cookies
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  • 6 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 C. (4 sticks or 1 lb) butter softened and cut into 1 tbsp. slices
  • 2-3 egg yolks (please see note below!)
  • Marshmallow Buttercream:
  • 1 ½ C. powdered sugar
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ C. marshmallow creme
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
  • For Decorating:
  • ½ C. chocolate chips (I used semisweet)


    For the shortbread:
  1. In a large bowl using a large spoon, mix together flour and sugar.
  2. With your hands, knead butter into flour mixture until well blended, about 5 minutes. It will be done when dough forms a moist crumb and there are no visible chunks of butter.
  3. Using your hands, mix in egg yolks. Start with two, mix and form a small ball. If the dough is too dry and falls apart add the extra yolk. Keep in mind that this is a very crumbly dough in general, but it should still hold together when you squeeze some together in your hand.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° f.
  5. Form about 7 baseball-size balls of dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, take one ball at a time and lightly roll to about 1/4 in. thickness with rolling pin (you can also pat it out with your hands - I used a combination of the two). Again, keep in mind that this is a crumbly dough, so as you roll you might need to do some patching.
  7. With a 3 in. round cookie cutter (mine was a little over 3 in. round), cut out cookies, re-rolling/patting dough as needed.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough balls, re-flouring surface as needed. In all, you should get 22-23 cookies total.
  9. Place rounds on a non greased cookie sheet (they can be placed fairly close together as they won't spread while baking).
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown and cookies are firm to the touch.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and transfer pan to cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes, remove cookies from pan and transfer directly to cooling rack to finish cooling. Make sure cookies are completely cool before frosting
  13. For the frosting:
  14. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes, scrape down sides as needed.
  15. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  16. To decorate:
  17. Spread a thin (not too thin! I would say a little less than a tablespoon) layer of frosting evenly on each cookie. Place cookies on a surface for decorating (tray, sheet of parchment or wax paper, etc.)
  18. Once cookies have been frosted, melt chocolate chips. Place chocolate into a piping bag with small tip (or do what I did and place in a sandwich-size ziploc with a small piece snipped of the corner, and use that :). Using chocolate, decorate cookies with Halloween-themed decorations - I went the easy route (decorating is not one of my strengths) and did spider webs and a boo! message.
  19. If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).
  20. Yields: 22-23 Cookies


If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).


Frosting recipe adapted from The Kitchen Magpie.


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