Dark chocolate stracciatella and mint cake


I know not everyone loves chocolate and mint together, in fact I’m one of those people, but in this recipe the pairing is really elegant and quite subtle. Here the fresh mint leaves get beaten into the butter and sugar mixture, for both the cake and icing, extracting the fragrance and leaving a delicate hue of green. 

Serves 12

For the cake:

150 butter, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

About 20 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 

4 free range eggs, room temperature

50ml light olive oil

200g plain all-purpose white flour

70g ground almonds

½ tsp sea salt 

2 ½ tsp baking powder

180g plain, unsweetened yogurt at room temperature

1 tsp peppermint extract

120g 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped 

For the icing:

150g butter, at room temperature

220g icing sugar

About 20 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 

100g cream cheese, at room temperature

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the decorations:

2 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder

Fresh spray roses (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius on fan bake. Line 2 x 22cm cake tins with baking paper.
To make the cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and chopped mint leaves until pale, light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well before adding in the next. Follow with the oil and mix in well.
In 2 parts, fold in the ground almonds, flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Next fold through the yogurt, followed by the peppermint extract and chopped chocolate. Be very careful not to overmix.
Evenly divide the batter between the 2 tins and spread out to the sides.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes in the pans before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile make the icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, icing sugar, chopped mint and vanilla until very pale, light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese little by little and continue beating until the icing is completely smooth.
When the cakes are fully cooled, spread some icing onto one layer using an offset palette knife. Place the other layer on top of this and neatly ice the top.
Dust over the cocoa powder and finish with some spray roses if using.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.