As much as I love all things pumpkin spice, I really wait for peppermint bark season to begin. Fortunately for my friends and coworkers, peppermint and chocolate is not a favorite combination at my house. As a result, I end up sharing bark or things I have baked with bark with others to save myself! The first time I made these Peppermint Bark Ooey Gooey Squares, they were a gift to my fellow MyUntangled Life bloggers at our holiday brunch. Lately, they have become a go-to contribution for my office’s holiday dessert week. Every time I bring them in someone asks for the recipe.

Peppermint Bark Recipe

This is a variation of a recipe from Paula Deen for Gooey Butter Cake. One of her first cookbooks, The Lady & Sons Just Desserts, includes the original version and a series of variations. For this recipe, I have combined two variations and then added my own holiday twist. For some reason, I never remember the original name for these bars, so I’ve always called them Ooey Gooey Squares.

They are definitely rich, so they are easy to share. The best thing about baking this recipe at the holidays is how easily they come together, but taste as if they were more complicated. Well, actually, the best thing about baking these is how yummy they are to eat!

Peppermint Bark Ooey Gooey Squares

This is my holiday variation on Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake. These are rich and delicious with just the right balance of chocolate, cream cheese, and peppermint. They would make a great gift.
Course:  Dessert
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Total Time:  1 hour
Servings:  10


For the cake:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

For the filling:

  • 8 ouncea cream cheese softened
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 7 ounces peppermint bark coarsely chopped *


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. The batter will be a bit stiff.
  3. Using a spatula spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
  4. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.
  6. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  7. Stir in 2/3 of the peppermint bark.
  8. Spread the filling evenly over the cake batter.
  9. Sprinkle the rest of the peppermint bark over the batter.
  10. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. You won’t want to overbake this so use your judgment as to when to remove from the oven. The filling should be golden, but the center should be a little wobbly and gooey.
  11. Cut into small pieces. This is rich!

Recipe Notes

* I used two Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Bars, but feel free to use your own favorite. I have also used a bag of Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks. Use your favorite bark or chips.

Can’t Get Enough Peppermint and Chocolate?

Try my recipe for Peppermint Chocolate Truffle Cookies. Or gift a different flavor with my Maple Pumpkin Pie Spice Pecans!