Our Vegan Peppermint Creams or Peppermint Patties are the perfect fun activity for any festive seasons - Halloween, Day of the Dead, All Souls Day, Bonfire night, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve, and many more! The peppermint creams can be simply dipped in melted chocolate or decorated with cake pens, icing, or fondant with patterns and pictures that match the festive occasion. Our kids love to draw shocked faces on their peppermint creams to enjoy over Halloween. Pack a few peppermint creams into a home-made gift box or a decorated jar for a tasty gift.
Our Vegan peppermint creams or patties are prepared with just 3 ingredients - icing sugar [confectioner's sugar], aqua Faber [liquid from a can of chickpeas!] and peppermint essence. They do not require any baking as the are naturally air-dried, although good luck trying to not eat the creams before they are fully dried!
❓ What is a peppermint cream?
A peppermint cream is a type of confection, candy, or sweetie, that combines the refreshing taste of peppermint with the sweetness of a sugar-based fondant. The classic recipe usually calls for egg white and icing or powdered sugar. These ingredients are mixed together to form a dough-like texture, which is then shaped into small discs or circles. The end result is a smooth, minty, and sweet treat that hardens as it sets during exposure to the air, all without the need for baking.
📜 History of peppermint creams
Peppermint creams were a very popular British Victorian sweet.
Although sugar has been an ingredient in Britain since medieval times it was regarded as a luxury and as a spice rather than a sweetener. Sugar was imported from overseas so it was a very expensive ingredient. Sugar, along with the rest of the spices, was kept under lock and key, so only the cooks of the wealthy elite would have been able to access the sugar. However, by the 1700-1800s sugar was becoming an increasingly popular ingredient as it became less expensive.
In 1866, the Fry's Chocolate Cream Bar was introduced, along with a bar with a peppermint flavour. Fry's is noted for being the first mass-produced chocolate bar available to the general public.
Fast forward to today, they are several popular minty cream sweets that are similar to the traditional peppermint creams. Some familiar names include Fry's peppermint cream, Kendal mint cake, York peppermint patties, and After Eights. For those following a vegan lifestyle, Traidcraft offers Divine dark chocolate mint thins, a vegan alternative that's similar in taste to After Eights.
However, as vegan sweets can be quite expensive its always useful to have an easy recipe that you can prepare at home whenever you fancy something minty but free from animal ingredients.
Our kids decorated this batch of frightful peppermint s-creams! Instead of decorating with cake pens you can dip the entire cream into melted chocolate.
🍬 Egg-free peppermint creams
You don't need egg whites or dairy condensed milk to prepare a batch of home-made peppermint creams.
Our recipe is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, plant-based diets, gluten-free diets, and for those with egg and dairy allergies, or for those who simply prefer to prepare a sweet or candy that is free from animal-based ingredients and is inclusive for many different dietary needs. Although do check all the ingredients that you use just to be 100% certain that they conform to your specific dietary requirements.
Icing sugar, aquafaba (drained liquid from a can of chickpeas) and a few drops of peppermint essence are the basic ingredients for these traditional British sweets. If you love Fry's peppermint creams or looking for a vegan After Eights alternative then a batch of these peppermint creams are the answer.
Each peppermint cream is crisp, sweet, creamy, refreshing, minty-ness is quite irresistible and is a tasty way to end a special meal. Each mint can be dipped into vegan-friendly dark melted chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate. Although any vegan-friendly chocolate that can be melted will work well with these peppermint creams.
Younger family members will especially love using cake pens to decorate frightful Halloween faces or Day of The Dead skulls.
Or if preparing the mints for a different festive occasion such as Thanksgiving or Christmas simply dipping each cream in melted chocolate is a classic decoration and you could add a dust of edible glitter, cake sprinkles, crushed peppermint canes, etc., after they have been dipped in the chocolate.
Instead of egg or dairy, we use aquafaba which is simply the drained liquid from a can of ordinary chickpeas. Its simply magic stuff as somehow as the chickpeas sit in their canning juices they leak natural components into the water, which creates a liquid that can amazingly replace egg whites in a variety of recipes. Aquafaba can even be whipped up into meringues and pavlova. We have tried both and its a terrific substitution.
🥣 How To Prepare
The beauty of peppermint creams is that only a few ingredients are required to prepare a delicious home-made sweetie.
The ingredients required are - icing sugar which is also known as confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar, Aqua Faber which is the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas [garbanzo beans], and peppermint essence. Although the creams do not require baking in an oven they do need to be allowed to air-dry overnight as this is what sets the creams. Its worth the wait!
Step 1: Measure out the aquafaba (drained liquid from a can of chickpeas) into a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Sift the icing sugar [powdered sugar] into a separate mixing bowl.
Step 3: Using an electric hand whisk whip the aquafaba for 3-4 minutes until thick, white, foamy, and bubbly.
Step 4: The aquafaba is ready when it can be scooped up onto a spoon and the consistency drops slowly in thick blobs.
Step 5: Pour the peppermint essence into the icing sugar.
Step 6: Slowly add the whipped aquafaba into the icing sugar, mixing with a metal spoon each time. The icing will look like wet crumbs.
Step 7: Taste the mix and see if the peppermint flavour is to your liking. If not add a drop more peppermint extract at a time and mix through until the minty flavour is to your liking.
Step 8: Using your hands press the crumbs together firmly to form a ball. You may need to incorporate more aquafaba into the dough if the mix is too dry and crumbly.
Step 9: Knead firmly to achieve a ball, dip your fingers into extra aquafaba and knead into the ball if the ball is too dry.
Step 10: Divide the icing dough into two pieces as this will be easier to work with. Knead firmly each piece, and also squeeze the dough into your cupped hands to meld and form a smooth ball. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hands.
Step 11: Roll out each piece to roughly half a centimetre thick although you can make the sweets thicker. Stamp out circles with a five centimetre [two inch] cookie cutter.
Step 12: Place each peppermint cream onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof or wax paper. Leave the creams to dry out until the next day, or for at least 6-8 hours.
Place a food cover over the creams, if you have one, and keep the trays somewhere dry and cool.
Optional Step 13: When ready to decorate melt dark [semi-sweet] vegan-friendly chocolate either on the stove top or in a microwave.
Dip the peppermint creams into the melted chocolate, or completely cover the creams in chocolate. Leave on the baking parchment to set.
Using vegan-friendly cake pens or icing pens decorate frightful faces if having the creams for Halloween or decorate skulls on the creams for The Day of the Dead.
📖 Recipe notes
Vegan peppermint creams can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1-2 weeks. To keep the sweets fresh line the container with baking parchment or wax paper and add a layer of the parchment between each layer of mints. Finish with a layer of parchment at the top.
If the peppermint creams are intended as gifts ensure the inside of the gift box is lined in a layer of kitchen or Aluminium foil with perhaps tissue or crepe paper around the foil for a nicer presentation. Or add to a nice jar with an airtight lid.
Store the peppermint creams in a cool, dry area, away from potential sources of excess moisture such as the stove-top or kettle!
Yes, our peppermint cream recipe is fine for gluten-free diets as the main 3 ingredients do not contain gluten ingredients. Although, do check the ingredients of the peppermint extract just to be 100% sure.
Also, if you intend to decorate the sweets ensure that your cake pens, icing, chocolate, etc., are free from gluten ingredients.
Yes, the best gifts are always homemade. Peppermint creams are especially nice gift as they are a traditional sweet so many people will have fond nostalgic memories of peppermint creams and enjoying mints after festive dinners with family and loved ones.
Our peppermint creams recipe is egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free so they are inclusive and great for many different dietary needs.
You can dip the creams completely in chocolate which can help preserve them for longer and then pack them up in a nice gift box or bag tied with a ribbon, or bow, and a handwritten label for a special touch. You could also pop a small card in the box which explains a few words about the history behind the creams for those who enjoy little titbits of history.
Yes, both are very similar although peppermint creams originate in Britain while peppermint patties are from the United States. Creams and patties are both dipped in chocolate and are popular during the festive season as an after-dinner refreshing treat or nibble. Although home-made patties which are usually prepared with condensed milk, may have a slightly chewer texture compared to the set crisper peppermint cream.
White sugar can be a bit of a gray area when it comes to vegan diets, mainly because of the way it's processed.
In some countries, such as the United States, cane sugar is often whitened using bone char, which is made from animal bones. This would make it unsuitable for a vegan diet.
However, beet sugar and organic cane sugar are generally considered vegan-friendly as they are not processed with bone char.
Organic sugar does not use bone char so that is an option. However, do check out this list of sugar brands that do not use bone char over at vegfaqs.com.
In the UK, the use of bone char in sugar refining is less common, and many brands label their sugar as vegan-friendly. However, do check that your icing [powered sugar] does not contain dried egg white as some brands do.
So, if you're sourcing your icing sugar from the UK, it's likely to be suitable for vegans, especially if it's labeled as such. However, if you are concerned then its always a good idea to check with the manufacturer to confirm that no animal-based products were used in the processing.
So, while white sugar can be vegan, it often depends on where it's sourced from and how it's processed.
Icing sugar, also known as powdered sugar or confectioners' sugar, is a finely ground sugar that is much finer than granulated or caster sugar. It's made by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state and often contains a small amount of cornstarch to prevent caking. The cornstarch acts as an anti-caking agent, helping the sugar to flow freely and making it easier to work with in recipes.
Icing sugar is a staple in many types of baking and dessert making, often used in icings, frostings, and glazes. It dissolves easily, making it ideal for recipes that require a smooth texture. It's also commonly sprinkled on top of pastries, doughnuts, and other sweets for a decorative touch.
Because of its fine texture, icing sugar is usually sifted before it's added to recipes to ensure that there are no lumps.
In vegan baking, it's essential to ensure that the icing sugar you're using is vegan-friendly, as some brands may use bone char in the refining process or add dried egg whites to the sugar.
However, many brands offer vegan-certified icing sugar, and in the UK, it's commonly vegan-friendly but do check the ingredients and ask the manufacturer if in doubt.
Yes you can and its quite easy to do if you have a blender or food processor that can grind ingredients to a powder. Some recipes also recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to act as an anti-caking agent, but this is optional.
Start with about 1 cup of granulated sugar [add 1-2 teaspoon of cornstarch or cornflour as its known in the UK although this ingredient isn't essential], and pulse both together in repeated short bursts, until the sugar is a fine powdered.
Scrape down the sides of your bowl if some of the sugar sticks there as its pulsed just to ensure the sugar is evenly ground.
Once the sugar is powdered enough to your liking it can be sifted to ensure that no big crystals remain.
Store in an air-tight container and away from moisture.
Aquafaba is the liquid that you find in a can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans. It's a versatile ingredient that's become a staple in vegan cooking as a substitute for egg whites. The term "aquafaba" is derived from the Latin words for "water" and "bean."
The unique mix of starches, proteins, and other soluble plant solids in aquafaba gives it a variety of emulsifying, foaming, binding, and thickening abilities. This makes it useful in a wide range of recipes, from meringues and mayonnaise to cakes, cookies, and peppermint creams or patties!
Technically you can still use the aquafaba for recipes if it contains salt but it could affect the flavour of the finished recipe especially sweet recipes such as peppermint creams.
So if you can source canned chickpeas that are salt-free then we recommend using those instead of canned chickpeas with salt.
Alternatively, some company's sell aquafaba as a separate product, such as OGGS Egg Alternative Aquafaba, and perhaps this would be a better option if you can't source salt-free canned chickpeas.
Yes, freezing aquafaba for future recipes is a great way to always have it on hand for when you need it. It's also a great way to reduce waste as instead of draining the chickpea liquid away you can retain it and freeze it in ice-cube trays.
Once frozen pop the frozen aquafaba cubes out and transfer to a freezer-bag. The freezing and defrosting process will not affect the aquafaba.
Thaw the aquafaba to room temperature before using for recipes as canned chickpeas are not generally stored in the refrigerator, so aquafaba is usually used at room temperature. Although, do consult your recipe as for some recipes chilled aquafaba may be required.
There is no best one although each one has its positives and negatives.
Peppermint Essence is a synthetic flavouring and compared with the other types it may have a less intense flavour so you may need to use more, but is usually the least expensive.
Peppermint Extract is prepared with real peppermint leaves so the flavour is more natural and stronger so less is required to achieve that minty flavour. It is usually more expensive compared with peppermint essence but you can get away with using less.
As for Peppermint oil it is also a more natural product as its prepared from peppermint leaves and it offers a very intense peppermint flavour so only a few drops may be required. Although, this option is likely to be the most expensive.
So in sum, you can use whatever peppermint product that you have or can easily access, just be aware that they are not all at the same peppermint flavour strength so you may need to adjust to taste.
Although, its also important to check the ingredients to make sure that they are certified vegan or contain vegan-friendly ingredients, and if gluten-free is an issue do check that there is no gluten ingredients and the product is certified gluten-free.
Yes, you can mould the peppermint creams into different shapes. The dough is quite versatile, so you could get creative with it. You might use silicone moulds designed for chocolates or sweets to create unique shapes like hearts for Valentine's Day, or seasonal ones like pumpkins for Halloween or Christmas baubles.
You could also hand mould little ball shapes and once dry dip the balls in chocolate. To create little Christmas puddings use vegan-friendly fondant to add little green leaves and red berries to the top of each pudding. These would make cute gifts or as a decoration for the top of an iced Christmas cake.
Just make sure to press the dough firmly into the moulds, and smooth it out using extra drops of aquafaba if necessary and then smooth in some more icing sugar. Allow the moulds to air-dry as you would with the traditional round shapes.
Its also a good idea to dust the moulds with a light coating of icing sugar as this will ensure easy removal of the peppermint creams. The icing sugar can act as a barrier between the dough and the mould, making it less likely for them to stick. Just tap out any excess sugar after dusting so you don't end up with too much of a sugary layer on your sweets.
Also, keep in mind that the drying time might vary depending on the thickness and size of the shapes you choose, so for thicker shapes dry for longer. Also, if you're planning to dip them in chocolate, consider how well the shape will hold up when dipped or covered.
Let the kids loose with some edible vegan-friendly cake pens or icing for a fun frightful Halloween or Day of The Dead creative activity!
🎉 More vegan party recipes
We have a few more egg-free and dairy-free vegan recipes that are perfect for parties over the festive seasons.
Our kids absolutely adore these Top Hat Treats that are a traditional Scottish and Irish sweetie, and are so easy to make with a few ingredients and look so cute on any party table, and for a traditional Christmas favourite these American Ting-A-Lings are crisp and chocolatey and also great for movie or sports day nibbles.
For the easiest festive treat our version of the iconic Australian party food - Australian Fairy Bread are so easy and fun for kids to prepare and are surprisingly quite tasty! The British had something similar to Fairy Bread during the Victorian era and it was a popular Christmas Eve treat for little kids.
Finally, our classic Chocolate Rice Crispy Cakes never get old, and although traditionally an Easter treat the wee candy egg topping can be replaced with a vegan-friendly jelly snake or other gruesome sweet!
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Peppermint Creams
- 2 Mixing bowls
- electric hand whisk or a non-electric egg beater or whisk and strong arms!
- Baking trays
- baking parchment or wax paper
- Cookie or biscuit cutter about 2 inch [5 cm] diameter
- Rolling pin
- 450 grams icing sugar [powdered or confectioner's sugar, sieved, plus extra for dusting rolling pin and work surface]
- 80 milliliters aquafaba [drained liquid from a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) All the aquafaba may not be required.]
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract [you may require more depending on personal taste]
To decorate, optional
- 100 grams dark vegan-friendly chocolate [semi-sweet chocolate, melted] [may require double the amount of chocolate if covering the whole cream rather than just half dipping]
- vegan edible cake pens [various colours]
- Line a baking tray or similar with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl.450 grams icing sugar
- Weigh out the aquafaba by draining the canned chickpeas in a sieve with a bowl under the sieve to catch the liquid, and moving the chickpeas around to remove most of the liquid. [Store the the chickpeas in the fridge for 3 days, or freeze for 3-4 months, and use for a different recipe.]80 milliliters aquafaba
- Using the electric cake whisk mix the aquafaba until it is frothy, bubbly, thick, and white. This will take about 3-4 minutes using an electric hand whisk.The aquafaba is ready when a spoon can scoop up a thick piece and the aquafaba slowly drips in large blobs.Using a manual non-electric hand whisk will take much longer to reach this stage.
- Pour the peppermint extract into the icing sugar.¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Slowly add the aquafaba to the icing sugar, mixing with a metal spoon until it all comes together first into crumbs. You will not need all the aquafaba so don't add it all at once.
- Taste a little of the mix and if its not minty enough for your liking stir through a drop or two more of the peppermint extract until the flavour is too your liking.
- Using your hands bring the crumby mix together into a ball of dough.
- Dust your work surface with icing sugar.
- Divide the ball into 2 pieces as this will be easier to knead. Knead each piece firmly, while also cupping the ball between your palms and pressing into a smooth ball. This step may take a few minutes.
- Add extra dabs of aquafaba if the icing dough is too dry and knead this into the icing mix, or sprinkle in extra icing sugar if the dough is too wet.
- Dust your rolling pin and cookie cutter with icing sugar.
- Using the palm of your hands firmly press each dough ball into a flat circle. With a rolling pin roll out each circle out to about ½ cm thick or thereabouts. Stamp out circles with the cookie cutter.
- As you roll the icing dough little cracks may appear. These can be smoothed out by dipping your finger into any leftover aquafaba and smoothing over the cracks. Sprinkle over extra icing sugar and smooth this into the icing ball until the cracks fade.
- Place the peppermint creams onto the lined baking trays. Gently smooth away any icing sugar that happened to land on the creams with a dry finger.
- Ensure that the peppermint creams are sitting on the tray flat as they will dry out and set into the shape they are left in.
- Allow to dry out overnight or for at least 6-8 before decorating. Cover the trays with a cake cover if available, and keep somewhere away from excess moisture such as the cooker or kettle.
- Once air-dried the creams can be decorated with cake pens.vegan edible cake pens
To decorate with chocolate:
- Break the chocolate into even chunks and add to a heatproof bowl. The quickest way to melt the chocolate is to use a microwave. In 20 second bursts heat the chocolate until its about half melted then remove from the microwave and stir quickly until completely melted. The chocolate should continue to melt and turn glossy as its stirred. If not just give it another 20 second ping in the microwave.Alternatively, place the bowl into a saucepan which has gently simmering water until the chocolate melts. Be careful not to get any of the steam or water into the chocolate as this could result in the chocolate seizing up. Once the water is boiling, the stove-ring can be turned off.100 grams dark vegan-friendly chocolate
- Scrape the chocolate to one side of the bowl and dip the peppermint creams into the chocolate or use a little spatula to cover each cream in chocolate.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Vegan peppermint creams can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1-2 weeks. To preserve the sweets longer line the container with baking parchment or wax paper, add more paper between the layers, and a paper layer at the top.
- If the creams are intended as gifts ensure the inside of the gift box is lined in a layer of kitchen or Aluminium foil with perhaps tissue or crepe paper around the foil for a nicer presentation. Or add to a nice jar with an airtight lid.
- Store in a cool, dry area.
- Store the leftover chickpeas from the can in the fridge for up to 3 days and use in a different recipe.
- If interested the jelly sweets used in the photos are Jelly Tots and Fruit Tella gelatine free sour snakes, both are labelled vegan and were purchased from our local Co-Op supermarket.
- For more useful recipe notes and FAQ's have a look at our recipe notes section above this recipe card.
Prepared our Vegan Peppermint Creams or Peppermint Patties? We would love to know how you got on with the recipe so it would be wonderful if you could pop back and drop us a comment below, and click the star ratings. Its very much appreciated, thanks so much, Jacq x