Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add the cake mix, water, butter, and eggs. Using a hand mixer, mix together for 30 minutes until there are no dry spots. On medium speed mix an additional 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
Pour into a 9x13 greased baking dish. Bake for 26-31 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Place on the counter to cool for 10 minutes. Poke holes through the cake about 1 inch apart using a skewer to make small holes or a round end of a utensil to make larger holes.
While the cake is cooling, make the pudding. In a medium-sized bowl, all the pudding mix, milk and peppermint extract. Using a hand mixer, carefully whip together for 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Immediately pour pudding over the cake, making sure to try and get the pudding over all the holes. Smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Before servings, top with whipped topping and smooth out with a spatula. Decorate with chopped peppermint and candy cane kisses if desired.