Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes Recipe

When the holiday season rolls around, it's fair to say all eyes are on peppermint. Certainly, classic candy canes started that tradition, but it has only continued to expand. Everything from peppermint bark and peppermint mochas are on the menu for winter, showcasing that chocolate and mint truly are the perfect pairing.

Want another great chocolate and mint pairing? Add another sweet treat to the holiday baking list with these festive peppermint cupcakes. With moist chocolate cupcakes serving as the base, they're beautifully dressed up with fluffy peppermint frosting. The contrast in deep cocoa flavor paired with refreshing peppermint is simply divine, and these little treats are just begging to dress up any holiday table.

Even better? You can make these holiday delights from scratch with simple-to-find ingredients from any store. And to top it all off, you'll only need to set aside 30 minutes of your time to pull off making them.

Gather the ingredients for chocolate peppermint cupcakes

To get started making these festive holiday treats, you'll first want to grab all of your ingredients. For this chocolate peppermint cupcakes recipe, you'll need white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, one egg, oil, milk, and a splash of hot water. Those ingredients will be used to put together the chocolate cupcake batter. To prepare the peppermint frosting, you'll need to round up unsalted softened butter, powdered sugar, and pure peppermint extract. 

Mix the dry ingredients to start the batter

With your ingredients prepped and ready to go, it's time to embrace this tasty baking project. Start by preheating your oven to 350 F. This will give it plenty of time to come up to the proper temperature while you mix the chocolate cupcake batter.

Grab a large mixing bowl, and add all of the dry ingredients to start making the batter. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix to combine. Be sure the mixture is free of any large clumps before moving on to the next step.

Add the wet ingredients to finish the batter

To finish off the batter for the chocolate cupcakes, you'll add the wet ingredients in next. Start by adding in the egg and mix. Next up, add in the oil, mix, and then add in ½ cup of milk. Mix your batter until just combined, and then stir in the hot water. This will thin out the batter, but that's the goal, as it helps make the chocolate cupcakes super moist!

Scoop the batter into the pan, and bake the cupcakes

With the chocolate cupcake batter ready, prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners to prevent the cupcakes from sticking. If you don't have paper liners, spray the pan with cooking spray. Divide the chocolate cupcake batter amongst the 12 cupcake wells, filling each halfway full.

Then, place the pan in the oven, and bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes until the tops are fully set. Once the cupcakes are done, remove them from the oven, and set them aside to fully cool before frosting.

Make the peppermint frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your fluffy peppermint frosting to go on top. To make the frosting, start by adding a stick of softened butter into a mixing bowl. Whip the butter until fluffy, and then mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of milk, and continue to gradually add the powdered sugar in, mixing while you go. Mix until the mixture thickens and the frosting comes together, and then mix in the peppermint extract. Turn the speed up on the mixer to whip the frosting until fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, top them with the peppermint frosting. Get creative and use a piping bag to pipe the frosting, if desired. And to make a red swirl effect, use a brush to add a bit of red food coloring to your piping bag. Otherwise, opt for white frosting. Once frosted, garnish the cupcakes with crushed peppermint candy canes to dress them up.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Add another sweet treat to the holiday baking list with these festive peppermint cupcakes.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
18
minutes
Servings
12
cupcakes
close-up frosted chocolate peppermint cupcake
Total time: 33 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the cupcakes
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • For the frosting
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
Optional Ingredients
  • red food coloring
  • crushed candy canes, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Add in the egg, and mix.
  4. Add in the oil and then ½ cup of milk. Mix until just combined, and then stir in the hot water.
  5. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  6. Scoop the chocolate cupcake batter into the pan. Fill each well halfway full.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes, until the tops are fully set.
  8. Once baked, remove cupcakes from the oven to cool completely.
  9. To make the fluffy peppermint frosting, add the stick of softened butter into a mixing bowl. Whip the butter until fluffy, and then mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Continue gradually adding the powdered sugar, and mix until the mixture thickens and the frosting comes together.
  10. Mix in the peppermint extract, and turn the speed up on the mixer to whip until fluffy.
  11. Top the cooled chocolate cupcakes with the peppermint frosting. (Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting, if desired, to resemble the above cupcake image.)
  12. Optionally, to make a red swirl effect, use a brush to add a bit of red food coloring to a piping bag. When the frosting is piped onto the cupcake, it will create the red swirl.
  13. Garnish with crushed peppermint candy canes, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 391
Total Fat 13.5 g
Saturated Fat 5.8 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 34.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 68.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 59.7 g
Sodium 213.7 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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