Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

I seem to get all of my best ideas from Pinterest these days. I’ve made a resolution for the New Year to get back into my cookbooks, but in the meantime, I just can’t let Christmas go by without sharing these cupcakes with you!  In my mind, chocolate and peppermint ranks right up there with some of the greatest food pairings, especially at Christmas! These cupcakes are melt-in-your-mouth good and definitely do justice to the chocolate/peppermint pairing. The chocolate cupcakes by themselves are delicious –  incredibly light and moist. I should know, because despite a self-proclaimed aversion to chocolate cake, I couldn’t stop eating these! The peppermint icing is wonderful as well – thick, creamy, and with the perfect amount of peppermint flavoring.  Everyone who tried these raved about them and I predict they will become my go-to holiday dessert! If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see that I couldn’t keep from making this recipe again already – this time as a pretty layer cake! 🙂

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Peppermint Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons heavy cream


  1. For the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with 24 paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer). The batter will be liquidy. Pour into prepared muffin tins, filling until tins are 2/3 full with batter. Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted into a center cupcakes comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
  2. For the frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and peppermint extracts and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the heavy cream, a little bit at a time, until desired consistency is met. Beat on medium high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. To apply the frosting with a red stripe like you see above: Before filling a large piping bag with frosting, add some red gel food coloring to a toothpick, and draw three vertical lines with the red dye on the inside of the piping bag. Then carefully fill the piping bag with frosting. Squeeze some frosting into a bowl until you begin to see the red stripe, then frost the cupcakes. I used a large round tip from Ateco to pipe the ones you see here.

Cupcake recipe adapted from thisdark chocolate cake, peppermint icing from Glorious Treats

Chocolate Peppermint Cake

The layer cake version! 🙂

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  1. Wow! Megan, I LOVE it. Coffee, chocolate & peppermint!?!? We have been planning to make a peppermint cake of sorts to celebrate Christ’s Birthday {you know, the whole birthday cake on His birthday} — and you are seriously giving me second thoughts about making this cake rather than the one I had originally planned to make. This looks awesome.

    Who needs cookbooks… I’m all about Pinterest 🙂

  2. I’m loving the chocolate and peppermint combo at the moment too – i have to get at least one cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and a peppermint stick every day! LOL That’s a great tip on how to get the stripes on the frosting…thanks so much! I’ve got a chocolate-peppermint recipe in mind too and I absolutely enjoyed reading yours 🙂

  3. Kind of obsessed with that swirled frosting, gorgeous! Everything about this sounds delicious.

  4. THese look wonderful- love the swirled frosting!

  5. I love the pretty frosting on the cupcakes!

  6. Love both versions, Megan! Merry Christmas 🙂

  7. These are so pretty! Love that icing!

  8. These are almost too pretty to eat!!

    But somehow…I would find a way. Trust me on this. 🙂

  9. Love these – so pretty! Chocolate and peppermint has to be my favorite combo right now!

  10. oh my gosh, these are SOOO pretty!!

  11. Mmmmm, the cake and cupcakes both look fabulous! The frosting on the cupcakes reminds me of candy canes!

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  13. Question: the recipe calls for strong coffee. Is there a strong coffee taste in the cake? Or does this just add to the moist-ness? I’ve got a strong coffee hater in my house! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

    • There is definitely no coffee taste in the final product. I think the coffee just deepens the flavor of the chocolate, or something like that. That being said, I didn’t use strong coffee, just normal coffee that I had made that morning. Also, if you’re worried about it, you could just use a cup of boiling water. I’ve done that before and it still tastes great 🙂

  14. do these need to be refrigerated after frosting them with the frosting having the cream cheese and heavy cream in it?

    • I don’t think they technically “need” to. I read somewhere that cream cheese frosting is actually fine to have sit out. But…I am overly cautious and I always refrigerate them. It helps keep the icing from drooping or melting as well. Just bring them to room temperature before serving. 🙂

  15. okay,thanks.

  16. These cupcakes are incredible and thanks for sharing! I’ve been inspired to feature this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. If you have any objections, please let me know. Have a wonderful holiday and keep amazing food coming!

  17. Yummy looks so good and beautiful nice work. Love your blog come check out mine at

    Have a great Christmas and wonderful New Year

  18. So adorable! These are absolutely perfect for the holidays 🙂

  19. I made these and your lofthouse style frosted sugar cookies yesterday and both recipes are SO good!! I just came across your blog not very long ago and so i have been enjoying looking through it.

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  21. Megan, your cupcakes are so beautiful, and I’m sure they are tasty as well. I’m delighted with this Christmas cupcakes and I’ve featured this recipes on my blog hoping you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

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