Peppermint mocha cupcake recipe for the holiday season.When the holiday season arrives the first thing that comes to mind is chocolate! For me, it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate. (Apply tiny elf voice here) Chocolate coffee, hot chocolate, chocolates from stockings, and chocolate desserts like peppermint mocha cupcakes. So, naturally, I had to have a recipe for chocolate and peppermint together.

It may be mostly nostalgia for me. Growing up I never had a lot of sweets…except Christmas. On Christmas morning my Mom would let us eat candy out of our stockings before breakfast! When you are little that feels like a huge victory. Now that I’m grown up I developed a habit of eating chocolate all day on Christmas, you know…..because I can πŸ™‚ I am a pretty healthy eater and try extra hard to give my kids healthy foods. Holidays are the time to splurge and have fun.

Has anyone else had peppermint flavor in foods and felt like you were eating toothpaste? I used to feel that way until the peppermint mocha rocked all the main coffee chains around the holidays. I quickly realized that chocolate and peppermint is a great combination. Once the peppermint mocha changed my mind I had to try to make it a dessert.

Of course, I wanted to carefully avoid too much minty flavor. I started with a rich chocolate cupcake and made a basic vanilla buttercream. In the last step of the frosting process, I added a ground-up peppermint candy cane. This tinted the frosting to an almost pink color, which is fine by me. I topped them with additional ground up candy canes and two mini candy canes shaped into a heart. I then added a splash of confectioner’s sugar that looks like snow. In my opinion, I threw on some fun.

At first, I had some trouble with the icing. If you don’t have the proper tools it is harder to get them to come out right. I used a disposable icing bag with an icing tip.

These bags come in handy! The picture on the box has another type of tip attached. These are smaller and would work, but for cupcakes, I find it easier to use the larger tips. These are pretty sturdy bags that hold up well.

Peppermint mocha cupcake recipe for the holiday season

Cut the bottom of the frosting bag to fit the frosting tip.

Peppermint mocha cupcake recipe for the holiday season

Then simply place the frosting tip inside the bag.

Peppermint mocha cupcake recipe for the holiday season

I usually give a little tug to make sure the tip is secure and won’t slip out. Then I find it helpful to fold down the edges of the bag before scooping frosting in. Then I try to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles in the bag before icing. This will help you to frost smoothly and have neat and pretty frosted cupcakes.

I also ground up the candy canes in a ninja food processor. It worked really well to ground them up in just a few seconds.

Since it ground it up so well like candy cane sand, it blended into the frosting well. It also didn’t affect the smoothness of the frosting and I was able to frost easily.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 120 minutes


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 oz melted chocolate (2 tbsp butter to melt chocolate)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder and set aside.
  2. In a double boiler or medium saucepan melt chocolate and two tablespoons of butter over low heat and stir until dissolved. When melted remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl place room temperature butter, vegetable oil and sugars. Blend until fluffy. Add melted chocolate, vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  4. Alternating dry and wet ingredients with the mixer on a low/medium speed, starting with the dry add flour mix into mixture. Then add milk and alternate until you finish with the last bit of flour. Scraping the sides as you go.
  5. Once blended well place enough batter into a baking dish lined with cupcake liners, add enough batter to fill cupcake liners halfway to the top. This recipe will rise so I only fill halfway up.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cupcakes completely cool before icing.


I recommend bringing the butter, milk and eggs to room temperature before starting. I ususally let the butter and milk sit out for a few minutes. You can place cold eggs in a large cup filled with warm water to bring them to room temperature.

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Peppermint Buttercream


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 45 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ground peppermint candy canes


  1. Using chilled butter, place stick of butter in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat for a few seconds, add milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time.
  2. keep adding more sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  3. Once the frosting is done, add ground candy canes and blend well.
  4. Place in piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes.
  5. Top with additional crumbled candy canes.


Keep cupcakes refrigerated, they are good for about 4-5 days if refrigerated.

I simply topped these with two of the mini candy canes and shaped them to look like a heart. What do you think? I would love to know what other people love baking during the holidays.

*This post may contain affiliate links for helpful products that I recommend. All opinions are my own.

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