peppermint mocha cupcakes


A chocolate cupcake recipe with added peppermint for a perfect holiday dessert.

peppermint mocha cupcakes

When the holiday season arrives the first thing that comes to my mind is peppermint mocha lattes. For me, it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate. So, naturally, I had to have a recipe for peppermint mocha cupcakes.

It may be mostly nostalgia for me. Growing up on Christmas morning my Mom would let us sneak 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 tons of chocolate on Christmas, you know…..because I can 🙂 Aren’t the holidays the time to splurge and have fun?

Why peppermint and not just mocha cupcakes?

The inspiration for this recipe is from the peppermint mocha lattes you can find at popular coffee shops around the holidays. I started with a rich chocolate cupcake enhanced with coffee flavor and made a basic vanilla buttercream.

In the last step of the frosting process, I added a ground-up peppermint candy cane. 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.

How do you pipe peppermint mocha frosting?

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 with a large opening.

These bags make frosting cupcakes so much easier! 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. Using a sturdy bag that holds up well will help avoid mess.

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. I simply topped these with two of the mini candy canes and shaped them to look like a heart. What do you think?

peppermint mocha cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Print Recipe
A peppermint mocha cupcake that tastes just like the popular holiday latte.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes


For the Cupcakes:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 oz melted chocolate 2 tbsp butter to melt chocolate
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
For the Frosting:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 4-5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ground peppermint candy canes
  • dash of salt


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes completely cool before icing.

For the Frosting:

  • 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.
  • keep adding more sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  • Once the frosting is done, add ground candy canes and blend well.
  • Place in piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes.
  • Top with additional crumbled candy canes.


I recommend using room-temperature ingredients for making the cupcakes and cold butter for the frosting.
Store cupcakes airtight and in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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