Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are a flavorful combination of a moist chocolate peppermint cake and sugary buttercream frosting. You will love this tasty holiday cupcake flavor.
With Christmas just around the corner, that can only mean one thing: CHOCOLATE. I am all about this holiday, so of course, I had to share my favorite peppermint cupcakes recipe with you! These are great because they have a buttercream frosting designed to look like Santa's hat. Don't forget the sprinkles! Enjoy these tasty treats for your Christmas party or as an after-dinner dessert for your family during the holiday season.
Holiday Cupcake Flavors
I love the holiday cupcake flavors that come out at Christmas time. If you are a fan, you know the specific one I'm referring to...Peppermint! That's right, and we have whipped up these chocolate peppermint cupcakes that you are going to love.
Of course, there is also eggnog, and chocolate everything. I can have decadent chocolate all year long, but I seem to save the peppermint and eggnog just for December. Kind of like pumpkin and only have that in November. I don't know why I seem to follow those rules, but like everyone else, I do. Darn those marketers and grocery stores!
These festive cupcakes are pretty easy to make. I will let you know this is a pretty liquid batter. So don't be worried if it looks like you did something wrong. I'm sure everything will be fine, and you'll end up with some of the best moist chocolate cupcakes you have ever made.
Ingredients in Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
- All-purpose flour
- Cocoa powder
- Baking soda
- Cultured buttermilk powder - see notes below
- Vegetable oil
- Peppermint extract - see notes below
- Powdered sugar
- Unsalted butter - room temperature
- Milk - room temperature
- Red food coloring - see notes below
I used ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract. That gave these cupcakes a light peppermint flavor. Now, if you are an over-the-top peppermint lover, you could go with ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. But I noticed that I could taste the peppermint just a tiny bit more than the day before as each day went by. So if you are a risk taker and a peppermint lover, go with ¼ teaspoon. But a safe play is ⅛ teaspoon, and decide next time if you want more when you make them again.
It took a few drops to get the red color I was looking for the frosting. So go easy with the drops and add two at a time. Stir, see how the color looks, then add another two if it's too light or pink looking. The goal is to get the perfect color without the taste of the coloring. So, in this case, less is more!
For the white, I left the buttercream the color that came out of the mixer. It looked perfectly fine for the needs of the decorating. I used a small star tip for the white and for the red, I used a large Wilton #12 round tip. I also grabbed some white sprinkles but forgot to put them on. (Yes, it happens to me also) I thought it would be fun to have a bit of sparkle on the top white ball. In case you are feeling ambitious 😉
You will notice this recipe uses powdered buttermilk. I'm a big fan of powdered buttermilk. I have been using this Saco brand for a few years now and love it. We don't use buttermilk much and I'm always angry when I have to throw ½ of the container away because it expired before I got to use it. You can find it in most grocery stores, and Amazon also carries it.
How to Make Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
When it comes to making gourmet cupcake recipes, the process isn't really different than standard cupcakes. However, you might look for higher-quality ingredients, and they may be decorated a bit more fancily. The addition of peppermint and the piping that looks like a Santa hat elevates these chocolate peppermint cupcakes to gourmet status.
Now if festive chocolate cupcake recipes aren't your thing, we did a 12 days of Christmas cookie recipe marathon (at least it felt like a marathon) a couple of years back. We whipped up quite a variety of holiday recipes.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for More Recipes?
I hope you enjoy the chocolate peppermint cupcakes as much as I did. Please share if you end up making these holiday cupcakes or other gourmet cupcake recipes. Happy holidays!
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
- 297 grams AP Flour
- 425 grams sugar
- 65 grams cocoa powder
- 9 grams table salt
- 12 grams baking soda
- 45 grams cultured buttermilk powder
- 170 grams vegetable oil
- 525 grams warm water
- 80 grams eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- red food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line your cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.
- Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk powder into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Or you can use a large bowl and a hand held electric mixer if you don't have a stand mixer.
- With paddle attachment mix on low speed to combine.
- Add oil, water, eggs, and peppermint extract one at a time to the dry ingredients and continue mixing until blended together.
- Pour into cupcake pan and bake for 16 - 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the confectioners sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla on low speed until combined.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the sides down.
- Increase to medium speed and beat until fluffy, about 3 more minutes. (If frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until creamy)
- This will make 2 cups frosting.
- Use 1 ½ cup and add a few drops of red food coloring until you have the color you are looking for.
- Use ½ cup for the stars around the base and top.
- Put the frosting in a large piping bag with your tip and pipe the red onto the cupcakes and add the white stars at the base and top.
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Original post created 12/11/2017 and updated 12/2/2021.