Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes: These intensely chocolatey cupcakes are incredibly dense and moist and topped with rich, chocolate peppermint frosting. YUM.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food Can you believe the countdown to Christmas?

8 Days. 1 Hour. 43 Minutes. 2.37888954 Seconds.

Sooo on that note…how is your Christmas shopping? Because I’ll tell you that mine is nowhere near being done. Unless you count the gifts I got myself, because I was wildly successful in that department. Is it just me, or is it a real thing that whenever you go out shopping for other people you suddenly find everything you have ever wanted and will want?

It’s a problem. #thestruggle

I’ll probably just give everyone baked goods. That’s cool, right?

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food So, apart my unsuccessful attempts at shopping for other people (don’t worry family, I’ll bring my A game to the stores this weekend), I have totally been on top of the whole Christmas baking eating (let’s be real) thing. I won’t go into detail (for both my sake and yours), but it’s been a month of sugary goodness (that have included these, these, and this).

Please tell me I’m not only the one eating Christmas treats galore…

At least I’m eating them while watching every Christmas themed movie known to man.

Movie snacks are a real thing. That’s how I justify my Christmas sweet tooth.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food

What are your thoughts on peppermint? I feel like it’s a love/hate thing. But I really, really, really hope you love it. Or at least like it, because as a huge peppermint mocha fan, I have been dying to try my hand at mixing the flavors in a cupcake. Typically, most peppermint mocha cupcakes I’ve ever tasted have come with white peppermint frosting; however, I wanted to jazz things up a bit (it keeps life fun) by making a chocolate peppermint frosting.

Because chocolate frosting is life. Have you ever mixed a little (or a lot of) chocolate frosting with some ice cream? It’s life changing.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food These cupcakes begin with a rich chocolate batter.

Begin by creaming the butter for 2-3 minutes. While it sounds like a lifetime, the best cupcakes come from light and fluffy butter.

Next, add in the sugar to the butter and beat for another 4-5 minutes or so. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.

Mix hot coffee with cocoa powder, stirring until smooth.

On low, slowly incorporate the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating between wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

With a spatula, mix in vanilla extract, milk, and sour cream.

For the frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add heavy cream and a couple drops of peppermint extract. Mix until well blended. With a piping bag or a knife, frost the cupcakes once they have cooled.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food I would love to keep in touch with you all, so feel free to sign up for email updates, follow me on pinterest, twitter, instagram, or facebook! 🙂 All links at the top of the page!

Yields 12-14 cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

Save Recipe


    Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot coffee (chocolate, espresso, or plain is best)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2-3 drops peppermint extract
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-tin cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine cocoa and hot coffee together, stirring until smooth; set aside.
  3. Beat butter with a standing mixer or hand mixer until creamy and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add in sugar, beating 4-5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears.
  4. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder.
  5. Alternately mix the coffee/cocoa mixture and flour mixture with the butter batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
  6. Add in vanilla extract, milk, and sour cream. Mix until just combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups (the batter makes 12-14).
  8. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake, as chocolate cupcakes can get very dry if overbaked.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. For the frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in cocoa powder and 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add in heavy cream, a pinch of salt (salt brings out the chocolate flavor), and the peppermint extract (peppermint is a strong flavor so use sparingly, testing after each drop).
  11. If the frosting seems too thin, add in the other cup of powdered sugar. If it seems too thick, add in more heavy cream.
  12. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food



Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes | A Latte Food


    • Michelle says:

      Hi, Sara! You can totally use boxed cake mix if you want to! You can follow the box directions and then top it with the homemade frosting recipe, or, if you want to jazz the boxed mix up a bit, you can substitute brewed coffee for the water (I promise, the cake won’t taste like coffee–it just makes the chocolate flavor richer 🙂 ), add 1 tablespoon of sour cream for richness, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Hope that all helps! 🙂

  1. Nora @ Savory Nothings says:

    Ok. 1) Don’t even remind me of how close Christmas is. Apart from getting presents for myself I’m at zero. Z.E.R.O. 2) I’m supposed to lose weight with full-time breastfeeding and after being pregnant but Christmas treats are making this REALLY hard. 3) Peppermint + chocolate = love forever. These cupcakes look GOOD!

  2. Amber Vaughan says:

    How essential is the espresso powder, since it calls for such a small amount? That’s not exactly an ingredient I can see myself using again, so I don’t really want to have to buy it. I’m a huge fan of dressing up a box cake mix. I was considering starting with a white/vanilla cake mix and using a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino (the kind in a bottle from the grocery store) in the place of the water and adding a little cocoa.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi, Amber! It’s not essential at all–I use it because the espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor. You could omit entirely, or replace it with instant coffee if you happened to have that on hand. I love dressing up cake mixes as well! What you’re thinking of doing sounds awesome, and if you try it, I would love to know how it turns out! 🙂

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