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Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Frosting

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes! Rich, extra moist, and ultra-chocolatey cupcakes get a peppermint-flavored upgrade thanks to Andes mint baking chips and homemade peppermint frosting. These festive cupcakes are guaranteed to be a hit this holiday season!

close up of a chocolate cupcake in a cupcake liner with peppermint candies on it with frosting and crushed peppermint on top

If mint chip ice cream or thin mint Girl Scout Cookies are your jam, you MUST make these mint chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting. These cupcakes showcase layer after layer of decadent chocolate with vibrant peppermint flavor.

Trust me when I say these mint chocolate cupcakes are worth the sugar splurge. They showcase a surprise ingredient, Andes mint baking chips, baked directly into the batter. As a result, the cupcakes are extra chocolatey with morsels of minty crunch in every bite.

The homemade peppermint buttercream and candy cane topping, however, make these mint chocolate cupcakes shine. The delicate bits of peppermint candies with the fluffy peppermint frosting perfectly pair with the extra moist and minty chocolate cupcakes!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The cupcake batter comes together in one mixing bowl, making clean-up a breeze!
  • The texture is flawless. The cupcakes are soft and tender, while the frosting is nothing short of fluffy buttercream bliss.
  • These are THE cupcake for the holidays, including Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.
  • What’s not to love about cupcakes with Andes mints in every bite?

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients to make mint chocolate cupcakes measured out on a counter
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour – AP flour absorbs the wet ingredients to create a thin cupcake batter that bakes into cupcakes with a moist crumb.
  • Sugar – Sweetens and improves consistency.
  • Cocoa powder – Cocoa is responsible for the amazing dark chocolate flavor. I recommend Hershey’s cocoa powder or a combination of unsweetened cocoa powder and Dutch process cocoa.
  • Dry baking essentials – Baking powder, baking soda, and salt each play a role in the batter expanding and rising nicely into a soft and stout cupcake.
  • Eggs – Add moisture, flavor, and the protein needed to strengthen the batter, so the cupcakes do not fall apart.
  • Whole milk – Helps make a thin yet cohesive batter. I have only tested this with whole milk, so I cannot say for sure if it works as well with a dairy-free milk alternative.
  • Oil – Like grapeseed or canola keeps the cupcakes moist as they bake.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds extra rich, cream-like flavors—the better quality of the vanilla, the better tasting the cupcakes.
  • Peppermint extract – I’m calling these cupcakes mint chocolate cupcakes, but there are several flavors within the mint plant family to choose from. You can substitute peppermint extract for spearmint extract or any other mint extract.
  • Boiling water – It reacts with the dry leaveners and helps the cupcakes rise.
  • Andes baking chips – Andes peppermint crunch or creme de menthe chips work great here. They make the cupcakes extra minty, creamy, and delicious.
  • Mint buttercream frosting – The icing is a fuss-free vanilla buttercream made with softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, whole milk, and heavy cream. A dash of peppermint adds the minty flavor.
  • Garnish – Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies enhance the holiday aesthetic but feel free to switch up the decorative toppings with other goodies.
Mint buttercream frosting ingredients measured out on a counter

How To Make Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint

collage photo of the steps to make mint chocolate cupcakes- mixing the batter, poured into muffin tins, and fresh from the oven

Step 1: Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Step 2: Make cupcake batter. Add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and whisk to combine. Then, add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Finally, stir in the boiling water until just mixed.

Step 3: Pour batter and bake. Pour the batter into the lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Then distribute the baking chips evenly between each cup, using a toothpick to swirl the baking chips gently into the center of the batter. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

swirling the mint chocolate candies into the cupcake batter with a toothpick

Step 4: Cool. After baking, let the cupcakes stand in the tin for 5 minutes. Then, remove and set them on a wire rack to finish cooling.

mint chocolate cupcakes cooling on a cooling rack

How To Make Mint Buttercream Frosting

Step 1: Whip butter. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until light and fluffy.

whipped butter in a mixing bowl

Step 2: Blend in extracts and sugar. Add vanilla extract, peppermint extract, & 2 cups of powdered sugar, and whip until creamy.

Step 3: Incorporate the remaining ingredients. Blend in 2 tablespoons of whole milk, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and another 2 cups of powdered sugar until creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the remaining milk, cream, and powdered sugar and whip until the frosting is smooth and holds its shape.

mint buttercream frosting in a stand mixer

Step 4: Decorate. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with your favorite decorating tip and pipe the frosting onto each cupcake. Garnish with crushed candy cane pieces, and enjoy!

using a piping bag to decorate cupcakes with frosting

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t forget to set the eggs and butter out at from temperature before getting started so they blend in better with the dry ingredients.
  • This is a thin cupcake batter, so don’t be alarmed and overmix. Once it’s combined, leave it be, and it will rise beautifully.
  • Be careful not to overbake, or the cupcakes will become dry and crumbly instead of soft and tender. When they’re finished, the center where the baking chips are will appear slightly underbaked -this is okay!
  • If you aren’t planning to serve immediately, hold off on the crushed peppermint topping until immediately serving, as it tends to sink into the frosting.
chocolate cupcakes on a white snowflake platter with peppermint sprinkled around them

Variations

The base mint chocolate cupcake and peppermint frosting recipes are perfect, so I don’t suggest deviating too far from those recipes, but you can switch up the mix-ins and toppings!

  • Mix-ins – If you can’t find the Andes peppermint crunch baking chips or Andes creme de menthe baking chips, you can use mini chocolate chips, chopped Junior Mints, or crushed mint-flavored Oreos.
  • Toppings – Instead of garnishing the cupcakes with crushed peppermint candies, sprinkle chocolate shavings, chocolate sprinkles, or mini chocolate chips over the top. If you’re feeling extra fancy, garnish each cupcake with a thin mint cookie, peppermint patty, mint chocolate square, or other minty chocolate sweets.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: If you have extra peppermint cupcakes, lucky you! If stored properly, they’re even more delicious the next day. Place the cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container tall enough not to smush the frosting, and keep the container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing: If you’d like a headstart on your holiday baking, unfrosted peppermint cupcakes freeze like a dream. Wrap the cupcakes individually in a tight layer of plastic wrap, and freeze them in a sealed container for 2-3 months. Before serving, let thaw in the fridge, then decorate with freshly whipped peppermint buttercream.

side view of dark chocolate cupcakes with swirled frosting and crushed candy canes on top

Recipe FAQ

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

It makes 2 dozen frosted cupcakes.

How do I make green mint-flavored frosting?

The easiest way to make mint frosting green is by folding in 2-3 drops of green food coloring, adding more as needed to achieve your desired shade of green. If you can find green mint extract, that works too, but it’s potent, so be careful not to add too much.

Can you bake candy in the middle of cupcakes?

Yes, small candies can be mixed into the center of the unbaked cupcakes for a sugary sweet surprise and added texture.

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mint chocolate cupcakes on a platter frosted with mint candies on top
close up of a chocolate cupcake in a cupcake liner with peppermint candies on it with frosting and crushed peppermint on top

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Frosting

Rich, extra moist, and ultra-chocolatey cupcakes get a peppermint-flavored upgrade thanks to Andes mint baking chips and homemade peppermint frosting.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Amee

Equipment

  • 2 muffin tins

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil you can also use canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup Andes peppermint baking chips or Andes creme de menthe baking chips
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3-4 tbsp whole milk
  • 3-4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy cane pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except boiling water and chocolates and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in boiling water until mixed then pour into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full (this batter is thin, so don't be alarmed).
  • Sprinkle peppermint baking chips, evenly, onto the batter in each liner and swirl with a toothpick to mix in.
  • Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (the center where the chocolate is will look a little wet, this is ok)
  • Cool completely on wire racks before frosting
  • To make frosting:
  • Whip softened butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add vanilla, peppermint extract and 1/3 of the powdered sugar
  • Blend until creamy, then add half of the milk and cream and another third of the powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl occasionally
  • Add the remaining milk and cream and sugar and blend until smooth, creamy and spreadable
  • Frost cupcakes using your favorite decorating tip and sprinkle with crushed peppermint

Notes

  • Don’t forget to set the eggs and butter out at from temperature before getting started so they blend in better with the dry ingredients.
  • This is a thin cupcake batter, so don’t be alarmed and overmix. Once it’s combined, leave it be, and it will rise beautifully.
  • Be careful not to overbake, or the cupcakes will become dry and crumbly instead of soft and tender. When they’re finished, the center where the baking chips are will appear slightly underbaked -this is okay!
  • If you aren’t planning to serve immediately, hold off on the crushed peppermint topping until immediately serving, as it tends to sink into the frosting.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
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Amee Livingston
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20 Comments

  1. You know I love cupcakes every which way and your recipe sure is one to try. The addition of a truffle to the centre makes my mouth water. You are such a tease and thank you for introducing me to so many new pages xoxo

  2. What a cool concept, I love this! Such a unique idea! I hear you- sometimes it’s about that dietary sanity and it makes all the stars align. Hey- balance and moderation is where it’s at! I love to splurge on this heavenly peanut butter chocolate cake from the bakery that made our wedding cake. I simple swapped it once, it just wasn’t the same lol!

  3. I’m drooling over these cupcakes. So perfect for Christmas. The only sweet I make for Christmas is a fruit cake. But that will change with these cupcakes.

  4. For the past few years we’ve enjoyed making sugar cookies with crushed candy-cane and drizzed melted chocolate chips on top 🙂

  5. I was so excited to try this recipe for a new flavor profile I had yet to do with cupcakes! Unfortunately, I’m not sure what happened but I followed directions to the T and somehow the Lindt truffles all sunk and melted on the bottom creating a hard crunchy glob that stuck to the cupcake liners. The frosting however, turned out wonderful! Would use this recipe again but would make a few tweaks. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alexandra! Yes, the chocolates do melt, but I loved how super moist it made the cupcakes. You could definitely leave those out. 🙂 Glad you loved the frosting!

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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