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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

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I may not be a huge fan of Christmas music in November. Or Christmas merchandise hitting stores in October (ughhh). But there is one holiday tradition whose early arrival I always look forward to — peppermint mocha season!!! :)

I know, I know that coffee shops can mix these up year-round, but there’s something much more special about when it’s the featured drink of the season…and when they break out the cute red sprinkles and crushed peppermints to top them off. YUM!!

Somehow this week, though, it occurred to me that I’d somehow never thought of translating the mocha-pepperminty goodness into a cupcake form! So I found a mocha cupcake recipe (that called for coffee instead of espresso, since I don’t have a machine at home!), and added some peppermint cream cheese frosting on top (was a little skeptical about the cream cheese + peppermint combo, but loved it!)….and voila!!! Behold, my new favorite holiday cupcake.

From now on, peppermint mocha season will now be doubly delicious!!!

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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 -16 cupcakes 1x


Your favorite drink — turned into a delicious and simple cupcake! Detailed photos and recipe included.



Mocha Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 34 cups powdered sugar (depending on the thickness you’d like)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract


To Make Cupcakes:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners. (Or if using nut cups, as pictured above, lay them out on a cookie sheet.)
  2. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and brewed coffee.
  3. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. (Depending on how full you fill them, this recipe will make 12-16 cupcakes.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To Make Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and peppermint extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated. Use immediately or refrigerate. The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes.


Recipe adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake

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21 comments on “Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes”

  1. I love the color of those cupcakes!

  2. This is gorgeous!!! Sounds yummy, too. How perfect to take to holiday gatherings!

  3. Oh I will definitely be trying this little gem!!!!
    Great recipe, thank you so much for posting! :) I’ve been whipping up some holiday beverages, and this will go so well with it….

  4. I am with you on the peppermint mocha season! I won’t let anyone in my family play Christmas music before Thanksgiving.. but I will sneak by Starbucks to get a peppermint mocha in the pretty red cup! These cupcakes sound amazing. I think they may be one of my new favorite holiday treats!

  5. These look so great and it’s that time of the year. Peppermint Mocha time!! Thanks for posting this recipe, I will totally be making this cupcakes.

  6. I love the color of those!!! They look fantastic! I love peppermint flavored desserts :)

  7. Hello Ali!

    We’ve selected you as our Foodista Food Blog of the Day for this Thursday, December 3rd! Your blog for Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours. This is a new feature that we recently launched and are thrilled to post your blog.

    Since you are now a part of the Foodista Featured Blogger of The Day Community, we’ve created a special badge for you to display proudly on your blog sidebar. I couldn’t find your email on your blog to send you the access code for the special badge, but I want to make sure you get it if you are interested. Please send me an email and I’ll send it right away.
    We are really enjoying your blog and look forward to seeing your recipes, tips and techniques on Foodista! If you would not like to be recognized on Foodista please let me know and I will remove your blog from our queue.


    Melissa Peterman
    Editor and Community Developer for

  8. Hi Ali

    Yay! I just found your blog thru Elsie Blaha and i am so glad i did! I have just lost several hours of my life on your blog. I found these mini cupcakes and I want to make them with my young daughter. We have a bunch of nut cups and want to use those but ours are waxed- are yours?

  9. Hi Ali,

    I love your idea for a peppermint mocha cupcake!!! I too love this time of year for the very same reason…how can anyone resist a yummy chocolate mocha with some peppermint mixed in???…not me, that’s for sure! I can’t wait to try out your recipe…thanks.

  10. These look so delicious! Perfect for Christmas! Would you mind if I included it in my next round up for “Dear Mrs. Claus”? Here is an example: Sorry, I would have e-mailed you but I couldn’t find an email address. :)

  11. looks yummy…love to try it out..will tell u how it turns out

  12. Thanks so much for the recipe! I made these tonight and they tasted great! Very easy to make for someone like me, that doesn’t bake very often. I love the mocha muffins with or without the icing! Yum!

  13. These are adorable, Ali! Thanks so much for linking them up!

  14. They sure look delicious. I will search for peppermint extract and try this recipe. I have never worked with peppermint extract, and I was wondering: how did frosting become so perfectly red? Is it the peppermint extract or food color? I love it.

  15. Theses look absolutely wonderful. I’m sitting here drinking my Coffee-Mate peppermint flavored mocha right now reading this. And I’m totally addicted to the limited edition of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark chocolates. This was fate I tell you! lol. I’m definitely going to try this recipe.

  16. Mocha and Peppermint . . . you can’t go wrong with that combination! Can’t wait to try these . . . guess I know what I’m baking this afternoon! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Just made these! Yummy! Easy, too. Big hit with the kids. The peppermint flavor is stronger than the mocha, but still, I wouldn’t turn one down!

  18. OMG i love this recipe its so amazing!!!!!!!I love peppermint so this is a perfect desert for me!!!!!!!

    Thanks LOL

  19. I love the combo of mint and chocolate and spent about 30 minutes searching for the perfect recipe to bring to a work potluck tomorrow. I just made these and absolutely love them! I added a bit more peppermint to the frosting to make it mintier, but am very impressed with the moist cake! Thank you!

  20. Can you make this into a cake?

    • Hi Kimberly! Yes, you definitely can – you can use an 8-inch baking pan for this (square or round, whichever you have/prefer). Set your timer for 20 minutes to start, but you will probably need to bake this for about 30 minutes. We hope you enjoy!