Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
March 7th, 2019

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes are ultra moist and easy to make with tons of refreshing chocolate peppermint goodness. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Mint + chocolate = heaven.
Texture: The cupcake is super duper moist while the frosting is lusciously smooth.
Ease: The cupcake batter is very simple to whip up, as is the frosting. I think the hardest part was waiting for the cupcakes to cool so I could frost!
Pros: Fabulous dessert for any occasion. Would be especially great for St. Patty’s Day.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes.

Lately I’ve been craving the chocolate-mint flavor combination. Those flavors just seem to belong to each other. Plus I have such positive memories surrounding that specific flavor combination.

Chocolate mint cupcakes on a marble counter

I remember as a kid my family took a cruise vacation. Every night when we were done with our activities on the ship, we’d come back to our room and discover our towels were folded in the shape of various animals and there were chocolate mints left on our beds.

That was one of my favorite parts of that vacation. I guess I was easily impressed as a kid. Or maybe I’ve just always been obsessed with food!

One chocolate mint cupcake on marble counter

My memories of chocolate mint goodness also include selling Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies in my neighborhood, going door to door with my dad. There was one neighbor who loved the cookies so much she’s always buy an entire case, getting me closer to the coveted selling prize.

I wonder how much being a Girl Scout taught me about entrepreneurship now that Handle the Heat has been my full time business for years?! Kind of crazy to think about. All roads lead back to chocolate… and cookies.

Chocolate mint cupcake on a plate with a bite taken out

How to Make Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

The Chocolate

The cupcakes themselves use both bittersweet chocolate AND Dutch-process cocoa powder for as much chocolate flavor as possible.

Do I have to use Dutch Process Cocoa Powder?
Yes. Dutch-process cocoa actually works differently on a chemical level compared to regular natural cocoa. That’s why there’s vinegar in this recipe. You can learn more about the differences between cocoa powders here.

You can find Dutch process cocoa at many stores, such as Whole Foods, Sur la Table, and Williams-Sonoma. You can also order on Amazon. Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder should also work in this recipe, though the final cupcake color will be much darker than these photos.

Oil vs. Melted Butter

This recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of melted butter. Oil gives the palate the sensation of moistness because it’s liquid at room temperature (even though it has no water content!).

Be sure to use fresh vegetable oil. Give it a sniff before using it to make sure it doesn’t have any ‘off’ aroma. It also allows the chocolate mint flavor to shine through. Feel free to use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil if you’d prefer.

Peppermint Flavor

Be sure to use peppermint extract in both the batter and buttercream frosting. Do not use mint or spearmint extract unless you want your cupcakes to taste like toothpaste 😉

Buttercream Frosting

Feel free to adjust the amount of powdered sugar to cream until you get the consistency of frosting you prefer. If using food coloring, I much prefer gel coloring. It allows you to use just a small amount for an intense color. I like the Americolor brand the best, but Wilton gel food coloring should work too. Start small and add more as you blend.

Decorating Cupcakes!

Here’s the fun part! Feel free to get creative with piping tips and garnishes. Green sprinkles are what we chose. If you’re making these cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day, gold sprinkles, gold chocolate coins, or shamrock sprinkles would be perfect.

If you’re making these for Christmas, sprinkle with some crushed candy canes. You could even use one of my super simple techniques for swirling frosting to make red + white candy stripes with the buttercream.

For more flavor feel free to garnish with chocolate shavings, Andes mints, or even thin mint cookies.

Chocolate mint cupcake on a plate with a fork

More Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

How to make
Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Mint Chocolate Cupcakes are ultra moist and easy to make with tons of refreshing chocolate peppermint goodness. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas!

Ingredients

For the chocolate cupcakes

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (28 grams) Dutch-process cocoa (do not substitute)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (113 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream or full fat plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract*

For the mint frosting

  • 3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract* depending on desired intensity
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Green gel food coloring, if desired
  • 6 Sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or Andes mints, for garnish

Directions

Make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth then set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and peppermint extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the salt, peppermint extract, and cream and beat on medium for 1 minute, or until light and creamy, adding more cream if needed. Add in green gel food coloring, if desired, and beat until evenly colored.
  2. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto each cupcake. Decorate with desired garnish. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, or in the fridge for 3 days.

Recipe Notes

*Make sure to use peppermint extract and NOT mint or spearmint.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

This post was originally published in 2012 and recently updated with new photos, weight measurements, and recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Lovely cupcakes! I, too, am a big fan of chocolate and mint, and I could eat these all year round. 🙂

  2. #
    Deborah — August 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I love Andes mints, and know that I’d love these cupcakes!!

  3. #
    Bea — August 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

    They look delicious! *_*

  4. #
    Audrey — August 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    what’s the purpose of the boiling water?

    • #
      tessa — August 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      It makes the cake moist!

  5. #
    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy — August 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    my oh my those look SO good! i love the color too!

  6. #
    Spencer — August 19, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Looks absolutely delicious! I love a good cupcake and these look amazing. Love the frosting.

  7. #
    Jenny — August 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I bet they’re the perfect after-dinner treat. The mint-green icing looks really refreshing and amazing.

  8. #
    Tracey — August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Oooh, I’ve made this frosting too and it’s great! Can’t beat the chocolate/mint combo 🙂

  9. #
    majestic seo — August 29, 2012 at 4:59 am

    I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  10. #
    Eugie Gundy — October 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    This is my first time on your blog and WOW! I just tried this cupcake and I have to say say something. First off I should say the recipe was so easy! This is hands down the best cupcake I’ve ever made! They were so moist! Perfect amount of mint. Fabulous! Thank you for sharing. Now I have to explore all your recipes. 🙂

  11. #
    Sofie C. — November 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Made them last night for a colleague’s birthday and they were a HIT!!! I used cream cheese frosting instead since I was to serve them in the morning! Thank you, love them!

    • #
      Tessa — November 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

      So happy to hear that!

  12. #
    One-Legged Gingerbread Man — November 25, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Fabulous recipe! I love that it calls for cheaper vegetable oil and not butter, yet still tastes wonderful. My cake turned out moist but not too dense, and it wasn’t crumbly at all. I replaced the milk with an equal amount of Bailey’s Irish Cream and skipped the frosting, because it is already perfect on its own.

    Also, it keeps very well in the freezer! I just reheated a slice I baked a month ago and it’s almost as good as it was when it was still new.

    • #
      Tessa — November 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Wow great call with the Bailey’s Irish Cream. Sounds fantastic. I may have to do that next time! Good to know it keeps in the freezer, too.

  13. #
    Jasmine — December 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Will the frosting last over night?

    • #
      Tessa — December 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      It should be fine. You could store the cupcakes in the fridge and bring back to room temperature before serving too.

  14. #
    AmandaSmith — December 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

    How many does this recipe yield? I can’t wait to try them!

    • #
      Tessa — December 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      18 standard cupcakes

  15. #
    LBN — December 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    These were absolutely the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made, and I love to bake. They are almost fudgy when they are hot and amazing room temp too. Delicious. For people trying the recipe– the batter was much more liquid than I expected– so don’t be worried, that’s normal. Also, I used skim milk and that was fine too (in case anyone was wondering). The recipe made about 15 cupcakes for me. The frosting I thought was good but not mindblowing– I think I would omit the salt next time, perhaps. Honestly I could just eat these unfrosted they are that good. I skipped the Andes mints as I was just making these for myself to relax on a Friday night after a stressful week at work. 🙂 Just had one now (Sunday night) and they are still just as good, so they keep well too. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. #
    Katey — December 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Just finished making these! They are delicious. The cake is super moist and the frosting has just enough mint. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  17. #
    wholesale newera nfl 59fifty hats — April 24, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I’ve been visiting your blog for a while now and I always find a gem in your new posts.

  18. #
    grizelda.com.mk — May 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is usually a article that gies straight for the point , no fluff here . You should publish some far more about this !! Thank you and bookmarked!

  19. #
    sonaly — March 4, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE This is pure delight for your taste buds.

    CHERRY-MINT CHOCOLATE a burst of cherry zest

  20. #
    Laura — November 19, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I just made them and they are not looking any good 🙁 they are all out of their cupcake molds!
    I am wondering if the high altitude may affect them? I live same altitude as Denver.
    Thank you for any advice 🙂

  21. #
    MICHIKA — December 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    OMG these lookn so amazing i need to try it out!!

  22. #
    Charlotte — December 16, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Can you use this recipe to make a cake?

  23. #
    Lia — February 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Can I replace the heavy cream with something? If so, what?

  24. #
    Isabella — March 14, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I made these for my class and they LOVED them!!! Perfect and sooooo moist. And look at my cupcake blog at http://myfabcupcakes.blogspot.com

  25. #
    Katie Dinkelman — March 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    For some reason when I make the frosting it reminds me of toothpaste. Not just the smell but the flavor also. Is there something I amean doing wrong to make it taste and smell like this?

  26. #
    Shannon — May 5, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I just finished these and like other comments above it only yielded 15 cupcakes. The cupcakes are wonderful and moist! But the frosting is a different story it was much too thin and not impressive tasting. I would suggest a cream cheese frosting instead.

  27. #
    Greg — June 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Halfway through making this and pretty nervous about how thin the batter got after I added the water. Crossing fingers!

  28. #
    Greg — June 5, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Worries unfounded. They came out perfect

  29. #
    Amanda — June 18, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    My almost 3 year old son fell in love with mint chocolate chip ice cream and asked for mint chocolate chip cupcakes for his birthday party. Having never seen or eaten such a cupcake I didn’t even know were to begin! I’m so glad I found this recipe! These were amazing!! I got so many compliments on them at the party today! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • #
      Tessa — June 19, 2016 at 7:03 am

      That makes me so happy to hear, Amanda! 🙂

  30. #
    Maureen — July 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Can I use butter instead of vegatable oil? Is the ratio the same?

  31. #
    William — September 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Cake is good, frosting not so much. Too much salt and recipe barely yields enough for half the cupcakes.

  32. #
    Erica — December 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I am newer to baking from scratch, the flavor and texture is wonderful for the cake. I did run into issues with my frosting. It seemed to be way too liquid, when I put it on the cake is just slide off. Cupcakes where not hot. Did I not mix frosting long enough?

  33. #
    Rachael — December 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I just made these to bring into work tomorrow. The batch size gave me 14 cupcakes (whew just enough for my crew), but I will be making these again and doubling it! I made a few changes to the cupcake: did 50:50 vanilla and mint extract, so 1/2 tsp each, and instead of plain boiling water I did 1/2 cup HOT coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor and add a little acidity for the baking soda to fluff up the cake (I’m a chemist, what can I say). I didn’t use the frosting recipe, instead I did my own buttercream frosting with vanilla and mint. I think these will be a big hit! I like the chocolate cake better than other recipes I’ve tried, will definitely use it as a base for other flavors….mmm chocolate and orange.
    Thank for a great and easy cupcake recipe!

  34. #
    Dawn E Nehf — January 2, 2017 at 12:34 am

    okay I’m making these cupcakes right now and my batter came out really watery what am I doing wrong is it supposed to be like that? I’ve followed all the directions perfectly

  35. #
    Nana — January 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Ugggh, I’ve been trying to make these a million times, and I can’t ! They all get flat and ugly, and make a mess inside my oven. I’ve been baking for a while now, and this has never happened to me. I’m over these

  36. #
    Gabby — January 31, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Wow my favorite i love chocolate mint and i just made them now hmmmm yummy i love them thanks for the recipe

  37. #
    Kerry — February 9, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Can I use this batter for a cake instead?

  38. #
    raquelle — August 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

    They tasted amazing, however, they didn’t look too good- but that’s my fault. This is a great recipe.

  39. #
    Tori — August 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I had a few problems with this recipe: 1) Quantities. I don’t know in what universe this recipe would make 18 cupcakes and if it did, it’s a pretty scant amount of frosting for 18 cupcakes. 2) Mint to chocolate ratio in the cupcakes – the mint overpowered the chocolate. 3) Cupcakes didn’t rise very well, and I used brand-new baking powder and soda.

    Also, the frosting was quite stiff. I ended up using more cream than was called for. I also used spearmint/peppermint extract for the frosting and wish I had done the same for the cupcakes.

  40. #
    Kelly — December 23, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    I absolutely love this recipe! I messed up the measurements a little bit but both the cupcakes and icing still turned out amazing!

  41. #
    Rachel — March 15, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I was wondering if I can use canola oil instead of vegetable oil.

  42. #
    Micheal Jordan — July 3, 2019 at 5:57 am

    Wow, These cupcakes are just amazing they are looking so beautiful and mouthwatering. i have never seen such beautiful Cupcakes Before thanks for sharing such an great post. Such Beautiful Cupcakes also require unique and attractive packaging to enhance their beauty.

  43. #
    Cupcake Packaging — August 20, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Cupcakes are considered as the favorite dessert among the children and also among the adults. As cakes are the loving deserts of everyone and if you want to make it more delightful and eye-catchy you can pack them in unique and attractive cupcake boxes to enhance their beauty

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