Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Make your Starbucks Peppermint Mocha richer, better and in a cupcake form. Yes, I went there and I’m betting you will too. It’s hard to beat a moist chocolate espresso cupcake with chopped bits of Andes Peppermint bits throughout for a bite of coffee and peppermint in one. To top it all is a soft mousse-like Swiss meringue buttercream infused with some peppermint. Then of course I went my usual cupcake carving way and finished it loudly with some chocolate drizzle and more chopped Andes and a peppermint candy on top.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Call me crazy, but I absolutely love and aniticipate the annual return of Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha with the same fervor of a McRib fanboy. The annual re-introduction of them triggers all things holiday in me – you know all the jolly things that makes your belly jiggle from over indulgence and your face smile with delight.

So when I saw Andes Peppermint Patties in Target the other day, I knew exactly what I was making with them first. Behold a decadent cupcake stacked high and wide with lots of goodness.

Think of it as a way to condition your stomach for the holiday food fest to come. That’s what we did.

A few notes:

  • I used Alice Medrich’s chocolate cupcake recipe for the base then added espresso and peppermint extract to create a peppermint mocha profile.
  • Feel free to switch out the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting to a more traditional one that does not require the cooking of egg whites. I, however, prefer SMB for its light mousse like texture.
  • If you aren’t able to find peppermint Andes, use regular candy cane and crush it to a fine grind with either a rolling pin or a meat pounder.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line  wells of cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Chocolate cupcake recipe adapted from Alice Medrich for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  teaspoon  peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon  instant coffee (recommended: Starbucks Via)
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup chopped peppermint Andes

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 11/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Chocolate Pouring Sauce:

  • 2/3 cups dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-5 tablespoons water, warm

Instructions:

Cupcakes:

1. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add half of the  coffee into the mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add remaining coffee. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. Fold in chopped Andes. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them.

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium  high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes).
  3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
  4. Add salt and peppermint extract and mix to combine.

Chocolate Pouring Sauce:

  1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine.
  3. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached.
  4. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.

To Assemble Cupcake:

  1. Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Freeze frosted cupcakes for ten minutes.  Drizzle chocolate pouring sauce over frosting (reheat chocolate pour in microwave as needed to keep pouring consistency).  Sprinkle chopped peppermint Andes on chocolate sauce. Finish with a peppermint candy on top.
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64 Responses to “Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes”

  1. #
    1
    Miriam @ Overtime Cook — November 14, 2011 @ 4:31 am

    These are absolutely gorgeous! The colors and flavors look and sound phenomenal.

    Reply

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    sara — November 14, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    Amazing! These cupcakes look SO delicious and totally perfect for the holidays. :)

    Reply

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    Nadine — November 14, 2011 @ 5:15 am

    Insanely great and better than a Starbucks mocha!

    Reply

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    nicole {sweet peony} — November 14, 2011 @ 5:29 am

    peppermint mochas are my absolute favorite at starbucks & i’ve been planning on making one into a cupcake. yours look gorgeous & totally delicious! can i ask what size tip you used to frost yours? they look like perfect clouds!

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 5:31 am

      Hi Nicole-Thank you! I used Wilton’s 1M.

      Reply

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    Anna — November 14, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    Wow! This is a Christmas treat in liners. How I anticipate the holiday season for these types of goodies! I would definitely try this. Peppermint really goes well with choco and caffeine, dont you think so too?

    Reply

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    athena — November 14, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    Peppermint mochas are my all-time fave drink from SB… love them so much I get them off-season too. These cupcakes are brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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    Tonni — November 14, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    These look so good. I can’t wait to make them! Q: For the cupcakes, when do you add the instant coffee?

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

      Tonni-Add the instant coffee after the butter and egg addition-that is along with the hot coffee.

      Reply

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    Krissy's Creations — November 14, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Wow!! These look incredible! I LOVE seeing Christmas colors & flavors already… Gets me in the Holiday spirit :). I think these will have to make their way onto my holiday dessert table!

    Reply

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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — November 14, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    omg i love these! Fabulous job as always

    Reply

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    Kara@butterheartssugar — November 14, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    I look forward to starbucks Christmas coffees each year, just today I tried the toffee-nut flavour. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have to indulge in the mint one and will definitely have to try these cupcakes! They look amazing!

    Reply

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    Jessica @ How Sweet — November 14, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    These are absolutely fabulous! Just love them.

    Reply

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    purabi naha — November 14, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    The cupcakes look delishh! What an interesting photography! Loved everything about your blog. http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

    Reply

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    Urvashee — November 14, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    Always amazing Naomi. I’m a big fan of the peppermint mocha too! Love the accent peppermint candy matching the cupcake wrapper.

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

      Ah, thanks Urvashee-I think you are an incredible baker yourself. :)

      Reply

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    Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} — November 14, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    I have to agree, Starbucks Peppermint Mocha is AH-mazing. It’s just not winter without it!

    These cupcakes look and sound fabulous as well, I definitely wouldn’t argue with eating one of these while sipping on a Starby’s mocha :)

    Reply

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    Michelle — November 14, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    Oh, be still, my heart. These are making me swoon.

    Reply

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    Ela — November 14, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    I always read dark chocolate in recipes but I don’t know if it’s the unsweetened or semisweet chocolate. What exactly is dark chocolate? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

      Ela-Dark chocolate is generally anything 60% cacao and above.

      Reply

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    Becca — November 14, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    OH. MY. GOD. enough said!

    Reply

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 14, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    the drizzle is luring me in!

    Reply

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    Brooke (Baking with Basil) — November 14, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    I saw your sneak peek on Facebook last night and as I was typing your address into my browser I was saying to myself, “I hope, I hope, I hope she posted those cupcakes!”

    Huge Starbucks Peppermint Mocha fan as well and your cupcakes are gorgeous! I would devour these!

    Reply

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    Beth Michelle — November 14, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    Wow, these are absolutely gorgeous!! Need them in my life!

    Reply

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    Ann P. — November 14, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    I get peppermint mochas ALL year round, that is how much I love them :) Now that I can make them in cupcake form just increases my obsession! you are an enabler, you are ;)

    Reply

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    Angela Norlen — November 15, 2011 @ 12:30 am

    These are absolutely adorable! Can’t wait for Christmas!

    Reply

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    Mighty Morgan — November 15, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    I love, love, love these….not only for the amazing flavor combo you have going on, but also for the excitement and anticipation they evoke for the upcoming holiday season…..so in love with these :0)

    Reply

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — November 15, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    Towering infernos of peppermint cupckes! This goodness might put my daughter over the edge and I’ll be happy with the Starbucks alt. what do you suggest for high altitude baking? I was thinking to add another .5 oz of flour?

    Reply

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    maureen — November 15, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    You list instant coffee, as well as hot coffee. Does that mean that the instant coffee is used to make the hot coffee, or is the instant coffee added in, and then hot coffee is added in also?

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

      Hi Maureen-The instant coffee is used as dry granules and that is in addititon to the hot coffee. Thanks for asking-I’ve fixed the recipe to reflect this.

      Reply

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    Brian — November 15, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    What the what?!?!?! This is amazing! Looks awesome!

    Reply

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    Simran — November 15, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    That’s not crazy! Peppermint mocha is the best thing out in Starbucks. Except when I am having a caramel macchiato.

    But then, your cupcakes sure trump that mocha. Straight on to my to-bake list :)

    Reply

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    SweetSugarBelle — November 16, 2011 @ 2:08 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes and gorgeous PHOTOS!

    Reply

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    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — November 16, 2011 @ 3:59 am

    These are so pretty and that chocolate pouring sauce with the bits of peppermint! Wow, really outstanding.

    Reply

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    JulieD — November 16, 2011 @ 5:35 am

    Love these!! Wish I lived next door so I could taste test for you!

    Reply

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    TexasCupcake — November 17, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    Mouth watering recipe must to try immediately!!

    Reply

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    Fashion-isha — November 18, 2011 @ 3:20 am

    OMG I saw these on pinterest and just went crazy! I had my first starbucks peppermint mocha today and I’m in love with these cupcakes. I’m linking this post on my blog I love it so much!!
    xo
    Sharon

    Reply

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    Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats — November 20, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    These cupcakes look beautiful!

    Reply

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    Cassaundra — November 20, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    The chocolate syrup, will you be using powedered dark chocolate or the solid type?

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — November 22nd, 2011 @ 4:34 am

      Cassundra-I used solid chocolate.

      Reply

  35. #
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    Jackie — November 21, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    Those cupcakes are almost…..almost….to pretty to eat. Chocolate and peppermint, is there a better combination of flavors? No. I must find these Andes Peppermints.

    Reply

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    Michelle — December 1, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

    Hey Naomi! Four sticks of butter in the frosting?? I’ve never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream… how many cupcakes does that frost? Just the twelve for this recipe?

    Reply

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    Sourkraut — December 20, 2011 @ 4:37 am

    Ooh, I think I’ve bookmarked every single one of your drool-worthy holiday cupcakes but this is the first I’ve gotten around to making. Sort of. I changed things up a bit in that I lined the bottom of each cupcake with half of a mint Oreo and filled each with an Oreo truffle. But the cake recipe you used is divine! The perfect texture and full of chocolately goodness. I was in cake batter heaven when I was licking the bowl clean waiting for the cupcakes to finish baking. Can’t wait to try your other recipes as well!

    My version’s here, if you’re curious:
    http://sourkrautkrafts.blogspot.com/2011/12/mint-oreo-mocha-cupcakes.html

    Reply

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    celebrity dresses are the latest craze1 — June 4, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, regards . “It requires more courage to suffer than to die.” by Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Reply

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    sherry butcher — October 14, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    wonderful, It’s like to make this soon, but I think I’ll have to wait until Halloween is over. Thanks for the instructions, look sooo good.

    Reply

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    Jelli — November 26, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    I just had a peppermint mocha at Starbucks yesterday! I love the drink and I know I’d fancy these cupcakes too. Pinning right now and I sure hope I find time to make them soon. Yum! Visiting from Blahnik Baker.

    Reply

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    Melisa — December 5, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    If I use a regular peppermint buttercream, will chocolate sauce melt it?

    Reply

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    Natacha Madrigal — December 6, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

    Making these tonight for my future sister-in-law’s birthday dinner tomorrow. Looking to to tasting them. I take it that I add the peppermint extract when adding the coffee? Recipe doesn’t say when to add the extract or the instant coffee.

    Reply

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    kim — December 15, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    These look perfect for the Christmas! Can any instant coffee be substituted for the Starbucks? Sounds like a dumb question, but Im wondering if Starbucks is a finer grind, or richer maybe…I went to the store for it yesterday and it was pretty expensive. Thanks!:)

    Reply

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    Stephanie Merrit — March 12, 2014 @ 4:43 am

    Since the eggs are cooked in the frosting is it ok to have this icing out and not refridgerated? I wanted to make these for a charity bake sale.

    Reply

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    Aqiyl Aniys — March 24, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    Your cupcakes are beautiful and the presentation is fabulous!

    Reply

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