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 Bakers Royale 21

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.

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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



  • 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



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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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

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

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

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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?

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTonni says

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

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      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.

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!

  7. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

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

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

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

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

  8. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonEla says

    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.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

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

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

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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 😉

  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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… in love with these :0)

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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?

  13. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonmaureen says

    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?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      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.

  14. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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 :)

  15. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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!!

  16. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonCassaundra says

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

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

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

      Cassundra-I used solid chocolate.

  17. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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.

  18. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMichelle says

    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?

  19. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    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:

  20. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonsherry butcher says

    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.

  21. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJelli says

    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.

  22. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonNatacha Madrigal says

    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.

  23. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonkim says

    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!:)

  24. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonStephanie Merrit says

    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.

  25. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJoanne T Ferguson says

    WOW and your photo caught me right away! I love the combination and great recipe!