Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

This week my husband asked if I could make some Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes for him to bring into work.   My husband’s co-workers are often the recipients of my baking trials and triumphs, and always seem more than happy to eat my “experiments”.   My husband doesn’t often put in special requests, so I was glad to cater to him and sent him to work today with a dozen Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes.  My husband’s work shift starts at 6am and he called me later in the morning to let me know the cupcake were gone by about 6:10am!  I guess that means they liked them  =)

The recipe is just a tiny variation of the Chocolate Cupcake and Cream Cheese Frosting recipes I’ve posted before, but I’ll add them here to save you a couple clicks.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)
1 cup boiling water

~ Directions ~
*Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
*In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
*Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
*Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
*Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
*Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes.
*Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 Tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (about 3/4 of a regular block of cream cheese)
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 to 3 Tablespoons heavy cream, heavy whipping cream (or milk- although I do like the richness that cream adds)

~ Directions ~
*Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
*Add powdered sugar (a little at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
*Add vanilla and peppermint extracts
*Slowly add the heavy cream, a little bit at a time until desired consistency is met. (Don’t add too much if you want the frosting to stay in place when piped on cupcakes.)
*Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
*Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)

To achieve the red stripe in the frosting:  Before filling a large piping bag with frosting, add some red gel food coloring to a toothpick, and draw two (vertical) lines with the red dye on the inside of the piping bag. Then carefully fill the piping bag with frosting.  Squeeze some frosting into a bowl until you begin to see the red stripe, then frost the cupcakes.

Top cupcakes with some crushed candy canes (they will “melt” after a bit, so they need to be served right away) or a small piece of peppermint bark (I used a little peppermint Andes candy).

Bring some of these into work, or send them in with your spouse, and see how popular you quickly become!

Happy Baking!


  1. These are so pretty! Funny – my husband never makes any special requests and normally takes what he can get but just today I received a, "Can you make me a dozen vegan cupcakes for an office potluck?"

  2. These are so pretty! My mouth is watering just looking at them!

  3. Why can't you be my neighbor? WHY! Oh the things we'd make (well, the cookies I would make to match the THINGS YOO WOULD MAKE, LOL!)

  4. sigh…can I come vacation in your kitchen????

  5. Absolutely love them. And I needed something to take to my sons next week. If I can only do them justice. Thanks

  6. it looks so yummy !

    I tried the chocolate cupcake recipe and its nice. thanks

  7. Just lovely, thank you for sharing I especially love the striping effect on the frosting, just like a peppermint candy!

  8. No wonder they went fast – they look delicious!! He has good taste.

  9. They look gorgeous and delicious – but 6am??? I guess they know Glorious Treats don't sit around very long. :) Way to go yet again!

  10. So yummy!! Thanks for sharing! I’ll try to make them this week!

  11. These look awesome! Thanks for the tip on the striped frosting!

  12. These sound so yummy. Your frosting looks exactly like a candy cane.

  13. I have to try this recipe! I love chocolate and peppermint! Yum!
    Love, Cecilia

  14. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that I just made these for Christmas Eve dinner! They turned out so cute and everyone loved them!

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Love the swirl! My kids will enjoy making this one since it's their first time to make a swirly cupcakes. LOL.

  16. Wow! they look delicious!
    I'm definitely gonna try your recipe!

  17. I love the combination of chocolate and peppermint. It always feel like heaven to me!

  18. Where does your husband work? I'll try to apply for a job there!

  19. Wow Those look amazing! Last Holiday season i tried to master a peppermint chocolate martini… but this looks even better. I am bookmarking this and linking to your page – can't wait to try!

  20. I made these and they didn't bake well at all – sunk in the middle – followed the recipe to the letter.

  21. The reason cupcakes sink in the middle is caused by overfilling. If there is too much batter, the cupcakes rise over the top but as there is no support, they collapse onto themselves. Next time, fill your liners only 1/2 full.

    That frosting looks incredible! I'm definitely giving it a go this weekend, thanks for the inspiration :)

  22. i made these (well, i used my own choc. cupcake recipe, but your frosting recipe) for someone this week and they loved them! thnx!! :)

  23. These are beautiful! Do you use liquid red food colouring or food colouring gel?


  24. Beautiful cupcakes. What does adding boiling water do versus room temperature water?

  25. Have you ever added peppermint extract instead of vanilla extract to your chocolate cupcake recipe – to make the cupcake peppermint flavored? If so, did it work? Or what are you thoughts about trying it?

  26. Those cupcakes look soooo cool & are very cute. Can't wait to try them out!

  27. These are stunning!I want to bring a tray of peppermint cupcakes to a party and needed to know how to do the swirl look. So glad you shared the instructions. About how much red gel? TY!

  28. Thanks, making these for my sons birthday tomorrow — I know he is going to love it!! He is crazy for anything peppermint

  29. Yum! That's the same chocolate cake recipe I use – It never fails!

  30. Love these! I was planning on making peppermint cupcakes for Christmas. I think this recipe is the winner!!

  31. Just made these tonight for work tomorrow and they are absolutely AMAZING!

  32. I am a baking disaster waiting to happen. But these were perfect. They came out just right which rarely happens w/a new baking recipe. I will probably make them WAY TOO MUCH now.

  33. I made your recipe for the Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes and was very dubious about the boiling water, but as you said, they turned out great! I added a peppermint patty to the batter and then pushed one into the icing. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Loved it!

  34. I saw these on Pinterest and made them yesterday. They turned out perfectly, though I was a little over-zealous with the frosting and only had enough for 20 cupcakes. They were some of the most moist, delicious cupcakes I've had!

  35. I was wondering…what do you think they would taste like if I substituted the vanilla extract in the batter for peppermint extract?? Would it be too much??

  36. These look so wonderful. I have a Christmas in July baking roundup today on my blog, and you’ve been featured as part of it. Your recipe is not posted, the link directs readers here. You can visit the post at

    Thanks for sharing – yum!!

  37. Is there a way that you could ice a cake with the swirled icing. When I frost I do one thin layer of icing then let that crust and then do another thick “ish” layer, and that is my top later. So if I did an all white bottom layer and then added the red color to the icing and did the second layer with the swirled icing, would that work? How would you add the color and would the colors mix together when you put it on the cake. And I always chill the cake because I make it the day or so before so it won’t go bad, would that mess it up at all. Thanks.

  38. Absolutely amazing! I want to try this since Christmas is coming up pretty fast. :)

  39. My sister and I made these. Filled the cups half way and put them in the oven. Within 5 minutes they overflowed and spilled every where in the oven. We bake all the time so we aren’t sure what happened. She has a convection oven so we were wondering if that may have been the problem? Should we adjust the baking powder and baking soda amount?

    • Yes, the convection oven is likely the problem. It cooks very differently than conventional ovens. If possible, can you turn off the convection feature? The additional air flow often over-powers the delicate structure of cupcakes, and blows them all around while they are trying to rise.

  40. I made these for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I added chopped peppermint Hershey kisses and it was wonderful :)

  41. These look great. Thanks for the tip on how to make the stripe!

  42. Just made the cupcakes (made a different mint frosting) and they were amazing! My first pan though was REALLY big and poofy. Filling the wrappers halfway instead of 2/3 worked better on the second batch.

    I also made a half batch where I subbed in 1 teaspoon of mint extract for one of the vanilla teaspoons. It added a really subtle mint taste. I’d try adding more next time because I like my mint to be strong.

    Definitely keeping this recipe.

  43. I made these yesterday for Sunday School treats today! I made them into mini cupcakes though (using my mini muffin pans and mini Christmas muffin papers) and used the Andes bagged peppermint candy crunch(in baking aisle by chocolate chips at holidays) for the topping. They were a BIG hit! I loved the idea to make the frosting swirled — hadn’t tried that before and it worked great. I refrigerated them overnight to keep the candies from “melting” into the frosting. I will definately be making them again for another holiday party or puhaps sending some to work with my husband too! Thanks so much!

  44. Glory, these are gorgeous! My hubby’s fave drink is the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, so I was thinking of trying this, but maybe using coffee instead of the boiling water. In your opinion, will that alter the consistency of the cakes? If so, how would you recommend infusing a mild coffee flavor into the chocolate cakes?

    • If you add regular coffee in place of the water, you will not taste the coffee at all. This is actually a good trick to boost the chocolate flavor, especially if you don’t have good quality cocoa powder on hand. If you actually want to taste the coffe flavor, I would recommend adding some pretty stong espresso (this could be made with instant espresso powder).

    • Ooh, just though of another option. You could bake the cupcakes as listed, then after they come out of the oven, poke a few holes in the tops (of the still warm cupcakes) with a toothpick. Then brush some strong coffee over the cupcakes, with a pastry brush. It will soak in and add just a bit of the flavor.

  45. Hi I have a bake sale I would love to make this for on wednesday the proceeds go to the childrens aid society. I was just curious if i bake them tuesday, and decorate them on tuesday night would that be fine for wednesday? should i keep them in the fridge ?

    thanks for your help

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  47. these cupcakes look great, so cute, and I’m sure that they are tasty too. No wonder that they were hit at work. I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

  48. I have been looking forever for a good chocolate cake recipe, and I tried this one – it was perfect! I always fill my liners 1/2 full, so I didn’t have any issues with sinkage and I look forward to actually being able to make chocolate cupcakes in the future! Thanks!!

  49. I was reading the other comments and saw the one about using coffee. Is the amount still 1 cup if using coffee, strong coffee or espresso?

  50. I don’t really understand how you got that frosting to look like that… If you wouldn’t mind going into a bit more detail that would be awesome. I am really looking forward to making these but I would like for the frosting to look just as good!

  51. I tried these last night and they came out soooo awesome and cute! For the icing, I placed my pastry bag into a tall thin glass and folded the bag over the sides of the glass. Then I used a toothpick and gel food coloring to draw 2 lines from the tip to the top. While the bag was still in the glass, I filled it halfway, then then unfolded the rest of the bag and filled the rest. Not sure that that makes sense reading it, but that worked really well for me. They came out perfect!

  52. This recipe for chocolate cupcakes was the best I have ever had. Thank you very much!

  53. These turned out amazing!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  54. I made these a few weeks ago a they were AMAZING! One question though. My brothervin law requests these fo his birthday , except he wants a cake instead off cupcakes. Do I prepare it the same way? And what about make time? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

  55. Just made these cupcakes- they are delicious! The were pretty easy to make and tasted great! The frosting was extremely light and the cake was sweet, but not too sweet. I had company over and everyone loved them. I decided to try something different and used mint extract in the frosting instead of the peppermint extract, and put crushed peppermints into the frosting. Everyone really loved it, but you have to make sure that the peppermints are extremely crushed up (I used a pan and crushed them with a glass.) Thanks so much for the amazing recipe! We loved it!

  56. Hello Glorious treats, I’m so in love with your blog and I just discovered it. I just need to ask a question though- will this recipe make a 9″ cake, as i’ve been searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe.
    Thank you xxx love your vanilla cupcake recipe, it’s just perfect!!! Will definitely try this!

  57. I have just finished making these and they are the bomb! I have been trying to master cupcakes for a while (try years) and have tried many many recipes…. But these are delicious! Thank you for giving my confidence a nice big boost, I now don’t feel so ashamed to serve cupcakes at family events or my kids birthday parties! I especially love the peppermint cream cheese frosting – my husband loved these and he is not a cupcake fan at all! Thanks again. Also, being in Australia I had to convert most of the measurement to metric and obviously did it right as they turned out ok.

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  59. Hi, Glory:

    Have you ever frozen this icing? I want to make the Hi Hat Cupcakes (as seen on but want to use creamcheese icing instead of marshmellow meringue (not a fan of marshmellow and especially not of meringue!). I’m assuming that, if the frosting is frozen before being dipped in the warm chocolate, it won’t totally melt. Before I try this, however, I’m wondering if the creamcheese would freeze and hold it’s piped shape. Any insights is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  60. Tried this recipe weeekend just gone but did it with a green colouring. They were deliciious and now have had several requests to make more. Yummy!!!! Yummy!!!!!

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  64. The red stripe makes these looks so delightful. Very creative! Pinned to my “Christmas Cravings” board.

  65. I saw these peppermint cupcakes and they look amazing. I want to try them for my family and if they turn out to try t hem for work. I love new recipes especially for Christmas. Puntrest in a great place for cool cooking, baking and decorating ideas.

  66. Beautiful cupcakes, and that frosting looks to die for! Chocolate and peppermint are essential flavors to get me in the holiday spirit.

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