If you love the combination of chocolate and mint, this recipe is for you. Soft, tender chocolate cupcakes topped with mint buttercream, these Chocolate Mint Cupcakes are the best dessert after a hearty meal. You can pile the mint buttercream on anything else, too!
I crated this recipe because of my husband's love of mint. We have discussed his preference for mint jelly on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, haven't we? It's vile, in my opinion, but I can get behind a mint buttercream.
The chocolate cupcakes are my eggless chocolate cupcakes, but please know that I reach for this recipe so much because it makes perfectly soft, tender and rich chocolatey cupcakes. The fact that this chocolate mint cupcakes recipe doesn't contain eggs isn't a factor here, though, you can find all of my eggless recipes here, if that's important to you.
Anyway, the mint buttercream here contains the perfect amount of mint, in perfect balance to the sweetness so it definitely doesn't taste like toothpaste. The small amount of green food coloring is optional, but so pretty! If you like mint, try my mint chocolate chip cookies made with fresh mint!
- All-Purpose Flour. Regular, all-purpose flour that has been fluffed lightly, scooped into a measuring cup and leveled.
- Cocoa Powder. Plain, unsweetened cocoa powder; do not use Dutch process or hot chocolate powder for these chocolate mint cupcakes.
- Baking Soda.
- Baking Powder.
- Instant Espresso Powder. You can use the same amount of instant coffee granulates if you don't have instant espresso powder. However, please note that this doesn't make the cupcakes taste like coffee, it just heightens the flavor of the cocoa powder.
- Buttermilk. Use ⅓ cup of buttermilk, or ⅓ cup milk with ½ teaspoon of vinegar added.
- Oil. Use a neutral oil without flavor, like vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Vanilla Extract.
- Brown Sugar. Dark or light brown sugar work equally well.
- Powdered Sugar. This is for the mint buttercream.
- Butter. Unsalted butter is best for baking.
- Heavy Cream. A small splash of heavy whipping cream is what makes buttercream frosting so fluffy and light. This is what I use in my whipped cream cream cheese frosting recipe, and it's so good.
- Peppermint Extract. Please, be sure to buy peppermint extract, not spearmint extract. Peppermint extract is subtly sweet and balanced. Spearmint extract is what we most commonly associate with toothpaste--just don't do it!
- Green Food Coloring. Dyeing the frosting a pale green tells our eyes the frosting is mint flavored, and a fresh mint leaf on top looks nice, too!
How to Make Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
First, gather all ingredients for the cupcakes: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla and brown sugar.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and instant espresso powder in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.
Next, combine the wet ingredients: the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla and brown sugar. Whisk vigorously to really break up all of the brown sugar, and ensure no lumps remain.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and stir very well to combine. Divide the chocolate mint cupcakes batter between the cupcake liners. Yes, this recipe only makes 4 cupcakes, but you can easily double or triple to make as many as you need.
Finally, make the mint buttercream by adding the powdered sugar, softened butter, heavy cream, peppermint extract and 3 drops of green food coloring. Beat with an electric mixer until the frosting is super light and fluffy. You can add more green food coloring if you really want it to look like mint chocolate chip cream, like in my baked mint chip donuts.
Equipment to Make This Recipe
- Hand Mixer - While you simply need a whisk to make the cupcake part of the chocolate mint cupcakes recipe, you really need a hand mixer to make the mint frosting. It just won't get fluffy when whipped by hand only.
- Cupcake Pan - Here is a cute cupcake pan that only has 6 spaces.
- Cupcake Liners - These are plain white cupcake liners. They can also be used for muffins!
How to Store Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
Because these chocolate mint cupcakes have buttercream made with fresh dairy, they need to be stored in the fridge until use. Pipe on the buttercream, and then place them in an airtight container to refrigerate for up to 2 days. However, before serving, remove them from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature to soften slightly. Because these cupcakes are made with oil, not butter, they will not harden when stored in the fridge.
For the cupcakes:
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 4 teaspoons canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line 4 cups in a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and instant espresso powder.
- In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vanilla, brown sugar and buttermilk. Stir well to dissolve brown sugar.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide the batter between the 4 cupcake liners and bake for 14-17 minutes, or until done. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the powdered sugar, butter, cream, peppermint extract and food coloring. Beat very well until fluffy. Frost cupcakes and serve.
Make-Ahead/ Storage: You can make these cupcakes up to 2 days ahead of time, as long as you place them in an air-tight storage container. Pipe on the mint buttercream, and then cover and refrigerate. However, before serving, remove them from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g