Buttercream & Frosting, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Desserts, Holidays

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

December 21, 2011


You know when someone is coming over and you need to throw together an impressive dessert in not that much time?  What do you make?  Is it something easy and quick like bark, or a little bit more involved like cookies? 

My go-to semi-quick dessert is cupcakes.  I know what your probably thinking, “Cupcakes, really? That’s not quick.”  But it is to me, especially with my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe.  I know that the batter can be whipped up in 5 minutes.  And I know the cupcakes take about 20 minutes to bake.  I almost always have buttercream in the refrigerator, so I can have the cupcakes baked, cooled, and frosted within 40 minutes. 

Everyone likes cupcakes and they will be impressed that you have a delicious batch waiting for them.

And if you’re going to be making cupcakes, you might as well make these Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes.  It’s my favorite Chocolate Cake, topped with a Peppermint Buttercream.  It’s a simple cupcake that is made extra special and festive with a swirled red and white buttercream design to emulate a candy cane.

To make the swirled design it is actually pretty simple.  All you do is dye half of the buttercream red.  You place the red buttercream in a small piping bag and the remaining white buttercream in another small piping bag.  Place both of those bags in a larger piping fitted with your tip and then pipe the frosting as you normally would.  You just made a beautiful, festive, Christmas design with your normal basic buttercream.
I also just made these cupcakes in a mini version for our Christmas Party and they looked super adorable.


Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
For Printable Recipe, Click here! 
Makes: About 24 Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes 
2 cups Sugar

1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
¾ cup Cocoa Powder
1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder 
1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
½ cup Olive Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Boiling Water

Peppermint Buttercream

3 cups (6 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
6 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Peppermint Extract
1 teaspoon Red Food Coloring (Optional)

To make the cake, start by preheating the oven the 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cupcake pans with baking liners.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, olive oil, and vanilla.  With the mixer running on low, gradually add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the boiling water; mix until the batter is smooth.  The batter is supposed to be thin.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into a couple cupcakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream.  Cream the butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, about 5 minutes.  Add the confectioners sugar and salt and mix, gradually increasing in speed, until the sugar is fully incorporated.  Add the peppermint and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. 

To frost the cupcakes with the red and white swirl design, place half of the buttercream in a small bowl.  Tint half of the buttercream with the red food coloring, adding more if necessary.  Place the red buttercream in a small piping bag, without a tip, and place the remaining white buttercream in another small piping bag (also without a tip).  Place both piping bags, side-by-side, inside of a larger piping bag fitted with your favorite tip (I used an open star tip). 

Apply even pressure on the piping bag to pipe a swirl design on top the cupcakes. 

Serve and enjoy!

Cupcakes Last up to 1 week in a sealed container.

Recipe adapted from Annie Eats

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  • Julie @ Table for Two December 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    KRISSY. These are absolutely gorgeous. You’re so talented! I could never “throw together” cupcakes for someone coming over. They’d come over to a disaster in the kitchen. I haven’t made cupcakes with the frosting on top yet (honestly, I’m scared cause I’m sure it’ll look shitastic the first few times) but I’m willing to give it a shot someday. I wish you were nearby so you can give me lessons 🙂 chocolate peppermint is a great combo this time of year too, I love this! I just want to reach and grab one….darn!

  • Joanne December 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Peppermint and chocolate are my ultimate favorite winter flavor combination…and I love that swirled frosting look! These are gorgeous and I’m SURE as good as they look.

  • Melissa Maruca December 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    These were delish!
    The mini one’s were great too! I like the mini’s because they’re bite size 🙂 and bite size things are just CUTE!

  • Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} December 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    These are beautiful!  I’m not a huge fan of peppermint but this year I have absolutely loved the combination of peppermint and chocolate.  Who knew!?

  • Anna December 22, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Krissy, you always are an answer to my every baking need…=) I am just looking for the perfect recipe for my daughter’s visitors, a batch of 2-3 year olds and their parents. I am also keeping some of this buttercream icing for future use…Thanks a lot for posting!

  • Krissy's Creations December 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

    You would be great at throwing together cupcakes!  Give it a shot 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations December 22, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I’m right there with you — Peppermint and Chocolate are the best during Winter!

  • Krissy's Creations December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

    How exciting you started liking Peppermint!  You were missing out before 🙂

  • Krissy's Creations December 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Oh good!  So happy to hear 🙂

  • Purabi Naha December 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I loved this peppermint buttercream frosting. These cupcakes look delish!

  • Lolli_07 February 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    made these last night! absolutely beautiful! you recipes are now like a bible to me!!! thank you so much for sharing!!