Monday, December 8, 2014

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

My annual tradition to kick-off to the holiday season is getting a peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks.  Yes, I know they are available all year around, but it doesn't seem right having one mid-July.  I always indulge in this treat Thanksgiving weekend.  Something about the minty chocolatey-ness (yes, that's a word) brings the cozy feelings of the holidays.

When Colleen from The Redhead Baker announced her Cupcake Day event I knew that I wanted to make a cupcake version of my favorite holiday drink.  After one more "research trip" to Starbucks I got to work.

I scoured the internet to find a good recipe for the cupcakes and came across one on 2Teaspoons, then added my own spin on the icing with adding a mint whipped cream.  Most recipes I found had a buttercream or marshmallow frosting, but when you order a hot chocolate they always ask if you want whipped cream.  The appropriate answer, of course, is a hesitant "ok, just a little".  That way you feel like you're not going to blow a ton of calories and can pretend they actually write "just a little" and not just mark it to get a huge glob of deliciousness added on top.

I have to say, this is maybe one of my favorite things ever to come out of my kitchen.  I ended up with some mint whipped cream left over and could probably adjust the measurements so you'd wind up with less, however it's so delicious that I could eat it by the spoonful or put on top of a mug of actual hot chocolate, so why would I deny you that pleasure as well?!

This is going to be a permanent addition to my holiday baking.  I already have ideas to make mini cupcakes if we need a treat for any holiday parties.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupakes with Mint Whipped Cream Frosting (slightly adapted from 2Teaspoons)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup + 1 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp peppermint extract, divided
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, mix 1/2 cup milk and 1 tbsp white vinegar and let it sit for 5 min)
2 cups heavy cream

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl for 2 min, then stir to combine.  Add in the heaping tbsp of cocoa powder and stir.  Set aside to cool.
- In medium bowl, sift together remaining cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, which together eggs, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla and peppermint.  Once that is combined, whisk the butter/chocolate mixture in.  Stir in the buttermilk.
- Gradually (I used 1/4 cup at a time) add in the flour mixture, stirring to combine before each addition.  The batter will be the consistency of a thick chocolate pudding.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.  Divide batter evenly amongst the 12 liners.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, approx 18 minutes.
- Let cook completely before frosting.
- In a medium bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) whip heavy cream, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and 1/4 tsp peppermint extract until it becomes a stiff whipped cream.  ***I love to use the whisk attachment that came with my immersion blender, otherwise it makes for a really great arm workout!
- Once the whipped cream is set, fill a frosting bag with it and pipe it onto each cupcake.

Full list of Cupcake Day participants:


  1. That icing sounds like perfection!! These are definitely going on my MUST TRY soon list. :)

  2. i love peppermint hot cocoa too! it sounds great in cupcake form too :)

  3. Another beautiful flavor combination just perfect for cool weather.

  4. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing with #CupcakeDay.

  5. Wow, gorgeous combination of flavors, love your cupcakes!!

  6. I love peppermint hot chocolate. Turn them into a cupcake, and I am now in heaven! Looks amazing!

  7. Very cute and the icing sounds amazing. Happy cupcake day!

  8. Yum! Two of the most iconic flavors for the holidays — peppermint and hot chocolate. Perfect!

  9. Peppermint hot chocolate? Such a great combination- yummy!

  10. Haha! Love the use of the Starbucks stirrer in your photo.
    Funnily enough, I read your post while enjoying a cup of peppermint hot cocoa!