Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Print Recipe Jump to Recipe

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to focus ALL of my attention (instead of just 75% of it) on Christmas! It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all. To get you in the Christmas baking spirit, I’m sharing this recipe for chocolate peppermint cupcakes.

Doesn’t that swirl just make you SWOON? 🍥 It’s easier to get than you might think. And that peppermint frosting? It just screams Christmas!

How to make peppermint swirl frosting:

To achieve this beautiful swirl, place a large round piping tip like the Ateco 809 in your piping bag. Fold the piping bag down as far as you can. You can fold it down over your hand or over a tall glass. As long as you can get a paint brush down to the tip of the bag.

Grab a paintbrush that is about 1/4″ thick. Dip the paintbrush into red gel food coloring (I use AmeriColor super red). Carefully run the food coloring from the tip of the inside of the piping bag up about 8-10″, trying to keep a straight line. Repeat this three more times, equal distances apart, so you end up with 4 red lines.

Now, use a spatula to carefully fill the piping bag with peppermint buttercream. Don’t fill the bag more than half way.

Grab the bag where the buttercream ends and twist a few times. Pinch the twisted section between the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand. Using your other hand, just barely touch the bag toward the tip to help guide while you pipe the buttercream on.

Starting in the middle of the cupcake and about 1/2″ above the cupcake, hold the piping bag at a 90° angle. Using your dominant hand, squeeze the bag. As soon as the buttercream touches the cupcake, start moving the piping bag in a clockwise motion, moving toward the outer edge of the cupcake as you go around. You should constantly be squeezing the bag. When you’ve covered the whole cupcake, bring the piping tip back to the center of the cupcake and release your squeeze on the bag at the same time you pull up on the bag.

Place a mini peppermint candy cane in the center. Voila!

Happy Baking!


Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Recipe by Amanda Innes-ShareefCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • All Purpose Flour 240g
    (1 1/2 cups)

  • Sugar 300g
    (1 1/2 cups)

  • Dark cocoa 85g
    (3/4 cup)

  • Espresso Powder 1 tsp

  • Baking Soda 1 1/2 tsp

  • Baking Powder 1 tsp

  • Salt 1 tsp

  • Buttermilk 200g
    (3/4 cup)

  • Vegetable Oil 95g
    (1/2 cup)

  • 2 Eggs

  • Hot Coffee 170g
    (3/4 cup)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake tins with grease-proof cupcake liners.
  • Add dry ingredients to medium sized mixing bowl and whisk to ensure all ingredients are combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, buttermilk and eggs.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
  • Add HOT coffee and mix again just until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • Make sure all of your wet ingredients are room temperature. I like to leave my eggs out overnight and I microwave my buttermilk for about 30-45 seconds before using.
  • I use dark cocoa because I prefer a deeper chocolate flavor. Feel free to substitute a lighter cocoa if you wish.

peppermint buttercream Ingredients

  • Butter 226g
    (1 cup)

  • Powdered Sugar 475g
    (3 1/2 cups)

  • Half and Half 4-5 Tbsp

  • Peppermint Extract 1/2 tsp

peppermint buttercream Directions

  • Put cool, but not cold, butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium until butter is smooth.
  • Add one third of the powdered sugar and mix on low until ingredients are combined.
  • Add another third of the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add 1-2 Tbsp of half and half. Turn mixer up to medium speed and mix for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the last of the powdered sugar. Mix on low until ingredients come together. Add 1-2 more Tbsp of half and half, then mix on high speed for 12-15 minutes until buttercream is light and fluffy and pale in color.
  • Add peppermint extract and beat until combined.
  • With a spatula, mix by hand for a minute to release some of the air bubbles.
  • If your buttercream is still stiff after 15 minutes of beating, add 1 more tablespoon of half and half and beat again for 2-3 minutes.