Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

It may seem like any old boring Monday, but I’ve got something to put a smile on your face. Today I’m participating in a Holiday Treat Party hosted by Molly at CAKEfyi. Click over to her site and you’ll find tons of delicious holiday treats from a bunch of different blogs, plus a fun giveaway! Speaking of giveaways, today is the last day to enter my $50 Amazon gift card giveaway, so get on it if you haven’t yet!

I’m excited to share these cupcakes with you, because not only are they really good, but this was my first time making Swiss meringue buttercream. It takes a little more time, effort, and special equipment than regular American buttercream, but the results were well worth it. The frosting is like silky, fluffy clouds on top of the cupcakes, and it has just the right amount of peppermint. I garnished some with crushed candy canes but they’re delicious without them too.

You’ll need a candy thermometer and either a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make the frosting, and it is challenging. A lot of people end up with a soupy mess, but if you just keep beating it (this is where having a stand mixer really helps) it will come together.

The cake itself is very moist and has a rich chocolate peppermint flavor. The coffee enhances the chocolate, but it doesn’t make these taste like coffee at all, so don’t worry–they are definitely hot cocoa flavored!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes


  • Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes:
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1¾ plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line 2 cupcakes pans with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the milk, coffee, and peppermint extract.
  5. Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between until incorporated.
  6. Gradually add dry and liquid ingredients to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing in between each addition.
  7. Fill prepared cupcake pans 3/4 full with batter. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. To make the frosting:
  9. Place a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl and whisk frequently, until they reach 160°F.
  10. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form and mixture has cooled considerably (around 10 minutes).
  11. Reduce the speed to low and 2 tablespoons of butter at a time, mixing in between until incorporated. If the frosting becomes soupy or curdled, increase speed to medium-high for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth again.
  12. Add both extracts and stir until just combined.

10 Comments on Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

  1. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection
    December 10, 2012 at 6:46 am (10 years ago)

    These are too cute!! I love the idea of mimicking hot chocolate in recipes. I made hot chocolate cookies recently, but these are much cuter. Must give them a try!!
    Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection recently posted Cookie Dough Fudge

  2. Stacy @ Cupcake Crusaders
    December 10, 2012 at 6:58 am (10 years ago)

    This look great! I love swiss meringue buttercream, but have yet to make it. Maybe one day when I have a stand mixer. (I might need to try and convince my fellow crusaders, Jenn and Elisa, to make this with their stand mixers.) 🙂

  3. Molly Allen
    December 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm (10 years ago)

    Thanks so much for bringing these cupcakes to the “table” Stephanie!

  4. Michelle J
    December 11, 2012 at 9:02 am (10 years ago)

    How you tempt me with my favorite flavor combination!!

  5. sara
    December 23, 2012 at 6:24 am (10 years ago)

    So cute! These are perfectly dressed up for the holidays…they look so delicious! 🙂
    sara recently posted Lime and Ginger Cookies

  6. Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden
    December 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm (10 years ago)

    These cupcakes look great and very yummy, too.I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.
    Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden recently posted Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes


3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

  1. […] Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes from Stephanie of 52 Kitchen Adventures […]

  2. […] equipment to make them. I really wanted to make peppermint marshmallows (you know how much I love peppermint and chocolate together), but I wasn’t sure how the people on my list felt about peppermint. […]

  3. […] Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cupcakes // 52 Kitchen Adventures […]

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