Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes


I am so excited, I have finally come up my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe!  I’ve tried so many chocolate cupcake recipes before and have never really found one I fully love.  They are too dense, too dry, too oily, or they have too much cocoa.  So, I decided to create my own recipe.  I love this chocolate cupcake.  I also love that these cupcakes are so fluffy and pretty, you take them out of the oven and they don’t sink down and flatten.  They hold their pretty, rounded top shape.   Another great thing about these is the simplicity of this chocolate cupcake.  You don’t have to melt chocolate or boil water.  You simply combine all the dry ingredients then add in the rest.  Bonus, it’s made from basic ingredients you probably always have on hand which is nice.  Of course if you are using this recipe for a basic chocolate cupcake (non-peppermint version) simply omit the peppermint extract and increase the vanilla to 1 tsp then top with your favorite frosting.

I love the combination of flavors in this peppermint chocolate cupcake version.  You get a peppermint chocolate cupcake, topped with milk chocolate ganache, piped with peppermint cream cheese frosting and it’s finished off with a sprinkling of crushed candy canes.  I wanted to eat every last one =).  If you are totally against cream cheese frosting you could also use a buttercream frosting in its place and it would be delicious as well.  When I was creating this recipe I was trying to decide between the two, cream cheese frosting or buttercream frosting.  I decided to go with the cream cheese because I wanted this to be a decadent, show stopping cupcake.  Cream cheese adds more decadence than the basic buttercream frosting would, also it adds another flavor that blends so perfectly with the chocolate and peppermint.  I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as I do =).  Have a very Merry Christmas!


Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 recipe Milk Chocolate Ganache , recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting , recipe follows
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candy canes
  • For the Milk Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream

For the Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 Tbsp salted butter , softened
  • 6 oz . cream cheese , softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in vegetable oil, milk, egg, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Stir in hot water, stir until well combined. Add in sour cream and mix until well blended. Fill paper lined muffin cups ¾ full and bake cupcakes in preheated oven for 17 – 19 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes in muffin pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  2. Once cupcakes are cool, spread about 1 teaspoon cooled milk chocolate ganache over each cupcake. Place cupcakes in a 13x9 inch baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill about 10 mintues while you make the peppermint cream cheese frosting.
  3. Pipe each chocolate ganache covered cupcake with peppermint cream cheese frosting and sprinkle cupcakes with crushed candy canes.

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache

  1. Combine milk chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave mixture on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Cool mixture in refrigerator for about 10 minutes (basically until it’s a spreadable not so drippy consistency).

For the Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, whip together butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extract. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until well combined and fluffy.


  • Angie’s Recipes: Beautiful peppermint cupcakes! Simply festive!
    Merry Christmas!
    Angie December 25, 2011 at 1:58am Reply

  • MyFudo™: I love that you aren’t using butter in your ganache, and no sugary syrup either. It is simply- deliciously-chocolatey! Will have to try this cupcake treat really soon…;) December 25, 2011 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Lisa: Those cupcakes look like they came out really moist and deliciously chocolatey. Add that to the peppermint, and mmmm. December 26, 2011 at 3:33pm Reply

  • pureglow*16: cute!!!!!! January 20, 2012 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Miami B: Did you use Dutch process cocoa or natural cocoa? March 5, 2012 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Miami B – I used natural cocoa. March 5, 2012 at 7:47pm Reply

  • Miami B: I just baked this last night and it turned out perfectly! I’m so happy I finally found a chocolate cupcake recipe that is soft and fluffy like they sell in the stores :) thank you! March 6, 2012 at 7:37am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Miami B – thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed and you’re welcome :)! March 6, 2012 at 8:59am Reply

  • Kristen: This looks like the most delicious cupcake I’ve ever seen, and I absolutely HAVE TO try it! August 26, 2012 at 5:36pm Reply

  • Vera Zecevic: Perfect Christmas idea for delicious dessert. I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

    November 27, 2012 at 3:50pm Reply

  • Tiffany: I was thinking of using dark chocolate ganache since I have the ingredients on hand. Do you think this would taste ok with this cupcake? Can’t wait to try them! :) November 28, 2012 at 6:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Tiffany – yes I think that would also be wonderful, it will make them just a little bit richer. Most people I think use dark chocolate when making ganache I’m just more of a milk chocolate person so that’s usually what I use but either option is great! I hope you love them! November 30, 2012 at 11:43am Reply

  • amyinautumn: Seriously. These cupcakes are the bomb. I made minis and they turned out PERFECT! The cutest, perfect, rounded tops and so moist and rich. For the minis, I baked them for 14 mins with a water bath below them (probably not necessary, but it retains the moisture and doesn’t hurt). I also only used 2 cups of the powdered sugar in the frosting instead of 3 and the it was plenty thick and sweet. Thank you for this recipe, it was JUST what I wanted, along with everyone at my ugly sweater party :D
    December 11, 2012 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you thought so =). Thanks so much for the comment! December 12, 2012 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Anonymous: I found this recipe on Pinterest so I just made it and these are amazing!!!! I am a huge cupcake fan and I am extremely impressed! I’ll be trying lots more of your recipes. Thanks for posting so many. December 14, 2012 at 7:22pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I made these a few weeks ago and they were PERFECT! All my friends wanted the recipe and then proceeded to make their own the same week. I did want to know if you (or any readers) have had luck doubling the recipe? I know some recipes are a little finicky when doubled. December 18, 2012 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Jennifer – glad to hear you think so =)! I haven’t doubled the recipe before just because I haven’t needed more than a dozen but I think you should be able to double it without any problems. December 18, 2012 at 9:31pm Reply

  • Ivana: Great photos and great blog. I love it, congrats for your work. December 30, 2012 at 3:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Ivana that’s so nice of you to say! I love your blog too! You make such beautiful cupcakes! December 30, 2012 at 8:56pm Reply

  • Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes: […] Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes via Cooking Classy […] April 19, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Shelly: I made these last night and they are amazing.
    I need to work on my piping skills but otherwise they turned out really well. Can’t wait to try another of your recipes. September 5, 2013 at 9:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these cupcakes Shelly! Thanks for leaving a comment! Now you’ve got me craving them :). September 9, 2013 at 5:47pm Reply

  • Gao-Jai: These cupcakes were the first recipes of yours that I have tried. Everyone loved them -including my sister and sister-in-law who aren’t the biggest fans of chocolate. This will be my forever chocolate cupcake recipe. Thank you a million times. September 11, 2013 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome! I’m so glad everyone loved them! Thanks for your comment Gao-Jai! September 27, 2013 at 6:47am Reply

  • Michele: Just made these cupcakes and frosting. Absolutely delicious! I made a double batch of the frosting but didn’t use it all. Can the frosting be frozen? July 13, 2014 at 11:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the late response but I think it would be fine to freeze the left over frosting.
      I’m so glad you liked these cupcakes! August 2, 2014 at 9:50pm Reply

  • Hallie K.: I made these today! Absolutely gorgeous! Although I cannot eat them, I am sure my middle school teachers won’t mind them! My mom and dad tried one and said they were divine!! So very excited to pass these beauties out tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipes (number 1 site for any food!) and Happy Holidays! December 16, 2015 at 8:52pm Reply

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