Double Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes: Christmas on a Plate

I love the combination of peppermint and chocolate all year round, but even more so during the holidays.

A classic dessert my family serves at Christmas is peppermint ice cream with hot fudge sauce – it’s easy and delicious, yet somehow special, and even elegant.

I have a number of other peppermint-chocolate combo treats I love, including:

– Peppermint Bark: A great gift and classic winter time treat.

– Aunt Missy’s Mint Brownies:  Brownies (from a mix!) with creamy mint buttercream frosting and a drizzle of chocolate.

– Mmmmint Brownies: Half candy, half brownie, these treats have a layer of creamy mint topped with a layer of chocolate ganache.

This year, I’m adding these double peppermint chocolate cupcakes to my “peppermint-chocolate greatest hits list.” A classic, rich chocolate cupcake is topped with a cream cheese-mint frosting and a sprinkling of crushed peppermint candies.

The star of this recipe is the frosting, so if you don’t have time to make homemade cupcakes, you can use a boxed mix and add a half teaspoon peppermint extract to the batter. No one will be the wiser!

Double Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 tbsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

For the frosting:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tbsp. heavy cream, plus more if needed

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

pinch of salt

Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies for decorating


Make the cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 cupcake cups with paper liners.

2. Whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt. Add eggs, water, milk, oil, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Divide batter evenly among the 12 cupcake cups, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean – about 20-25 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and let cool completely prior to frosting.

Make the frosting:

1. Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until combined.

2. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until combined.

3. Add heavy cream, vanilla, peppermint and salt and beat on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add more cream if it’s too stiff, and add more sugar if it’s too thin.

4. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with crushed candies.

Want more cupcakes? Try these recipes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cupcakes

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Rachael Ray