Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

If Thin Mints were cupcakes, they would be these! Dark chocolate, minty, cakey cupcakes.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

In the chocolate cupcake battle between fresh spearmint and bottled peppermint extract, so far the peppermint mint extract is winning. “It’s sort of like a thin mint, reincarnated as a cupcake,” I declared to Garrett, about the peppermint extract version, frustrated that my spearmint experiments weren’t working as well.

“A thin mint cupcake? I would SO eat that!” countered Garrett.

We grow a lot of spearmint, so if I could come up with a recipe for a mint chocolate cupcake that would put a lot of this mint to good use, that would be great. But after several experiments, I must simply declare that peppermint extract is the winner. Not only is it much easier to work with, but the flavor just pairs better with chocolate than spearmint.

These peppermint chocolate mint cupcakes, flavored with mint extract, really do taste like a cupcake version of thin mints. I’ve given all of the ones I’ve made away because after eating half a dozen of these addictive cakelettes, I just can’t eat any more.

I may try my hand again in the summer when there is plenty of mint growing, and zucchini, and do a chocolate zucchini mint cupcake version of our chocolate zucchini cake. But until then, here’s the thin-mint version, enjoy!

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake recipe is adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes. If you would like to frost the cupcakes, I've included two recipes for a mint-flavored frosting. The butter cream version is quite sweet, the cream cheese version is a little less sweet and has a tang from the cream cheese.

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Optional Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp butter, room temperature (1 stick, 4 ounces)
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 Tbps butter, room temperature (1/2 stick, 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Method

Cupcakes

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners. Use a double boiler or add an inch or two of water to a medium sized saucepan and place a metal bowl over it, bringing the water to a simmer. Add butter (cut into chunks), chocolate, cocoa to the bowl. As the butter and chocolate melt, whisk until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to touch.

2 In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

3 In a large bowl (can use a mixer), beat the eggs. Add the salt, the sugar, the mint extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the chocolate butter mixture and beat until combined.

4 Add in half of the sifted flour mixture, mix to combine. Mix in the sour cream. Mix in the remaining flour mixture.

5 Spoon the batter evenly into the lined muffin cups. Place in oven in middle rack. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6 Let cool in muffin tin on a rack for 15 minutes. Then gently remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely before frosting.

Use frosting of choice, flavored with a little mint extract. Garnish with a little fresh mint. Recipes for simple butter cream or cream cheese frosting follow.

Frosting

1 In an electric mixer, beat the butter (if making buttercream) or butter and cream cheese (if making cream cheese frosting) at medium speed until creamy. Beat in milk (if making buttercream) and mint extract.

2 Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Taste and add more mint extract if it isn't minty enough for you, or powdered sugar if it isn't sweet enough for you.

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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Showing 4 of 37 Comments

  • situ

    I made this but reduced the amount of mint extract to about 1 teaspoon. It was perfect. I didn’t use mint extract in the buttercream frosting but substituted vanilla. Both my kids, my husband and our guests gobbled them up. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Carol

    I made these last night; they are thin-minty delicious as promised. I used a 2 oz. Dagobo Rosemary-Mint dark chocolate bar and super dark cocoa; my cupcakes are a beautiful pitch black. I only had enough extract for the batter, so for the frosting I pulverized a candy cane and dissolved the fragments in the milk. My buttercream came out smooth, minty and a lovely shade of pale pink. I also think these, like most bundt cakes, are even better the next day. Thank you Elise!

  • Nourhan Kay.

    Thank you so much for this recipe! All of the other chocolate mint recipes required actual chocolate mints, which I cannot get, and this recipe seemed perfect.
    My friend is a HUGE fan of chocolate mints, and she absolutely loved this when I made it for her birthday. They even turned out looking adorable! Thanks again! :)

  • Sportsgirl

    Thanks for this recipe. I made it today for a party and they were very well received. I looooove choc mint recipes – rich but refreshing. I used pure peppermint essential oil instead of the extract and it was wonderful.

  • ruen

    Thanks to everyone who mentioned that McCormick’s mint extract isn’t peppermint extract! I was uncapping the bottle to measure out the ingredient when I remembered reading those comments–just in the nick of time. These cupcakes came out extremely moist and tender–almost *too* tender; even after spraying the muffin pan, I still had to use a knife to get the suckers out. Be forewarned: use muffin tins or risk decapitating your little creations.

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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes