Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

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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

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Showing 4 of 38 Comments

  • Aileen

    I didn’t want to go out and buy a whole bottle of peppermint extract, so made these with vanilla extract instead and they were absolutely delicious – very chocolatey and moist! Can’t wait to try them with the peppermint extract now. Thank you so much for another great recipe! I can always count on your website for yummy treats!

  • Jenny

    Hi Elise,

    I was wondering how to replace the Dutch processed cocoa with natural processed cocoa because that is all I have. Thanks!

    Check out David Lebovitz’s post on Cocoa powder FAQ: Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder. I’m guessing that a straight substitution in this recipe will work. ~Elise

  • Sandra

    hi elise! we have so much mint growing in our garden, and i’d really like to try baking these or anything really, with it, and i don’t know how exactly you’d get the flavor from the leaf into something you could use for the cupcake. i’m not an experienced baker, but i cook all the time, and i’m using the summer to “hone my skill”. :) anyone have any suggestions? maybe boil the leaves in milk or water or something…? thanks! :)

    I would recommend either making mint tea with your mint (put leaves, not stems, into a tea pot, cover with boiling water, let seep for 5 minutes), or mint ice cream. My attempts to bake with garden mint didn’t turn out that well. ~Elise

  • Chelsea

    I made these last night and they were absolutely delightful :) I dyed the buttercream with one drop of green food coloring and it turned out to be a beautiful mint color. A wonderful cupcake :)

  • Corina

    These cupcakes are AMAZING & come out just as fabulous everytime!! I just love the luxurious creaminess of the mixture & the cupcake is the best I have ever tasted – thank you SO much for sharing! :)) I accidentally used Self Raising flour the first time instead of plain flour but still with the baking powder & baking soda, & the result was so deliciously light & fluffy I do this everytime now! :) For any Australian readers, 1 tspn Queen’s Peppermint Essence is just perfect in the cupcakes, and I cook 15min @ 170C fan forced. Thanks again Elise! :D

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