Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chip Frosting

Homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with thick & creamy mint chocolate chip frosting.

Simple Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

Mint chocolate chip ice cream in frosting form.

Yes. It tastes like ICE CREAM. And frosting. At the same time. WHAT!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

I don’t know about you, but I feel there comes a time when peanut butter and caramel need to step aside from all the chocolate. (Did I really just say that?) Mint and chocolate are meant to be. Like peas and carrots, ketchup and french fries, sprinkles and ice cream. Diamonds and ring fingers. 😉

A giant scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone has and always will be one of my favorite summer desserts. And today, I played around with butter, sugar, peppermint extract, mini chocolate chips, heavy cream, and a drop of food coloring. And boy, is it tasty.

The bed for my mint chocolate frosting is a homemade chocolate cupcake. Prior to this chocolate cupcake recipe, I’ve made dozens of dense brownie cupcakes and semi-homemade chocolate cupcakes using cake mix. But I have yet to share a purely “from-scratch” chocolate cupcake before. Trying to find that perfect recipe to test out, retest, or even develop, etc is overwhelming! Butter or oil? Cocoa powder or melted chocolate? Brown sugar? White sugar? Whole milk? No milk? Ahh!

However, I found a recipe in my prized Joy of Cooking cookbook that was begging to be made. And the result is perfection. I am SO pleased with my choice!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

Today’s cupcakes are SO moist, just like the texture you get from a cupcake made from a convenient box mix. It’s a very simple chocolate cupcake recipe. The intense chocolate flavor comes from a chocolate “sauce” made from unsweetened cocoa powder and boiling water. The rest of the ingredients are nothing special; just easy, familiar items you already have in your kitchen: creamed butter & sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, salt, vanilla, and not much else. I love that!

One thing I will note: be very careful not to burn the cupcakes. Overbaking them will give the cupcakes a dry texture. There is nothing I dislike more than a dry, crumbly baked good! Especially when I’m looking for a moist, soft, tender chocolate cupcake.

Have you ever biten into a dry, flavorless chocolate cupcake or cake before? Yuck. Steer clear of overbaking these! I took them out of the oven at 17 minutes. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cupcakes. If they come out *mostly* (or completely) clean, they are done. You don’t want too many crumbs on the toothpick and you don’t want black, burnt edges. Watch the cupcakes closely after 16 minutes and do not bake longer than 19 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

Cupcake towers: I love them.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

That mint chocolate chip frosting. Oh my heavens. It’s like winning the lottery… if the lottery prize was all frosting. Can I please play that lottery?

The frosting is based off of the vanilla buttercream recipe I used for my homemade funfetti cupcakes. However, I wanted the frosting to be thicker, sort of like my cookie dough frosting recipe. I reduced the heavy cream to thicken things up. I also added mini chocolate chips, peppermint extract, and 2 drops of green food coloring.

The best part? The frosting is so easy to make! Even easier than the cupcakes. When you begin to make the cupcakes, set out two extra sticks of butter. Like most buttercream frostings, you want the butter nice and soft to make a creamy frosting base. By the time the cupcakes are baked and cooled, the butter will be the perfect consistency.

I like to use a hand mixer when I make my frostings. I have much more control over the beating process and can really isolate each and every spot inside the mixing bowl – sometimes my stand mixer will miss the butter at the very bottom of the bowl and I, consequently, have to manually scrape the bottom up to have it mix thoroughly.

An electric hand mixer makes things much easier for me when I make frostings, so I prefer it over a stand mixer.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

Unlike most, I mix the butter by itself on low speed for a good 20-60 seconds before adding anything else. It creates the perfect creamy base for the rest of the frosting ingredients. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, then 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream, 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract, and 2 drops of green food coloring.

So here’s the thing: this frosting recipe is very forgiving.

The amounts of heavy cream and powdered sugar you use can be adjusted for what you prefer. After adding 3 cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream, if you find the frosting to not be thick enough, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more heavy cream. Truly, it’s just based on what you prefer.

By adding more powdered sugar, keep in mind that the frosting will taste sweeter with each addition. You may not see this in a lot of frosting recipes, but I add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to cut all of the sweetness, while still keeping the frosting’s thick texture from all the powdered sugar.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

Also forgiving about this frosting recipe:

You can add more or less peppermint extract or green food coloring. If 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract is not enough, add more (carefully…that stuff is potent!). Not green enough for you? Add more green food coloring. 2 drops gave the frosting the same mint green color you see in most mint chocolate chip ice creams.

This frosting gives a new meaning to “ice cream and cake,” right?! 😉

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

When you reach your prefered frosting consistency, color, and minty flavor – add mini chocolate chips. I used mini chocolate chips because it makes the frosting much easier to spread. You could also leave the frosting plain and sprinkle with chocolate chips on top, but I wanted to replicate the look of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Any sort of chip will make this frosting impossible to pipe, so I went with the “rustic” frosting look today and just used a knife.

So there ya go. Mint and chocolate are taking over my kitchen, which is perfect timing for the green month of March. The chocolate cupcakes are so soft and moist with lots of chocolate flavor. The frosting is fluffy, super thick, minty and so easy to adapt to fit your frosting needs. Plus, it looks like ice cream. Mint chocolate chip ice cream in frosting form. Can I just eat this stuff with a spoon please?

Ok I’m done. Make these NOW.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Simply homemade chocolate cupcakes topped with thick & creamy mint chocolate chip frosting.


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 34 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more, see recipe instructions)
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • salt, to taste
  • 2/3 cup (120g) mini chocolate chips


  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 14 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Over high heat, boil the water in a small saucepan. Pour the unsweetened cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl and mix with boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat only until *just* combined. In a steady stream, add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 16-19 minutes, keeping an eye on them to avoid even the slightest burning (which will lend dry cupcakes). My cupcakes took 17 minutes and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before frosting.
  6. Make the frosting: beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric mixer. Beat for about 30-60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin (up to 4 cups) or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if the frosting is too sweet. You may also add more food coloring if desired or more peppermint extract if it is not minty enough. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. Makes 14 cupcakes. Cupcakes taste best the day of or 1 day after they are made. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Heavy Cream: Replacing the heavy cream in the frosting with milk or half-and-half will result in a less creamy consistency.
  2. Cake: You my make these cupcakes into a 9-inch cake, filling the pan halfway full, and then using any extra batter for cupcakes. I am unsure of the exact baking time for this cake – it will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: mint chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting by


    1. Hi Joni. There is no coffee in this recipe. And I’ve never tried these cupcakes in a cake form. I suggest you make my chocolate layer cake and use hot water instead of coffee (though the chocolate flavor will be compromised because the coffee enhances it without leaving a coffee flavor):

  1. I made these cupcakes today with vanilla frosting. One word: AMAZING. I used cake flour since I’ve had issues with my Ultragrain flour in cupcakes. The chocolate flavor is amazing and the cupcakes were SO SOFT. I could eat these without any frosting!

    Thank you for the recipe, Sally!!

  2. Hi, these look great – I love chocolate and mint and cake but have never found a recipe for chocolate mint cupcakes before. : )

    That’s why I’m thinking of making a cake out of this recipe for Christmas as nobody in our house really like fruit cake and this would be a great alternative (people love mint and chocolate over here, particularly at Christmas when it seems particularly festive) – if I were to use the mix to fill a tin instead, how big a cake do you think it would make? If it wouldn’t work don’t worry, I’ll be making them anyway. : )

    Thanks again for the recipe. : )

    1. This recipe would make 1 9-inch cake and then a few cupcakes as well. All of the batter won’t fit into a 9-inch cake pan without overflowing! I’m unsure of the baking time though.

      1. Thanks for your help (and having a few extra cupcakes would be handy to give to visitors as they leave!) I’ll experment with the cooking times on a few chocolate cake recipies I have and see what works. Merry Christmas. : )

  3. Made these yesterday and they were a hit with my friends. They tasted AMAZING. ♥ Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  4. Sally Ive been on a baking spree from your site! Its absolutely amazing! I loveee your recipes! I tried this chocolate cake ( justtt my kind). FINALLY my search to a goood chocolate cake is over. Can i make it a little less dense though? Lighter and even more flufffier? ( My husbands demand !!)
    The first time i tried, i think i overbaked them, they were a little dry. but the next time they were just perrrfect!

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Fadtk! So glad you tried these. Maybe you could try baking this cake into cupcakes. It’s a very (VERY!) moist and light chocolate cake recipe and would be great as cupcakes. I think the bake time is about 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean). Here’s the cake recipe you can use to make cupcakes:

      1. Thanks for the prompt response! Yum that cook looks delicious. I might try that one. How many cupcakes will that recipe yield approx? Also, everytime i halve a cake/ cupcake recipe something goes wrong. Either they sink or they shrink. I want to try a batch of abt 8-10 ( max 12) with the above recipe u recomended. Any suggestions?

        Thanks a million! 🙂

      2. Hi Fadia, that cake batter will yield about 18 or more cupcakes. I’ve never reduced the batter for a smaller portion, so I can’t speak from experience if it will work. If you only fill the cupcakes about 2/3 of the way full, they shouldn’t overflow. Be sure to test for doneness with the toothpick as described in my last comment. That will help you avoid them sinking.

  5. I made these last week for my cousin and they were fantastic! So much so that my grandfather wants me to make them for his birthday this weekend. The only problem is that he is diabetic. For the cake I have no problem using a sugar substitute such as Splenda. I’m worried about the frosting though (he wants the mint). Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Ally. I am completely stumped. I have never made a diabetic frosting before. Is there one on the internet you could search for? And perhaps use some peppermint extract?

  6. Sally, you are KILLING ME. I make your Birthday cake fudge for gifts a few days ago, DELISH. I am a HUGE cupcake lover and lover of anything mint and chocolate, naturally, I decided to give these a go. First off, your cupcake recipe was INSANELY easy to follow, clear, concise, and to the point. For the first time, I felt completely comfortable making cupcakes from scratch. Super easy and fast. The frosting, OHEMGEE! So creamy and amazing and I love that you can customize its minty-ness. I had extra and was so sad that I had to get rid of it (The kids and I admittedly had a spoonful or two before I threw it out). I just LOVE your blog, Thank you so much for another amazing recipe. I am having guests over tonight and will be making more fudge in addition to the cake mix fudge and cupcakes. Thanks again!

    1. Hey again Torre! So glad you loved this recipe. And yes, I love the frosting so much. And what’s more? Love how easy these are to make! Making chocolate cupcakes from scratch isn’t difficult at all if you just read the directions. Which many people don’t! Anyway, happy you all loved them as well as the cake batter fudge!

  7. I made these last night, seeing as they looked scrumptious and I was in the mood to bake cupcakes. They were AMAZING! The most failproof recipe ever! My family and I loved them so much! I am now subscribed to your blog and will be checking it out often! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Anna! So happy you all loved these cupcakes. And yes, they’re quite easy! Thanks for reporting back – let me know what you make next!

  8. Hey, im Yana from Malaysia. I never baked before. And here i am, the recipe work ! My frost did taste like an icecream . I leave it for a day in the refrigerator before i add it on the top of the cupcakes. I swear the muffin taste better than anything i ever tasted. At first, i doubt you were giving out the exact recipe. But this sure paid off . Thank you Sally! Did it for my boyfriend on his birthday. 😀 he l.o.v.e it.!

  9. We’ll these cupcakes have turned out beautifully & the frosting is absolutely fantastic, definitely a keeper!!!!! Thanks so much .
    The only problem is my cupcake cases have started to peal away from the cake, do you know of any reason why this has happened?

    1. WHat do you mean? The cupcake liners are stuck to the cupcakes? I always make sure to not use cheap cupcake liners. I buy them in bulk from here:

      They never stick or become unattached from the cupcakes.

  10. Hi! These look absolutely delicious! I was wondering how long would they need to be in the oven if you wanted to make mini cupcakes? Since you stressed not overbaking, I wanted to make sure so I didn’t do that!

  11. I found this recipe a while back and I’ve been dying for an excuse to bake them, finally I made these cupcakes just yesterday for the Super Bowl, and they turned out amazing!! The chocolate cake was moist and fluffy and the icing was so refreshing! These were my first homemade cupcakes and they were “spectacular,” my family devoured them. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  12. I made these today for a cupcake contest we’re having tomorrow at my office. They turned out so completely delicious! The frosting really does taste like the ice cream. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. I’m sure you could – though I do not know the correct baking time to serve as a cake. This batter will fit into a 9×2 cake pan. You may have a little batter leftover for a couple cupcakes.

  13. Absolutely adored every part of this cupcake, especially the frosting! I’m a huge mint chocolate chip fan! Any ideas for what to put leftover frosting on? It was so good, I don’t want to throw it out!

    1. How about sugar cookies, brownies, or even sandwich it between two chocolate chip cookies? Some recipes:

  14. Hi Sally,

    I wanted to make these as cake balls for my boyfriend’s birthday. Do you think substituting milk for water might make them moister since they’ll be so little?


    1. They’re actually pretty moist as is and that won’t change if you made them smaller, Brianna. Hope he enjoys them!

  15. Hi Sally,

    Could i use self raising flour (Cake Flour), or is it best to use all purpose flour (plain flour). As am from the uk so i get abit confused with the flours with american recipes. We normally use self raising flour in our cake recipes.

  16. Made this recipe at home, and took me ages

    The muffins are delicious however I must warn the frosting, as delicious as it seems it rather TOO sticky and difficult to work with.. Other than that, the perfect sweet icecream bun!

  17. Hi I was just wondering how many cups of frosting you use in your recipes for 12 cupcakes. Seems like you use A LOT but apparently not all the people I’m serving these cupcakes to are huge fans of frosting ( I know right! Like how can you get enough of frosting?!?) so I just want to know how much frosting your recipe for 12 cupcakes produces so I don’t have too much extra. 🙂

    1. I’m unsure of the amount of cups this frosting recipe makes – I’ve never measured. Feel free to halve the recipe if you need to. Enjoy!

      1. If I have extra frosting, what would you recommend it for other than putting it on cupcakes or eating it with a spoon? Can you eat it frozen? WOULD IT TASTE LIKE ICE CREAM?! omg this frosting is making me go nuts lol

  18. I’m a bit confused with the water part? Why do have to boil it if you’re going to chill it anyway? If you have to boil it do you boil some water THEN measure a cup into a bowl with cocoa powder? or measure a cup then boil it? with a lid or no? because last time I made these the batter was sooo thin and goopy I had to add 1/2 cup of flour but even THEN it wasn’t thickening. After I took it out of the oven, the tops looked like hardened pudding and not cracked like yours. it tasted raw and dense, but with no delightful fudginess. They also were more black than brown. Nobody liked them. 36cupcakes are sitting in my freezer right now. I’m so disapointed ;( What am I doing wrong??? 🙁

  19. Hello Sally, I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and your recipes never disappoint. I recently bought your cookbook too, it’s filled with some many wonderful ideas. I wanted to let you know I really love your recipes, your blog is full of helpful tips and advice, and you respect your followers so much and kindly respond to so many of the comments and questions you receive. Congratulations on the success of your book and I hope everything is coming together and going well in terms of your wedding. I am a big fan of you, your baking and your lovely website.
    I’ve made several of your recipes before, and I said previously, they never disappoint. I have just made these cupcakes, and oh my, they’ve yet to be tasted but they have baked up beautifully. The look incredibly soft, moist and light. But chocolatey too. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to making the frosting and giving these to my friends having read all of the wonderful comments you have received 🙂 Thank you once again Sally for sharing your brilliant recipe, I think it might be my new favourite chocolate cupcake recipe!
    You’ve come so far since you started your ‘addiction’ in 2011. I hope your future is filled with just as much success and happiness. xx

    1. Thank you so much for all the sincere, kind words Francesca! This truly meant a lot to me to read this afternoon. Let me know how everyone likes these cupcakes with the frosting. This is one of my favorite recipes!

      1. Done!! And wow!! Thank you, thank you. Perfect frosting too, not that I had any doubts. Thank you ever so much Sally <3 you really inspire me. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

  20. Just made the mint chocolate chip cupcakes. Ah-ma-zing! Followed your recipe to the letter for the cupcakes and the frosting. Perfection! My favorite part is that the frosting looks exactly like mint chip ice cream , so when the cupcakes are frosted, it looks like there is just a big dollop of ice cream on top! Yay!

  21. I’ve always thought that when baking cupcakes the temperature couldn’t be above 180C, but these say 190. Too high?

  22. Hi; I have been looking over the icing ingredients, and in mentions to add ‘heavy cream’. I’ from the UK and this is not sold locally; what would you suggest as a substitute?

    + LOVE the blog and cookbook!!! 🙂

    1. Hi Beth, regular milk is fine for a less creamy texture. Heavy cream is also known as double cream or whipping cream, as well.

  23. Thanks for the recipe, Sally! I tried these last night with a few modifications. One of my friends loves chocolate/mint combo, so she requested I add a little bit of Andes mints somehow. I decided to add about 3/4 cup of chopped Andes mints to the batter. For the frosting, instead of using mini chips, I also used just a little of the chopped Andes mints (maybe 1/2 cup), and I topped the cupcakes with a whole Andes. She loved them!

  24. Hi. i made these cupcakes a few weeks ago and OMG…… they were to die for. i love the mint – choc combination. YUM. My friend requested this for her 18th birthday but as a cake. and i’m currently baking it. the cake smells so good.

    you are a genius

  25. Hey Sally!

    Love your site! I’ve made so many recipes since I stumbled upon your baking genius! Every one has been wonderful! I know that drying is potentially an issue, and I want to make minis…what do you think? Temp and time thoughts?

  26. This mint icing looks absolutely fantastic. I have a thing for peanut butter and chocolate as well, but I agree that this is cause for a break! Thank you!

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