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. These mint chocolate chip chocolate cupcakes are the best I have ever had and thank you for giving measurements in weights…that’s the only way to bake…frosting is amazing….did add a touch of salt and it makes the sweetness so much better…..thanks

  2. sally!
    i am debating whether to make these chocolate cupcakes or your fudge brownie cupcakes.. what do you think is the difference between the two in terms of taste and texture? thank you!

    1. Hi Connie, these cupcakes are much lighter in texture. The brownie cupcakes are just that – dense, brownie-like in texture. Depends on what you like best! I happen to like these a bit better with this frosting.

  3. I can’t wait to make these!! My husbands birthday is Tuesday and mint chocolate chip ice cream is his favorite!! So… My daughter (4) and I plan to make them this week. She, however, would prefer we make him a cake. Do you suppose that would work well with this recipe and do you have any recommendations as far as pan size, bake time/ temp alterations?! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Julia – you my make this into a cake, but I am unsure of the exact baking time. It may be easier to make this chocolate layer cake instead and using this mint chocolate frosting.

    2. Hello Sally and Julia,

      I baked this recipe as a cake in a heart shaped 9×9 pan at 350 for exactly 30 min and it came out perfectly. I halved the frosting recipe and still had more than enough. The cake was a huge hit; thank you Sally, and enjoy it Julia!

  4. Hi Sally! I am looking for a very simple chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip frosting recipe to bake for my mom; it’s her favourite! These cupcakes look absolutely perfect, but I would like for them to be in cake form. Do you think this recipe could simply be baked in an 8×8 pan to transform it into cake? Thanks!

    1. Talia, 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..

  5. Just wanted to thank you for this AMAZING recipe! So glad I stumbled upon this site – there are so many other recipes I want to try. Delicious just as printed!

  6. Hi Sally-
    While looking for a braided bread recipe I stumbled on our website and it is now MY addiction! I also love to bake and run and make smoothies! I made the BB Danish Bread 2 nights ago and it was to die for! I now want to make some cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday and was looking at the mint chocolate chip frosting ones. One question though: How important is it to have unsalted butter. Is it okay to use salted since it seems that sometimes salt is added to the recipe? I may need to take stock in unsalted if I keep baking from your site:)

    Thanks for sharing your recipes and photos, which are essential to me choosing a recipe:)

    1. Hi Rachelle! Using salted butter is just fine in my recipes. Always reduce the amount of salt by 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe per 1/2 cup (1 stick, 115g) of butter.

  7. As a wander your blog of baking treats, I can’t help but wonder who is/are the poor souls that get to eat all your baking extravaganzas?! I’m sure you need help other than your husband as you perfect your recipes!!

  8. Hi Sally.
    Does this frosting need to be refrigerated?
    I’d like to use it as a filling for a fondant covered cake.
    Cheers and thanks.

  9. Okay, I can’t resist that mint chocolate chip frosting anymore, I have to make these for St. Patrick’s Day next week!

    Quick question – can the frosting be made a couple days ahead of time and refrigerated? Trying to save some time, I was going to whip up the frosting on Sunday and make the cupcakes on Monday night to bring to work on Tuesday. I’m assuming it’s okay as long as I keep in the refrigerator and maybe let ‘thaw’ a little bit before putting on the cupcakes but wanted to check. 🙂

    1. Yep– just cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Take it out of the fridge about 1 hour before frosting to let it soften.

  10. These cupcakes are delicious!! As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to make them. I made 12 so I had leftover frosting, and could not stop myself from eating it by the spoonful! Basically, I ate the frosting as if it were ice cream, that’s how good it was! I followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfect!

  11. Hi Sally,I made these cupcakes. They taste good,however they flatten as they cool and they did not have that crack appearance on the top.When I tested them the tester came out clean. Should I leave them to bake until they crack on top to maintain that dome shape.Thanks

  12. Hello!

    I made these cupcakes today and they look great!  I’m a beginner, so I think I may have done something wrong.  As someone else said, when I baked them, and tested them many time to make sure they were done, once they cooled there was a dent left in the center (not like the normal, happy, puffy, cupcake).  Is there something I could have done wrong?  I followed the recipe to the T, so I’m not sure what to do.  I’m not used to making from-scratch cupcakes, so any advise you could give me would be fantastic. 🙂  Thanks!

    1. It sounds like opening and closing the oven and removing the cupcakes so frequently testing for doneness interrupted the baking process and the oven’s temperature. Hence, misshapen cupcakes. I recommend following the baking time suggested, testing them once, baking for another minute or two if they are not done and removing from the oven to allow to cool. I hope this helps.

  13. Hey sally im a begginer baker can i know what is the temperature for baking mint chocolate cupcakes in Celsius ?

  14. The best homemade cupcakes ever! Absolutely delicious! Mine got done in 15 minutes and they are just the right amount of moist. Adding chocolate chips would have given them a better chocolate flavour. 

  15. Hi I am wanting to try to make these cupcakes this week.  Can you tell me what kind of cocoa powder you use? Thanks! 

  16. Made these cupcakes this week for our Christmas party and everyone LOVED them! (No surprise there.)

    I also wanted to let you know of a misspelled word in your instructions: “Over high heat, *bowl* the water in a small saucepan. ”

    Thanks for your awesome recipes!

  17. Hello Sally! I am 14 years old and love your blog. I’ve made many of your recipes and I know I can always count on them turning out perfect. I just took these cupcakes out of the oven, and already they are definitely the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen. Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes! 

  18. Was excited to try these. Why do you think my cupcakes didnt rise? They were too dense, brownie like.  Kids thought the frosting was too buttery. Thanks for the recipe though.

  19. Using the heavy cream in the frosting really makes a difference … It’s just as smooth and creamy as store bought, but tastes way better. Make sure to get peppermint extract like the recipe says and not plain old mint extract.. That’s what I did and I had to start over because it had an overpowering spearmint flavor… Reminded me of chewing gum, definitely not mint choc chip ice cream lol! 

  20. Hiiii… I totally love your Nutella frosting. It’s like my all time favorite frosting now. I was just wondering if you have any quick microwave cupcake recipes.. Cupcakes which I can make in microwave.. If yes please do share the recipe with me. Im expecting and my oven’s gone for a toss .. Wrong time totally but pregnancy cravings are on high .. Sob sob! 

  21. My batter was thick and gloopy when I doubled the recipe. I have made this before and it’s usually quite runny and thin. Did something go wrong? Is it okay if it’s thick?

  22. This recipe is delicious! I tried it atop of my homemade Andes Mint brownies and the combination really worked! I just started my first ever blog and I adapted your frosting recipe for my brownies. My frosting job didn’t look as pretty, but I’m working on it! You are definitely an inspiration to me as I start out my blogging journey! I’ll probably be looking at you for more tips in the future 🙂

  23. Hi Sally,
    I would like to use the frosting recipe for a filling in my daughters birthday cake. 6in round 3 layers, would 1 recipe of frosting be enough.


  24. Hi Sally!

    Do you think you could fill these with, say, a chocolate ganache for an extra punch of chocolate-y-ness?  I want to leave the choc chips out of the frosting so I can pipe it, but don’t want to sacrifice chocolate flavor!

    1. That would be AWESOME! Here’s a chocolate ganache you could use:

  25. I just made these and they are amazing! The cupcake is light and chocolatey- like boxed but better! This frosting is absolutely delicious! It’s so fluffy and minty it’s just like eating ice cream. I doubled the recipe a day it came out great, I feel that I generously frosted the cupcakes and still had quite a bit leftover. Thanks so much!!

  26. Hi Sally,

    I just made these little beauties yesterday. The only thing is that I didn’t use this chocolate cupcake recipe. I used your classic chocolate cupcake recipe since I tried it before and absolutely loved it. The cupcakes come out so moist and they continue to do so even after you put them in the fridge. The frosting is spot on. I only put the 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract like the recipe and I would think that any more would have overpowered the cupcake. This is definitely a cupcake/frosting combo I would do again in the future. Great job Sally! 🙂

  27. These cupcakes were a huge hit for Father’s Day! The frosting is the bomb & the chocolate cupcake is perfect with frosting. I omitted the mini chips but found a bag of mint oreo cookies and stuck a cookie in the frosting. Amazing!!!

  28. Just made these with my daughter. By far, best frosting I’ve ever had!! We didn’t have mini chocolate chips, so we stuck regular chocolate chips in the Vitamix and got mint “chips” which worked perfectly. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally