Enjoy rich chocolate cupcakes with ultra-creamy and thick mint chocolate chip buttercream on top. No piping tips required; instead, generously swipe the frosting on top with a knife or icing spatula. You can use unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder in the cupcakes.
- 1 cup (240ml) water
- 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/3 cups (166g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3–4 cups (360–480g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream, at room temperature*
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more; see recipe instructions)
- 2 drops green gel food coloring (optional)
- salt, to taste
- 2/3 cup (120g) mini chocolate chips
- Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes about 14 cupcakes, so line another pan with 2 muffin liners. (Or wait to do so until the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking and cooling.)
- Boil the water in a small saucepan. Place the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling water on top. Whisk until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until *just* combined. In a steady stream with the mixer running on low speed, add the cooled cocoa mixture and then beat until smooth. Avoid over-mixing.
- Divide cupcake batter between muffin liners, filling each about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 16–19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with no wet crumbs. (A few moist crumbs are OK.) Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring (if using). Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin (up to 4 cups) or more cream if mixture is too thick. Taste, and add salt if it’s too sweet. I usually add a pinch. You can also add more food coloring if desired, or more peppermint extract if you want a stronger mint flavor. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I usually pile the frosting on generously using an icing spatula. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake.
- Serve immediately or store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before serving. Cover and store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I recommend a cupcake carrier for storing and transporting decorated cupcakes.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Bake the cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and fill/frost the day of serving. Frosting can be prepared the day before too. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The frosting will be thick after refrigerating overnight, so bring to room temperature and beat in a splash of cream to help thin out before using. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 12-Count Muffin Pan | Cupcake Liners | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand Mixer) | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Icing Spatula | Cupcake Carrier
- Heavy Cream: I love using heavy cream in the frosting for the creamiest consistency. You can use half-and-half or whole milk instead if needed. The lower the fat, the less creamy your buttercream will be. Whichever you use, make sure it’s at room temperature. Otherwise your frosting could separate or appear grainy.
- Cake: You can make these cupcakes into a cake using a 9-inch springform pan. Fill the pan halfway full, and then use any extra batter for cupcakes. I am unsure of the exact bake time for this cake—it will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Or follow the instructions here for using this batter to make a 3-layer 6-inch cake. You could also try this mint chocolate cake.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: mint chocolate cupcakes