Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

These peppermint mocha cupcakes will become a new family tradition! They make the perfect cupcakes for holiday get togethers and parties!

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I used a few tablespoons of coffee extract in a regular chocolate cake mix to make regular chocolate cupcakes, mocha cupcakes!

For the frosting, marshmallow creme whipped with vanilla or peppermint extract and powdered sugar makes for a fluffy frosting that can be spread or piped.

If you want to cut corners, feel free to use a store bought frosting. You can even add extract to a can of frosting to amp it up a little.

I didn’t want the peppermint candy canes to totally overwhelm the mocha flavor, so I used vanilla and only topped them off with a sprinkle of crushed candy cane.

If you are aiming for a super coffee flavor or a super peppermint flavor, then use those extracts instead of vanilla.

Peppermint mocha cupcakes are super cute and perfect for any holiday party!

overhead shot of peppermint mocha cupcakes on tray

Why You’ll Love These Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint mocha lattes in cupcake form- what’s not to love!

  • Great for the holiday season – All you need is some Christmas music and these cupcakes to get you in the holiday spirit.
  • Just like your favorite coffee shop drink – A peppermint mocha drink is my go to this time of year, and these decadent chocolate cupcakes embody that perfectly.
  • Show-stopping cupcake – With simple decorating techniques that any home baker could manage, these cupcakes  are a holiday classic ready for Christmas time.
close up angled shot of chocolate cupcakes on tray

Ingredients

With basic ingredients easily found at your local grocery store, these sweet treats couldn’t be easier.

  • Chocolate cake mix – My hack for easy cupcakes is just to use a box mix. There are lots of ways you can dress it up- both with the decorations and frosting!
  • Ingredients required for chocolate cake mix – Every box is slightly different, but make sure you have all the ingredients the box lists to make cupcakes.
  • Coffee extract or espresso – This is how we’re going to take regular chocolate cupcakes and turn them into mocha cupcakes! We add this right into the batter. 
  • Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter so that I can control the salt content in a recipe. Make sure to use room temperature butter- not melted.
  • Marshmallow creme – I’m a huge fan of marshmallow in mt hot drinks, so I love adding this to my frosting for even more delicious flavor. 
  • Vanilla or espresso extract – I personally prefer vanilla extract, but if you really want to amp up the coffee flavor, use espresso extract. 
  • Coarse kosher salt – Salt can help bring out the natural flavors in baked goods- especially this frosting. 
  • Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar, this is what provides both stability and sweetness to our frosting. 
  • Whole milk or heavy cream – Using milk in a frosting, is what gives it that perfectly creamy and smooth texture.
  • Crushed peppermint candy – We want this to be a peppermint mocha frosting, and the candy is where we get that peppermint flavor.
overhead shot of peppermint mocha cupcake ingredients

How to Make Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

You’re going to love how easy it is to make this perfect holiday treat.

  1. Prepare oven and pan. Preheat the oven according to the box directions and line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Add the coffee extract/espresso and blend.
  3. Add to pan. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin. Bake according to package directions. Remove from the oven and set aside to fully cool.
  4. Beat butter, marshmallow and extract. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachments, beat the butter until light and smooth. Add the marshmallow fluff, extract and salt, mixing well.
  5. Slowly add powdered sugar and milk. Add the powdered sugar in increments and then milk/cream until it reaches a frosting consistency.
  6. Pipe onto cupcakes. Place frosting into a large piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes or slather using an offset spatula.
  7. Add peppermint pieces. Top with cupcake with peppermint candy pieces while still tacky.

Variations

There are plenty of ways you can make these peppermint mocha cupcakes your own.

  • Frosting – Feel free to change it up. Make a chocolate peppermint frosting, a swiss meringue buttercream or even a plain chocolate buttercream if you prefer. 
  • Extracts – Add a couple drops of peppermint extract to the frosting or batter to really bring out that peppermint mocha flavor.
  • Filling – Hollow out the center of the cupcake and add things like extra frosting, a chocolate ganache or fun sprinkles.
  • Decoration – Add a candy cane to form a “handle” to your cupcakes or even top with fun sprinkles or a chocolate drizzle.
straight on shot of peppermint mocha cupcakes on wire rack

Storage and Freezing

Storage: Store these cupcakes in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Freezing: You can also freeze these cupcakes. I prefer to freeze them without the frosting.

Questions You Might Have About Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Can I use a white or yellow cake mix?

Sure! But they won’t be mocha any more since the chocolate is missing. Even though they aren’t mocha, they will still be delicious!

What is mocha?

Mocha is the name of a flavor that combines chocolate with coffee.

collage of peppermint mocha cupcakes

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close up angled shot of peppermint mocha cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcake Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes use doctored up box mix, marshmallow creme frosting and candy canes for the ultimate kid-friendly cupcake recipe!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Mocha Cupcakes:

Marshmallow Creme Frosting:

Instructions

Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven according to the box directions. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Add the coffee extract/espresso and blend.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake according to package directions. Remove from the oven and set aside to fully cool.

Frosting:

  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachments, beat the butter until light and smooth. Add the marshmallow fluff, extract and salt, mixing well.
  • Add the powdered sugar in 2-3 increments and then milk/cream until it reaches a frosting consistency.
  • Place frosting into a large piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes or slather using an offset spatula.
  • Top with cupcake with peppermint candy pieces while still tacky.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Notes

Wait to sprinkle with candy cane until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 160 kcal, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Potassium: 61 mg, Sugar: 21 g, Vitamin A: 60 IU, Calcium: 29 mg, Iron: 0.8 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 160
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas cupcakes, mocha cupcakes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Lois, in step #2, combine butter, marshmallow fluff and other ingredients for the frosting. The creme is in the frosting, not the actual cupcake, although you could get crafty and stuff them!

  1. These look beautiful and sound delicious. My favorite part of preparing for the holidays is the baking. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Pinned!

    Happy Holiday!