Light. moist chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate peppermint ganache, topped with peppermint frosting, and finished with a piece of peppermint bark candy. This is the perfect holiday cupcake for any party!
I’ve had a version of these cupcakes in my head for a while. I first got the inspiration from a book that described making a peppermint cupcake in which they pipped the frosting using a plain tip in a way that looked like you were looking down at a large peppermint candy. That image stuck with me for months and I couldn’t wait until I could make my own version.
When I saw these mini peppermint bark candies, I knew they had to be a part of these chocolate peppermint cupcakes too. I mean, how cute and perfect. I recently saw they had them in mini snowmen shapes and I wish I found them beforehand because I would definitely have used those too! You can also make your own peppermint bark by layering white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate and topping with crushed peppermint.
I find it is easy to either end up overwhelming a dessert with peppermint, or getting it lost in the other flavors. You need to take time to understand how strong your particular brand of mint extract is. I recommend starting with half the recommended mint extract, then slowly adding more to taste, keeping in mind that the flavor will develop a bit more over time. The measurements I used were with the mint extract from McCormick (this isn’t a sponsored post by them, by the way, that’s just what I used!)
I love a fluffy, moist and chocolaty cupcake, so I used my favorite chocolate cupcake base. It hits all those marks and is always a favorite among the people I know. The best part is that you don’t need a mixer to make these cupcakes. They are made in a bowl and a whisk or spatula can do the job. In fact, I typically tell people to not use a mixer because mixing by hand promises you a more tender crumb.
The chocolate peppermint cupcakes are filled with a minty, creamy chocolate ganache. I used one of my favorite ganache recipes that sets up well and added a touch more cream, plus mint. It’s the highlight of the cupcake in my opinion and I think it’s goo enough to use any leftover ganache to lightly cover the tops of the cupcakes before you frost them, too.
For more holiday recipes, be sure to check these out:
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup hot strong brewed coffee
- ½ cup oil (anything except olive oil)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
For the Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon mint extract
- 8 oz dark chocolate
For the Peppermint Buttercream
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 - 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- *red food coloring (optional)
- peppermint bark for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee. Allow it to sit for about a minute, then stir to combine well - about 3 - 4 minutes of stirring.
- Add in the oil and the eggs and beat well for another 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add in the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Stir until just combined and there are no streaks of flour.
- Evenly divide the batter among the cupcake liners.
- Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out with a couple of crumbs sticking to it. Remove and allow to cool completely.
- Make the ganache. While the cupcakes are baking, add the heavy cream and mint to a bowl and stir well. Add in the chocolate and heat fr 30 seconds, Remove and stir well. If not all the chocolate is melted, heat for another 30 seconds and stir well. Repeat until you are able to melt all the chocolate. (you should not heat in the microwave more than three times total).
- Allow to cool until slightly firmer - about 10 minutes.
- Cut out holes in the centers of the cupcakes and fill with the ganache. You may need to use something to push down the ganache to fill the holes completely.
- Make the frosting. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until fully mixed in, then add in the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add in the extracts and mix well.
- Divide one third of the frosting in another bowl and add in your food coloring. Fit a piping bag with your favorite tip and alternate adding red and plain frosting into the bag using a large spoon.
- Pipe frosting on your cupcakes and top with a piece of peppermint bark.
*To get the deep red color I have, I added a drop of deep pink and black to my frosting and mixed well before adding my red. Allowing the frosting to rest for a little also helps to deepen the color.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290