Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

It has been a very hectic few days around here!  Christmas Eve and Christmas morning bliss, followed by family dinners and some post-Christmas Day shopping.  I’m completely exhausted and looking forward to laying low for a few days.  But first!  I did want to share some of the yummy things that have made their way out of the SweetRevelations kitchen in the past few days!

This past Friday was the last day of school for my children before Christmas break.  This was the first year that I sent a box of baked goods for their teachers.  I know, big surprise, it was cupcakes.

But, in my defense, baking is a way for me to express to others that I care about them, that I’m thankful for the things that they do, that I appreciate all of the “extra’s” that the teaching staff do for the students!

Well, and doesn’t a gourmet cupcake say all of those things?

Something rich and decadent with a minty frosting?  Ok, maybe not, but a few minutes with a yummy moist piece of cake and some peace and quiet sure doesn’t hurt on the last day before Christmas break.

I love the contrast of these cupcakes.  Dark Chocolate cake (gosh I’m so predictable) and creamy Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Just a hint of peppermint.  And I thought, to keep these somewhat elegant and classy looking (ahem..like the teachers at our school…), I would use some chocolate coated peppermint sticks as a garnish.  These smelled so wonderful and tasted like a classic winter mint chocolate.

First, make some of these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, without the added espresso powder.  Then, top with some Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (below).

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and peppermint and beat until combined.  Add food colouring if desired.  Use immediately.

Garnish with a chocolate covered peppermint stick.


Filed under Cup Cakes

99 responses to “Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

  1. Tesei

    These are gorgeous… And sooo yummy looking!!! What pipping tip did you use to make that lovely lace-like finish?
    PS-Happy holidays and a great 2012!!

  2. Tesei

    Ok, thanks so much!
    PS-I love your blog, many congratulations and many more fantastic posts for the year 2012!!!
    Tziranda Tesei (in Barcelona, Spain)

  3. These cupcakes look and sound divine! I bet they are really rich too! I love how beautiful and inviting they are. They belong at a high end social function. Great job.

    May every day of 2012 glow with good cheer & happiness for you and your family..Happy New Year (Soon to come)

  4. What beautiful cupcakes! And I’m sure they were such a hit =)

  5. Wow! I love how you piped the icing, great job!

  6. I never tire of peppermint – these look fantastic!

  7. Oh dear lord, these look amazing! Your piping is perfect! Love them!

  8. Vicki

    The cupcakes look amazing!!
    I dont have a paddle attachment for my kitchenaid anymore so would the SWB be ok being made just with the whisk attachment?

    • Hi Vicki- good question. I guess the only way to find out is with a test batch. Try doing it with only 3 egg whites, 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar and 1 cup butter. I would certainly not whip the icing when adding the butter, just try on a low speed- maybe a 3? Please! Let me know how it turns out!

  9. Jessica

    When making the cupcake batter, you write to omit the espresso powder. Should the hot coffee still be added?

  10. Sandy Schlyer

    Wow thank-you…just joined Pinterest..it’s fun!!

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  13. annie

    wow your cupcakes are so beautiful. i’m sure they taste very good, may i know which decoration tip are you using? thanks.

  14. Stacey

    Hi…these look and sound devine, however I am not a coffee lover. is there a way to omit/replace the hot coffee in the cupcake recipe so it still comes out a dark choc cupcake? Thanks! Stacey

  15. Jorie

    This sounds super good…yummy! I was wondering if you could tell me the yield (cups) of frosting for this recipe? I was thinking of doing it for a regular cake instead of cupcakes. It sounds like a huge batch of frosting, but I haven’t done a swiss meringue buttercream before!

    • Hi Jorie,
      The Swiss Meringue recipe makes about 5 cups of frosting. Let me know how they turn out!

      • Jorie

        Thanks Renee. The frosting was so delicious! I used this for a two-layer 8″ cake and it was the perfect amount to frost it and then do borders and write “happy birthday” on the cake. After filling/frosting the cake, I tinted the remaining amount with light green color paste. I have to say, it definitely takes the color differently than American style buttercream, but it worked! And it was very yum with my go-to chocolate cake recipe.

  16. liz

    I am loving your piping! I see you are working with an 1m are you starting in the center of the cupcake?

  17. cakesbakesandothershenanigans

    These look beautiful! I’m a fan of swiss meringue buttercream so I shall have to try this peppermint flavouring.

  18. Jan

    Hi Renee, these look beautiful. Just wondering how many cupcakes this buttercream will frost. Thanks!!

  19. Inna

    Where did you find the peppermint sticks?

  20. These were so delicious! I made them to share at a senior holiday meal where I’ll be volunteering. Thanks for sharing such an amazing treat. 🙂

  21. Praise Cakes

    Do these have to be refrigerated because of the egg whites?

    • Praise- Swiss Meringue Buttercream is ok to stay out. I refrigerate cupcakes as little as possible. If there are leftovers I usually only throw them in the fridge at night and then take them out the next morning.

  22. Tamara

    OMG! I made the cupcakes tonight, and then I’m going to frost them tomorrow for a party. I’m going to use the peppermint frosting. I took them out at about 13 minutes in my oven. PERFECT! Super moist! Can’t wait to see what my friends think tomorrow night! Thank you!

  23. Chantal

    I don’t have a stand mixer 😦 how should I make the frosting with just a hand mixer/ by hand?

    • Chantal- I believe that you can make this icing with a hand mixer. It just might take a little longer. I do know others who make it by hand and it turns out fine. Will you let me know if you do?


      • Chantal

        For sure! the only thing I’m concerned about is the different types of attachments you said to use. Is just my standard beaters okay? and what speeds? 😛

      • Chantal- I would use a high speed when whipping the egg whites (the highest), and something fairly low when adding in the butter. Keep it on low until the icing is nice and fluffy.


  24. Pam

    Can u please elaborate on the technique of applying the frosting to get the look you have here in the picture? Thank you!

  25. Elizabeth

    The frosting recipe says to “use immediately”. How long will it hold up if we need to prepare it in advance of the event? Or transport it? Thanks.

    • Elizabeth- You can prepare this frosting up to a week ahead. Just refrigerate and bring back to room temp when needed. Beat for about 5 minutes. It might curdle, that’s ok don’t panic, just keep beating! 🙂

  26. JAN

    Renee, do you use the wire or the paddle attachment when making the frosting??

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  30. Looks so yummy! I tried out your swiss meringue buttercream recipe and it was so good!

  31. ticklemytastebudsblog

    These look fantastic, I love the contrast in colour and the piping technique you’ve used, so elegant! Well done!

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  35. Reblogged this on The Happy Idiot and commented:
    These might be the most delicious looking cupcakes I’ve seen in ages! I bet they’d be great with a little espresso powder!

  36. I look forward to peppermint mochas every fall, and these would be amazing with a cup of coffee!

    Love your blog!


  37. Kirsten

    These look amazing! Thank you for posting this. I absolutely love the way you piped on the buttercream, can you explain how you did that?
    Thank you!

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  43. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this website’s content daily along
    with a mug of coffee.

  44. Hi Renee! I’ve chosen your recipe to be featured on my blog, Dark Chocolate Decadence, a place where lovers of Dark Chocolate can find the best of the best dark chocolate recipes from around the web. Two of my favorite things in the whole world are chocolate and peppermint, especially together in a cupcake! Wow. Looks AMAZING!

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  46. Thank you for following Primal Zen. I posted a gluten-free version and placed a link to your blog in the post along with the photo credit. I’m so glad to have found your blog. Everything looks SO amazing and I can’t wait to try these.

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  48. Teri

    I made this over the weekend, they were very good. I halved the recipe & served them to 7 people and everyone was very happy with the results. I made a 2 substitutions, instead of 3/4 tsp of mint extract, I ended up adding 2 tbsp, before I was happy with the mint flavor and I added green food coloring!

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  50. Jackie

    Hello 🙂 your piping is gorgeous. How do you achieve the “Ruffle” look? What is your technique and tip? Thank u 🙂

  51. Aly

    These look really good Renee! I think cupcakes are good for any occasion.:)

  52. Karis

    how did you get the ruffle effect on the cupcake? and what tip did you use?

  53. Brittanne

    These were pretty good. Next time I will add more peppermint and sugar to the frosting.

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  55. Calie

    WOW!!!! — I just stumbled across your website – and I just had to tell you that these are the most BEAUTIFUL cupcakes I think I’ve ever seen!
    If they taste one-tenth as good as they look, they would be pure heaven!
    Are these — ‘real’? or made-up for photo purposes? (I have worked in photography, and understand some of the ‘tricks’ that can be used)
    They’re gorgeous either way . . . but if they’re real — PLEASE share anything you can – about how to get the frosting to look like this!!!!
    There are many pretty desserts out there — but somehow, your frosting just looks soooooooooo much better!
    I know you’ve listed the tip to use . . . but . . . is it just that you had the most perfect consistency of frosting? or ?
    Anyway — I’ll be jealous forever! 😉
    Thanks for posting such a wonder . . . I’ll keep the pic as my “goal” shot – forever! 🙂

    • Thank you Calie! What a super message to get! These are all real I can assure you, I sold them in my bake shop. The icing is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is to me the very best! Fluffy, great for piping and not too sweet. I hope you do try these!
      Renee xo

  56. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes - Allurelle.com

  57. Priscilla

    What icing tip did you use to pipe the cupcakes? They’re beautiful!

  58. Jen

    Hi there,
    What piping tip was used for the frosting?

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