Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

When I asked my friends for suggestions for Starbucks inspired cupcakes, one requested a peppermint mocha cupcake. Admittedly, this was probably the flavor I was most looking forward to make myself, and it was REALLY hard to wait until closer to the Christmas season. But now that my Christmas countdown baking marathon has begun, it’s time to indulge with this Starbucks seasonal favorite!

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Cupcake
Yields 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
1 stick (113 grams) butter
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 bar (50 grams) semi-sweet dark chocolate
1 tbsp. espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour

For the frosting:
3 sticks butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining a cupcake pan with liners. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir in the milk and bring the mixture almost to a boil. The point here is that we’re trying to get all of the cold ingredients warm so they won’t make the chocolate seize up later. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cocoa powder and espresso powder, stirring until there are no more lumps. Break up the dark chocolate and drop it into the mixture. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, baking soda, baking  powder and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture from the saucepan into the bowl along with the granulated sugar, and mix until everything is combined. Lastly, add the flour and mix until everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps of any kind. Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Warm and fresh out of the oven!

While the cupcakes cool, you can go ahead and mix up your peppermint buttercream frosting. I considered using another stiff whipped cream frosting like I have in the past, but I just feel like a good buttercream is hard to beat in terms of flavor and texture. Of course, if you’d prefer the whipped cream frosting you can go ahead and use that. For those of you that want to make the buttercream, start by creaming your butter in a medium sized bowl on high. Once the butter has become smooth and there are no longer any chunks, add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth again. Add the peppermint extract and mix until everything is combined. Spoon this frosting into a piping bag, and pipe as desired. To make the red and white swirl, I added a few drops of red food coloring to the sides of the piping bag, and spooned the frosting over it.

Decorated and ready to eat!

Happy baking!

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