Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes 2

I’m sorry, did you guys see the straws in these Paleo Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes?! Too cute right. I love stuff that’s too cute, it’s my favorite. So welcome to the second Ghosts of Holiday Flavors Past post! Last week we welcomed Gingerbread and now it’s Peppermint time! I love peppermint time. It’s just one of those flavors that compliments chocolate really well and you know how much I love chocolate, so anything that makes it taste even better I’m like ALL about it.

You know what really grinds my gears? The Starbucks Holiday flavored signature drinks. First it’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, then it’s Eggnog and Gingerbread Lattes, then Peppermint Mochas. It’s too much! Mostly just because I want to drink them all and can’t. But really Starbucks? You and your 14 Seasonal drinks. And then you serve them in these cute little festive red cups. Ugh. It’s sickening! (Not really, it’s delicious.)

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes 1


Normally I allow myself one Eggnog Latte a season because it’s my absolute favorite of them all. I haven’t gotten it yet this year, but when I do, it’s going to be glorious. The Heavens will open and the Angels will sing Christmas carols just for me. I even tell the Barista making my drink, “Look buddy, (poking his shoulder with my finger) this is the ONE Eggnog Latte I get a year so you BETTER make it perfect OR ELSE!” Well that’s how it sounds in my head at least, I’m pretty sure I say it a lot nicer in person (I think?) I will be sure to have my Claritin on standby. Having allergies sucks. You know what doesn’t suck? These Paleo Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes 3

These cupcakes are SO easy to make you guys and they come out super moist. It’s the closest to real cupcakes you’re gonna get without actually eating real cupcakes. These would be great to bring to a Holiday party and knock everyone’s socks off. Then you get a whole bunch of new socks and then Santa can bring you stuff you really want. Like a new Canon camera so that you don’t have to use your iPhone for blogging anymore. What are you guys asking Santa for this year?

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes 4

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
Yields 12
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
For the cupcakes
  1. 1 cup (92 g) sifted fine-ground blanched almond flour
  2. 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  3. 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  4. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  5. ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  6. ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1 (2.8-ounce/80-g) dark mint chocolate bar, chopped or broken into pieces
  8. ¾ cup (5¼ ounces/150 g) chocolate chips
  9. ½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
  10. ¼ cup (55 g) palm shortening
  11. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  13. 2 large eggs
For the peppermint chocolate frosting
  1. 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) chocolate chips
  2. 16 tablespoons (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
  3. ½ cup (75 g) coconut sugar, sifted
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
For garnish
  1. 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
For the cupcakes
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups; set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the dry ingredients—almond flour, espresso powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon—and stir together using a fork until combined; set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut milk together in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until smooth and combined. (Another method is to place the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a large (3-quart/2.8-liter) heatproof glass or metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir intermittently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the coconut milk. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the palm shortening into the melted chocolate mixture. Then stir in the vanilla, peppermint extract, and eggs. If you used a double boiler to melt the chocolate rather than a large mixing bowl set over water, transfer the melted chocolate and egg mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the melted chocolate mixture and stir using a rubber spatula or whisk until completely combined.
  6. Use a cookie dough scoop or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds full (they will rise slightly when baking). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely.
  7. Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
For the peppermint chocolate frosting
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set to medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract and continue to beat until mixed. Then add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture in three additions beating well after each. Make sure the chocolate has cooled enough so it doesn’t melt the butter when combined. Continue to beat until smooth.
  3. Use an offset spatula to spread or transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip.
  4. Garnish with the shredded coconut. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic for up to 2 days.
  1. Be sure to sift the sugar for this recipe. Coconut sugar is very granular; sifting it will break down the grain and help the sugar to incorporate into the butter. If you skip this step the frosting may be slightly gritty.
  2. My favorite brand of dark mint chocolate is Alter Eco brand, Dark Mint 60%.
  3. Make ahead - Chocolate Cupcakes — 1 day ahead
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

28 Comments on Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

  1. thekoshercavegirl
    December 9, 2013 at 11:28 am (10 years ago)

    Oh my god. I need to make these. Like yesterday. Chocolate and peppermint heaven is calling my name.

  2. Rebecca
    December 9, 2013 at 11:36 am (10 years ago)

    But it’s so hard to copy and paste into a Word document or something, don’t you know? It’s not enough that you’re providing the recipes for free, you must make things as easy as possible 😐 I mean, I do like the feature when a blog has it, but I’m not gonna get all bitchy at someone if they don’t have it, haha.

    These cupcakes look delicious and I want to make them immediately. Might be part of my finals week baking.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 9, 2013 at 11:39 am (10 years ago)

      You know what’s funny is I use my iPad or iPhone to cook with so I don’t even think about printing recipes, and then I read that and I was like “Oh crap.” hahaha! You guys will have it soon!!! 🙂

      • Anne
        January 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm (10 years ago)

        Thanks for all the awesome recipes! So many people, myself included, have benefitted greatly from generous people like you who work so hard to bring us great food, ideas, and humor. I would never have been able to go Paleo otherwise. I haven’t thought about printing recipes for so long as I also use my iPad while in the kitchen. It is so much easier to bookmark and organize the recipes by webpage. I have a pile of recipe cards, hand written recipes on scrap pieces of paper, magazine clippings, etc., in a giant shoebox. What a disaster! My iPad is my favorite cookbook and music player, the only two things I use it for!

        For those without an iPad, iPhone, or tablet of some kind, you can lug your laptop into the kitchen without having to print recipes. For those with a desktop, hmmm, I guess you could put it in your kitchen permanently or have someone shout the recipe to you if you can’t print it for some reason!

      • Vanessa Barajas
        January 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm (10 years ago)

        Well you’re so very welcome! I use my iPad in the kitchen too! That’s why I have no need for the print button, but I understand not everyone has an iPad or fancy smart phone. I like your idea about just yelling the recipe into the kitchen! Ha!

  3. This Sydney Life
    December 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm (10 years ago)

    V – are you seriously taking these pics with your iPhone. HOW?

    And, I will happily exchange a million pumpkin dog biscuits for one of your Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes. Having said that – the pumpkin doggie number is wheat free!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm (10 years ago)

      Yes TSL, I’ve been using the iPhone since day 1. I don’t have a fancy DSLR! I’m hoping to get one soon though by not buying anymore shoes. It’s a fail proof savings plan. Not really. I like shoes. A lot. The pumpkin dog biscuits looked really tasty! I love anything pumpkin flavored though, dog biscuit or not. You are more than welcome to have as many Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes as you’d like, I’m not sure that I’d have room for a million dog biscuits though. Especially since I only have cats. 😀

      • Brenna
        December 9, 2015 at 10:32 am (8 years ago)

        Do you use a specific app to take the pictures on your phone? I’m new to blogging and I’ve been using my phone it the past but I am not pleased with the quality of the pictures. I’ve done some research and I’ve found an app I think I want to get that the blogger of “How Sweet Eats” said was recommended to her. Any insight would be helpful! 🙂

        Also IN LOVE with the ornaments in the muffin pan. Friggin genius.

      • Vanessa Barajas
        December 10, 2015 at 9:46 am (8 years ago)

        Hey! This was an older post that I’ve since updated! I finally got a DSLR camera and I updated the pictures. 🙂 The original ones were taken with my iPhone. I highly recommend getting a DSLR, you can get a great used one for a decent price which is what I did and it’s taken my photography to the next level! As for editing apps I love the VSCO one, it’s my fave. 🙂 How Sweet Eats is SUCH a good blog! I love it!

      • Kristen Danielle Garza Hake
        December 30, 2015 at 10:56 am (8 years ago)

        I’m new to this and I really want to recreate these for a party since they never have anything I can eat however I can’t find palm shortening is there something else I can use?

      • Vanessa Barajas
        January 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm (8 years ago)

        I’ve never tried anything else so I couldn’t say. Maybe butter, but it may change the flavor and texture. You can find Palm Shortening at Vons, Safeway, Albertson’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and on

  4. Taylor
    December 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm (10 years ago)

    iPhone blogging for the win (insert laughing to hard I’m crying emoji). But seriously, a photography class is on my urgent to-do list. After these cupcakes of course.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm (10 years ago)

      T-dawg shouldn’t you be studying for finals?!

  5. Laura Solara Gasparrini
    December 11, 2013 at 11:46 am (10 years ago)

    I am so excited – just made this recipe for my birthday cake!! I left out the coffee and cinnamon and added 2tb of cocoa powder instead. Then I doubled the recipe to get enough for a sheet cake. Baked for ~30 minutes at 350. The batter tastes delicious, and the cake looks beautiful just out of the oven. The frosting is next!
    A perfect cake for December birthdays! Thank you, I can’t wait to eat it tonight!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm (10 years ago)

      Sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing all the cake specs for those wishing to recreate! Happy Birthday!

      • Laura Solara Gasparrini
        January 25, 2014 at 10:30 am (10 years ago)

        Thank you! The cake and frosting were a huge hit – by far my favorite cake ever! Dense, rich and delicious. Plus you can eat the frosting by itself – I made the frosting recipe again and used it as a pie filling with an almond flour crust!

        My fiance loved the cake, too, and it is his vote for our wedding cake! Paleo peppermint chocolate wedding cake – woohoo! You rock, Vanessa!

      • Vanessa Barajas
        January 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm (10 years ago)

        Oh wow Laura! What an amazing compliment! I can’t believe I’m kind of involved in someone’s wedding cake! Haha that makes me so excited! I’m very happy you both enjoyed it so much, it’s the closest to real cake/cupcake I’ve had too, I like to play around with the flavors and frostings. What a great idea, using it for filling, that sounds incredible. 🙂

  6. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    December 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m intrigued. By the cupcakes and your Starbucks obsession. Poking the barista is a new one for me. Let me know how that works out for you. 😉
    Peppermint and chocolate were just meant to be together, like Bert and Ernie, who I’m also pretty sure poked one another; probably quite often in fact so you’re onto something there. I better go before Sesame Street hunts me down for speaking naughty about their fellas.

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm (10 years ago)

      Tee hee hee… 🙂 I’m so happy you concur with my peppermint/chocolate assessment. I still haven’t had the eggnog latte yet, and I also remembered my friend Sarah works for the Starbucks across the street from my work and would probably make me whatever I wanted, no poking necessary. She might even give me an extra red cup so I can be like the cool kids! 🙂

    • Vanessa Barajas
      December 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm (10 years ago)

      Go figure, they’re back in stock at my local store. 😉

  7. jo ann
    June 14, 2018 at 11:42 am (5 years ago)

    I love your recipes & can’t wait to try them!!

    • Vanessa Barajas
      June 15, 2018 at 3:28 pm (5 years ago)

      I’m so exited for you to make them too! Hope you love each and every one of them! 🙂


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