Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes are super tasty cupcakes, where the cupcake is infused with fresh mint. Then, they’re topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting.

I love fresh mint. I’ve grown it (or at least tried to) for the past couple of years now. It’s done moderately well, but I think I still have some room for improvement. But fall came along too fast last year and I wasn’t able to get all of my herbs harvested before the frost came. Mint and basil are what I’m most sad about. They were doing really well at the end of the summer and I was looking forward to drying both of them out. Maybe this year!

(Side note: are there any gardeners out there that can give me some herb planting and care advice?)

When I saw that the ingredients for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight were mint and chocolate, I was pretty excited. There are not a lot of recipes out there using fresh mint for some reason. Iced tea, mojitos, lemonade, detox water, simply syrup….what if I didn’t want a drink? Well, there were more than drink recipes.

There are an absolute ton of recipes that include fresh mint in salads. But that doesn’t exactly work well with chocolate.

All of this is a really long winded way of saying, I looked at a lot of ideas before deciding to make some cupcakes and get the fresh mint flavor into them via infusion.

Coffee already helps to bring out a stronger chocolate flavor in baked goods, so I thought infusing the coffee with the mint would be a great way to get that minty flavor in. And just in case it didn’t work, a little mint extract was added to ensure that mint flavor was really there!


Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes super tasty cupcakes, where the cupcake is infused with fresh mint. Then they’re topped with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting.

  • Author: NicholeL
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking


For the Cupcake:

  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 810 large mint leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 34 cups powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • additional mint leaves, for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Muddle the mint in a small bowl, then add to the freshly brewed coffee. Let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, canola oil and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder. Add in the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. After the 15 minutes of steeping, strain the coffee into the buttermilk mixture, discarding the mint leaves.
  6. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  7. Divide the batter into the cupcake pans, filling each 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining the butter and cocoa powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  11. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, then add in the milk, vanilla and salt.
  12. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Decorate cupcakes with additional fresh mint leaves if desired.

Keywords: mint chocolate cupcakes, fresh mint cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, fantastical food fight, dessert, baking, cupcake

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Don’t have buttermilk?

Add 1 tbsp white vinegar to dairy milk and let sit for 5 minutes.

Don’t have unsweetened applesauce? Or oil?

If you have sweetened applesauce, reduce sugar to 1 cup.

If you don’t have any applesauce, use all oil (3/4 cup total)

If you don’t have canola oil, use vegetable oil.

If you don’t have oil, use 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.

How do you feel about chocolate and mint? It appears that you either love it or you don’t like it at all. There is no in between. Personally, I’m a fan. Yet my husband wouldn’t touch these cupcakes if they were the last bit of chocolate on the earth. And when I brought them into work, they didn’t disappear in an hour, meaning most of my coworkers must think along the same lines of my husband.

The mint definitely comes through in these Mint Chocolate Cupcakes. The cupcake is light, moist and full of flavor thanks to the buttermilk, coffee and fresh mint leaves. And can you ever go wrong with a classic chocolate buttercream? Nah! You could melt up some chocolate, add it into the butter and go from there, but adding in cocoa powder works just as well and allows the buttercream to shine. At least in my opinion!

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  1. These look amazing and I love that you used applesauce in the cake batter. I need to give these a try.

    • Thanks! I’ve been substituting oil for applesauce for a while now and it works in almost all of the recipes. I like the idea of at least thinking it’s a bit healthier. 🙂

  2. I’ll bet there were a lot of happy faces when they saw this platter of cupcakes.

  3. Your cupcakes turned out so pretty, and the tiny mint leaves as garnish is the perfect touch. Like you, I love adding coffee to my chocolate cakes. Everyone always raves about how rich and chocolaty they are, and are always surprised when they find out my coffee trick.

  4. I need to grow mint again. I usually go for basil because I love it so so much. I haven’t had much luck with outdoor herb growing because I have some very hungry chipmunks, but I use an Aerogarden and can grow herbs all year round!! These cupcakes look absolutely fabulous. I love a little kick of coffee in my chocolate treats.

    • My basil went crazy last year. I started calling it the basil bush because it was so big. I was drying it, freezing it and passing it off to everyone I knew. It was planted in the ground and I had the mint in a pot so it wouldn’t take over the garden, so I think that’s why it struggled a bit. I should look into an Aerogarden.

  5. These are gorgeous! I love your frosting skills! We grow mint in pots so that we can bring them in when it gets too frosty.

    • Thank you, but it’s all the piping tip and the bag! I buy the really large piping tips so its just a circle or two around the cupcake and looks great. I had my mint in a pot but forgot to bring it in before the weather changed. I don’t have a lot of windows with good sunlight so it may not have made a difference. I’m going to try again this year!

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