If you love to bake but also love a good shortcut, this recipe is for you. These easy chocolate peppermint cupcakes taste like you made them completely from scratch, but the store bought mixes will save you time! They are the perfect holiday treat and go perfectly with a cup of hot cocoa or our chai hot chocolate.
Fun fact… I first made these chocolate peppermint cupcakes 9 years ago when I decided to bake a different cupcake recipe every week. I remember how much we all loved this one and yet for some reason, it took me 9 years to make them again. I love everything about these cupcakes, but I think my favorite part is taking a bite and finding melted chocolate inside. They are so good!
Let’s talk about ingredients. If you don’t regularly use sour cream in your baked goods, this recipe might just change your mind. Sour cream makes these chocolate peppermint cupcakes so fluffy and soft.
You want to choose a chocolate cake mix that is 15.25oz. There are lots of them in the store and the brand really doesn’t matter. I usually go with the fudge chocolate cake because we love these chocolate peppermint cupcakes to be extra chocolatey.
While the recipe calls for chocolate baking squares, you can also use mini semi-sweet chocolate chips as well, which will save you a little bit of time since you don’t have to chop them up.
You can use either soft peppermint candies or mini candy canes. Either one will need to be crushed. I usually put 12 or so into a resealable bag, leaving one corner unsealed to allow the air to escape, and then use a kitchen tool or a hammer to crush them into pieces. It’s okay if they turn to dust as well. That will be sprinkled on top of the whipped topping. You can probably also use a food processor, though I haven’t tried that yet.
The peppermint flavor is very slight in these chocolate peppermint cupcakes, so if you want to add just a bit of extra peppermint flavor, I recommend adding a tsp of peppermint extract to the batter.
Lastly, to save even more time, you can substitute the frozen whipped topping for a canister of refrigerated whipped cream. No need to use a piping bag or decorator tool since the whipped cream has a built in pressurized nozzle to top your cupcakes easily and quickly.
While you don’t need many kitchen tools to make these chocolate peppermint cupcakes, there are a few things that I personally use to make things easier.
If you don’t already have a KitchenAid stand mixer and you love to cook and bake, it’s an investment that you should make. I was given mine as a gift years ago and I use it on a pretty regular basis. I just purchased the glass bowl and plan to purchase the slicer/shredder attachment next. There is so much you can do with it!
Another of my favorite tools for cupcakes and cookies is a cookie scoop. It helps to make sure that all of your cupcakes or cookies are the same size.
Lastly, I use a decorator tool to add the whipped topping to the cupcakes. It’s easy. You just open it up, add in your whipped topping, close it and then squeeze onto your cupcakes. They have a variety of tips to make different designs as well.
I’ve tried to show the steps in photos above for you, to make it a bit easier.
Step 1: All ingredients except for the peppermint candies and chocolate.
Step 2: After the first step’s ingredients have been mixed.
Step 3: Adding in the peppermint candies and chocolate.
Step 4: After all of the ingredients have been mixed.
Step 5: Scooped cake batter into cupcake liners.
Step 6: Chocolate peppermint cupcakes fresh out of the oven.
Now that you know a little bit about our easy chocolate peppermint cupcakes, I’m excited to share our recipe.
Easy Chocolate Peppermint CupcakesPrint
A quick and easy cupcake recipe that is perfect for the holidays. A hint of peppermint is the perfect compliment for this soft and fluffy chocolate cupcake.
- 4oz semi-sweet baking chocolate squares, chopped
- 12 soft peppermint candies or 6 mini candy canes, crushed
- 15.25oz package of chocolate cake mix
- 3.9oz package of instant chocolate pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
- 8oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Pre-heat oven to 350°
- Chop chocolate and crush peppermints/candy cane and set aside.
- Set the frozen whipped topping on the counter to allow to thaw.
- Put liners in your muffin pan and set aside.
- Using a standing mixer, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and water (and peppermint extract should you choose to use it). Start on low speed for 30 seconds and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stir in chopped chocolate and 4 tbsp peppermint pieces, by hand, until fully combined.
- Fill each cupcake liner with your batter (about 1/2 full).
- Bake for approx. 23 minutes. If you stick a toothpick into the center, it should come out dry if they are completely cooked.
- Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack until they are completely cool.
- Place thawed whipped topping into a piping bag or decorator tool and ice the tops of each cooled cupcake.
- Sprinkle with the remaining crushed peppermints/candy canes.
If you try our chocolate peppermint cupcakes recipe, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to check out all of our family friendly recipes!
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