If you love mint chocolate flavor, you’ll love these mint chocolate cupcakes made with fresh mint! A fresh mint buttercream frosting tops moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes for an almost refreshing cupcake treat.
Darlings, I’m a terrible gardener for the most part. I try every year, but you should really pity the plants that come home with me. Unless we are talking about mint and chives. Apparently, I have a serious knack for both. If you’re a serious gardener, stop laughing, I know they’re super easy to grow, but I’m proud of these plants. Proud enough that I had to make cupcakes to celebrate this year.
I thought my plant-growing streak was over this year when my mint plant looked quite dead until it burst forth in a bevy of beautiful and fragrant leaves! Which, of course, I decided to use to make these delicious mint chocolate cupcakes with a fresh mint buttercream frosting!
That’s right… there is no peppermint extract in this recipe, just fresh mint. And there is absolutely no shortage of mint flavor! In fact, my original plan was to make a mint chocolate cupcake and a fresh mint frosting, but the Godfather thought it was a little too minty.
The zing of the natural mint in the buttercream frosting was enough to balance perfectly with the chocolate cupcake. I thought each bite was like a thin mint, my neighbor described it as a “chocolate mint mojito”. Can we really go wrong with either? I don’t think so. 😉
Darlings, if I hadn’t dyed it green, this would be an all-natural mint frosting! This is the kind of detail that makes my slightly-hippie-baker heart happy. There’s a place and time for all flavors, but if we have a natural option, why not use it?
The chocolate cupcake recipe is based off my chocolaty chocolate cupcake recipe. The difference here is that the cupcakes have no melted chocolate. There’s still plenty of chocolate flavor, of course, but it’s nice to have the option to eliminate a step when making chocolate cupcakes from scratch. I feel like it balances out the extra step of infusing the butter with the fresh mint. A totally worthwhile step, by the way, because this mint icing is really good.
Speaking of “infusion”, let’s talk about what that means. Infusing flavors is very simple. In this case, you melt the butter and let the fresh mint leaves sit in the melted butter for a few minutes before you remove them. If you’ve ever made tea, it’s just like that. Only we’re using butter not water and making cupcakes and not tea. Easy!
If you don’t want to be patient and wait for the butter to naturally cool to the correct “softened” temperature for whipping into buttercream, refrigerate it while you bake the cupcakes. Just give it a stir every 10-15 minutes or so to check progress and make sure it doesn’t solidify to where you need to soften it again before whipping.
I hope you love this fresh mint chocolate cupcake recipe, darlings! Happy baking!
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (see notes)
Fresh Mint Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 pound butter
- 12-15 fresh mint leaves
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
- green food coloring (optional)
- Place the butter and mint in a skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter has completely melted, remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing the mint leaves and transferring the butter to a bowl to cool and solidify. Cover and set aside.
- Melt the butter for the cupcakes and place in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line 12 cupcake wells with liners. Set aside.
- Whisk together the hot water and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Stir the sugar into the melted butter, beating on medium speed until it looks light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Stir the buttermilk into the cocoa powder water, which should be warm, but no longer super hot.
- Add 1/3 of the flour to the sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Add half the liquid ingredients. Repeat, ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter between the cupcakes, filling them about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until a tester inserted in a middle cupcake comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes rest for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, clean out your mixing bowl and make your fresh mint buttercream frosting.
- Whip the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, if using.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. If you need to thin the icing, add a teaspoon or two of milk. Stir in the green food coloring, if using.
- Frost the completely cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
- Extra cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator up to a week.
- To "bloom" the cocoa powder, you need hot water. When I don't feel like boiling in a pot, I just use a glass measuring cup in the microwave for a minute or so.
- When I make this recipe, I don't usually add the extract because it makes the cupcakes very minty once paired with the frosting and I prefer a little more balance. Also, the fresh garden mint is really potent. If your mint isn't as potent, feel free to add a little mint flavor to the cupcake too.
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