Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


I’ve written in this space long enough to have mentioned cupcakes a number of times. At first I thought, “I can’t post yet another cupcake recipe, can I?”

Of course I can. Because one can never have too many recipes for a rich and perfectly textured chocolate cupcake and this frosting really needs to be brought to your attention. While my boys may not appreciate the little green flecks covering their cake I sure do. I love that there’s a nod to spring. A fresh taste that’s not astringent or harsh. It’s soft, grassy and light – definitely mint but not toothpastey as some extracts can be. The flavor is all in the leaves, which right now is the only thing popping up in my little garden besides chives and the straggly looking kale left over from last season.

The other reason why I bring up cupcakes is to mention that I’m helping Jennifer Shea, the owner of Trophy Cupcakes here in Seattle, launch her book tour. I’ll be joining Jennifer at Williams-Sonoma this Saturday. While she whips up cupcakes and teaches us the art of the buttercream ruffle, I’ll be serving up Rhubarb Cream Soda. Hope to see many of you there.

Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt


Chocolate Cupcake with Fresh Mint Buttercream // Not Without Salt

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Mint Buttercream

from Trophy Cupcakes and Parties! 

Makes 2 dozen (although I actually got 3)


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups cocoa powder

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups sugar

1 cup boiling water


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and dry ingredients. Blend at low speed, then increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon, carefully so that it doesn’t splash, until the batter is smooth again. It will be thin. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes and stir gently before using.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full and bake until the tops of the cupcakes are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center of a middle cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing to cool completely.


Fresh Mint Buttercream

I find that this frosting is best made the day you plan to eat the cupcakes.


4 ounces cream cheese, soft

2 sticks/ 8 ounces unsalted butter, soft

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely minced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups packed powdered sugar


In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment combine the cream cheese, butter, salt and mint leaves. Beat on low until well combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula then mix on medium low for one minute more.

With the machine on low add the powdered sugar. Once combined, increase the speed to medium high then beat for three minutes, until light.

Frost the cooled cupcakes then top with a sugared mint leaf if you’d like.


To make the sugared mint leaves, I chose pretty, fresh leaves that used my fingers to coat then in lightly beaten egg whites. You could use a pastry brush if you’re more civilized than I. Then I dipped then in fine sugar (regular sugar pulsed in a blender or food processor works well). Place the leaves on a plate to dry for 24 hours or so.



65 Responses to “Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Mint Buttercream”

  1. Heather Anne Lovell

    Hello there Ashley!
    I am the founder of a local women’s “adventure group” in Seattle committed to a new experience each Friday! What a trip it’s been already.
    On our calendar/list is to be tutored by a perfectly lovely chef in April/May. It’s an outstanding group if you decide you want to give us a shot…we would be thrilled and you would surely been entertained!
    My contact info if you are game:
    Heather Ann Lovell
    Waterside Design & Photo

  2. Ashley

    Hold the phone. Rhubarb cream soda???? Totally saving that post of yours. The cupcakes are killing me, too, obviously. 🙂 What a fun [and tasty] event! Have fun!

  3. Kathryn

    I generally steer clear of mint treats (because of that aforementioned toothpaste thing) but these sound wonderful and delicate and fragrant. Also, I totally agree with that first quote. Cupcakes are always the solution.

  4. sara forte

    yes yes yes to chocolate and mint. Love the green specks in there. It’s like a salad which means more cupcakes this week 😉

  5. Allison

    I am totally obsessed wih mint right now. Give me all the mint. I am even drinking a blueberry mint smoothie right this minute! This was a perfectly timed recipe that I just can’t wait to make 🙂

  6. Cindy

    These are so beautiful and sound so delicious! Love, love the springy green flecks of mint in that buttercream.

  7. Kirsten

    I literally just finished icing the last few cupcakes with my sister and am enjoying my first cupcake. They are so light!!! I am amazed. Absolutely delicious. We also separated the icing into halves and made one with the mint and added a 1/4 cup of Bailey’s irish cream to the other half. Highly recommend the Bailey’s :). Fantastic recipe!!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Holly Erickson

    we get some crazy mint at our place! Grows so fast and runs the length of our garden! So happy to have another delicious recipe to add to my list!! Aaaaand….I love trophy cupcake!! ; )

  9. Lauren

    Fresh mint buttercream….wow….that sounds just dreamy. Yup, dreamy! Never enough amazing cupcake recipes!!

  10. Sunny Lake

    Those sound absolutely lovely – chocolate but with some freshness.

    Hope your event went well on Saturday – rhubarb cream soda sounds lovely. I just had grapefruit cinnamon soda on a trip to San Diego and it about knocked me out of my chair – fantastic! Something about drinks with bubbles makes me smile every time.


  11. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    Have never had cupcakes with fresh mint frosting or using fresh mint as the flavoring in the cake. I imagine it tastes a lot less intense than the mint taste from mint extract. Will have to try this sometime 🙂

  12. Candice

    I made these tonight! But I had to sub milk with almond milk because I was out. Next time I’ll try with regular milk. I need a simple frosting for some kids — should I just take out the mint?

  13. Kendriana

    mmmm these look delicious. I love mint and chocolate together, the cupcakes look so dark and perfect.

  14. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I feel the same way about scones. Can I really post ANOTHER scone recipe? Yes… yes I can. No regrets.

    So, yeah, cupcakes (or any cake really) totally freak me out. I have no confidence in my baking abilities, so anything with frosting gets me nervous. But I totally trust you so I think I need to give these a go.

  15. Sarah Lenaeus

    These look like the perfect spring treat!! I forgot how much I like the combination of mint and chocolate….can’t wait to give them a try.

  16. Cindy Rodriguez

    I made these this weekend for the church bake sale, oh they are so good! They just melt in your mouth. I used dark chocolate cocoa powder and the first shoots of chocolate mint from my garden. I could just eat them all day. But I won’t, because I donated them. 🙂

  17. Ruby

    The only things popping up in my (now snow-dusted & slightly frozen) Iowa garden are also chives and mint…went searching for something new and fun for the mint…couldn’t find anything…decided to make my all-time favorite brownies (NWS Cocoa Brownie with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting) in order to cope with this horrid, non-existent spring….and like magic your current recipe/post seems to be written specifically for me. Thank you! Can’t wait to make some ‘spring’! xx

  18. Sheila

    I just found your recipe for cadbury creme eggs on Food52 and made them the other day — so incredible! First the snickers, then the eggs…so much fun. Hope you don’t mind I shared your recipe adapted on my site. They’re so delicious!

  19. Tori []

    These look so good and I love your photography. I am starting a food blog and trying very hard to improve my own photography with very little equipment. You have so many beautiful photos, how do you do it? Do you have any tips for me?

  20. Shannon

    Thank you for posting this, with your beautiful photos!
    It’s my birthday Saturday, so I’ve just made a batch to take into work tomorrow. I really like the addition of boiling water to the batter (smooths, gets baking powder going, gave a good crumb) and the smooth flavor of freshly chopped Spring mint!
    The only frosting I knew growing up was the Buttercream recipe on the side of the Domino sugar box … so I admit, I added another box of 10x powdered sugar to the buttercream recipe you have here, totaling about 4.5c. Thank you for the wonderful birthday cupcakes! : ) My boyfriend and I just tucked away one each. Such a treat!

  21. Ella

    I made these cupcakes last night for our family dinner and everyone loved them! The only thing is that I have so many left over. Amazingly delicious, thank you for your inspiration and sharing. Beautiful photos.

  22. Heather

    I was looking for a way to use the chocolate mint in my herb garden and thought these looked like an easy recipe to try in my dinky college kitchen. With some minor adjustments to account for my bare bones kitchen, they turned out great!

    – A half batch makes 12 large cupcakes
    – I don’t have liners so I greased the cupcake pan
    – I mixed the dry ingredients with a wire whisk
    – I use a fine sea salt instead of traditional salt, you can use less of it and the taste is a bit better ( if you use the same tsp size it will be too salty)
    – I didn’t have baking soda
    – A handheld mixer works great but takes a bit longer
    – I don’t have a working stove top so I boiled water in my Keurig!
    – I put my mint leaves in the blender and chopped them up using pulse since my knives are cheap and not ideal for mincing.

    My husband was skeptical of using mint leaves in frosting and being able to jury rig a cupcake recipe, but it turned out wonderful. The cakes were perfect and the buttercream was amazing. The buttercream is airy and tastes like a frosting my mother makes for her daffodil cakes (but her frosting is way more complicated to make!) The mint smells very strong chopped up but isn’t overpowering at all in the buttercream. Leaves a light minty taste in your mouth, what an Andes mint wishes it could be!

  23. AlexRainbow

    Hi from Paris ! I tested the recipe with my colleagues . It was a real success !!! Thanks !!!

  24. Diana lee

    Hi! I had been dying to try this out but today when I finally got to it, the frosting just didn’t work – it turned out lumpy and a bit kinda like gunk. Tried mixing it better, but no change. Also the butter and cream cheese was at room temp. What could have gone wrong?


Post a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>