If you're a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream then you'll love this delicious and easy mint chocolate chip cupcake recipe! Made with a soft and moist gluten-free chocolate cake base and topped with a swirl of vegan mint chocolate chip frosting. There are even little pieces of chocolate in the icing, just like the beloved ice cream flavor!
If you ask anyone what their favorite ice cream flavor is, mint chocolate chip is bound to be in the top 5. It's a beloved classic! I even have mint chocolate chip brownie ice cream sandwich and mint chocolate chip nice cream recipes to prove it! With it's fresh minty flavor and specks of chocolate chips, how could you not love mint chocolate chip?!
In typical Ansley fashion, I thought if it makes a good ice cream flavor, it has to make a great cupcake. And that's how these mint chocolate chip cupcakes were born! They're made gluten-free and paleo and based off my gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe.
Cupcake Ingredient Notes
- Almond & Tapioca flour - the combination of almond flour and tapioca flour ensures a fluffy and moist chocolate cake base. If you don't have tapioca flour on hand, arrowroot starch will also work. For those that can't eat almonds, swap both of these flours for 2 cups gluten-free oat flour.
- Almond milk + ACV - this is also known as a "vegan buttermilk". I promise, you can't taste the apple cider vinegar! This mixture is used in our mint chocolate chip cupcake recipe to make sure the cakes rise in the oven. If you're nut-free, use coconut milk or oat milk.
- Eggs - room temperature eggs are best. Similar to my gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, two flax eggs can be substituted for the eggs.
- Coffee - warm coffee is used to deepen the chocolate flavor and provide a little lift to the cupcake. No, these mint chocolate chip cupcakes will not taste like coffee. If you're strongly against coffee, warm water will work as well!
A creamy green mint buttercream icing is used to top these mint chocolate chip cupcakes! If you prefer a ganache-style frosting, check out the frosting in my paleo chocolate cake recipe. You can even add a little drop of peppermint extract to it to still give these cupcakes a mint flavor!
- Vegan butter - this is the base of the minty buttercream. Make sure to set the butter out a few hours beforehand so it's soft when you're ready to make the icing. If you're not vegan, grass-fed butter is a great alternative.
- Almond milk - any type of dairy-free milk will work in this recipe.
- Peppermint extract - this is used to give these mint chocolate chip cupcakes a fresh minty flavor! Make sure to use peppermint extract and not mint extract (this is important!). Mint extract can make things taste a little like toothpaste where peppermint is more of the mint flavor typically used in baked goods. A little goes a long way with peppermint extract!
- Powdered sugar - used to sweeten the mint buttercream. I recommend using a high-quality powered sugar like this one. If needed, powdered monk fruit will also work but remember it's a lot sweeter than normal powdered sugar. Start with half as much powdered monk fruit and add more as needed.
- Green food coloring - this is optional and gives your mint chocolate chip cupcakes the classic look. I recommend this natural food coloring.
Step by step directions
These mint chocolate chip cupcakes are easy to make and perfect for St. Patrick's day or the holidays! They're made paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Step 1 : Beat the eggs and coconut sugar
First, beat the eggs with the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. This can be done with a hand mixer or stand-mixer or with a simple whisk. Beat until the mixture is slightly thick and creamy. There should be a layer of bubbles on top.
Step 2 : Add the almond milk and ACV
Next, add the almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixture. Whisk into the batter to fully incorporate.
Step 3 : Fold in the dry ingredients
Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Whisk slowly until no flour clumps remain. you can also do this with a rubber spatula but be careful not to overmix.
Step 4 : Pour in the coffee
Finally pour in the warm coffee. The coffee should be warm to the touch but not boiling or pipping hot. Whisk into the batter until well mixed. The batter should be slightly runny - this is okay.
Step 5 : Spoon into cupcake liners
Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Use a cookie scoop or spoon and fill up the liners almost to the top. The liners should be fuller than most "traditional" cupcake recipes. This is because these mint chocolate chip cupcakes are gluten-free and don't rise as much as traditional cupcakes. With this in mind, just leave about half an inch at the top of the liners.
Bake the cupcakes in the oven until they're risen slightly and you can insert a toothpick in the middle of one and it comes out clean. If there is excess batter on the cupcake, they need another minute or two in the oven.
Allow the cupcakes to cool down before topping with icing.
Step 6 : Prepare the icing
To make the icing, beat the butter with a hand mixer or stand-mixer until creamy. Next add the vanilla and peppermint extract along with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Beat again to incorporate.
Then add the almond milk and the rest of the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments until the icing is light with a thick texture. If the icing feels to heavy, add another tablespoon of almond milk and continue to beat.
Finally, fold in the chopped chocolate. Simply give the icing a few big folds to disburse the chocolate evenly. Be careful not to over mix this step.
*make sure the chocolate is finely chopped. If the chunks are too big, they can clog the pipping tip*
Step 7 : Ice the cupcakes
Fill an icing bag fitted with a large star tip with the frosting. Pipe a large swirl on top of the cooled cupcakes. If desired, you can also stick a square of chocolate on top.
Allow the icing to set for about half an hour before storing these mint chocolate chip cupcakes. Place them in an air-tight cake tin or a big air-tight container. They will keep for up to 5 days on the counter.
Frequently asked questions
Gluten-free cupcakes do not rise as much as the "typical" bakery style cupcakes. This is okay because they still taste amazing! Be sure to fill your cupcake liners up almost to the top. Leave about ½ inch room at the top. This will make sure your cupcake fills up the liner once it's baked
Yes, if needed substitute both the almond flour and tapioca flour with 2 cups gluten-free oat flour. In place of the almond milk, use coconut milk or oat milk.
Although the warm coffee won't make the cupcakes taste like coffee, you can use warm water instead. Make sure it's warm to the touch and not boiling or super hot.
For more delicious treats, check out my:
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Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs - room temperature
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil - melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- ⅔ cup tapioca flour
- ⅔ cup cacao
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup warm coffee - sub warm water if needed
For the Icing
- 1 cup vegan butter - softened (grass-fed butter will also work)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- green food coloring - optional
- chocolate squares to top - optional
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together in a cup and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla until creamy. You should begin to see bubbles at the top of the mixture.
- Pour the almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixture into the bowl and whisk into the batter.
- Fold in the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and baking soda with a whisk or rubber spatula until no flour clumps remain.
- Pour the warm coffee into the bowl and mix to disburse. The batter will seem a little thin which is okay.
- Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and use a spoon or cookie scoop to fill the liners up almost to the top. Because these are gluten-free cupcakes, make sure to fill them up - leave only about ½ inch of liner at the top. Bake in the oven for 13 - 15 minutes until they have risen and you can insert a toothpick in the center of one and it comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool before icing.
For the icing
- Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until creamy.
- Add the vanilla and peppermint extract along with 1 cup powdered sugar and continue to mix.
- Add the almond milk and rest of the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments and beat until the icing is creamy and airy. If the icing feels too heavy, add another tablespoon of almond milk.
- Fill an icing bag fit with a star tip and pipe a large swirl on top of each cooled cupcake. If desired, stick a chocolate square on top to garnish and enjoy!