A couple of times each year throughout my childhood, my family drove to the hills out towards the bay to spend time with some good family friends. Mom and Dad had gone to college with the gentleman, and he and his wife had two kids about the same age as my brother and me.
Since his wife was born and raised in Italy, she loved to cook and prepared gourmet dinners during our visits. Those meals always included some type of pasta, which my brother and I really looked forward to! While the adults chatted in the kitchen, offering to help the woman with chopping and sautéing and washing dishes, we kids knew to stay out from underfoot!
Instead, we usually headed out into the backyard to play. With their neighborhood’s hippie-like feel, the backyard lacked any fences, so we could wander around the entire acre the surrounding houses shared. (Thank goodness their neighbors were so kind and didn’t seem to mind!)
One afternoon, the daughter showed me a gathering of fresh mint plants she had found towards their neighbor’s side. She explained that they were perfectly safe to eat, and after she plucked two large leaves, she handed one to me. We popped them in our mouths and…
I couldn’t swallow fast enough. At that young age, I definitely preferred my mint in chocolaty sweets, rather than fresh, like in Peppermint Patties, Junior Mints, and Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies! (Have you tried my Ultimate Healthy Homemade Thin Mints yet??)
When I baked this batch of Healthy Mint Chocolate Cupcakes and topped them with tiny fresh mint leaves, I giggled a bit at that memory… I’m proud to report that my taste buds have matured and now enjoy fresh mint — as well as mint chocolate sweets like these!
Although they look like they came from an upscale bakery with those stunning swirls of chocolate frosting… These healthy cupcakes are actually really easy to make! They also contain no refined flour or sugar — including the frosting!
With how much candy my childhood self ate, I might not have cared back then… But I’m super excited about how healthy and delicious these mint chocolate cupcakes are!
HOW TO MAKE MINT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Let’s start with talking about how to make the mint chocolate cupcakes first! You’ll begin with cocoa powder (like this!) and white whole wheat flour (like this!). You’ll actually use more cocoa powder than flour in these cupcakes, which gives them an extremely rich and chocolaty flavor… Without any melted chocolate!
For this chocolate cupcake recipe, you’ll need regular unsweetened cocoa powder. I don’t recommend substituting Dutched or special dark cocoa powder. Those have a different acidity level, which can affect the taste and texture of your cupcakes. I actually found that regular unsweetened cocoa powder gave them the best rich chocolate flavor and tender texture!
And yes, white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat, whereas white whole wheat flour comes from softer white wheat (hence the name!). This gives white whole wheat flour a lighter taste and texture, which is perfect for these healthy cupcakes!
Remember to measure the cocoa powder and flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much of either ingredient will dry out your cupcake batter, and too much cocoa powder will make your cupcakes taste bitter. Not good! So let’s measure correctly so we can enjoy these supremely rich cupcakes!
Unlike traditional recipes or boxed mixes that require lots of oil or butter, these healthy mint cupcakes only need 1 tablespoon! The rest of their tender texture comes from Greek yogurt. You know how much I love baking with it! Greek yogurt adds the same moisture to your batter as extra butter or oil but for a fraction of the calories… And it gives your cupcakes a protein boost too!
You’ll sweeten your healthy mint chocolate cupcakes with another one of my favorite ingredients: liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!).
This is the kind I use because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste like with some other stevia products. Although you can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores, I buy mine online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. (And you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Of course, we can’t forget the last really important component… Peppermint extract! It’s much stronger than fresh mint leaves (and less expensive too!), so you just need a little bit.
Remember to coat your cupcake liners with cooking spray before dolloping in your healthy cupcake batter! Low-fat batters like this one tend to stick to liners like superglue… But misting them with cooking spray first means the liners will easily peel away!
While your cupcakes bake, it’s time to prepare the frosting! It actually starts with… More Greek yogurt! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?? But Greek yogurt’s thick and creamy texture makes great frosting when combined with instant pudding mix (like this)! That second ingredient thickens the Greek yogurt even further, giving it a pipe-able consistency. Then to boost the chocolaty flavor, you’ll mix in a bit of cocoa powder (like this!) — and a little more liquid stevia (like this!) for sweetness.
Then all that’s left to do is let the cupcakes cool, pipe on the frosting, and…
Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your mint chocolate cupcakes!
Healthy Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 1 ¼ cups (100g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour or gluten free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- 2 large egg whites (room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp peppermint extract
- 2 ½ tsp liquid stevia
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (270mL) nonfat milk, divided
FOR THE FROSTING
- 2 cups (480g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt (see Notes!)
- ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- 2 servings (16g) sugar-free, fat-free instant chocolate pudding mix (see Notes!)
- ⅝ tsp liquid stevia (or adjusted to taste)
- To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and coat the liners with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and liquid stevia. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the remaining milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.)
- Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners. Bake at 350°F for 21-24 minutes or until the centers feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting. Add the Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, instant pudding, and liquid stevia to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the top of the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, pipe the chocolate frosting on top just before serving.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Homemade Thin Mints
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
♡ Healthy One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
♡ Healthy Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
♡ Healthy Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes
♡ Healthy Lemon Cupcakes
♡ Healthy Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy cupcake recipes!