Healthy Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
Yields: 12 cupcakes
 
These treats are one of my favorite holiday desserts! The dark chocolate cupcakes taste incredibly rich and indulgent, and the peppermint and coffee notes add such fun holiday flavor. Topped with tall swirls of sweet, creamy chocolate frosting, these cupcakes are sure to be a big hit! They’ll keep for at least 3 days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator (if not longer!).
  1. To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and coat the liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or a large glass, stir together the warm milk and instant coffee until the instant coffee dissolves. 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 vanilla stevia. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the prepared milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.)
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners. Bake at 350°F for 19-22 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.
  4. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting. Add the Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, instant pudding, and vanilla 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.
Notes: For the gluten-free flour, use the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this!) should work as well, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

I highly recommend using the vanilla stevia! It’s one of my favorite ingredients (you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!), and I buy it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. If you prefer not to use stevia in the cupcakes, substitute ¾ cup (180mL) of agave, honey, or pure maple syrup for the vanilla stevia. Reduce the milk to ¼ cup (60mL) if using any of those liquid sweeteners. (The batter should be fairly thick, similar to muffin batter.) If you prefer not to use the vanilla stevia in the frosting, then substitute 1 ½ teaspoons of this powdered stevia OR ¼ cup of Truvia or granulated sugar.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

For the instant coffee, I use this kind (or this decaf version). Do not substitute regular coffee grounds (they don’t dissolve and will make your cupcakes gritty) or brewed coffee (it isn’t strong enough). If you aren’t a coffee fan and would prefer dark chocolate mint cupcakes, then simply omit the instant coffee!

If you prefer plain mocha cupcakes, then just omit the peppermint extract.

You just need the dry instant pudding mix—don’t prepare it according to the package directions! For a more classic spreadable (not pipe-able) chocolate frosting that does NOT use instant pudding (and is clean-eating friendly), use this recipe of mine.

{gluten-free, clean eating option, low fat}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2017/12/19/healthy-peppermint-mocha-cupcakes/