I just love to share a sweet treat on Fridays, and I thought this seemed like the perfect thing for this week.  After all, I know this is the time of year when many Starbucks lovers go flocking to the coffee shops in search of this seasonal beverage favorite.  I must confess that I myself am not a fan of this drink, only because I do not like mint of any kind (except one flavor of gum and one type of toothpaste – picky, huh?)  But we all know I get more enjoyment out of baking for others than for myself, so I was more than happy to make these cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday.  She proclaims the peppermint mocha her favorite drink ever, so these were clearly the way to go.

The cupcake base is a simple mocha batter that bakes up nicely.  I added a bit of peppermint extract to the cake batter to achieve that minty flavor throughout.  Next time I will add some espresso powder to the cake batter, because I felt the mocha flavor was nearly lost, and I have added this to the version below.  The frosting is a lovely Swiss meringue peppermint buttercream.   I just can’t get over how beautiful and smooth Swiss meringue buttercream is.  I know it takes longer to make, but I think it is worth it!

And if you were actually wondering how these turned out – they were a major hit.  Personally I was not thrilled with them but they tasted alright considering they are full of a flavor I don’t like.  They were definitely very popular with all my non-mint-hating coworkers, so I will chalk them up as a success.  I added individual mints to garnish mine, but I think they would also look adorable with mini candy canes or coarsely chopped peppermint pieces on top.