Whether you're snuggling up with a good book or playing Mrs. Claus to get ready for the holidays, this simple Peppermint Mocha recipe is your ticket to winter bliss. Forget about long lines and the jingle-jangle of your coins, because with just five simple ingredients, you're about to brew a festive concoction that's even more chocolatey than Starbucks’ signature holiday drink.
It might be frostier than the Abominable Snowman’s toe outside, but I've got something delightful to warm your spirits and tickle those tastebuds — your very own homemade peppermint mocha. This isn't just any coffee drink; it's a chocolate lover's dream! Richer than a treasure chest and smoother than a carol sung by the fire, it's the gift that keeps on giving all season long.
Best of all, you don't need to brave the snow or even put on your boots for this festive treat. With just five simple ingredients and a few minutes, you'll have a peppermint mochaccino that outshines (and out-chocolates!) the ones from Starbucks. Say goodbye to the winter blues and whip up one of these magical winter brews instead!
- What is a peppermint mocha?
- What does it taste like?
- Why You’ll Love This Easy Peppermint Mocha Recipe
- Ingredients Needed
- How To Make A Peppermint Mocha At Home
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Success Tips
- Homemade Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Nutrition
- Other Starbucks Copycat Recipes
- Peppermint Mocha (Starbucks Copycat)
What is a peppermint mocha?
Get ready for a holiday hug in a mug! This minty mocha latte is a decadent espresso drink mixed with steamed milk, luscious chocolate syrup, and a zing of peppermint flavor. Topped off with a cloud of whipped cream and a sprinkle of candy cane pieces, it's the kind of drink that makes you wish winter lasted all year long. In short, it's your minty, chocolatey, caffeine-kissed passport to a winter wonderland!
What does it taste like?
With each sip of this better-than-Starbucks peppermint mocha, you're sledding down a hill of rich, velvety chocolate that coats your tongue with the luxurious taste of cocoa. Along comes a zephyr of peppermint, as if a cool winter sprite decided to dance across your palate, leaving behind a trail of invigorating freshness that mingles with the chocolate in a merry jingle of flavors.
As the espresso makes its entrance, it's like the twinkling of fairy lights, adding depth and a warm, roasted buzz that's as comforting as a favorite carol. And that final dollop of whipped cream? It's like the first snowfall of the season — light, airy, and subtly sweet.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Peppermint Mocha Recipe
Here’s why my recipe for peppermint mocha will make you fa-la-la-la-la in love:
- Rich With Seasonal Flavors - Every sip is a journey through the holiday season, with the peppermint echoing the nostalgic notes of candy canes hung on the tree, and the chocolate adding the warmth of a holiday feast's richest dessert. It’s the perfect companion for wrapping presents or decking the halls!
- Cheaper (& Chocolate-ier!) Than Starbucks - If you’ve been craving a peppermint mocha Starbucks would be envious of, you’ve come to the right place. Between the double dose of chocolaty goodness and the thrifty trick of making it all from scratch, this recipe can’t be beat.
- Easily Customizable - Make it vegan, sugar-free, decaf, half-caff, skinny, or HOWEVER you want! When you’re the barista, you’re in charge. 😉
As promised, you only need a handful of simple ingredients to make the best dang peppermint mocha latte you’ve ever tried. Here’s what to grab:
- Whole Milk - Unless otherwise specified, Starbucks uses whole milk for all their coffee drinks to give them a richer mouthfeel.
- Peppermint Syrup - My homemade recipe is made in 5 minutes using just water, sugar, and peppermint extract. That said, you’re welcome to use store-bought instead.
- Chocolate Chips - Adding real chocolate with all that cocoa buttery goodness is part of what takes this homemade mocha variation over the top.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - If possible, opt for Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a smoother, richer, less bitter taste. Just avoid the Droste brand, which apparently has high levels of lead!
- Espresso - There’s nothing like bold espresso for some extra elf-power during the holidays.
- Whipped Cream & Crushed Candy Canes - Optional, but delicious as a garnish!
Forget paying stupid $0.60 fees to customize your drink. Here are some swaps you can make at home without any surcharges:
- Whole Milk - Feel free to swap in the dairy milk or unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice!
- Peppermint Syrup - You can mix and match just about any homemade coffee syrup with your mocha and it’ll be delicious.
- Chocolate Chips - If you have my mocha sauce on hand, feel free to use it, instead!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - If you’re trying to amp up the nutrients, try swapping in raw cacao powder instead.
- Espresso - You’re also welcome to use 8 ounces of regular or cold-brewed coffee if you prefer.
- Whipped Cream & Crushed Candy Canes - There’s more than one way to garnish this wintry favorite! Try a homemade marshmallow, or infuse your whipped cream with the peppermint syrup for an extra boost of freshness. You can also use sprinkles or even an extra drizzle of mocha sauce. OR, you can omit the garnishes altogether and just stick to the cozy comfort of your minty coffee-chocolate drink.
How To Make A Peppermint Mocha At Home
This simple Starbucks copycat recipe comes together in just a few minutes. Here’s how:
Step 1: Heat. Add the milk, peppermint syrup, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
Step 2: Whisk & Froth. Stir frequently until the chocolate chips melt and the milk starts to foam and steam. Remove from heat.
Step 3: Brew your coffee into a coffee mug. Top with the chocolate peppermint milk.
Step 4: Garnish & Serve. Top with whipped cream and/or crushed candy canes if desired. Drink up!
Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
Grab your Tinker Toys, because I have LOTS of fun variations for you to try:
- Vegan Delight - Swap in your favorite plant-based milk and a velvety vegan chocolate syrup. Top it with coconut whipped cream, and you’ve got a vegan sipper that’s as kind to animals as it is to your tastebuds!
- Skinny Peppermint Mocha - For a lighter version, opt for skim or almond milk, ditch the sugar for a sweetener of your choice, and enjoy a guilt-free version of the holiday favorite with all the flavor and none of the worry.
- Iced Peppermint Mocha - Take a page from my iced mocha recipe and let the cool, chocolaty mint refresh you like a brisk winter walk. You can also make a peppermint mocha cold brew or peppermint mocha iced coffee for a version that’s perfect on unseasonably warm winter days or to cool you down in the middle of summer.
- Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha - Substitute the chocolate with white chocolate, and enter a sweet and creamy wonderland that's as dreamy as a silent night's snowfall.
- Kahlua Peppermint Mocha - Add a shot of coffee liqueur for an adult version that's as festive as the season itself.
- Sugar-Free Peppermint Mocha - Use sugar-free chocolate chips (e.g. Lily’s) and swap in your favorite sugar-free sweetener in the peppermint syrup to make a diabetic-friendly drink that’s just as jolly.
- Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate - If your kiddos want in on the seasonal fun, simply skip the espresso!
- Homemade Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino - If you’re feeling extra frosty, blend your drink up with some ice and ice cream for a decadent, milkshake-like interpretation of this seasonal beverage.
Get ready to add a dash of holiday flair with these fun and festive serving suggestions:
- Chocolate Swirls & Twirls: Drizzle the inside of the mug with chocolate syrup before pouring in your mocha, creating a mesmerizing pattern that's a feast for the eyes and a treat for your tongue.
- Candy Cane Stir Stick: Use a mini candy cane as a stirrer for that extra peppermint pizzazz. As it melts into the mocha, it adds flavor and fun to your festive concoction.
- Mug Hugger Cookies: Serve your jolly java with a side of gingerbread cookies or shortbread cut into holiday shapes. They're perfect for dunking and add a touch of nostalgic cheer.
- Edible Glitter: A pinch of edible glitter on top of the whipped cream can transform your drink into a shimmering winter wonderland, perfect for those Instagram-worthy holiday moments.
Recipe Success Tips
Here are some tips to ensure your Peppermint Mocha is the toast of the season:
- Quality Ingredients: Start with the best to outshine the rest. Freshly brewed espresso, high-quality chocolate, and real peppermint extract make all the difference.
- Perfect the Peppermint: Peppermint extract is potent, so add it to your simple syrup sparingly. You want a whisper of mint, not a winter gale!
- Low and Slow: Heat your milk gently to avoid scalding. A slow warm-up will make for a smoother, creamier mocha.
- Whisk it Real Good: When you add your chocolate to the milk, whisk vigorously to create a frothy, even mix without any chocolate clumps.
They are now! When you know how to make them, you can make them whenever the craving strikes!
Yep! You can cut back on the caffeine considerably by using decaf espresso or coffee, but there will still be some caffeine in there from both the decaf and the chocolate. To make them completely caffeine-free, you’d need to swap in a coffee substitute (e.g. Dandy Blend or Teaccino) AND use carob instead of chocolate.
As your friendly neighborhood nutritionist, I'd say that for most, a peppermint mocha can be a cozy treat to enjoy even when you're expecting. The main things to watch are the caffeine content and any potential tummy troubles from the richness of the drink. Most doctors recommend limiting caffeine to about 200 milligrams a day during pregnancy — that's roughly the amount you'd get in a standard 12-ounce cup of coffee. So, if your cuppa holiday joy is within that limit, you should be good to go!
But, as with all things during this special time, it's a good idea to chat with your healthcare provider about your individual nutritional needs and what's best for you and your little one. A little cup of holiday cheer might be just fine, but it's always best to be sure. Cheers to a healthy and happy pregnancy!
Homemade Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Nutrition
You're looking at a grand total of 362 calories per serving, which is pretty standard for a decadent coffee shop treat. It does pack a bit of a punch with 18 grams of fat, so it's more of a special indulgence than an everyday kind of sip.
Protein-wise, you're getting a solid 10 grams, which is a nice bonus for a drink! It's not often your coffee gives you a protein boost, right? On the sodium front, it's sitting pretty at 115 milligrams, which isn't too high, so you're not going to tip the scales on your daily salt intake.
Carbohydrates are a bit higher, at 48 grams, with a good chunk of that coming from sugar—41 grams to be exact. That's where the sweet, irresistible taste comes from, but it's also something to consume in moderation, especially if you're watching your sugar intake.
So, while it's a bit of a treat, this peppermint mocha can fit snugly into a balanced diet as your go-to holiday “go juice,” especially if you’re keeping active with fun wintry activities!
Total nutritional content per serving (without the whipped cream and candy canes) is:
- Calories: 362 calories
- Total Fat: 18 grams
- Protein: 10 grams
- Sodium: 115 mg
- Carbohydrates: 48 grams
- Sugar: 41 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
Other Starbucks Copycat Recipes
Peppermint Mocha (Starbucks Copycat)
- Add the milk, peppermint syrup, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until the chocolate chips melt and the milk starts to foam and steam. Remove from heat.
- Brew your coffee into a coffee mug, then top with the chocolate peppermint milk.
- Top with whipped cream and/or crushed candy canes if desired. Drink up!