This Peppermint Mocha is quick and simple to make at home. You don’t need espresso, store-bought syrups or peppermint extract, just coffee, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and a candy cane.
The holidays are finally here, and that means it’s time to make some festive coffee drinks.
My go-to holiday treat-yourself coffee is always a peppermint white chocolate mocha or regular peppermint mocha. Two years ago I posted the recipe for the homemade white chocolate version, so this year you’re getting a classic peppermint mocha.
Like my regular homemade mocha, this is a really quick, simple, and easy recipe to make at home. You don’t need espresso, store-bought syrups or peppermint extract.
It’s made with strongly brewed coffee (or whatever coffee you have in your pot right now), a quick chocolate syrup of cocoa powder, sugar, and water, and the peppermint flavor comes from a crushed up candy cane.
- Milk: Use any milk you like here (plant-based works just fine). The higher fat the milk, the richer your peppermint mocha will be. For an extra rich and creamy drink, try substituting half and half or heavy cream for some of the milk.
- Cocoa powder: Both natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder will work for this recipe.
- Candy cane: This recipe calls for one large candy cane, but if you only have small ones, one large candy cane is equal to about 3 or 4 minis.
How to Make a Peppermint Mocha at Home
- Using a zip-top bag and a rolling pin or meat mallet, crush a candy cane into fine crumbs.
- On the stove, heat cocoa powder, sugar, and a little water together to make a chocolate syrup.
- Add milk and candy cane pieces and heat until milk is steaming and candy cane dissolved.
- Pour over hot coffee and stir.
- And that’s it. Taste and add a little more sugar if you’d like it sweeter, and add a little heavy cream if you want it richer. Then just top it with some whipped cream and enjoy your peppermint mocha in your pajamas on a chilly morning.
Can I make this a peppermint mocha frappuccino?
Yes. If you’re one of those people who still prefer their coffee iced in the winter, you can serve this over ice or blended into a frappe.
- Chill your coffee. Make the recipe as written BUT when you add the milk, add only 2 tablespoons, and heat over medium-low heat. You want to dissolve the candy cane pieces without scalding the milk.
- Then combine this mixture with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold milk and the cold coffee.
- Serve over ice or blend with 1 1/2 cup of ice for a frappe.
*If making a peppermint mocha frappuccino and you like a pretty sweet drink, use a heaping tablespoon of sugar or double the sugar because blending in ice will cut the sweetness.
Can I make this with peppermint extract instead of a candy cane?
You can. Skip the candy cane and make the recipe as written. After adding the sugar, add peppermint extract to taste—peppermint extract is very strong, so you won’t need more than a couple of drops.
Can I make a peppermint mocha in the microwave?
Absolutely. To make your mocha in the microwave, combine cocoa powder, sugar, finely crushed candy cane and water in a mug. Stir until well-mixed and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir until candy cane pieces are mostly dissolved before adding the milk. Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute, until steaming. Stir in hot coffee, and enjoy!
More Starbucks Copycat Recipes
More Christmas Drinks
- Eggnog Latte
- Hot Chocolate
- Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
- The BEST Crockpot Hot Chocolate
A Note on Serving Size
This recipe makes about 1 cup of coffee, enough to fill an 8-ounce mug. If you’d like to fill an oversized mug, 1 1/2 or double the recipe.
Easy Peppermint Mocha
- 1 full-size candy cane *
- 1 tablespoon (5g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup milk any percentage
- ¾ cup hot strongly brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream optional
- Whipped cream optional
- Place candy can in zip top bag and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to crush the candy and into small crumbs.
- In a small pot, combine cocoa powder, sugar, and water. Heat over medium heat, whisking until a smooth chocolate syrup forms. Whisk in milk and add candy cane pieces. Heat, stirring often until milk is steaming and candy cane pieces have dissolved. Turn heat down if milk starts to simmer before candy is dissolved. Whisk vigorously to foam the milk slightly.
- Pour coffee into an 8-ounce mug. Add milk mixture and heavy cream if desired. Taste and add more sugar if not sweet enough. Top with optional whipped cream, serve and enjoy!
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