Starbucks Peppermint Mocha is a frothy, festive delight! Slow down and enjoy it at home, not in a rush on-the-go, with my super simple peppermint mocha recipe. Each sip of that smooth, rich chocolatey flavor, the notes of peppermint, and the pillowy whipped cream is leisurely and luxurious – perfect for when you’re home for the holidays!
Starbucks Peppermint Mocha
Don’t waste your time in the drive thru this Christmas season!
Instead, spend just 5 minutes in the kitchen to whip up a couple steaming mugs filled to the brim with a peppermint mocha latte — the sweet minty aftertaste with deep mocha creates a beautiful balance that’ll perk you right up!
Speaking of seasonal, did you know the white chocolate mocha frappe from Starbucks™ isn’t seasonal?
I didn’t know until I ordered one on Red Cup Day (Be sure to order the toasted one)!
And as far as Starbucks copycats go, you’d be well off to learn how to make their vanilla cold foam for that curated coffee house taste.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Coffee – Only a strong brew will do! To make a strong coffee, use 2 tablespoons of your grounds of choice to 4 cups of water.
- Whole Milk – Replace the milk in the peppermint mocha recipe with half and half or heavy cream for a thicker, creamier drink. Keep in mind it’s pretty creamy already!
- Candy Cane – So you should crush a few and then leave two (or more if you’re making multiple batches) for stirring.
How cute is that? An alternative peppermint candy can be used to make the peppermint mocha latte itself, but try to use the canes to really sell that presentation!
- Granulated Sugar – White granulated sugar is best. The molasses-like flavor of brown sugar isn’t too compatible with our other ingredients.
And while I haven’t tried alternative sugars to make a peppermint mocha latte, please feel free to do so – and let us know how it goes!
- Optional Toppings – Oh the options!
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings are classic, but a handful of mini marshmallows and more crushed peppermint candies would also be beyond adorable on top!
How to Make A Starbucks Peppermint Mocha
Heat the coffee, milk, sugar, peppermint candy, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir continuously until the candy melts and the pot is warm or hot.
Pour the latte into two mugs, add your toppings, and viola! That’s it! Were you expecting something more complicated?
Peppermint Mocha Recipe Tips & Substitutions
- How to Crush Candy Canes – This can be sticky and messy! The best way to crush peppermint candies is to unwrap them and place them in a baggie.
Use a rolling pin to crush them. If that isn’t working, try a meat mallet – or even a small hammer!
- Make It Iced! Hey, no hate for those who drink iced drinks in the winter – I’ve been there!
Just let this mixture cool a tad and pour it over iced for a smooth iced latte suitable for the season.
- Make A Bunch! I like to make enough for multiple cups so I can enjoy this drink for at least a couple of days.
I can take it to work with me to reheat, or heat it up after dinner for a quick night cap with dessert.
- Enjoy Other Flavors – Some espresso powder will really highlight the coffee aspect of this latte, while white chocolate would be a super sweet substitute.
Caramel and hazelnut syrup would add a whole new dimension. See where I’m going with this? There are limitless ways to customize!
Storing A Peppermint Mocha From Starbucks
Wow, a copycat drink recipe that you can actually make ahead of time! That’s right – you can store the melted mocha mixture in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Without toppings, that is!
Reheat it right on the stovetop once more and serve like you would fresh!
Starbucks Peppermint Mocha FAQ
The Starbucks peppermint mocha does have a hint of coffee flavor, for sure, but it isn’t the main player by any means.
Rather, it’s more like a rich and creamy peppermint hot cocoa with a deep mocha flavor. The coffee enhances these flavors rather than overshadowing them.
The original Starbucks peppermint latte is made with espresso, steamed milk, their own sweet mocha sauce, and a peppermint syrup. You probably already knew that it’s topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings – their “dark chocolate curls,” as they call them.
What I love about my peppermint mocha recipe is that it uses common ingredients for a nostalgic taste. It’s rich and indulgent, but totally accessible and has a classic holiday vibe!
Yes – Starbucks holiday drinks are only available for a limited time. This generally starts at the beginning of November until supplies run out.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Starbucks Copycat Recipes
Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Copycat
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee, strong
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 candy cane, or 3 Starlight mints
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- crushed peppermint candies
- candy cane, place in the mug for stirring
- whipped cream
- chocolate shavings
- To a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the coffee, milk, sugar, candy cane (or candy), and cocoa powder. Stir to combine.
- Continue stirring until the candy melts and the mixture is warm/hot.
- Divide between two mugs and add your desired toppings. Enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2022
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