Close view of a whipped cream garnished peppermint mocha in a metal mug as two fingers place a mini candy cane as an additional garnish.

Two flavors that scream Christmastime are peppermint and chocolate. Put them together in a drink that’ll warm you from the inside out and you have the perfect holiday coffee—a peppermint mocha!

What does a peppermint mocha taste like?

As the name suggests, this decadent coffee drink has a strong mint flavor. It’s reminiscent of a candy cane dipped in chocolate and swirled in a yummy warm coffee. This peppermint mocha recipe is sweet, but not overly so, and you can emphasize the chocolate, peppermint, or sweet flavors by adding whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or crushed peppermint as garnishes.

Wholefully Protip

If you’re in the mood for sharing, you can easily double this peppermint mocha to make enough coffee for you and a friend!

A metal mug with a copper handle filled with homemade peppermint mocha stands on a slate board with a mountain of whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and crushed candy canes as garnish.

Do peppermint mochas have coffee in them?

Yes! A peppermint mocha is a coffee beverage that’s made with a few ounces of strong espresso (or fresh brewed drip coffee if you’d prefer).

What’s in a peppermint mocha?

The ingredient list for this warming holiday beverage is very short. To make a peppermint mocha, you’ll need:

  • Either espresso or strongly brewed black coffee
  • Peppermint extract
  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Optional—whipped cream, crushed peppermint candies, or chocolate shavings for serving

Wholefully Protip

Peppermint extract has a really strong flavor, which is why we recommend using only an 1/8th of a teaspoon in this peppermint mocha. If you prefer a stronger peppermint flavor, you can go up to a ¼ teaspoon, or try adding crushed candy canes to the top of your coffee when it’s time to serve.

A peak of whipped cream garnished with chocolate shavings and candy cane pieces rises from the top of a metal mug.

Do I need an espresso maker?

Espresso works well when making this peppermint mocha recipe because it’s a very strong coffee. If you don’t want the flavor of the peppermint to overpower the coffee flavor, then I highly recommend using espresso. But if you don’t have a way to brew espresso, you can brew a strong cup of your favorite bold coffee using another method. It will still taste delicious! 

Wholefully Protip

If you don’t have an espresso machine yet, I recommend picking up the Bialetti Express. It brews a great cup of strong espresso without a costing you an arm and a leg.

How do I make a peppermint mocha?

There are only a few simple steps standing between you and your next favorite holiday beverage. To make a peppermint mocha:

Collage of six images showing the easy steps to make a homemade peppermint mocha. A text overlay reads, "How to Make a Peppermint Mocha."

  1. Brew your espresso or coffee so it’s hot and ready to go.
  2. While the coffee is brewing, whisk together the sugar, milk, cocoa, and peppermint extract in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Heat until boiling.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and use a milk frother or immersion blender to create a nice froth.
  4. Pour the espresso or coffee into a mug for serving.
  5. Pour your peppermint chocolate froth over the coffee or espresso.
  6. Top your mocha with optional whipped cream, crushed candy canes, chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, or peppermint syrup. Yum!

Wholefully Protip

You don’t have to froth your milk, but it really adds some delicious texture to this Christmas coffee. You can use an emersion blender, or a milk frother to achieve a light foamy froth.

Can I make this drink vegan?

Yes! This peppermint mocha recipe calls for whole milk because it produces the best froth. If you’re not focused on a froth in your coffee, then you can sub the whole milk for any milk of your choosing—and that includes plant-based and non-dairy milk such as soy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk.

Looking for more festive drinks?

The holiday season is a great time for signature beverages both warm and cold, with and without alcohol:


Close view of a whipped cream garnished peppermint mocha in a metal mug as two fingers place a mini candy cane as an additional garnish.

Homemade Peppermint Mocha Recipe

Yield: 1 latte
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This homemade peppermint mocha recipe makes a holiday-worthy drink that’s sure to become a favorite.


  • 2 ounces espresso OR 1 cup brewed black coffee
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Whipped cream, crushed candy canes, and/or chocolate shavings for topping (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, heat the whole milk, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and peppermint extract until boiling. Remove from heat.
  2. Using a milk frother or immersion blender, froth the mixture.
  3. Pour the peppermint chocolate mixture over your brewed coffee or espresso.
  4. Top with whipped cream, crushed candy canes, and/or chocolate shavings if desired!


  • This recipe can easily be doubled to make two lattes!
  • If froth is not a priority for you, you can definitely use a lower-fat or plant-based milk in place of the whole milk.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 60gProtein: 9g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. Did you know that “latte” just means “milk” in Italian (comes from the Latin word “lac” as in “lactose” like “leche” and “lait” in Spanish and French, respectively)? It’s used incorrectly in English for some reason. So this is a type of “caffè latte” b/c it has espresso or coffee in it. With that said, this peppermint caffè mocha looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is just what I have been looking for! I haven’t been able to find a single serve version, and I wanted to make my own with sugar substitute to keep the carb count low. Making one now to officially kick off the Christmas season!