Lighter Peppermint Mocha Latte Muffins (gluten-free) ๐ŸŽ„

Happy December 1st ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t believe Christmas is in 25 days. Goodness has this year flown by so fast!

My goal for this month is to relax and not let the hustle and bustle of the holidays overwhelm me. It’s easy to get caught up in gift buying, party planning, cooking, and making the holiday magical. I plan on baking fun recipes for the blog, giving more, watching Christmas movies by the fire, drinking eggnog, spending time with family, and enjoying the little things in every moment.

To kickstart December, I’m sharing a light and festive muffin recipe. This recipe is inspired by my favorite holiday drink, the peppermint mocha latte.

When I go to Starbucks during the holiday season, I order a tall skinny peppermint mocha latte. I customize it by adding two extra shots of espresso, coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, only one pump of the mocha, and one pump of the peppermint. If you are looking for a lighter version of the holiday drink, that one is the way to go!ย 
These peppermint mocha latte muffins are very light and perfect for a Christmas dessert. The best part is that you can’t even tell that they are on the healthier side. They have a rich chocolate flavor, and the pops of peppermint will send your Christmas tastebuds into overdrive. When I got back from my Thanksgiving trip, the first thing my mom said was “I’ve been dreaming of those muffins you made the other night.” I think that was a *hint *hint that I needed to make some more.

Leo always loves when I’m shooting food pictures. I’m pretty sure he’s convinced himself that he’s invisible.ย 
The muffins are baked with gluten-free flour, eggs, Swerve, coconut oil, vanilla, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and lightly topped with old-fashioned peppermint candies and white chocolate chips. Adding six to eight pieces of the white chocolate chips on top of the muffin instead of mixing them in cuts the sugar, and makes it lighter! You still get that chocolate and peppermint crunch in each bite. If I saw these muffins sitting on the table at a Christmas party, I’d think that they were loaded with sugar and butter! But….they’re not! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And these muffins are especially good with coffee. They would be a great treat for a Christmas-themed brunch, or on Christmas morning!ย 


5 from 1 vote

Light Peppermint Mocha Latte Muffins

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 10
Calories 125 kcal
Author Taralynn McNitt


  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Espresso Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Swerve (or your choice of sweetener
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Peppermint Candies (or crushed peppermint)


  1. Heat oven to 350

  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, sea salt, and swerve.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, coconut milk,  and vanilla together. 

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture, and combine well. 

  5. Mix the melted coconut oil in. 

  6. Line a baking sheet with liners, or grease a muffin pan. Fill ten slots with 1/3 cup of batter. 

  7. Top muffins with white chocolate chips and peppermint candy. 

  8. Bake 14-18 minutes. 

    Use the toothpick method to determine if they are finished! 

I love the way the old-fashioned peppermint candies look. They remind me of my grandparent’s house around the holidays. They used to keep old-fashioned candy in a jar on their coffee table. I found these at World Market, but you could probably find them at Target or other stores. Regular peppermints work too!
The first time I ever made a homemade chocolate cake, the recipe called for espresso powder. I had no idea that espresso powder made such an impact on bringing out the flavor of the cocoa. I mean, I do love chocolate and coffee, so it makes sense. Espresso powder is a must in your chocolate baked goods, and I add it to all of my brownie recipes now! Even if I go with the boxed brownies, that espresso powder gets added into the mix!
I went with vanilla extract, but you could add a little peppermint extract to add even more punch! Do you have a favorite extract flavor? Mine is definitely almond!ย 
I always do a taste test to make sure there is enough chocolate, or sweetener in the bowl. You don’t have to, but it’s worth it. The batter tasted just like brownies!ย 
You can spray the liners with cooking spray, or spray the pan directly without the liners. I had no problem with sticking.ย 
I sprinkled the white chocolate chips on top! It keeps the recipe on the lighter side. If you wanted more, you could fold them in before adding them to the muffin pan.
I loved the way the peppermint candies melted.ย 
I’ve always been a Christmas child with an overactive imagination. My mom used to go all out around Christmas time. I’ll never forget those memories.ย 
The muffins turned out perfect! Let them cool before removing them from the pan. I am so impatient when it comes to this. They were moist, full of flavor, and so festive!
Yo, I see you…
One of the cool things about this recipe is that it’s so customizable. Maybe you don’t like white chocolate or peppermint. You can use the chocolate muffin recipe and add peanut butter, toffee, or whatever you wish! If you want to keep this recipe dairy free, I found these dairy free & vegan white chocolate chips!ย 
This recipe makes TEN medium-sized muffins.
Nutrition Per Muffin: 125 Calories, 18g Carbs, 2g Protein, 4g Fat, 4g Sugar, 1g Fiber

I know life isn’t always about the calories, but there are 440 calories, 21g of fat, 61g carbs, and 30g of sugar in a Starbucks chocolate muffin! So sometimes just going home and making them yourself is much healthier!
Today, I’m making a recipe for my new book & recipe review series and a healthy gingerbread loaf! I’m excited to get in the kitchen today. Follow me on my Instagram stories for updates!

Questions for you!

  1. What are your December goals?
  2. Would you like to see more “lighter” Christmas recipes? (recommendations accepted)
  3. What book genre do you like?



  • Bailey

    5 stars
    These muffins were incredible! My cousins wanted the recipe too. I can’t wait to see more of your recipes.

    Reply to Bailey
  • Allyson

    These look really good – I’m going to try them for a Christmas party I’m attending next week!

    Reply to Allyson
  • nicole @ bento momentos

    These scream CHRISTMAS to me. I wonder how baking peppermint puffs would work out. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to nicole @ bento momentos
  • Lizzie

    5 stars
    Made these last night! I can’t wait to bring them to work this morning. I’d eat them all if they were in my house. My coworker has to eat gluten-free, so she’ll love them! Thanks, Taralynn.

    Reply to Lizzie
  • Jess

    5 stars
    These were a great Monday bake.

    Reply to Jess
  • Pam

    5 stars
    This recipe could not have been any better! However, I did mix in the white chocolate chips to add extra!


    Reply to Pam
  • Lesley

    These are so good!

    Reply to Lesley
  • Annie


    Reply to Annie
  • Alison

    Loving your gluten-free recipes! Keep them coming!

    Reply to Alison
  • Diane

    I love old-fashioned peppermints! I look forward to making these.


    Reply to Diane
  • Brooklyn

    I just woke up from a nap and seeing these photos has me craving sugar now!
    I don’t bake nearly as much as I would like to due to *very* limited counter space, but I will have to try to make room in the kitchen to make these ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Rachel

    My boyfriend and I have been treating ourselves wayyyy too much, and it’s never homemade treats! I’ve been looking for lightened up Christmas treats, and this looks PERFECT. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Rachel
  • Jenn @ Five Borough Bucket List

    5 stars
    These came out great! I used almond extract (we were out of vanilla) and added some protein powder, and it gave them a great extra flavor. I love trying out your snack/dessert recipes, so please keep them coming ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply to Jenn @ Five Borough Bucket List
  • Sara

    I work at a hospital, and all the nurses are very health conscious, so I made these for the night shift! All of my girls wanted your blog name so they could follow you because these muffins turned out perfect. Keep the healthy recipes coming!

    Reply to Sara
  • Kathryn

    5 stars
    I made a double batch. I was so excited about making this I delivered some to the cashier and the bagger at Publix that I told I was making them. I’m going to make a double batch to bring to my moms (Florida to Georgia).
    Goals for December is not to stress and organize.
    I would like to see a gluten free bear claw recipe done light ?
    I read alot of self improvement fitness books.
    Thank you for letting me know the 1/4 cup liquid I was half asleep when I first read it.

    Reply to Kathryn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kathryn!!

      Awwwww that is too sweet of you!!!!! I bet they were so appreciative. You are so kind!

      Stress-free December is the way to go!

      I’ll add that to the list!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Perri

    5 stars
    I would love to see lighter receipes for the holidays! There are so many sweets in December and it would be nice to bake healthy treats ๐Ÿ™‚ my favorite genre to read are mysteries and historical fiction. Can’t wait to see what novels you will suggest to read!

    Reply to Perri
  • Angel

    I’m so glad you shared your Starbucks order! I always get mine unhealthy because I’m at a loss for what to order. I wrote it down for my next trip.

    Reply to Angel
  • Anonymous

    Can I use stevia?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Willa

    You have converted me to a Swerve lover!

    Reply to Willa
  • Carly T

    These muffins look delicious! The old fashioned peppermint candies remind me of my grandparents house too! Heading out to the store today to get the ingredients so I can make these ASAP!

    I really like your goal of being more present and disconnecting, so I think I’m going to jump on the band wagon and make it my December goal!

    I love all of your recipes, so yes lighter Christmas recipes would be awesome!

    I find myself jumping all over on book genres… mostly I just like to read! Any good books you’ve read recently?

    Reply to Carly T
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Carly!

      I hope you love them!:D I have to make them again today, but with peanut butter for Kyle!!

      So glad you’re on board with me!

      I just finished Behind Closed Doors! so good! So was The Couple Next Door!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    I’m going to double batch these for Christmas! You should make a cinnamon roll muffin!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Jessie

    5 stars
    I made these muffins into mini cups! Perfect recipe, Taralynn!

    Reply to Jessie
  • Lindsey King

    5 stars
    I did as you recommended and made the base recipe with peanut butter chips! My kids loved them and I think I finally found a healthy dessert for their lunches that they enjoy! Thank you.

    Reply to Lindsey King
  • Harriet

    5 stars
    These muffins look amazing! Going to give them a try tomorrow. Leo is so cute! I thing he would make a great taste tester. Have you ever tried Pumpkin Christmas cake? It uses natural fruit nectar, honey and pumpkin instead of butter and sugars and it’s so good! My goal for December is to just keep on track with my weight loss, I will allow myself a few treats on Christmas and New Years but really want to keep on track. Lighter Christmas recipes would be amazing, it’s always nice to have a healthy alternative to your favourite foods. I like both fiction and nonfiction books, perfect stranger was the only book I got to read this year, but I have 6 flights coming up so I am looking forward to your book and recipe review. Have a fantastic weekend!!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet!

      Thanks so much & I hope you enjoy them!

      Lol, he would NOT make a great taste tester. He EATS EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! lol, He doesn’t know good from bad. hahahaha Now, Grumples would! He spits out anything he doesn’t like. lol

      Um, no. BUT IT SOUNDS SO GOOD! Glad you treat yourself! That is important for a healthy journey! BALANCE ๐Ÿ˜€

      Just finished Perfect Stranger. I started other books in between and then had to reread it because I forgot what was going on and I was mixing too many books together lol OHHHH 6 flights is perfect for an excuse to read away!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rayna

    5 stars
    Your photos are gorgeous!

    Reply to Rayna
  • Danielle

    That is my favorite Starbucks drink too! I can’t wait to make these.


    Reply to Danielle
  • Kathryn

    I didn’t see a recipe listing or amount for coconut milk.

    Reply to Kathryn
  • Kyla Woelfle

    These muffins look scrumptious and perfect for the holiday season! They would make perfect gifts instead of Christmas cookies too!
    Especially looking forward to the gingerbread loaf recipe!
    I would definitely like to see more “lighter” Christmas recipes! That way I’m not as hangry when missing out on delicious holiday treats!

    Reply to Kyla Woelfle
  • Susie @ Mile High Dreamers

    YUM! I love working with chocolate recipes because I feel like the delicious natural chocolate flavor makes it so much easier to lighten it up without actually tasting that way! These look like Christmas in muffin form haha.

    My December goals are to focus on self love and getting back in my groove! I have this obsession with playing Santa during the holidays, but sometimes that comes at the expense of my own sanity and wellbeing. I want to find a happy medium this year!

    I LOVE lightened up recipes! I totally believe in moderation and indulgence, but I also like the way eating healthier makes my body feel, so having lighter recipes on hand makes it easy to do both!

    And I’ll honestly read just about anything that’s good! I LOVE reading!

    Reply to Susie @ Mile High Dreamers
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Susie!

      I have to agree! Chocolate flavor is so easy to make healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I feel the same! You just have to do things that are special but not get too carried away, which is hard! I have decided to do more of the “customizable” gifts this year.

      Agree again:D

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Siobhan

    My December goals are: do a deep clean of my apartment, donate some bags of clothing, write some book reviews, and listen to a lot of Christmas music! I also need to finish my Christmas shopping.

    My favorite book genres are definitely fantasy and science fiction. I love fairy tale retellings and being able to escape into different fictional worlds.

    Happy December!

    Reply to Siobhan
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Siobhan!

      Ohhhh a good deep cleaning always feels good. I’m doing that today. I find myself doing that once every two weeks and I LOVE getting rid of things. Sounds like you’re going to have a productive December and I can’t wait to read your reviews.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashton Jury

    Those muffins look delicious! I’ve been obsessed lately with making mini ones, so I may play around with this recipe and see what I can do!
    1- December Goals, I think to just bake more and enjoy Christmas I already have all of my decorations up and have done most of my shopping.
    2- I think a mix of both traditional Christmas recipes and lightened up would be great, I loved a few years ago when you did your 12 days of recipes!
    3- Book Genre I love it all from Sci- Fi, Adventure and Murder to Harry Potter! Currently I’m listening to an Agatha Christie novel on Audible read by the fabulous Dan Stevens since i live in California and sit in a lot of traffic. But at night before bed I’m reading The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin which I’m loving it features Sissi an Empress of Austria in the novel, whose story I fell in love with when I was visiting Austria, so now anytime I see a book that has anything to do with her I pick it up.

    Reply to Ashton Jury
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ashton!

      Ohhhh I bet a mini muffin version of these would be so good!

      Sounds like a good December plan!

      Haha I can’t believe you remember that! Maby four years ago?!?

      Ohhhh sounds like some great books!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca Forney

    Thank you so much for the link to dairy free white chocolate chips! My boyfriend is dairy free and I’m always trying to figure out how to sub things for him in recipes. He’s a big chocolate fan so I know he’ll love these!

    1. Goals in December are to be more ‘present’ and in the moment and plan a little less! I’m a bit of an over-planner! I would love to read more and have less TV time.
    2. I love the lightened up Holiday recipes! I would love to see some Christmas cookie recipes or more muffin/bread recipes…is cranberry orange Holiday?
    3. I love reading memoirs and any fiction book!

    Reply to Rebecca Forney
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Rebecca!

      I’ve never tried them, but I know they are hard to find! I want to try making a coconut/vanilla homemade version! I’ll let you know how it goes!

      I love that. Being present is hard when we live in a world of entertainment! That is why I want to do the book series. To help us escape from the social world.

      I love anything that has to do with Christmas cookies! An orange cranberry bread would be amazing!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen

    These look SO good!! I’m part of a cooking club and we’re doing a Christmas themed dinner next week (of course) so I’ll be bringing these for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m all about rearranging my priorities and taking it slow this month. 2017 has been one of the most hectic years and I want to take time to focus on what really matters and set the tone for a great 2018.

    2. Yes please! How about jelly-filled eggnog scones? I found that recipe in the Food Network magazine for Dec and it looks amazing (but not very health-friendly) ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. I lean more towards nonfiction but when I go for fiction, it’s usually mystery/thriller or historical fiction. I’m currently reading a biography of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart and their 50+ year friendship. It’s amazing; I highly recommend. And it’s kind of perfect for this time of the year when you’re reconnecting with loved ones and reflecting on how thankful we are for the people in our lives.

    Reply to Jen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jen!

      Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know what you think of them! I’m so obsessed!!

      Glad you’re with me on taking it slow! Great way to start 2018.

      MMMMMM that sounds amazing!!!!!Great idea.

      I love mystery/thriller! I’ll pick up a copy of that! Thanks for the rec!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jen

        Speaking of thrillers- I read “The Couple Next Door” at your recommendation and was hooked! So good!

        Reply to Jen
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Happy December, Taralynn! So excited to try out this festive recipe. Please do more! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    5 stars
    Love you sub out regular milk with coconut milk. I sure wish they had sugar free dairy options at starbucks though. I am totally with you on the double espressoโ€”I love the taste of coffee. It must feel nice to feel appreciated by your cooking! During this time of the year, the stomach is the way to the heart. ๏Š

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Previous post

Tennis, Tacos & Closet Rehab!

Next post

The Perfect Snow Day Chicken & Veggie Soup

Site Maintained by Victor Font Consulting Group, LLC.