These red and white swirled candies make me think of Candyland, gingerbread houses, restaurants, my dad, and Christmas! I really love peppermint! It’s even better when combined with chocolate! So this past week I made these…
for these wonderful girls…
This is my cheerleading team…minus 3. Two were unable to come due to ridiculous amounts of sickness, and the other one moved to a new state and school two days before this. They are seriously an absurdly wonderful group of girls. Their lives are full of silliness, laughter, fun, a little bit of drama, and lots of energy! And I feel completely blessed to be a part of it. They are half way through their season AND it’s Christmas time, both very deserving of the above cupcake toast!
These delightful cups of cake need no excuse to be made, but if you need a few, use one of these:
- Christmas shopping is done…time to relax!
- Christmas shopping hasn’t started…you need something to get you going!
- There is an ungodly amount of snow outside, so no reason to go out anyway.
- You need a way to use up the bag of starlight mints great aunt Margie sent as your Christmas gift.
- The birth of Christ…hello! Is there any better reason to eat cake? Gah.
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
(Courtesy of Martha Stewart)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, water, and peppermint extract, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks, and let cool. Undecorated cupcakes will keep, covered, for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.
- Spoon buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a large, plain tip. Pipe small mounds on tops of cupcakes. Flatten mounds with an offset spatula, then top with chocolate-mint leaves.
(Courtesy of Candace Nelson, owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , firm but not cold
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1/2 tsp. milk
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the extracts and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Do not overmix or the frosting will incorporate too much air; it should be creamy and dense, like ice cream. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if frosting does not have a spreadable consistency.