Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are the perfect addition to any dessert table or as a gift for someone special.
Every chocolate cupcake I have ever had has had a certain level of denseness or ended up being dry and tasteless. That is not the case with this recipe. The deep chocolate flavor is brought out with the addition of coffee extract and the crumb is moist and delicious. The only thing that could possibly make this cake even better is the addition of a creamy and rich peppermint buttercream.
Peppermint and the holidays have always had a connection. Bakers, pastry chefs and retailers all know that the peppermint flavor has a certain nostalgic charm for many consumers during this time of the year. The most beloved and well known peppermint treat is the candy cane. Historically the candy cane dates back to the early 1600’s. Priests gave out pure white sticks of hard candy bent at the top to resemble the shepherd’s staff. The white candy cane remained until 1900, often being depicted on holiday cards. The following year in 1901, red stripes were added and candy maker’s adopted the coloring for their own. Around the same time peppermint was added to the candy and what we currently know as the candy cane was born. This began our love affair with peppermint and why it is often associated exclusively with the holiday season.
Peppermint is a plant, similar in size and look to the mint plant grown in gardens. The leaves of the plant give off the fragrant smell of mint when rubbed and the leaves are used to infuse the flavor into natural extracts and flavorings. Our pure peppermint extract is a high grade extract that smells and tastes like it was just picked from the garden. We may be biased, but we haven't found a more pure tasting peppermint extract anywhere else; we think you will agree!
Yields 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coffee extract
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
- ½ cup boiling water
In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Whisk to incorporate. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, egg and Madagascar vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add the boiling water, whisk to combine.
Place paper wrappers into a cupcake pan. Fill each wrapper 2/3 the way full. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch. Cool.
6 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter (softened)
4 tbsp. whole milk
2 tsp. peppermint extract
Red food coloring paste
Place powdered sugar, softened butter in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn speed to medium-low. Slowly add milk with the mixer running. Add peppermint extract, increase speed to high. Beat on high for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy.
To make the stripe frosting:
Use a butter knife to make three lines of red food coloring from the top of the interior of the piping bag to the bottom of the interior of the piping bag. (Each line of red food coloring should be an equal distance apart).
Spoon the peppermint frosting into the food coloring lined large piping bag, twist the top closed. Pipe the frosting on top of the chocolate cupcake. Garnish with crushed peppermint candy canes.