It's just a few days before the Christmas holiday and hopefully your to-do list isn't too long. If holiday baking is still on your list and you need a last-minute idea, these peppermint cupcakes are delish and festive.
Mint has been my flavor of the season. So I knew I couldn't make eggnog cupcakes without also making something inspired by candy canes. These are a dark chocolate minty cake, filled with a white chocolate candy cane ganache, and topped with mint buttercream (and crushed candy cane and dark chocolate drizzle, too!). Sounds a little crazy and complicated, but they're not terribly difficult to make and they're super yummy.
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes
for the cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
for the ganache
14 ounce bag white chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
7 full-size candy canes, crushed
for the frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
to make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F and line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and peppermint extract.
4. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Stir just until combined.
5. Fill the cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 of the way if you want flat cupcakes and 3/4 of the way if you want rounded tops.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
to make the ganache
1. Pour white chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat heavy cream on the stove-top in a small pot. Heat until just before it reaches a boil; do not allow to boil.
3. Pour the heated heavy cream into the bowl with the white chocolate chips and allow to rest for five minutes.
4. Stir until smooth.
5. Allow to cool and once cooled, stir in the crushed candy cane pieces.
to fill the cupcakes
1. Using an apple-corer or 1-inch cookie cutter, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. Cut approximately 2/3 of the way down. Twisting the apple corer before removing it from the cupcake helped to extract the centers. You could also try using a small knife or spoon.
2. Place ganache in a piping bag or plastic bag and cut a wide tip.
3. Pipe the ganache into the holes, filling each cupcake to the top.
to make the frosting
1. In a large bowl, using a stand or electric mixer, whip the butter for a minute or two until light and fluffy.
2. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar, mixing as you add the sugar.
3. Continue adding sugar until the mixture becomes stiff.
4. Add the heavy cream and peppermint extract, and whip until combined.
5. Frost cupcakes as desired.
6. Garnish as desired. I melted dark chocolate chips, letting them cool slightly before piping over the frosting. I also crushed 2 candy canes and sprinkled atop the frosting.
There's just something about chocolate and mint together -- don't you think?