Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Cupcakes are always bad news at our house. Because an average cupcake recipe makes 24 cupcakes, all 24 have to be eaten somehow. And believe me, they get eaten. Here is how two days go when I have made cupcakes. After breakfast, Jack asks for a cupcake. Then Van sees that Jack has one and he wants one too. And then I eat one too. On Ethan's way out the door to work, he grabs one. After lunch, the boys and myself get rewarded for eating all of our lunch. After dinner, everyone has a cupcake and Ethan has two of them. The boys go to bed and Ethan and I have another cupcake. Eventually we run out of cupcakes and then I vow to never make cupcakes again and load my family up on that much sugar. There are bloggers who are cupcake masters. Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil is and so is Annie of Annie's Eats. And I wonder, what do you do with all those pretty cupcakes? If you eat them all, high five, you are among friends. But if not, please tell me you give them away instead of letting them end up in the trash.

This picture is my current desktop wallpaper. I invite you to do the same.

These cupcakes taste like Christmas, you know, peppermint and all. I wanted to make sure the buttercream wasn't too pepperminty. So vanilla extract is also used in the frosting. Use your own favorite chocolate cupcake recipe or use this one. But whatever you do, use this frosting recipe. To get the swirled pink and white look, you just add globs of the frosting into the pastry bag, alternating colors. When it comes out, it will be swirled all on it's own without you having to stir anything. And oh how I wish I could find a bigger star tip. The one I have is just not big enough. But it'll do.

For the cupcakes:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Set oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine eggs, sugar and oil until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to egg mixture while alternating with boiling water. Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Completely cool cupcakes before frosting.

Yields 24 cupcakes.

Rookie's Notes: You might not use all the batter when filling the muffin cups. Don't try and use all of it. You will end up overfilling the cups and your cupcakes will sink.

Even though you have muffin liners in the muffin tins, may I suggest you spray the top of the tins anyways. It will help the finished cupcakes not stick to the tins after baking.

For the frosting:
6 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
7-9 Tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Red food coloring

Fit a large pastry bag with a large star tip and set aside.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine powdered sugar and butter until butter is broken down into coarse crumbs. Add milk until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extracts. Scrape half of the finished frosting into a separate bowl. Color the other half with a few drops of the red food coloring using the hand mixer.

Add large spoonfuls of frosting into the pastry bag, alternating colors. Twist the top of the bag and gently squeeze to pipe frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes.

Yields enough frosting for 24 cupcakes.

Rookie's Notes: I used a 14 inch pastry bag and it fit all the frosting. And good heavens, someone send me a link for a big huge star tip.


Happy cook said...

Beautiful and so so yummm.

Tricia said...

good crap, i'm in trouble. those look delicious. and they have the big arse star tips @ michael's. i wanted to buy one for no good reason a few weeks ago. i should have. well, now i've got a good reason.

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...


Lindsay said...

Check out - she has some jumbo piping tips that are perfect for cupcakes. :)

And when I bake cupcakes, either I only bake 12 and end up pawning half of them off on our neighbors, or I halve the recipe and only make 6. 6!! Just enough for the two of us to eat in a reasonable manner before they get stale. :) hehe.

Jelli Bean said...

My husband ate a cupcake for breakfast once. Since then, I am certain to hide them as best I can to avoid a reoccurrence. These look holiday perfect!

Sparks said...

I think cupcakes are just the right size for breakfast.

Jessica said...

I really like that you have that picture as your desktop wallpaper. If I didn't like my computer before, I would love it more with that picture as my background.

Sparks said...

Oh, and you had me at "chocolate."

karin said...

I have a problem with too many cupcakes, well pretty much most treats we have too many of. I really want ONE, just one, of those cupcakes.

{Erica} said...

I'm with Megan...what a great idea for breakfast. Wash it down with hot chocolate and that would be perfection.

So glad you shared this recipe. Do you think it'd be peppermint overkill if you sprinkled bits of candycane on top?

jenn king said...

love your cupcake story. and i love chocolate and mint together!

Ann-Michelle said...

Dear Whitney,

In exchange for excellent cook book advice, I offer you this:

Merry Christmas!

karin said...

I halved the recipe tonight. Yummy. My boys have told me many times how delicious they are.

ec said...

oh man. totally making these. tonight! even though i've been deathly ill for the past two days and have hardly eaten a thing. i might eat all 24;)

Jessica said...

By the way, of course Lars and I talked about you. Duh. What else would there be to talk about.

Allison said...

I normally freeze half of them. At least then they are out of sight. But if I have a craving for cupcakes, or a need to bribe my kids to eat dinner, they are not far away.

rabidrunner said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight!

Calm In The Kitchen said...

I love the combination of peppermint and chocolate, this looks so good.

For a star tip, mine is the 7ST tip that I got from

;) amy

Julie said...

Those are so beautiful and festive looking. Very nice :)

allow said...