Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas special! Mocha peppermint cupcakes for a Christmas party for my sorority, where we dressed up in winter sweaters, toasted to chocolate cookie shots with Baileys, mulled wine made by my pledge sister Steph who fell in love with it after her exchange program in Oxford, chocolate rum truffles by another Pledge sister Sam, pizza from Elaine and from me, peppermint mocha mini cupcakes.

Festive season definitely calls for hot chocolate, chocolate ganache drizzle, and lots of crushed peppermint for these cupcakes! We then had Secret Santa gift exchange (where I received the cutest puppy oven mits that I still use today) and was one of the most comforting girls night in with my sorority family.

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cupcakes

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 heaping Tablespoon instant coffee*
1/2 cup (64g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

Peppermint Vanilla Frosting

1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3-4 cups (360-480g) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
salt, to taste
optional for garnish: 4 ounces melted semi-sweet baking chocolate and crushed candy canes

To make Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time. You may also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop. Stir until combined, then mix in the instant coffee. Set aside to slightly cool.

In a medium bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract together until smooth. Add the cooled butter/chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.

Divide the batter between 12 liners in your cupcake pan. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make Peppermint Frosting

Make the frosting: beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes (the longer you beat, the creamier the frosting!). Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if frosting is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (I add about 1/8 teaspoon).

To Decorate and Assemble cupcakes

Decorate the cupcakes: Frost cooled cupcakes. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Top with crushed candy canes right before serving.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

 

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