Ack! The only Christmas baking I have done are these chocolate peppermint cupcakes that I made for our Finnish mom and tots group's Christmas party this past week. Peppermint chocolate/candy cane isn't really a traditional Finnish Christmas food, but since I've spent most of my life here in Canada some of my tastes have Americanized. I do love peppermint at Christmas time or anytime really. :)
I've made these cupcakes before for my sister's wedding, but have tweaked my recipe since then. I think I now have got the perfect chocolate cake recipe. :) The cake was so moist and had the perfect texture too. They baked up beautifully without deflating and no cracks. These cupcakes are pretty minty. There's peppermint in both the cake and frosting and since it's the Christmas season they were given a sprinkle of crushed candy canes (can't get enough of that peppermint!). You can easily adjust the amount of peppermint you put in these cupcakes or you could leave it out of the cake altogether if you'd like a milder minty flavour.
Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes about 24 regular sized cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-3 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together all dry ingredients (including cocoa and sugar in a bowl). Beat eggs in a mixer for about 1 minute add in melted butter followed by the milk, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Gradually mix in your flour mixture into the egg mixture. Once combined slowly add in the boiling water and stir to combine. The batter will be quite thin. Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full with the batter and bake 20 -22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Blend butter in a mixer until smooth. Add cream cheese and continue to blend until the mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly add in the icing sugar in small increments and blend until it is all incorporated. Add in your vanilla and peppermint extracts. If needed thin your frosting to your desired consistency by adding the cream a 1/2 tbsp at a time.
Once your cupcakes are cooled frost with the peppermint frosting and sprinkle with crushed candy canes if desired. Enjoy!
*recipe adapted from glorious treats
These cupcakes are easily a favourite of our family and friends. My mom even suggested I make these for Christmas after she tried them and she doesn't even like chocolate cake! I think that means these cupcakes must be pretty good to be able to convert a non-chocolate cake eater. ;)
I still have a lot of Christmas baking to get to including making some sugar cookies/gingerbread with my boys. We'll see how that goes with both of them baking with me this year! Oh, but it's one of my favourite parts of Christmas. :)
Have a great weekend and happy Christmas baking (if you're like me and still need to do it)! :)