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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Awesome Chocolate Mint Cupcakes



Along with most everyone else, chocolate mint is a combo you just never can get enough of. If you are looking for something to fulfill your chocolate mint craving, these babies will certainly do it! I can't deny, I've been known to eat 2 in a sitting. For breakfast. Even though St. Patty's day is just around the corner and these would make the perfect treat, we enjoy them anytime!

They have the perfect chocolate cupcake base, then just the right amount of mint and cream cheese layer, topped with the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting. I mean come on.... how. can. you. go. wrong?


I've shared the perfect chocolate cupcake base recipe (from Hershey) previously, but because I like to share, I will share it again. Then, the cream cheese frosting is adapted from Buddy Valastro's (aka The Cake Boss)  The No-Fail Cream Cheese Frosting he shared on the Rachel Ray show. He uses 2 blocks of cream cheese, which quite frankly I didn't care for. It was waaaay too cream cheese tasting. The chocolate buttercream is my basic go to buttercream frosting recipe. So, I will put everything in one place so you can whip up a batch of these beauties! Trust me, whether they are for a St. Patty's day treat or just because... whoever you make them for will be lucky!!

I got 27 cupcakes out of this recipe and I had leftover mint and chocolate buttercream frosting. I normally don't have leftover buttercream, but I didn't pile it on as high as I normally do if it were the only frosting. It's up to you. You can either half the mint cream cheese recipe or throw the leftovers in the frig and make another batch of cupcakes later. I wouldn't say I had enough of the buttercream left to go halves, so I just put both leftovers in the frig to use again later. I would half the buttercream recipe next time and combine the leftovers. 

Another thing to mention is this cupcake batter is VERY runny. I find it easier to put it in a condiment bottle (I cut the tip a little bigger) and squeeze into the cupcake liners. That way I'm not dribbling all over my pans but if that's all you can do, then do it. But I promise you, you'll be making these cupcakes a lot, so investing in a cheap plastic condiment bottle is a huge help. I still dribbled all over using a ladle!


Ok, on to the good stuff!

Awesome Chocolate Mint Cupcakes (printable version)

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable/canola/olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (last batch I used 1 cup of fresh brewed, hot Highlander Grogg coffee)

Heat oven to 350F. Insert cupcake liners into 2 cupcake pans. 

Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder & soda and salt in your mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Lower speed to low and gradually pour in boiling water. Be careful, it may splatter. I sometimes like to stir it in slightly with a spatula before turning my mixer back on. Fill prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mint Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks softened butter
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pure mint extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Green food coloring

Using a mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add cream cheese and both extracts and beat until fully mixed. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low until well combined. Also gradually add food color until your shade is achieved. Beat on high until smooth and well combined.

Using a wide frosting spatula, plop a good sized frosting blob on the cupcake. Pat down from the top with the spatula until it smoothes out to the edges. Set aside to be topped with chocolate buttercream.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter, softened
3+ cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp milk or heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes until creamy. Add cocoa powder and gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add vanilla and milk or cream, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency. Add additional powdered sugar if necessary. 

Using a frosting bag and large round (2A) tip, pipe frosting on top of mint frosting. If you don't have a frosting bag and tip, just put frosting inside a ziploc bag, cut one corner off at an angle and pipe from the bag. 

Enjoy!


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