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If you were to encounter me in my perfect world, I wouldn’t be able to talk to you.

I would be sinking my teeth into giant cupcakes all day–face shaded by sunlight–mind in a sugary haze–mouth drowning in a glorious bite filled with fluffy cocoa and droplets of vanilla.

My cupcake world is not for the light of heart, and not for those who care too much about gaining an extra pound or two on their love handles. And I embrace it fully when it comes to town.

I always (always, always) always bake cupcakes whenever I get the chance.

For example:

Friend: So my sister’s cousin’s friend’s nephew is having a birthday party next week

Me: I’ll bake 3 dozen of his favorite kind of cupcakes. And decorate them with a Spiderman theme to the best of my abilities.

Mediocre co-worker: I don’t know what we’re going to do for so-and-so’s going away party.

Me: How about I bake 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter fluff frosting?

Anyone: I need cupcakes.

Me: Oh! Let me bake them for you!

And when the opportunity struck for these chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting (a picnic with friends), you bet I whipped up a batch.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Frosting:
>> Click Here for Printable Recipe <<

Chocolate Cupcakes: (From Joy of Baking)

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or line 16 muffin cups with liners.

2.  In a small bowl, stir boiling water and the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside and let cool while you prepare everything else.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Then add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

5. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with batter and bake for 16-20 minutes or until springy to the touch and toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

6. Frost with mint frosting once cupcakes are completely cooled. You can either pipe them or spread them on with a spatula. Piping is pretty and so much fun to do! But it tastes the same either way :)

Mint Buttercream Frosting: (From Simply Recipes)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in milk and mint extract.

2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Taste and add more mint extract if it isn’t minty enough. Also add more powdered sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for your taste. (I put a little more than 1/4 tsp of the mint extract and exactly 2 cups of sugar–it was perfect that way.)

My Two Cents: I’ve always loved the combination of mint and chocolate. Yorks are one of my favorite candies. And Junior Mints. Holy yum.

So that’s what my mind was drawn to when I was trying to figure out a frosting to go with this. And this frosting recipe is killer. It’s not too sweet. And it’s not too buttery. I’ve made some frosting that’s made my lips pucker. And I’ve made frosting that just has way too much of a butter flavor. This buttercream frosting though, is a winner. If you don’t want mint frosting, then simply replace that with 1 tsp or so of vanilla (or to taste).Plus, it holds up well. Some frostings droop and sag–this one stood tall and proud after piping.

And the chocolate cake was also divine. Rich in chocolate flavor, and high in moisture and fluffiness. All I’ve ever wanted in a cupcake.

Enjoy! :)

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