I’m going to be entirely honest when I say that mint-chocolate has never been one of my favorite combinations. I hardly ever grab an Andes mint when I’m leaving a restaurant and York Peppermint Patties don’t really thrill me. However, I can’t deny that mint-chocolate certainly is a classic dessert combo. With Girl Scouts selling Thin Mints all around me and an approaching St. Paddy’s Day calling for all green everything, you better believe I’m getting out those green sprinkles and whipping up something minty.
I made these cupcakes last week for one of my best friend’s birthdays. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be “surprised” with coconut cupcakes or mint chocolate cupcakes, and who am I to squash someone’s double dessert dreams? Coconut cupcakes are an old favorite of mine, and I threw those together pretty quickly. But mint-chocolate was a different story. I haven’t dabbled too much in the mint scene, but after grabbing a box of mint Oreos and taste-testing just one, I knew it was time to give it a go.
The base of these cupcakes was made using my favorite chocolate fudge cake recipe. The cake is moist and chocolatey, and it pairs perfectly with almost any kind of frosting. Several drops of peppermint extract turn my classic chocolate buttercream frosting into a chocolate-mint frosting that is minty, cool, creamy and fudgy. They are topped off with a mint Oreo and some green sprinkles, and there you have it: mint-chocolate cupcake heaven. If you are a mint-skeptic like my naive self used to be, you have to give this recipe a try.
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp butter, softened
- 6 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 12 mint Oreos (optional)
- sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set this bowl aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, oil and vanilla until well-combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix for 30 seconds. Then, add in the buttermilk, and stir until just combined. The batter will be a little runny.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners with batter. The cupcake liners should be between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way filled. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, or for about 2 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extra, and peppermint extract with the mixer on low. Beat on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar if the frosting is too thin. Add in another tablespoon of cream if the batter is to thick. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt.
- Using a piping bag, pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a mint Oreo and green sprinkles to add a festive flare if you'd like!