Home! After a crazy first week and a half of school, being able to bum with my family was quite wonderful. My baby brother aka the only younger brother I have who is 17 was confirmed this past weekend…actually now 2 weekends ago….yes, my life is seriously this hectic right now I haven’t had a good amount of time to sit down and write. Yay school! But anyways, being the supportive sister I am- I went home. On the phone the night before to my mom she asked if I would want to make cupcakes. She mentioned that she was thinking about just buying some but she figured she would ask me. Of course, I had to make them for my lil buddy whose only instructions were “I want chocolate”. Happy to oblige…of course on my terms.
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES
The first things to combine were the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. I really don’t like sour cream. I can live without it. But apparently it’s sometimes used in baking because it helps make the cakes moist. Either way, I think it’s disgusting. (In case you haven’t realized, I’m a bit of picky eater…oh well. :D).
It looked super tasty…not really. It was runny and slimy. I hate when things look like this and I have to try and visualize them as cupcakes.
Time to dump in the Devil’s Food Cake mix. I honestly don’t know what the difference between all the kinds of chocolate cake are…they are all just chocolate to me. But I was excited to dump this in so it didn’t look as slimy.
Look, it actually looks like chocolate cake! It actually tasted right too. This is when I let out a sigh of relief.
Scoop, scoop, scoop. I would like to take this moment to say my scooping is getting pretty awesome. They come out much more uniform then they did when I first started making cupcakes last summer. AND I scooped these pans in about 2 minutes flat. Bam.
After all the scooping, they went into the oven. Then I did my own dishes because my mom wasn’t home and my brother didn’t want to help. :(
Then I went to bed. Like seriously. I got home from school and started baking right away. By the time they were out of the oven, it was probably 11pm and I was over it. So I figured I would finish in the morning….Let’s imagine its morning now. The first thing I did upon waking up was make the ganache. And yes, I did bake in pajamas. Step one was melting the cream and chocolate chips.
Finally the peppermint extract made an appearance! I added some of that to my ganache…ganache is a really fun word to say.
Since my cupcakes had cooled overnight, they were ready for ganache. So theoretically, you should be able to be classy and just dunk the cupcake tops into the ganache and have it work out wonderfully. Now that would be too easy. It wasn’t really working out for me, so I decided to just use a spatula.
It worked fantastically. I was working like a well-oiled machine.
Then it was time for the frosting. First was mixing together the cream cheese and butter…yum…
This is followed by the powdered sugar and peppermint. Story time! Before I added the peppermint, the mixture was simply butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Well, I got some on my finger. So my first reaction was to lick it off. I did just that. I almost vomited. I would not recommend that to anyone. Ever.
The point of the food coloring was to make it look mint. Otherwise, it looks like vanilla. I also showed food coloring skill. If you compare the color my frosting got to an Andes mint, the green are pretty close in color. Skill right there.
Frosting! The frosting tasted really good actually. To frost, I put a giant blob in the center of the cupcake and kind of spread it around. Each cupcake got a generous amount of frosting and it didn’t look bad visually either.
Soon enough, they were all frosted.
I then sprinkled them with Andes mint piece. I found these pieces in the baking aisle. The recipe says to cut an Andes mint in half to garish. Based on my experience with the Reese Peanut Cups to garish, I figured it would be easier to do the crumbles because then you could eat it all at the same time. You wouldn’t have to take off the mint and eat it separately. It would be cohesive.
Just as they were all frosted, they all got some mint topping.
OK, not going to lie. These cupcakes were kind of awesome. I was impressed. Considering the base was chocolate, I enjoyed them. They actually did taste like mint. I would make these again for sure.
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake:
Devil’s Food Cake mix
½ cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache:
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract
green food coloring
Peppermint candies to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
3. Add cake mix, for easing mixing I recommend sifting your cake mix in.
4. Stir until combined and fill cupcake liners 3.4 full and bake for 16-23 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
5. Melt chocolate chips and cream together in the microwave or using a double boiler. Stir constantly until smooth. Add peppermint extract and stir again.
6. Dip cooled cupcakes into ganache, if they are still hot, the ganache will run off.
7. Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.
8. Wait until the ganache is set and pipe buttercream onto cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and peppermint candies.
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My brother loves me. Even if sometimes he doesn’t show it. :)