Now that Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially begun, I have finally had the chance to bake something Christmasy! When I saw this recipe over at BetterHomesandGardens.com, I just had to try it! I changed the recipe up a little and prepared it slightly differently. One of the things I did was substitute butter for the shortening, and it seemed to work out fine. The original recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes, but when I tried it, I ended up with 11–I filled my muffin pan cups almost 3/4 full of batter. If you fill them 2/3 full, you can probably get 12 cupcakes. I had plenty of Creamy Peppermint frosting to work with, though…in fact, I had extra. And it is yummy frosting…I’ll use the extra for something else!
I really liked the chocolate cupcake and peppermint frosting combination…and topping the cupcakes off with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies adds a special Christmas touch!
Here’s the recipe…
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat eleven to twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or grease well with butter; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, blend butter with sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, mixing after each addition just until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips and divide batter among the greased muffin cups (as I mentioned before, I filled 11 muffin cups almost 3/4 full; filling them 2/3 full probably will give you 12 cupcakes).
Bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan (I had to loosen mine a little with a small plastic knife; I used plastic so it wouldn’t scratch my non-stick pan, and the cupcakes came out fine); cool completely on wire rack.
While cupcakes are cooling, you can make the frosting…
CREAMY PEPPERMINT FROSTING
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme (for a stiffer frosting, just use 1/2 to 3/4 of the jar)
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 2 Tablespoons half and half
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup softened butter, one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme, and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 Tablespoons half and half. Gradually beat in the other 2 cups of powdered sugar. This makes a nice thick and creamy frosting. NOTE: if your frosting seems too gooey, try adding another 1/2 cup to 1 cup of powdered sugar.
To frost cupcakes (up to 4 hours before serving), cut them in half horizontally. Spoon about 1 Tablespoon frosting onto the bottom of each cupcake. Replace cupcake tops, pressing gently to spread frosting to edges. Place the crushed candies on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll sides of cupcakes in crushed candies to coat the exposed frosting. Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto tops of cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint candies. Makes 11-12 cupcakes.
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