Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

We’re only two weeks into December and it has already been a flurry of holiday related activities. I’ve indulged in a few hot chocolates and packaged up dozens of Christmas cookies to give away as gifts. I saw the Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Detroit and drove through Dearborn’s Holiday Light Show on Hines Drive. I spent an evening at  “Christmas with the Rat Pack” with my boyfriend, Eric and had a fantastic time. I then watched a holiday special hosted by my other boyfriend Michael Buble and also had a fantastic time.  I realized that I strongly resemble Buddy the Elf come December 1st. Anything Christmas related makes me ridiculously pumped. Seasonal items somehow always find their way into my grocery cart no matter how many times I convince myself that the green & red packaging does not, in fact, make it taste like Christmas. But do you want to know what does taste like Christmas? Peppermint and chocolate. Anyone who has tried the deliciously decadent Starbucks Peppermint Mocha know that this dynamic combination makes for one festive treat. So I decided to translate the delicious peppermint & chocolate combo into a cupcake. I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and simply added a bit of peppermint extract. And a topping of fluffy cream cheese frosting accents these cupcakes perfectly. They would be a great dessert at your next holiday party or could even be given as a gift. Enjoy!
Ingredients: Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of half & half
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Preparation:
  1. In a large bowl sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt)
  2. Add egg, milk, canola oil & vanilla into dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until well incorporated
  3. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very runny)
  4. Pour batter into 12 cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 22 minutes
  5. For the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together until just combined
  6. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  7. Use a piping bag to frost cooled cupcakes and top with peppermint candy, if desired

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