October 11, 2010

Mocha and Peppermint Cupcakes

I recently celebrated my birthday on a work day, so I took the opportunity to make some special cupcakes for my team to enjoy. My "signature" cupcakes are cherry chip with a pink tinted icing and I'm embarrassed to say that they're straight out of the box and can respectively. They cost about $5 and they're really very good -- especially when you pipe the icing. But I am expanding my culinary horizons and took the from-scratch recipe from Annie's Eats and they were certainly worth the effort. 

I particularly enjoyed the icing. When I told a couple of people how I made it, they called it "seven minute icing." I'm not sure where the name came from as it took more than seven minutes to make, but it was light, fluffy, not too sweet and piped well. Another birthday down and another new recipe under my belt!


For the cupcakes:

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
For the frosting:
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 3/4 plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • To make the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the milk, coffee and peppermint extract
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment. Blend in the eggs one at a time. Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • To make the frosting: combine the egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F and the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Transfer the mixture the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature -- about eight minutes. 
  • Reduce the speed and add the butter, two tablespoons at a time. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue beating on med-high until smooth again.
  • Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix until just incorporated. 
  • Frost cupcakes as desired and serve!

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