Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint

Celebrations require happy sweet desserts, and this is a perfect winter celebration treat. One of my favorite activities before returning home after visiting the family is planning what food we will eat, particularly what dessert I want to make. I forget when it started, but at some point I stopped buying desserts and just started making almost all of the ones we eat. Occasionally K wants a certain ice cream or maybe we are out at a nice bakery and pick up a few treats. In general, though, we have gotten used to homemade treats. I think he is okay with it, and I like it. It does mean that I am a BAR (Baking Aisle Regular) which makes me a bit cranky around the holidays. All of the “tourists” come to the aisle and hog prime locations near chocolate chips or confectioner’s sugar. Then, they refuse to budge or make room so that I can pick up one of my basic pantry needs. Ugh! Well, unless your pantry needs some stocking, you should be able to make these without buying anything fancy. The peppermint is super refreshing and perfect for winter, but you can also opt to leave it out. As in, leave out the chocolate entirely, or even just use regular chocolate.

IMG_3633

 

This was another recipe that showed me how different my muffin pans are. I received my favorite one as a wedding gift. The pan is actually part of a cupcake carrier, but it makes awesome cupcakes and muffins. It is a light color, and it did not say nonstick, but with baking spray I do not have any issues. I want to get another one just like it and then donate my old ones that are not as good. If you are having sad looking muffins or cupcakes, do consider your pan. I never had ones get quite so puffy and domed before.

The favorite pan

The favorite pan with good domes

These cupcakes made this chocolate-lover okay with not having more chocolate. It is super important to sift the sugar in the frosting because it is amazing when it is smooth and free of lumps. The peppermint flavor is fairly minimal, and you can still enjoy the vanilla flavor. I will warn that the chocolate sunk to the bottom in mine, so hopefully you are okay with chocolate-bottomed cupcakes? For less mess, I recommend using some sort of liners for this.

IMG_3617

Directions for Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1-2 ounces chopped mint chocolate 
  • 1 recipe chocolate peppermint filling (below)
  • 1 recipe vanilla cupcakes (below)
  • 1 recipe vanilla buttercream (below)
A good choice for the chocolate!

A good choice for the chocolate!

Chocolate Peppermint Filling

  • 3 ounces chocolate (use mint chocolate if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional if you use the mint chocolate)

Melt together the chocolate and cream in a small bowl.

IMG_3599

Stir in the sugar (and extract if using). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Vanilla Cupcakes (makes about 18 regular-sized cupcakes)

  • 2.25 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 cups milk, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the muffin pan(s). In your mixer bowl, place the butter and sugar. Scrape the vanilla bean into it and mix on medium for about 3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy.

Notice the yummy bean bits in it? So pretty!

Notice the yummy bean bits in it? So pretty!

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the vanilla extract into the mixing bowl.

Whisk the milk and egg whites together. Next, add 1/4 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture, then continue alternating with the flour and milk, ending with the flour. Continue mixing for another minute to make sure everything is well-blended.

IMG_3605

Fill the muffin wells about 3/4 of the way.

IMG_3607

Pull out the chocolate peppermint filling from the refrigerator. Drop small spoons of the filling into the middle of each cupcake.

IMG_3608

Then, bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when they are firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

IMG_3611

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (use the other half from the cupcakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 22 ounces (about 5 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Using your mixer, beat together the butter and the 1/2 vanilla bean (scrape the insides into the bowl) on medium for a couple minutes until the mixture is fluffy.

IMG_3614

Add in the sugar slowly on low (it might spray out of the bowl a bit). Once smooth, add in the vanilla and milk. If you need more milk to loosen the frosting, add a bit more. If it is a bit too wet, add a little more confectioner’s sugar (sift it into the bowl). Once you have the desired thickness for your frosting, get ready to frost.

IMG_3616

You can either use a piping bag, a freezer bag with the corner cut off, or just an offset spatula.

IMG_3621

IMG_3624

Then, sprinkle with the chopped mint chocolate.

IMG_3629

IMG_3630

Directions for Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint (without pictures)

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1-2 ounces chopped mint chocolate
  • 1 recipe chocolate peppermint filling (below)
  • 1 recipe vanilla cupcakes (below)
  • 1 recipe vanilla buttercream (below)

Chocolate Peppermint Filling

  • 3 ounces chocolate (use mint chocolate if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional if you use the mint chocolate)

Melt together the chocolate and cream in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar (and extract if using). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Vanilla Cupcakes (makes about 18 regular-sized cupcakes)

  • 2.25 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 cups milk, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the muffin pan(s). In your mixer bowl, place the butter and sugar. Scrape the vanilla bean into it and mix on medium for about 3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the vanilla extract into the mixing bowl.

Whisk the milk and egg whites together. Next, add 1/4 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture, then continue alternating with the flour and milk, ending with the flour. Continue mixing for another minute to make sure everything is well-blended.

Fill the muffin wells about 3/4 full. Pull out the chocolate peppermint filling from the refrigerator. Drop small spoons of the filling into the middle of each cupcake. Then, bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when they are firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (use the other half from the cupcakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 22 ounces (about 5 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Using your mixer, beat together the butter and the 1/2 vanilla bean (scrape the insides into the bowl) on medium for a couple minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the sugar slowly on low (it might spray out of the bowl a bit). Once smooth, add in the vanilla and milk. If you need more milk to loosen the frosting, add a bit more. If it is a bit too wet, add a little more confectioner’s sugar (sift it into the bowl). Once you have the desired thickness for your frosting, get ready to frost. You can either use a piping bag, a freezer bag with the corner cut off, or just an offset spatula. Then, sprinkle with the chopped mint chocolate.

Are you a BAR or a tourist? No judging here, just hoping you’re the polite BAR or tourist 🙂

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peppermint

  1. I don’t bake nearly as much as you, BUT I do try to keep well stocked well BEFORE the holiday rush. So I’d be no bother to you 😉

    Also, I bought that exact Peppermint Chocolate bar after you sent me some Theo. There was no chance of it lasting long enough to put into a cupcake recipe. None at all.

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s