I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know this, but according to CNN, its National Cupcake Day! Apparently I also missed National Chocolate Cupcake Day and National Vanilla Cupcake day! Who knew that there were days dedicated specifically to these flavors!?!?
Today is just celebrating cupcakes in general, any flavor you like. I should have guessed that there was a day to celebrate cupcakes because let’s face it, they’re pretty amazing little packages.
I wish I was going to be celebrating by whipping up some delicious treats, but I’ve been pretty focused on getting Christmas cookie recipes together later. With Christmas only a little over a week away, I’ve got to get those things baked so my coworkers get their gingerbread doctors so the cupcakes are on the back burner for at least another week!
It seems like I’ve been on a cupcake making hiatus lately…the last cupcakes that I’ve actually made were the caramel apple ones waaaay back in September. That’s pretty sad huh? I’ve made a lot of cupcake promises to people lately but haven’t lived up to them at all. I promise all of you that you will get your moving cupcakes, engagement cupcakes, and those just because I love you cupcakes. They really will get to you, I swear!
I got one foot wet getting back into the world of cupcakes when Lenny, Susical, and I had a roommate bonding and holiday decorating night last Friday night. There’s nothing better than snuggling with your roomies after work and putting up a ridiculously sparkly Christmas tree, right? Yeah, we clearly have a special roommate relationship. Anyway, I wanted to make the roomies a little treaty for our holiday decoration celebration and what says winter and holidays more than peppermint? When I think of peppermint, I see chocolate…these two are a match made in heaven (almost as good as chocolate and peanut butter, but not quite there). I don’t think it can get much better than a brownie cupcake stuffed with a peppermint patty and topped with fluffy peppermint buttercream frosting. Yum!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1.5 sticks melted butter (plus more room temperature butter to grease cupcake tin)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 Tsp. salt
- 1/2 Tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 12 mini peppermint patties
- Preheat oven to 350. Liberally grease a 12 cup cupcake tin with room temperature butter…no need for cupcake wrappers here, they just get in the way and stick!
- Mix together melted butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time until the mixture is fully combined and golden yellow.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Slowly mix into the butter, sugar, and egg mixture until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide half of the batter among the 12 cupcake tins. Place peppermint patty in the middle of the batter and top with remaining half of the batter divided among the 12 cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fully clean. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
To go along with these pepperminty brownie cupcakes, I thought a pepperminty Swiss meringue buttercream would be the perfect compliment. We all know that Swiss meringue buttercream is my favorite frosting but I mess this stuff up ALL THE TIME! I seriously don’t know what my problem is with this frosting that it turns out to be such a hit or miss, or at least I didn’t know until now (and now, I only think I know…but I can admit that I’ve been wrong once or twice in my life). Apparently when you mix in the butter to the meringue, it turns a little liquidy at first. If you keep mixing and mixing it will eventually stiffen up to the perfect fluffy consistency. Be patient! It will definitely pay off.
I used a half recipe of my basic Swiss meringue buttercream but instead of adding vanilla extract in there, I replaced it with 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract instead. This was the perfect amount of peppermintyness (yeah, that’s clearly not a word but it sounds good, right?) to top the brownie cupcakes. As Susical put it, it tasted like delicious mint ice cream…she thought it was my best frosting yet, and who am I to argue with such a smart woman? Topping the cupcakes off with some cutesy little candy cane sprinkles and you have a finished product.
I loved these cupcakes because the actual brownie part of the cupcake isn’t very sweet at all but once you get a bite of the peppermint patty in the middle and a little bit of that frosting, you have a perfect bite. I’m even going to admit that I’ve eaten 4 of these cupcakes since Friday (that’s almost one a day people)! Now that I’m hopefully back on the cupcake train, I’ve clearly got to keep working on getting people their cupcakes.