DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES
IngredientsServes about 16 cupcakes
4 oz (125 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
4 large egg whites
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 ml) peppermint extract
½ tsp (2 ml) salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 ml) full-fat sour cream or whole milk yogurt
PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
½ cup (125 ml) butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups (1 L) icing sugar
½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) peppermint extract
1 to 3 tbsp (15 to 45 ml) whipping cream
red gel food colouring (optional)
crushed candy canes or red and white mints
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a heatproof bowl, add chocolate and microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl with a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg whites one at a time, followed by vanilla and peppermint extracts, scraping sides as needed. Mix in cooled chocolate, salt and baking powder. Add flour in ½ cup (125 ml) portions until well blended, increasing speed after each addition. Add sour cream and mix until just combined.
- Divide batter between prepared paper liners using a regular-sized ice cream scoop, about ⅔ full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Serve topped with Peppermint Candy Cane Cream Cheese Frosting.
- To make PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Place butter in a mixing bowl and whip with electric beaters until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well mixed together, about 30 seconds. Add icing sugar, about ½ cup (125 ml) at a time, blending at low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts. Slowly add whipping cream, a small amount at a time, until desired consistency. Beat until well combined and fluffy.
- To create candy cane stripe effect (optional), before filling a large piping bag with frosting, add some red gel food colouring to a toothpick, and draw two to four vertical lines with red dye on inside of piping bag. Then carefully fill bag with frosting. Squeeze some frosting into a bowl until red striping starts to appear. Frost with a round twirl of icing on each cupcake. Garnish tops with crushed candy canes just before serving, or they will “melt and bleed” if left too long.