Christmas Peppermint Cupcakes
As long as I have been writing this blog, I don't think I've ever made something with peppermint extract. Peppermint is either love it or hate it kind of flavour. I love peppermint tea. But I dislike mint chip ice cream. It can be an overpowering flavour, but it can also be a wonderful complimentary flavour to something.
I baked Magnolia Bakery's vanilla cupcakes with a peppermint buttercream frosting. I had intended to make these candy cane cupcakes with bright red and icy white frosting, but I think I added too much butter to the buttercream frosting and the white frosting was a clear butter color. I decided to add green and red food coloring and just make festive, over-the-top decorated cupcakes. Complete with a sparkling star and all.
I must say this recipe is my most favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. I tried Georgetown DC's vanilla cupcake recipe, but it was too dense. These are light, airy, yet flavourful. I actually used swirled red vanilla cupcake batter in as well to give it a 'candy cane'-feeling.
Ingredients: makes 24 cupcakes, but you can halve if you want to
- 1 ½ cup self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar (I always use less sugar with this recipe, as I find them too sweet otherwise)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually to the butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk mixed together with the vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Ingredients: for one 2-layer 9-inch cake, or 24 cupcakes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for this recipe I substituted this with peppermint extract)
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
- If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.