Friday, July 8, 2011

Peppermint Love Cupcakes

by Darla

Today, my oldest sister and her husband are celebrating their anniversary. So I made them cupcakes. :)

Well…I made cupcakes for them to look at…and I made them pretty for them, but I didn’t actually make them for them, seeing as how they live a few thousand miles away. But still…it’s the thought that counts, right? I did create the recipe for them, soooo…yeah. That counts. ;)

I made them these cupcakes…and then I ate them for them. It was the least I could do. My brother-in-law’s favorite candies are York Peppermint Patties. My sister’s favorite color is green. I think that’s pretty much a match made in heaven. It defines them in the simplest of terms too: they compliment each other in the right ways…just like pretty green frosting compliments yummy, mint cupcakes. These particular cupcakes are rich chocolate with a secret, hidden peppermint patty in the middle, and topped with fluffy hint-of-mint buttercream frosting.

This is my sister and her hubby 12 years ago, when they were very newlyweds. Aren’t they adorable? If they look familiar, it’s because they’re the parents of my three adorable nephews that you met last week. They may look young and goofy here, but trust me, they’re still just as goofy today! :D

For these cupcakes, I spent time trying to establish a good, basic (but delicious), reliable chocolate cupcake recipe. I have a couple of great vanilla recipes, but chocolate has been eluding me…until now. I have finally come up with that one fail proof chocolate cupcake recipe. All you need for them is eggs (at room temperature), sugar, all-purpose flour, sour cream, cocoa powder, unsalted butter (at room temperature), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract. All basic, every day ingredients, but they combine to make one fantastic cupcake.

You’ll also need chocolate covered peppermint patties, of course. Mini work best and are easiest, but you can use full sized patties, quartered. As you can see above, I used sugar free candies, and they worked wonderfully. They are perhaps slightly firmer, but they taste the same and work great inside the cupcakes.

Once your muffin pan is prepared, and the batter mixed, place one and a half tablespoons of cupcake batter in each cup. Next, place a mini peppermint patty on top of the batter and press down slightly. Add another one and a half tablespoons of batter on top of the patties, then move the cupcakes to oven to bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, go ahead and mix up some frosting. I have a love/hate relationship with mint buttercream. I love mint. A lot. Most mint frostings that I’ve had, though, have tended to taste like toothpaste. Really sweet toothpaste. I really didn’t want that problem here, so I started out with my favorite buttercream frosting. Once I had it mixed up and whipped to perfection, I slowly added peppermint extract. It’s key to use peppermint extract and not just mint. Mint extract is a mixture of spearmint and peppermint, and is much more reminiscent of toothpaste. I started with a mere eighth of a teaspoon. It had a very light peppermint flavor, but it wasn’t quite enough, so I added another eighth of a teaspoon. I didn’t think this would be enough either, but it ended up being perfect. If you want a stronger flavor for your cupcakes, then feel free to add more extract to taste.

Once the cupcakes were all done and frosted, I garnished some of them with sweet little peppermint patty hearts. I used my smallest heart cookie cutter to cut them out and I think they’re just plain adorable.

I also decided to to top a couple of the cupcakes with my sister’s and brother-in-law’s initials. Again, I used small cookie cutters to cut them out, and they’re just so flippin’ charming.

Finally, for even more variety, I whipped up a sweet, minimalistic topper flag to print out, wishing them a happy anniversary. And, of course, you can download and print the flags for yourself through the link at the end of the post. :)

I printed mine on double sided pink card stock, then added their initials to the back so that when I folded the flag around the wood, their initials showed. I love the simplicity of the flags, and the pink is perfect with the soft green.

Let’s not forget that these cupcakes have a special bit of sweetness inside too! Even if you’re not a huge peppermint patty fan, you’ll love these. Since the cupcake is just chocolate, and the peppermint in the frosting is subtle, the patties are a perfect addition and add just the right amount of extra peppermint flavor.

To my sis and her hubs: I hope you have a truly wonderful day celebrating together today. I wish i could really have made these for you two, and then sent you off on a hot date night while I hung out with those wonderful nephews of mine. Happy anniversary, I miss you and love you tons!

To everyone else: go make some cupcakes. Preferably these…trust me. Enjoy!


Peppermint Patty Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 16 to 18 cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

16 to 18 mini peppermint patties (such as York), more for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in the vanilla.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until just combined. Repeat, alternating the remaining flour in 2 more additions with the remaining sour cream in one more addition (ending on flour).

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Lay a peppermint patty in each cup and press down gently. Place another 1 1/2 tablespoon sof batter on top of each patty. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.


Hint of Mint Buttercream Frosting [Printable Version]
Makes 24 ounces


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Food coloring (optional)

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whisk on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.

Recipes, flag toppers by Darla

Click on the link(s) below, then click File > Save as or Print. Print at 100%, do not scale, on heavy bright white paper. Cut the flags out along the lines and notch the ends, if desired.

Happy Anniversary Flag Toppers

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kisha July 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

This is a very sweet thing you did for your sister and brother-in-law. I wish there were more sisters like you in the world.


2 Blog is the New Black July 8, 2011 at 10:55 am



3 Heather July 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

You made me shed a little tear of happiness!!!!!!! These are amazing and so are you. Thanks, seesie!! I love you tons!!


4 Kerry July 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I think these are the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever seen AND they have a mint patty inside? You’re kind of a genius. These photos are beautiful!


5 Sasha @ The Procrastobaker July 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm

uhm…YES! I cant get enough of the chocolate-peppermint combo and this looks simply addictive. I dont know if i dare make them for the sake of my waistline! Such a lovely recipe and breath taking photography as always :)


6 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Those look incredible! I love chocolate and mint and they are so cute! Love these!


7 Tiffany July 9, 2011 at 12:43 am

These look so beautiful! I love the combination of chocolate and mint. The colours go so well together too :) Thanks for sharing!


8 gabby July 9, 2011 at 1:15 am

this is gorgeous.


9 Bourbonnatrix July 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

these look gorgeous! i was wondering about the cupcake liner in the last pic? is it paper? is it tin? (i need some!)


10 bttrflybabydoll July 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

So creative! Happy Anniversary H&K! Hope you have MANY more happy years together!


11 Emily July 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm

How nice of you to bravely take on those extra calories for your sister and her husband! Haha, but seriously, these are just so adorable and so very sweet. I love the cupcake papers you used for them! Especially the dark brown/black one… beautiful!


12 Jenn July 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

I love that the frosting is tinted every so slightly with green!!! Mint and chocolate is one of my favorite combos – Yummy!


13 Devan August 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I made these for a party and everyone just loved them!! Awesome recipe! (:


14 Melissa August 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Made these and everyone raved, so delicious. Next round I’m going to try making with the Snickers cupcake recipe it’s a fluffier cake, hopefully the patty still suspends.


15 Raquel August 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hey, I’m doing these for a party but I needed to know how many cupcakes this recipe makes, if you can tell me…


16 Darla August 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I believe the recipe states that it makes 16 to 18 cupcakes. I hope this is helpful.


17 Raquel August 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

sorry… I’m such a distracted mind! thanks anyway :) I will definitely try these, they look delicious! xx


18 Darla August 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

No worries! I understand completely! ;)


19 Laura November 13, 2011 at 1:06 am

mint and chocolate?! match made in heaven, for sure!


20 Julie September 22, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Just made these and they are wonderful! Nice & chocolatey with a perfect mintyness! Also the buttercream is the best I’ve made (used 1/4 of recipe though & it was enough). Planning to make them for my hubby’s 30th next week :)


21 Jill April 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm

How did you get the hearts and letters to cut out so nicely? Mine crack…


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