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As I was prepping for my last week of the college semester I had an overwhelming urge to bake a bunch of cupcakes. Following in the footsteps of the Candy Cane Cupcakes I decided to make more holiday inspired flavors. Both the cakes in question would have a chocolate base and they would both be filled, something I hadn’t tried. And two very different flavors, Andes Mint and Chocolate Covered Cherry. The Andes is so named because there are actual Andes brand ingredients. OI am sort of an Andes addict. Shhh..don’t tell anyone…
For both cakes, here is the recipe I used for the cakes. I have never made chocolate cake from scratch before this and if you want my advice I would use dutched cocoa or something with a nice cocoa flavor, The toll house and hershey is too mild. If you like chocolate, invest in some good cocoa!
Chocolate Cupcakes – From The Joy Of Baking – I added more cocoa.
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (I used my Ultragrain flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool
For the Buttercream -
2 sticks room temp unsalted butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar, SIFTED
1/2 tsp salt
Flavors – Peppermint or Mint extract for Andes, 2 TBS, and add more to taste. Cherry Extract, 1 TSP, and be careful because too much cherry will make it taste like Nyquil!
3-4 TBS milk
Colorings: I use Wilton’s gel, and used Christmas red and leaf green
Instructions: Cream the butter in mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Slowly add the powdered sugar until its all incorporated. Add flavor and color and milk until it starts getting smooth. Scrape the sides down and add more milk. If you want a stiffer icing use 3 TBS, a creamier icing, use the full 4 TBS.
To Decorate: I used the cupcake kit from Wilton and used the giant star and the filler tips. First I filled then simple swirl around the tops for both. For the Andes I cut up some Andes Creme de menthe cookies and used the crumbles for sprinkling, then I took Andes Baking Chips and melted them on the stove, then poured them onto a Silpat mat and then after it hardened I broke i into pieces.
For the cherries I took dark chocolate and shaved it into pieces and then topped with a cherry cordial.
And there you have it, 3 delicious holiday inspired cupcake treats, not from a mix. I’m impressed that the chocolate turned out so well but I am for sure tweaking the recipe to get more flavor and moistness