Mint Choc Chip Christmas Cupcakes

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This batch of cupcakes turned out to be my final batch for 2011 as I made them for the New Years Eve party that I had. I did plan on making them for Christmas, but time ran away with me…story of my life!

I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations (and for everyday treats!) for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!

Mint and chocolate is a classic combination and when I saw these mini candy canes in the shops I snapped them up with the idea that they’d go on some cupcakes!

Mint Choc Cupcakes

Starting with the ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 4tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1tsp mint essence
  • 100g chocolate chips

And for the icing:

  1. 115g unsalted butter, softened
  2. 225g icing sugar, sifted
  3. 1tsp mint essence
  4. green food colouring
  5. 100g chocolate chips

I actually tweaked the quantity of icing as I had ready made frosting that I wanted to use up, but will talk about that as I go on through the recipe.

As always, preheat the oven – mine goes to 140C as it’s a fan oven, or if you have a conventional oven it is 160C/325F or Gas 3. Place the cupcake liners in the pans and away we go!

First off, sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl and set to one side.

Then beat the sugar and butter together in another bowl until smooth.

The eggs go in next, one at a time, beating well after each one is added.

Then add the flour mixture gradually, stirring until well combined. I used a wooden spoon rather than the electric beater for this.

Next the mint essence goes in.

And then the chocolate chips – stir them in until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. I put a spoonful in each one and then go around again adding mixture until it is all used up. I do this to try and get even cupcakes.

Into the oven they go for 20 minutes. I always stick a cocktail stick into a cupcake to check that it is done – it should come out clean with no batter on it. When cooked, cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now time for the fun part – the decorating!

I decorated my cupcakes three different ways – the book tells me minty frosting with chocolate chips – which I did for some of them…

To make the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth and creamy.

Then add the mint essence

And then the green food colouring. I use paste colourings and you don’t need much at all to give the icing a light hue of mint green.

This is the end of a teaspoon showing how much I used to get the desired colour. It’s always best to use too little than too much as you can darken the colour, but never lighten it.

I put a star shaped nozzle in a piping bag to do the first batch of decorations.

Fill the bag up with the frosting and squeeze down to get rid of air bubbles – nothing worse than in the middle of piping and an air bubble messes up your work!

Applying pressure to the bag, pipe a swirl on top of the cupcake and decrease the pressure to stop piping. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to pipe swirls on cupcakes!

To decorate the swirls I used chocolate chips…

…that I sprinkled on top…

For the next batch of cupcakes I wanted to use up the frosting that I had in cans ready made.

I fit the piping bag with a round nozzle this time and coloured the white frosting mint green but didn’t flavour it.

Sadly, the ready made icing didn’t live up to my expectations when piping out – and the nozzle was way smaller than I anticipated! These didn’t come out like the idea I had in my head for nice fluffy icing mounds, more like a dribble…!

To decorate the top of this batch, I used mini candy canes…

The final batch were covered with ready-made chocolate frosting that I spooned on top (after the previous piped mess, I didn’t want to risk it!)

All done and ready for the party!

I displayed them in a wire cupcake stand that I have, I think they looked great altogether!

These cupcakes last without frosting for up to three days in an airtight container, or you can freeze them, un-iced for up to 3 months.

Most of the cakes got snaffled at the party, but they lasted well for a few more days after that in a cake tin.

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