I’m one of those weirdos who freaks out when they see candy canes on sale. Like, 6-7 boxes in my cart fa-reeeks! This year when I headed up to check out with my cart o’ canes the cashier actually said “you know we’ll keep selling these ’til a little bit after Christmas, right?” To which I explained that she really shouldn’t worry because way before Christmas I’d be back for more. I got one of those cocked eyebrow looks but I just kept on doing my merry thing.
My nephew loves peppermint, too. Actually my whole family teases him about his old man taste-buds. He’s all about peppermint and butterscotch and will always choose one of the two whenever possible (even on snow-cones :) So I thought I’d whip up a batch of my peppermint cream cheese chocolate cupcakes for Thanksgiving and I did, but unfortunately I didn’t get to go down to see my little nephews this year and it was sad, but I had a dozen of these little sweeties to console me. In fact, on Thanksgiving I had one for breakfast and then one for lunch. Mmmm, sweet consolation!
Now to be honest I whipped up a box of gluten free chocolate cupcakes, you see my gluten free baking isn’t quite up to snuff just yet. But, as I’ve been informed, it is sad to let my gluten filled but really good recipes go to waste… (did you know I actually baked for a living for a time?) So I’m also sharing my recipe for Midnight Chocolate Cake that you can use if you’re able.
Midnight Chocolate Cake
This recipe will make 2 dozen cupcakes that are super moist and chock full of chocolate flavor. (p.s. while you can’t pick the flavor out of the finished cake, it’s the coffee that makes the chocolate even richer!)
- 1 3/4 cup of flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3/4 cup of cocoa
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of strong, black coffee
- 1 cup of buttermilk (or 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Combine all dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated
- Add wet ingredients and beat on high for 2 minutes. Batter will be very thin and very runny.
- Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, checking often for cakes, 20-25 minutes, checking often, for cupcakes.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
If you love peppermint you’ll flip for this icing. The pretty pink color comes from the melted candy canes that give the icing its flavor. Adding peppermint extract is optional and dependent on just how much you like the minty flavor. Without the frosting has a slightly minty flavor with a touch of the cool sensation you get from minty things!
- 1 package of cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 candy canes
- 1.5 pounds of powdered sugar
- 2 drops of peppermint extract (optional)
- crushed candy canes (I used something I found in the baking aisle instead and I was NOT happy with the consistency. It looks easier but doesn’t taste as good!)
- Beat your cream cheese so that it is nice and fluffy. Add about half of your powdered sugar and mix so that it starts to become nice and thick. Set aside.
- Place your 4 candy canes in a small sauce pan with a tablespoon of water over medium low heat. Using a rubber spatula, keep that business stirring. When it all is melted and it begins to bubble, pour straight into your icing and hit it with the beaters until well incorporated.
- Continue adding powdered sugar until you get the a good consistency for frosting. Give a quick taste and add a drop or two of peppermint extract if you’d like a more minty flavor.
- Frost cupcakes and garnish with crushed candy canes.