Ho ho holy crap, you guys. Only four days ’til Christmas. I think I start a post that way every year. But it’s okay, because it’s genuine shock and awe speaking, so it’s relatable, right?
I know I don’t have to tell you about all the obligations this time of year. One love-hate-love task I often rue the day I volunteered for is making treats for a class party. (Two weeks beforehand: I’m looking forward to this! Definitely signing up! Two days beforehand: Jesus Christ almighty, what have I done? Ten seconds after finishing: SO CUTE, YAY!) These chocolate candy cane cupcakes fit the only three requirements of my holiday class baking projects: they’re nut-free, they have a high cuteness to effort ratio, and they’re vaguely secular. On my best days, I can say the same for myself.
Of course, chocolate candy cane cupcakes are great for non-classroom occasions too. They’re just perfect chocolate cupcakes topped with slightly amped up chocolate buttercream frosting and decked out just enough for the season.
Ta-daa! That’s literally all the words I can think of share with you today.
Talk to you soon.
Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup boiling water
For the frosting
- 16 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Crushed candy canes (you can buy these premade -- huzzah!)
- 24 mini candy canes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with 24 decorative paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed until well combined.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until batter is smooth. Pour in boiling water and carefully mix on low until just incorporated.
Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes for about 18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk (or in a large bowl with electric beaters), beat the butter for three to four minutes until light and creamy. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, then add to mixer (with mixer off) along with milk, vanilla and peppermint. Beat on low until incorporated, then on high for three to four minutes until smooth and fluffy. Let sit for 10 minutes to help powdered sugar chillax a bit into the mix. (Technical term.) If frosting is too thick, beat in up to two tablespoons more milk a little at a time.
Scoop frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe some frosting straight down onto each cupcake. Dust each cupcake with some crushed candy cane and spear with a mini candy cane, making sure it penetrates the cupcake and not just the icing so it doesn't fall out. That's it!