For some reason these cupcakes were the thorn in my side! You can probably tell by the photo that I really couldn’t get a great shot of these. That’s because they were almost impossible to frost. I actually frosted these in two batches. The first batch frosted fairly well because the cupcakes had only been baked the night before and weren’t overly moist. The frosting was a bit thick and gave me a bit of a hassle by pulling up the top layer of the cake so it then got mixed into the white frosting. And while it wasn’t great for look, it didn’t happen with all of the cupcakes.
Not so for the second half of the batch. Yikes! These had been in a covered container for about three days and while the cake was extremely moist, it was too moist. The frosting pulled the top layer of cake off so fast in was amazing. And frustrating. And I didn’t even get to taste them because I am fasting from sugar. But those who did try them said they were very good.
If you do attempt to make these cupcakes I would suggest sticking them in the freezer for a bit before you frost them to give the top layer of cake a chance to harden up. I should have done this but didn’t have time. Also, you can either make the cupcakes from scratch or you can do the abbreviated version from a box. Enjoy!
Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
Makes about 18 cupcakes
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
16 hard peppermint candies, finely crushed (about 1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°.To prepare cupcakes, place brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla extract.Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare frosting, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, and peppermint extract in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Spread about 4 teaspoons frosting on each cupcake; sprinkle evenly with candies.