I have been wanting to capture a bit of the Christmas flavor and thought what better way than with peppermint cupcakes? Peppermint candy canes are a staple during the holiday season and my kids are definitely a fan of them. So I set off to find a way to bring the peppermint flavor to a cupcake.
I started off with a basic cake mix box, cupcake liners and some Andes peppermint crunch thins that I found at Target in the Christmas holiday food section. You could always bake from scratch but since I was making the frosting I thought I would take a shortcut with the actual cake portion.
I filled up the cupcake liners 1/4th of the way and then placed one of the Andes peppermint crunch thins on top of the batter. Note - I realized after the fact that I should have put more batter in before placing the Andes mint, probably having the cupcake liner 1/2 full of batter instead of 1/4th.
Then I placed more batter on top so that the Andes mints were covered.
I baked the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. I did not do anything special even though the Andes mints were inside.
While the cupcakes were cooling, I made the frosting based on a recipe from the Primrose Bakery with variations in the extracts.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup 2% reduced fat milk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
You can go more or less on the either of the extracts depending on which flavor you want to come through more.
I frosted a few (using a #2A Wilton round tip) with the peppermint frosting.
For a few others, I placed topped crushed peppermints on top. Why not pile on the peppermint flavor? Plus, I like to think that the peppermints dress up the cupcakes.
A peek inside with the Andes mints.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, when I make these again I am going to put more batter in before placing in the Andes mints. This way the Andes mints are more in the middle versus toward the bottom of the cupcakes.
I made cupcakes with the Andes mints in them and cupcakes without the Andes mints in them. All had the peppermint frosting on them and the ones with the Andes mints in them have a bit more peppermint taste to them, but they are both equally good and very addictive. Perfect addition for the holidays!