I’m a fan of mint and chocolate. Especially dark chocolate and mint. So, it wasn’t a big chore for me to make a batch of dark chocolate cupcakes and pipe them with some creamy mint buttercream frosting. Topped with some leftover mint-flavored chocolate from the holidays? Well, ok, if you twist my arm……
The cupcake base here is completely versatile, and I had been dying to make it. It’s from Cooks Illustrated, so I knew it had to be good. Flavorful, moist, full of chocolatey goodness…yep, it’s a keeper of a cupcake recipe. The good news? You can switch it up with endless add-ins, frostings, and flavor pairings. (And the chocolate chips in the batter make it just that much better.)
And this frosting? Well, it’s a smooth and creamy buttercream with a little more saltiness than the usual expected pinch, but, paired with the mint flavoring-it’s just about near heaven.
As far as the little decorative topping: I had slightly over-ordered some mint-flavored white and dark chocolate candy melts for some holiday projects. I had a leftover bag of each in my pantry, calling my name to be used up, so that’s just what I did. Melted down and piped through a small pastry tip in random designs, it ended up being a pretty and tasty little decorative garnish for the cupcakes. It added a little bit of extra mint flavor to the overall theme, but if you don’t have any of those on hand, just use chocolate chips instead.
Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cupcakes
Servings: approximately 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (for your add-ins)
For the frosting:
5 cups powdered sugar
12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 tablespoons heavy cream
5 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
Green food coloring gel
For the garnish:
One 12-ounce bag dark chocolate mint candy melts
One 12-ounce bag white chocolate mint candy melts
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two cupcake pans with the paper liners of your choosing.
3. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the butter, 4 ounces of chocolate chips and cocoa powder, whisking until melted and smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until light yellow and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
6. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt to the eggs, mixing well.
7. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until completely combined and smooth.
8. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and, adding in one-third increments, alternately add the flour mixture and the sour cream in three separate additions, mixing well after each.
9. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips until completely incorporated.
10. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake pans and bake, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
11. For the frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the powdered sugar and butter on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
12. Add the remaining ingredients, including the food coloring gel, until your desired consistency and color is reached. Pipe as desired onto your cupcakes.
13. For the white/dark chocolate mint garnish: In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the candy melts (one bag at a time), until smooth.
14. Let cool slightly before placing in your pastry bag.
15. Pipe designs onto parchment paper, let sit, undisturbed, for about 1-2 hours to allow chocolate to set. Decorate the cupcakes as desired.