Mint Cupcakes

Prep time:
15 mins
Cook time:
30 mins
Makes approx 16-18


175 unsalted buttered, softened
100g mint dark chocolate(50-60% cocoa solids) finely chopped
200g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g ground almonds
275g dark muscovado sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml buttermilk
18 cupcake cases
200g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
few drops of peppermint extract, to taste
1 pot green food colour paste
18 sprigs fresh or crystallized mint leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 170ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
2. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over 120ml just-boiled water. Stir until melted, then set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then stir in the ground almonds. In a bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with a electric hand whisk), cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (this will take a good 5 mins). Add the vanilla extract to the eggs. With the whisk running, very slowly add the add mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tbsp of the flour during the process to prevent curdling, then add the melted chocolate and the buttermilk. Fold in the remaining flou.
4. Place the paper cases into a cupcake tin and divide the batter between them. Bake for 25–30 minutes. When they spring back to the touch, remove to cool on a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and icing sugar for a good 5 minutes until really light, then add the peppermint extract and a touch of green food colour paste.
6. With a palette knife, spread buttercream on to the cupcakes and decorate each with a sprig of mint.

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