Put Yourself in the Mood…

…for the holiday season!

The holiday season always seems to approach us earlier and earlier every year. This year has been particularly early. Stores are filled with Christmas ornaments well before Thanksgiving even arrives, holiday music fill the stores, restaurants and cafes and of course the highly anticipated Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mochas are available at Starbucks.

What better than baking some Peppermint Mocha cupcakes to put you in the mood?

Afterall, a delicious mug of warm peppermint mocha would not be complete without your Peppermint Mocha cupcakes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar (depending on the thickness you’d like)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

To Make Cupcakes:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners. (Or if using nut cups, as pictured above, lay them out on a cookie sheet.)

Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and brewed coffee.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. (Depending on how full you fill them, this recipe will make 12-16 cupcakes.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To Make Frosting:

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and peppermint extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated. Use immediately or refrigerate. The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes.

Just a little extra: Crush some peppermints and add the crumbs to the cupcake! You’ll thank me later.

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