Peppermint Candy Cane Cupcakes

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One of my favourite parts of baking for Christmas time (or for any holiday or birthday or whatever) is making cupcakes and getting creative in regards to decorating them. I mean, cupcakes are awesome at any time of year, but it’s always a blast to jazz them up to suit the occasion!

I don’t exactly do a lot of cupcake-decorating, though. I don’t even own a piping bag, so I can’t do that fancy swirly-whirly icing that always looks so pretty. But I’ve got tonnes of ideas – I even have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to snazzy-looking cupcakes.

For Christmas this year though, I decided to keep it simple – choc-mint cupcakes topped with mini candy canes. After I kind of failed at making peppermint marshmallows (hey, it’s my first time attempting marshmallows, don’t judge) I still wanted to whip up something sweet and pepperminty for my extended family at Christmas… so I figured, why not cupcakes? Everyone loves cupcakes!

These guys are super simple to make, and can be made in normal- or mini-form depending on what floats your boat. If you’re making them as mini cupcakes though, just remember to bake them for 12-15 minutes rather than 18-20; otherwise, just follow the recipe.

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Peppermint Candy Cane Cupcakes

80g of butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon peppermint essence
1/3 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup dark choc chips

ICING:
1 cup milk chocolate buttons
¼ cup cream
½ teaspoon peppermint essence
12 mini candy canes

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius, and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then stir in the egg until well combined.
Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, and add the milk, peppermint essence and dark choc chips. Stir until combined.
Divide the batter amongst each cupcake liner, and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until cupcakes are risen and spring back lightly when touched (and a skewer pierced into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean). Leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping, melt the milk chocolate buttons with the cream and peppermint essence in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly, then smooth over the surface of each cupcake. Top each with a mini candy cane.

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