Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Pop Rocks Cupcakes

This month's What's Baking theme was Peppermint, which was perfect for the holiday season. I had decided to make chocolate peppermint cupcakes until I came across candy cane flavored pop rocks when I was out Christmas shopping. I couldn't resist the candy that I ate as a child and used it to dust the tops of the cupcakes. The result was amazing! The candy on top of the cupcakes tasted like fizzy candy canes. They were a hint! I'm now on the hunt for other popping candy flavors so I can make other cupcake creations. 

Chocolate Peppermint Pop Rocks Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 and 1/2 cups cake flour (I used all-purpose and cornstarch.)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In another bowl, beat together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with a hand mixer on medium-high speed.
Add flour mixture and beat until smooth on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Batter will be very thin.)
Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake about 20 - 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

Peppermint Buttercream
2 sticks butter, room temperature
5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 - 4 tablespoons water (or any other liquid.)

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add peppermint extract and beat well. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and water until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.

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