York Mint Snowflake Cupcakes

24 cupcakes
50 min

I got a request for a ‘Christmas-ish’ batch of cupcakes a while back, and spent a couple of hours trying to think how to make chocolate cupcakes look Christmas-ish. Seriously, not as easy as it sounds! I finally decided I wanted to top them with snowflakes, and the best way I could think of to get them to stand out was to pipe them onto something dark – and I love York Mint patties! I thought they turned out really fun, and I loved the Christmas-y look of the snowflakes with the red cupcake liners.

I doubled and slightly-modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from thescranline.com - check out Nick's site and his Instagram feed if you haven't already; he does some incredible work! Of note...you'll need either a kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams OR - you can just use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome! ;)

York Mint Snowflake Cupcakes

Recipe details

  • 24  cupcakes
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 350g all purpose flour (roughly 2 1/4 c)
  • 450g caster sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
  • 100g cocoa powder (roughly 1 ¼ c)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 350ml milk (about 1 ½ ; I used a 2c pyrex liquid measuring cup with mL marks on the back)
  • 2 t vanilla extract

Frosting & Decorations

  • 8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
  • 16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
  • 6-7 c powdered sugar 
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 T peppermint extract 1/4 t. salt
  • -
  • - Plastic knife or cupcake corer
  • - Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
  • - small piping bag & small round piping tip – this set has been one of my favorites!
  • - 24 York Peppermint Patties
  • - ½ cup crushed peppermint candy or crushed candy canes
  • - 1 bag white candy melts - I used Wilton's bright white candy melts 

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C) or 320 FC (160C) for a fan forced oven. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add in the softened butter until no lumps of butter are visible and it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients.
Next, add milk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
Fill each paper 3/4 of the way (using a large cookie scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). You may find that you have some batter left over - don't over-fill the cupcake tins or they *will* overflow – trust me. :/ (I often bake some mini cupcakes with the leftover batter).
Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting. If you insert a skewer and it comes out with wet batter, bake for another few minutes at a time until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely. 
This is an excellent time to make your frosting and/or pipe your snowflake decorations if you’d like!

Frosting & Decorations

Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add peppermint extract and salt and beat until well combined.
Save out about ¾ c of frosting to use for cupcake filling if you'd like - I added an additional teaspoon of peppermint extract and some crushed candy cane too!
To decorate your peppermint patties, melt down about ¾ c of candy melts and transfer them to a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Pipe three lines to make the six points of the snowflake, and then add angled lines to finish the snowflake design. (See the YouTube video linked above if you want to see an example).
Once the cupcakes have cooled, you're ready to core them. There are a few ways you can do this....you can buy a cupcake corer, you can try using the non-business-end of a large piping tip,  or....you can do what I do and cut a cone-shaped core out with a plastic knife. Up to you. I haven't the foggiest idea why cupcake crumbs don't stick to plastic knives like they do regular knives, but the plastic knife's been working too well for me to feel the need to invest in any fancy corers. Pipe your filling into your cored cupcakes - it doesn't have to look pretty, so I often use a zip-lock bag for this part.
 Pipe your mint frosting in large swirls onto your cupcakes (or however you feel like icing them). Decorate the top of each frosting swirl with a decorated York Peppermint Patty!  
Done and done! Enjoy!

Tips

  • Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

Intensive Cake Unit
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