Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

I made these for my Friendsgiving party. I LOVE Christmastime and everything in the peppermint chocolate combo! I was getting a little ahead of myself but I didn't care.

My friends enjoyed these but could barely taste the mocha. I put a whole cup of coffee in there along with espresso powder! So I ditched the cupcake recipe and made a second batch this week, with a more specific mocha recipe. It turned out much better in terms of the coffee flavor. I don't drink coffee or care for it, but if I'm going to call it a mocha cupcake, I need to be able to taste the mocha!

I was disappointed with the first set of cupcakes for the party. The frosting just wouldn't come together for me. I've lost my touch with the swiss meringue frosting... I know you're supposed to beat it for several minutes, and it feels like I do! But it never came together. It tasted too delicious to throw away so I hurriedly tried to make it look somewhat presentable. My friends are easy to please or just too nice because they thought it was great regardless.

On the second batch I made a simple peppermint buttercream frosting. I tinted half the frosting red and then put them in the piping bag together to get the swirl. Easy to do, and makes a pretty presentation :)

This is my favorite time of year, and I can't wait for more peppermint-y desserts!

Makes 12

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/6 cup cocoa powder
1/2 + 1/6 cup AP flour
3/4 tsp espresso powder
1/4 cup strong coffee

Mix all these ingredients together (after beating the butter and sugar till it's fluffy first).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 17-20 minutes or till the batter isn't wet anymore.

Peppermint frosting:
1 stick of butter
1 cup powdered sugar (add more to taste)
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat altogether while the butter is at room temp!

The original recipe I tried can be found here. The swiss meringue frosting listed there is the most delicious and I highly recommend it :)


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