It’s no secret that I love anything choc-peppermint. I’m a huge fan of mint slices and choc-mint ice-cream. These flavours are also very popular with my friends and my boyfriend, so I don’t need an excuse to whip up anything choc-minty 🙂 In the past I’ve made choc-mint hot chocolate (sooo divine!); a rich chocolate ganache ice-cream with peppermint and let’s not forget, the choc-mint cake.
I hate showing up to any social-type gathering’s at someone’s house empty-handed and it’s always an excuse to bake (I shouldn’t say this because now whenever I visit people’s houses, they will demand cookies. Haha.). However I’m often very sleepy/lazy to want to whip up something crazy complex and complicated.. Easy is the best way to go most of the time 🙂 I pondered over the right type of baked good to bring to a housewarming for a friend, but I was running low on butter and eggs. Fortunately I had a box mix of brownies languishing in the cupboard… Box mix to the rescue!
These cupcakes result in a rich, fudgy brownie cupcake and is topped with a swipe of silky peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) and topped with some sprinkles to add colour. No fancy piping, decorations, special tools or skills needed! Fortunately for me I had an extra cup of the SMBC frosting from another cake sitting in the fridge just waiting to be used, but you could just as easily substitute it with a simple American buttercream (creamed butter, powdered sugar + a little milk.)
Ok, so let’s get this party started.
Start out with your favourite brownie box mix. My fave is White Wings (I swear by them! They make the best brownie box mix and believe me when I say that I’ve tried sooo many of them. This isn’t like, product placement or anything, but I wouldn’t waste my time with the other brownie mixes. Mostly they don’t bake as nice and moist as the White Wings brand or they taste crumbly/weird/have a strange aftertaste. I always have great results with this brand and it’s only in one bowl and takes a couple of minutes to assemble which is perfect for me.
This cake mix calls for 2T water, 1/4 cup oil and 2 eggs. I used a splash of water, 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1 regular egg and four egg whites (not for any particular reason, but because I had run out of whole eggs and I had used the yolks from those four to make ice-cream a day before. I kinda threw them in there hoping it would work and it turned out fine …But I mean, don’t go out of your way to do the same thing, I’ve used two eggs previously and it makes no real difference – in fact the texture seems slightly more fudgy with two eggs – probably as a result of the extra yolk.)
Melting butter for the cake batter.
Arrange your cupcake papers in the cupcake tin.
Mix cake batter together.
Here’s a tip for you; pour your cake batter into a small jug – this makes it a bit easier and neater to pour the batter into the cupcake papers rather than pouring it all in a big mess straight from the bowl.
Fill cupcake papers with batter.
Bake cupcakes and remove onto tray and cool.
You can pop them in the fridge for about half an hour if you like to help speed the cooling process along. Before frosting, ensure that cakes are entirely cool so they won’t melt the SMBC.
Tint and flavour your Swiss Meringue Buttercream (I used two capfuls of peppermint essence and gradually added Wilton’s green paste colour until I got the colour I wanted).
If you have made yours overnight like mine and kept it in the fridge, it may have gone a bit hard (due to the high fat content). Leave it out at room temperature and beat until it is smooth enough to handle. You may have to add a tiny amount of cream or milk to help make it smooth out a little bit but I found that the addition of the peppermint essence was enough to make it rather smooth again, instead of hard and lumpy. While adding peppermint essence (I added two capfuls to about 3/4 to 1 cup of SMBC icing), taste it and add more/less to adjust the frosting to make sure it is perfect. I like mine to be quite minty, but I could have gone a bit more pepperminty than with 2 capfuls (I ran out of peppermint essence).
Plop about a teaspoon of peppermint frosting onto each cooled brownie cupcake.
Using a flat butterknife, smooth out the frosting.
Sprinkle on some 100s and 1000s.
If you have more frosting or slightly higher domed cupcakes, you can create more of an upwards dome on your cupcake by smoothing the frosting upwards, like this.
Enjoy these cupcakes!!