Tis the season to be jolly! Well, that seems to be jolly well hard this year. Although the festive season might seem a little bleak and unpredictable, we can still take comfort at home and celebrate the 2020 way. Just like at the start of lock down when we all put our oven gloves on and had a stab at soda bread or a banana loaf, the festive season is perfect for baking!
Maybe you’re super bummed about staying at home for the holidays? With the winter days becoming shorter and the colder weather tying us to our duvets, mental health around this time of year can take a dive. Baking is one of many outlets we can use to better our mental health. If that doesn’t work, at least you have something delicious to stuff your face with and eat your feelings – just me?
Candy Cane Cupcakes are great for this time of year! They’re festive, easy to make and most importantly – delicious! Just looking at them makes me happy. If you’re a mint chocolate fan, this one is for you. Alternatively, if you know someone who is, this would make a great and thoughtful Christmas gift for them. A melt-in-the-mouth chocolate cupcake topped with peppermint buttercream, piped in a red and white swirl. It’s like a cosy Christmas hug!
Let’s get down to the recipe! This makes 12 cupcakes.
For the Chocolate Cupcakes, you will need:
- 150g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder (I use Bournville)
- A pinch of salt
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 100g butter (softened and unsalted)
- 1 egg
- 100ml whole milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Candy Cane Peppermint Buttercream, you will need:
- 110g butter (softened and unsalted)
- 60ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 500g icing sugar (sifted)
- Red food colouring
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180C (160C Fan)/Gas 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases. Feel free to go all out and find some cute Christmas themed cases!
- In a bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy and smooth. This should take about 3-5 minutes doing this with an electric whisk or a free standing mixer.
- In a jug, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla with a fork.
- Gradually add half of the flour mixer to the butter mixture until combined. Then add half of the milk mixture until combined.
- Repeat until all flour and milk mixture are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once fully cooled, you can make the buttercream. Beat the butter, milk, peppermint and half of the icing sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Gradually add the remaining icing sugar and beat again until creamy and smooth.
- Set up a piping bag with nozzle (doesn’t matter about shape, as long as it’s big enough to pipe onto a cupcake). Using a food-safe brush, paint stripes of red food colouring onto the inside of the piping bag. I found the easiest way to do this is to put the piping bag into a tall glass and fold the bag over the rim.
- Fill your piping bag with the buttercream and pipe swirls on top of your chocolate cupcakes. Alternatively, you can divide your buttercream into two, dye one half red, decant the buttercreams into separate piping bags, snip off the ends, place both bags into one bag (together) and pipe.
- Top with sprinkles (optional) and enjoy!
There you have it! Delicious, festive and beautiful cupcakes! If you liked this recipe, please check out my blog The Ramblings of Lottie where you will find lots of other recipes. I also write about motherhood, mental health and have some festive gift guides and recipes coming soon! Hope to see you there!
Thanks for reading. Love Lottie x