This was another treat that I made for my mint-loving husband to bring to a party. They were a huge hit and really tasted fantastic. The fluffy swiss-meringue buttercream with the mint extract was divine, and the coffee flavored cupcake was light and fluffy. It is a really wonderful flavor combination - I will definitely be making these again (and aren't they a really pretty dessert?).
for the cupcakes (makes 24 regular sized cupcakes):
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tsp. espresso powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
for the frosting:
- 6 large egg whites
- 1¾ plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
to make the cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans (24 cupcakes) with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir together. Combine the milk, coffee and peppermint extract in a liquid measuring cup.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Alternately mix in the dry and liquid ingredients, and mixing just until incorporated.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
to make the frosting
1. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
3. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more.
4. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and mix just until incorporated.