These cupcakes remind me of when Nana used to make them at Christmas every year. Even though she is no longer with us, it brings me joy baking them because it gives the cakes special meaning. For a more indulgent version, double the frosting and pile it high on top of each cupcake. —Chekota Hunter, Cassville, Missouri
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
- Dash peppermint extract
- 1 drop green food coloring, optional
- 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Mint Andes candies, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Mix cocoa and boiling water until smooth; cool completely.
- Beat butter and sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with applesauce, beating well after each addition. Beat in cocoa mixture.
- Fill prepared muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat confectioners' sugar, butter, cream and extract until smooth. If desired, tint frosting green with food coloring. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread over cupcakes. If desired, top with candies. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Nana's Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting in Healthy Cooking Annual Recipes Annual 2017, p220
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