Peppermint Cupcakes

Back with another Christmas post and this time I’ve made a small batch of vanilla cupcakes with peppermint buttercream, and just look at those sprinkles! I had originally wanted to make a full sponge cake with peppermint icing inside but lately, almost a 1/4 of my cakes have gone to waste because there's only two of us in the house and we just can’t eat that much cake (as hard as I try!) before it goes off, so now I’m making smaller portions that will still show off the idea I had but there will be no waste! This recipe makes 4 cupcakes but you could easily double it then double it again with the ingredient amounts to make a full-size sponge cake.  I really like these, I think they’re a pretty quick and really fun nod to Christmas and no one is expecting that refreshing peppermint when you bite into the icing. 

Makes 4 

60g Butter, softened 
60g Caster Sugar 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
1 Egg 
1 tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk 
60g Plain Flour 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder 

115g Butter, softened 
130g Icing Sugar
2 tbsp Milk 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
1 tsp Peppermint Extract  

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180 Fan/ Gas Mark 6 and place 4-6 cupcake cases into a cupcake tin. In a large bowl cream together the butter and caster sugar until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. 

Now, add in the vanilla, egg and condensed milk. Mix these all together until you have a loose batter, it’s ok if it looks watery and has a few lumps they will come out when you add the flour. 

Finally, add in the flour and baking powder and whisk it all together until you have a smooth batter with no lumps. 

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until they’re around 3/4 full then place in the oven for 15-20 mins until risen and golden! You’ll know when they’re done because a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
Once baked, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for around 10 mins. 

Whilst the cupcakes cool we’ll make the buttercream icing! In a small bowl add butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract then whisk together until you have a thick, creamy mix with no lumps. 

Now it’s up to you how you ice these, I just use a knife, blob a big bit of icing on and smooth it all round, blob a bit more on and repeat until I have a lovely mound of icing, then for a bit of (messy) finesse I run the knife around the top in a semi-circle to create a kind of peak on top, I just think it gives a slightly better shape. 
You could, of course, pipe these and they’d look really nice but I can’t be bothered with piping, and I'm trying to improve my free-hand icing skills in the hope I’ll never have to learn how to pipe properly anyway, haha! 

Immediately after icing, sprinkle on your decorations, I used these pink and white sprinkles with pearlescent chocolate balls on top, I think they look light and cute and hopefully give off the right air when you bite into that thick and fresh peppermint buttercream! 

I can’t lie to you all…I made these cupcakes at 1 am before I went to bed because I didn't have anything to post today! I’m choosing to tell you this because I got home from work at 11.30 PM and had made the batter, cooked the cupcakes, let them cool, made the icing, and decorated them (then, of course, ate one) all by 12.45 AM so I think those are some pretty quick cupcakes! I really like the idea of maybe moving on from these and doing a filling of peppermint buttercream hidden inside the cupcakes and maybe a sharp lemon or cranberry buttercream on top next time to make these extra festive, either way, I genuinely enjoyed making these and the process is so easy that I think even young ones or those of us just getting into baking could easily make this without any issues. 
Well, I’m off to eat another one of these cupcakes now and plan the next post which will be another Christmas-inspired World Series recipe! 

Only 18 days until Christmas! 

H x