Deep, dark Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream make an excellent treat for St. Patrick’s Day or any day! Shaved chocolate mint candies are the perfect garnish for these tasty cupcakes.
My days of tipping back green beers at a packed in like sardines Irish pub are long behind me (thankfully), but being the good Irish lass that I am, I still enjoy a bit of silliness on St. Patrick’s Day and bow to the obligatory “green something”.
This year, I’ve decided it should come in the form of a cupcake. It’s as good as any other choice and I’d take a cupcake over a green beer any day of the week.
When my brother and I were younger, we had a next door neighbor that would bring us a box of Andes candy to share. You would have thought he gave us each a $100 bill we were so excited… as we got older, sometimes we each got our OWN box. Now that was newsworthy.
Opening the box and seeing all of those perfectly lined up little rectangles of foil would make me giddy. (Perhaps a little OCD?!) I had to take extra care not to rip it, so as to put the box back inside once we had removed a few… then there was the issue of counting them out to assure that the treasure was evenly divided.
I can still remember that feeling of unwrapping the first one and letting the cool combination of mint and chocolate settle on my tongue as it slowly began to soften and melt. That first one was always savored, the few that followed were lucky if they lasted 3 seconds.
I can’t see a box of Andes without thinking of him and that “sweet” memory (pun intended) and remembering our excitement over something as simple as a box of candy.
That was the inspiration for these cupcakes.
The combination of mint and chocolate is sublime. Some may disagree, but… well… you’re wrong.
The recipe for the cake is basically Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cake, with a little tweaking. I found the recipe to be a little “light” and to me a devil’s food cake should be dense and super-chocolaty. It was not enough of either, so I had to fuss with it… just a little.
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup best quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup sour cream
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract (I prefer Nielsen-Massey)
1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate, room temp
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans with papers. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa and hot water together until smooth. Let cool slightly, then whisk in sour cream until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined.
Using a scoop (I used a size 20 scoop – 1 5/8 oz) divide batter evenly into cupcake liners. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool completely before frosting.
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 lbs powdered sugar (2 boxes)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1/4 cup (green) Creme de Menthe
*pinch kosher salt
Using an electric mixer, beat together on low speed for one minute until combined, then at high for another 2 – 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Transfer into piping bag fitted with star tip & pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Garnish with shaved creme de menthe candy. Shove in mouth.