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Fresh Mint Cocoa Cupcakes

Our family has been tending to a little container garden on our patio this summer. It’s nothing big, but it has been a great way to get some practice in on how to garden and what kind of things we should plant and such. One plant that has WAY exceeded our expectations is our mint plant. It’s in a tiny 10″ diameter bucket, but this little guy just grows and grows and grows! I went out there the other day and actually considered whether this plant could someday take over our house!

Of course a massive harvest/trim job was needed so I got right to work and ended up with several cups of fresh mint and nothing to do with it. I have already stored away a few bottles of mint to turn into Mint Extract, so what was I going to do with all this stuff? Well, BAKE of course!

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Now, if you’ve been with me for a while here, you’ll know that I am much more of a savory style cook than I am a sweets styled baker. So for this cupcake recipe I turned to the experts at Baking Simple for their Chocolate Cake Recipe. I have tried many different cupcake batter recipes lately and this is hands-down The Best. The dough is soo light and fluffy that it almost looks like a mousse as you’re spooning it into the cupcake tin. When they are baked, the cupcakes are airy and delicate and just simply delicious!

Chocolate Cake and/or Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup Unsalted Butter at room temperature
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups Milk

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put your cupcake liners into the cups of your muffin pan.
2. Grab a small bowl and start combining your dry ingredients. Mix together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then set it aside for later.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar on medium high for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and your eggs one at a time and continue mixing.
4. Turn your mixer down to low and then slowly add in your flour mixture and your milk to the batter in small portions, alternating each time. (In other words, add some flour, add some milk, add some more flour, add some more milk….) Mix until just combined, do NOT over mix at this step. You want your batter to be light and airy, not overworked.
5. Start scooping your batter into your cupcake cups, following the 2/3rds Rule. (Always fill your cupcakes to approximately 2/3rds full to allow for the cupcake to rise without over flowing.) Bake for approximately 18 minutes for mini cupcakes – make sure you’re checking periodically with a toothpick for doneness the last few minutes and adjust your time accordingly.

Fresh Mint Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter at room temperature
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup fresh Mint Leaves, chopped very very finely
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
7 drops Green Food Coloring (optional)

Directions:
1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on medium high a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time.
2. Increase your speed back to medium and add in the vanilla and mint and continue to mix for several more minutes until well combined.
3. The frosting is finished as-is, but if you are looking for a greener color you can add in the food coloring. While the mixer is still running, slowly drip in your seven drops of green food coloring, allowing time after the final drop for the color to evenly mix throughout the entire batch of frosting.

 

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