Mint as a flavor was never new to me. We always had few twigs of mint in the garden of the house that I grew up in. Mint chutney, mint lemon drink, pudina (mint) paratha , my use of mint was limited to these dishes. I have seen peppermint extract in the baking aisle of any supermarket but I never picked it up. Use of mint in desserts always eluded me until recently when coming back from a day trip to Fort Worth zoo in Texas, we stopped at an ice cream parlor which had unique and quirky flavors in its menu and I tried the cucumber mint ice cream. It was super refreshing. You could actually taste cucumber and mint in it and so in my next visit to grocery store I did pick up the peppermint extract. So how should I use this extract?
Chocolate -Mint! Perfect combo!!!
Chocolate cupcake with mint buttercream!
To taste this combination before making the cake I bought a bag of Oreo mint thin cookies and I will admit I gobbled 5 to 6 cookies in one go. I loved those cookies so much that I decided to add them to my bake – Chocolate Oreo Mint cupcakes.
I made an egg less version of my chocolate cupcake (I had used it in Vegan Mocha cupcakes). It is one of my most versatile recipe. Love it! I placed one oreo mint cookie in each cupcake liner before adding the batter. A crunchy surprise when you take a bite. Then to my regular buttercream I added some peppermint extract with 2 drops of green color (Mint has to be green… White buttercream with mint flavor will be too boring). This buttercream is not stiff but is good enough to pipe on the cupcake and using a different method to make this buttercream the usual grittiness of american buttercream is not present. Oh yes, unless you want a toothpaste flavor please go for peppermint extract and not mint extract :). Using a round tip I iced the Oreo chocolate cupcake with this green mint buttercream. For the decoration I cut each oreo cookie into two parts and placed them on the cupcake and garnished it with some cookie crumbles. Ta Da!
This has been one of the easiest and quickest bake and yet so delicious.
Chocolate Oreo Mint Cupcake
A refreshing minty twist to a rich chocolate cupcake
For the cupcake –
- 2/3 Cup ( 90 g) All purpose flour
- 2/3 cup ( 125 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 C ( 125 ml) hot water
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey’s special blend)
- 30 gms baking chocolate (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp hot water OR 1 large egg if making egg version
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract.
- 1/4 cup ( 80 ml) milk
For the mint buttercream – Adapted from here.
- 2.5 C (300 gms) powdered sugar (To make stiffer buttercream you can add more sugar but this is enough for pipe able consistency
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 C (226 gms) butter at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or more as per taste)
- Few drops of green gel color
Lets Bake it
Bake your cupcakes –
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F / 180 degree C. Line your cupcake pan with liners and put one oreo mint thin cookie in each liner.
- Mix 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp hot water and let it sit for about 5-6 mins. Skip this step if making egg version.
- Sift together flour, baking soda , baking powder, salt and mix sugar in it.
- In another bowl, mix milk, flax mixture (or egg), oil and vanilla. Whisk vigorously.
- In another cup, add hot water to coffee granules, cocoa and baking chocolate (if using) . Stir it well. Let the heat from the water melt the chocolate and bloom the cocoa. Keep it aside for a minute to cool it to lukewarm.
- Whisk both the liquid mixtures (step 4 and step 5) together and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir is well to incorporate everything into the batter. Blend well using hand mixer for about 1 min.
- Pour it into the liners to about 2/3 cup full and bake it for 18 to 22 minutes or until they are done.
Make the buttercream –
- In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add powdered sugar in the bowl.
- Heat the milk to boiling stage and pour this piping hot milk to the powdered sugar.
- On low speed beat this sugar slurry till it gets cool to touch (not lukewarm but cool)
- The slowly add the butter and beat on low speed till it gets incorporated into the mixture.
- Then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 6-7 mins till the buttercream becomes nice and fluffy.
- Add salt, extracts and color and blend again for a min.
Just use your favorite tip to apply buttercream on cooled cupcakes. I used a round tip. Then crush few oreo cookies and use it to garnish.