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Chocolate Whiskey Mint Cupcakes

Chocolate Whiskey Mint Cupcakes

I put these cupcakes together for a birthday that falls on the day after St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted to incorporate things that remind me of the aimless revelry of St. Patty’s, like things being green for no reason, and whiskey, and… well, tiny piles of poo weren’t actually on my list of thematic bullet points, but I seem to have accidentally included that concept as well. The ganache just sort of… did that. But it tastes so much better than it looks, and I’m sure someone with a little more cupcake-decorating savvy could make it look so much better than it looks, too.

On to the cupcakes. They’re surprising. The whiskey contributes a curious richness of flavor that cuts the chocolatiness of the chocolate, which, between the cake and the ganache, could easily become overpowering otherwise. I suspect the whiskey might also know something about why the exposed edges of these little cupcakes manage to become lightly caramelized. Well done, whiskey. Well done.

Oh, and whipped chocolate peppermint ganache? Amazing. While the whiskey is busy distracting the chocolate, the mint jumps into the middle of everything and does it a little dance, probably in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It makes sense that it would be an Irish dance, too, since mint flavor doesn’t have any arms.

Credit where it’s due: I got the cake recipe from Bakespace user Piratecupcake.

Whiskey Cupcakes with Chocolate Mint Ganache

Makes 24 regular-sized cupcakes or 12 very big ones

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut in to one inch pieces
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cupcake papers
  • Soft Butter-mint Buttons (or something else, I guess…) to decorate

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp pepperming extract
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Place the chocolate chips in a medium heat-safe bowl. When the cream boils, pour it over the chocolate chips and stir until the chips are all melted. Ganache! Cover this up and put it in the fridge, where it must stay for at least one hour.
  2. Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line your muffin tin with cupcake papers and set aside.
  3. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, mix together coffee, whiskey, cocoa powder, and butter until the butter is melted. Remove from heat. Immediately add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  4. While whiskey-chocolate mixture cools, get a medium bowl and mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat the vanilla eggs into the cooled chocolate-whiskey mixture until combined well. Then add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Don’t worry: the batter is supposed to be all thin and bubbly.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake 30–40 minutes. Place the cupcakes on a rack to cool.
  7. Has it been an hour? If it has, take your ganache back out of the fridge and whip it (high speed! now we’re living!) for about two minutes. Add the powdered sugar gradually, and keep whipping. Then add the milk. Continue to whip. Finally, add the peppermint extract, and whatever you do, do not stop whipping or the bowl will explode.
  8. When it’s whipped enough, stop whipping.
  9. Use the ganache frosting and the mints to decorate your cooled cupcakes as you see fit. They will be delicious, so watch out for that.

Naked Cupcakes

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.