Sweetly Surprised Cupcakes: A rich, dark chocolate cupcake filled with colourful M&Ms, topped with refreshing mint icing and chocolate drizzle.
Mood: This cupcake is for the mood when you’re feeling spontaneous, and want to explore the new and unexpected. Tired of the conventional, you’re ready to be pleasantly surprised!
Cupcakes that look ordinary (and delicious) enough, but little do you know they are not what they seem! Appearing to the naked eye as chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing, as you bite in you realize the frosting is not vanilla, or even white chocolate- it is mint! As you ponder this new flavour in your mouth, M&M’s spill out from the bite mark, for they are filling the inside! Yes, this is the cupcake version… of a Piñata.
I should make these for Cinco de Mayo.
But no, these cupcakes came about as I was preparing to visit my brother in Michigan for Canadian Thanksgiving. Yes, I do realize they do not celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in Michigan, but it coincides with Columbus day so that meant that my brother, my parents, and I all had the Monday off and could convene for some family time! How lovely. Well, it just so happens that Canadian Thanksgiving is shortly after my brother’s birthday, and what better birthday gift than to surprise him with surprise cupcakes!
So, when my brother said he’d be out of the house Saturday night and I’d have to entertain myself, I knew what I had to do. I had to bake him cupcakes while he was out as a surprise! And surprise him I did. With seriously delicious cupcakes.
Now, I made this a bit differently because I had to mix the ingredients prior to traveling via Greyhound to Michigan. I mixed the wet together, mixed the dry together, and put them in separate baggies, to be assembled in America.
First, mix together 1/4 cup of room temperature butter with 1 cup of white sugar.
Melt 2 ounces of dark chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove (you can use semisweet if you prefer. Depends on your preference). Then mix in the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, one at a time until combined. Lastly, add the 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Greek yogurt because I had some. Original recipe calls for sour cream. Use whatever is in your fridge).
In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. At this point, I put them both into bags.
To transport these ingredients to Michigan, I used this handy dandy lunchbox that has built in ice pack walls! Kept the butter hard the entire 10 hour trip. No food spoilage here!
When you are ready to combine the wet and the dry, alternate, adding the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 additions, mixing until just combined. Then mix in the 1/2 cup of water.
Pour the batter into 12 cupcake wells, lined with papers.Bake at 350 for approximately 18 minutes. Take them out, let them cool on wire racks and voila! Deliciousness.
Now for the deceivingly plain looking icing that is actually minty! So fun. Take 1 stick of room temperature butter and whip it with a mixer until nice and fluffy. Mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract. Check the consistency- if it’s not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar.
I then loaded up my icing in an icing bag and threw it in another plastic bag. Wet, dry, and icing, all ready to come into action once I reached my destination.
Now assembly. As per all my filled cupcakes, you must cut a cone out of the middle. Then, cut off the tip of the cone so that you just have a thin slice of cupcake to cover the hole back up. The cut off tips you can just eat, and you will want to because they are hella tasty.
Then you fill the hole with M&Ms! I wish I had found mini M&M’s but I couldn’t find any in the Canadian grocery stores (you sucks Zehrs). So we had to settle with large M&M’s. Which were fine, but for this purpose I think mini would have worked better. If you’re American or can find them in your Canadian grocery store then get mini. Also mint M&M’s would also be fun, and coordinate with the flavour of the icing. How fancy. Put the cap back on and you’re ready to ice!
Pipe on that icing like with normal cupcakes. Then, melt a bit of chocolate, put it in a plastic bag, cut off the tiniest hole in the tip of the bag, and add some of that chocolate drizzle that everyone loves.
And you are done! Now go surprise some people with your awesome baking skills and deliciously fun cupcakes 🙂
Now I know you see these pictures and probably think wow, Emily must be the best baker ever. Although this is probably true, I though I should show you some of my… mistakes. To reassure you that I am human and yes, it’s totally fine if you have a few flops. Everyone does. Just only photograph the pretty ones.
There, you see? I am also human. So don’t be afraid to screw up! Close your eyes and the screw ups usually taste just as good!
Ingredients: Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (or whatever kind of chocolate you love)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup room temperature water
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
- 1-1.5 cups M&M’s (preferably mini, though any kind will do. Or heck throw in Skittles if you’re a crazy person)
- 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the 1/4 cup butter with 1 cup sugar until it resembles sand. Then, melt 2 ounces of chocolate and add it in. Add the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks one at a time, mixing until combined. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt.
In another bown combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Add to the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Lastly add the 1/2 cup of room temperature water and combine.
Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Remove from muffin wells and let cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing, whip up 1 cup of butter with a beater. Mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Mix well.
Cut a cone in the middle of each cupcake (see photos for instructions). Cut off the tip of the cone so that you have a think cap to place overtop the hole. Fill the hole with M&M’s. Place the lid on. Ice the cupcakes with the mint icing. Melt 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and put in a ziplock bag. Cut a tiny, tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle on top of your cupcakes.
- Chocolate cupcake: modifiedfrom CupcakeProject-
- Mint Icing: modified from Sally’s BakingAddiction-