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Ingredients
    Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup C&H® Granulated Sugar Easy Baking Tub
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Red food coloring
  • Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 5 to 8 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, clear if you have it
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups C&H® Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Red food coloring
  • Mini candy canes for decoration, optional
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Instructions
Prep Time: 45 minutes / Cook Time: 16 minutes / Yields: 14 cupcakes
Cupcakes

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.  Line 14 to 15 muffin cups with paper liners and set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 3

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy. 

Step 4

Add the egg whites, vanilla, and peppermint, and beat until well combined.

Step 5

With mixer on low, beat in half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk and beat to combine.  Add the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining milk and beat until just incorporated.

Step 6

Pour half of the batter into a second bowl and beat in the cocoa powder and enough food coloring to achieve the shade of red you want.

Step 7

Use four tablespoons of batter in each prepared muffin cup, alternating colors. It should go like this: 1 (scant) tablespoon of white batter, 1 (scant) tablespoon of red, 1 tablespoon white, 1 tablespoon red.

Step 8

Bake 16 to 22 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.  

Step 9

Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Step 1

Place the shortening in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth.  Add 5 tablespoons of milk, the vanilla, peppermint, and salt and beat to combine.

Step 2

With mixer on low, gradually beat in 4 1/2 cups of Powdered sugar. Turn mixer to medium and beat until frosting is smooth. 

Step 3

Add additional Powdered sugar if frosting is too thin; if it’s too thick add additional milk. 

Step 4

Place half of the frosting in a second bowl and beat in the cocoa powder and red food coloring. (If you don’t want to pipe the frosting you can either leave it all white or tint it all red, then just spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.)

Step 5

To pipe colored swirls of frosting, transfer some of the white frosting to a 16-inch disposable piping bag and some the red frosting to a second (also 16-inch) piping bag. Don’t fill either bag more than half full.

Step 6

Snip off the bottom tip of each bag and carefully place in a third disposable bag that you’ve fitted with a large open star tip.

Step 7

Pipe swirls of frosting on top of your cooled cupcakes, refilling the bags with frosting as necessary. Decorate each cupcake with a mini candy cane, if desired.

Step 8

Uneaten cupcakes can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days, or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up the 2 months.

Chef's Tip
  • Adding a little cocoa powder to the red cupcake batter and frosting allows you to achieve a deeper red color with less food coloring; if you prefer, you can omit the cocoa powder.
  • You can substitute room temperature unsalted butter for the vegetable shortening in the frosting; butter tends to tint the frosting a bit yellow, whereas shortening allows you to get a really crisp white. But use butter if you prefer the flavor.
  • If you prefer to spread the frosting on the cupcakes rather than pipe it, we recommend halving the frosting recipe.
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