Somehow it seems like green desserts should be minty, don’t you think? That’s what inspired this recipe for Chocolate Mint Swirled Cupcakes. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day but I’d definitely make it any time of year. And the thing that’s really awesome about it is you can stretch it into two desserts (keep reading!) and adapt it for any occassion. I used boxed cake mixes, so just use whichever flavors you like, or go with white and add food coloring to dye them. You can have swirly cupcakes of any sort by applying the same basic ideas here!
The thing that makes this recipe fun is that it comes out looking very cool (and tasting good, too!), but it’s easy because you can start with a boxed cake mix. Now if you’re really ambitious go ahead and make your own cake batter. I didn’t quite have time for that this time around. So all you need are two cake mixes and the ingredients to make them per package instructions (usually oil, eggs, and water), frosting and food coloring. I also used pre-packaged frosting mostly because I’ve been wanting to try this Duncan Hines Frosting Creations stuff. They even had a green mint chocolate flavor packet to go with it which was perfect! It was pretty good, but I’ll be honest with you: nothing beats homemade icing.
Prepare the two cake batters as directed. To the white mix add green food coloring and peppermint extract to get that mint flavor in there.
Layer them any which way in the cupcake pans. I did green-chocolate-green; chocolate-green-chocolate, half on one side, half on the other, swirled with a toothpick, whatever! Get creative. This is the fun part! Then bake as directed on the box. You’ve got a lot of cake batter here since you have two boxes of mix. So I made some regular sized cupcakes and a bunch of minis, which I then froze for a couple of weeks until we needed another dessert then brought out and made cake pops out of them!
Frost your cupcakes and decorate however you’d like. If you have kids that like to help this is a good job for them!
Surprise! See how swirly and cool they look? Each one is different depending on how you layered the batter into the pan.
And that mint flavor really comes through nicely in the green part. Everyone knows mint and chocolate go together like peas and carrots. It’s delish!
- One chocolate boxed cake mix + ingredients to make it per package directions (probably eggs, oil, water)
- One white boxed cake mix + ingredients to make it per package directions (probably eggs, oil, water)
- 1/2 tsp. Green food coloring (I like the Wilton stuff that comes in a little jar. Get it at a craft store.)
- 2tsp. Peppermint extract
- 1 tub of prepared frosting + flavor mix; Or just white frosting and a bit extra green food coloring and peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven as directed on your cake mix boxes.
- In separate bowls, prepare each cake mix as directed.
- To the white cake mix add the green food coloring and the peppermint extract. I didn't really measure the food coloring, I just sort of eyeballed it. You want a vibrant green color but feel free to start out with a smidge and just add a bit more until you have a color you're happy with. If you are using liquid/drops off food coloring, I'd start with about 5, and then increase from there. You will get a brighter color out of the gel stuff versus the drops. But either will work just fine!
- Line cupcake pans with liners and start filling them! Here's your chance to be creative. Layer them in different ways, make some solid colors, whatever you can come up with. Take a toothpick and swirl it through once you get the layers done for an even swirlier look. You should fill your liners about 2/3 of the way full so they don't overflow.
- You're going to get a couple of batches out of this since you have two full cake mixes to use up. Save some to make some mini cupcakes too. You can freeze these for cake pops later (directions below)!
- Bake cupcakes as directed on your cake mix box. For the minis I gave them about 10 minutes.
- If you're using the flavored frosting mix I used just frost and decorate. If you start with just a tub of white icing, add a little green food coloring and 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract to give it that green mint flavor.
- With any leftover cupcakes that you don't frost, cut them into quarters and freeze them along with any leftover minis. Then check out my easy cake pop instructions below!
When I ran out of icing or filled my pan or just had my fill of icing cupcakes, I tossed all the leftover minis and the regular cupcakes, cut into quarters, into a freezer-safe container and froze them. I left them in there for a couple of weeks until we needed a sweet fix.
Then we made cake pops! These are a breeze to make and delicious too. Plus they’re just adorable!
I put them in a vase with some green M&Ms in the bottom to go with the theme. Again, if you use a different color theme for your cupcakes just find some candy to match. I think M&Ms makes color schemes for just about every holiday now.
Yum. Tell me that doesn’t look good. Man, I wish I had one right now!
Chocolate Mint Cake Pops
- Frozen mini cupcakes and cupcake pieces (I also dipped a few large marshmallows because…well, they’re good!)
- Melted dipping chocolate (I used Baker’s Dipping Chocolate which you can buy in the baking aisle of your grocery store. Works great!)
- Sprinkles, chocolate pieces, any other decorations you’d like!
- Wooden skewers
- Melt the chocolate as directed. If you use the Baker’s Dipping Chocolate just microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until smooth.
- While your chocolate is melting use the wooden skewers to poke a hole about 2/3 through the cupcakes. Doesn’t have to be exact, just try not to jam them through the top.
- Once the chocolate is melted dip the end of one skewer into the chocolate, just enough to coat it, and then put it into the hole you made in one of the cupcakes. When this dries it will be sort of a ‘glue’ to keep the cupcake from falling off the stick.
- By the time you finish the last ones the first ones should be dry. Now you can start dipping! Just dip the top (don’t submerge the whole thing) into the chocolate and kind of wipe any excess along the rim so it’s not too drippy.
- Give it a second to firm up without getting hard and then dip the chocolate covered cupcake into your favorite little candies, sprinkles, or chocolate pieces.
- Put upright in a vase or glass until the dry so you don’t mess up the chocolate. But hey, if they get messed up I can tell you from experience they still taste divine!