Peppermint Devil’s Food Hi-Hat Cupcakes

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peppermint devil s food hi hat cupcakes 920
The Fearless Baker

Hi-hat cupcakes can turn a sophisticated adult into a giddy little kid in five seconds flat. What makes these amazing peppermint devil's food hi-hat cupcakes from Erin McDowell’s new cookbook, The Fearless Baker, so special, you ask? A huge mound of minty marshmallow frosting, covered with a thin layer of chocolate glaze. In a word, yum.



¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cups whole milk

4½ ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

1½ cups granulated sugar

2½ (142 grams) large eggs

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt


8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

½ cup coconut oil


5 large egg whites

2 cups granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 drops red food coloring (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups.

2. Make the Cupcakes: Place the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Whisk in ½ cup boiling water until fully combined. Stir in the milk and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer), cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the bowl well. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add a third of the mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Add half the cocoa-and-milk mixture and mix to incorporate. Repeat, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients, until both are fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.

5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Make the Glaze: Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a medium-size heatproof bowl and place over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water (with the bowl not touching the water). Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fully melted and combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

7. Make the Frosting: Combine the egg whites, sugar, ¼ cup water and cream of tartar in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water (with the bowl not touching the water) and heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. (If you want to check it with an instant-read thermometer, it should register about 140°F.)

8. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and a hand mixer) and whip on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy and holds medium peaks, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the peppermint and vanilla extracts and the food coloring, if using, and mix to combine. Transfer the frosting to a disposable pastry bag fitted with a plain tip about ½ inch wide (or just cut a ½-inch opening at the tip of a pastry bag or at the corner of a heavy-duty zip-top bag).

9. Place the cupcakes on a work surface and pipe a tall spiral of frosting onto each one: Pipe frosting all around the edge and then let the frosting build upward once you reach your starting point. Build the spiral upward, layer by layer, until it’s about 3 inches tall. When you’ve nearly finished piping, release the pressure on the bag and pull it away, giving the spiral a nicely curled tip. Chill the frosted cupcakes for 20 to 30 minutes.

10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a wire rack on top. Transfer the cooled chocolate glaze to a tall container, such as a large liquid measuring cup (this makes for easier dipping; be sure the opening of the container is wide enough for the cupcakes). Hold each cupcake upside down and dunk it deep enough into the chocolate glaze to fully cover the frosting. Let any excess glaze drip off. (Because the cupcakes are cold, though, the glaze should start to set immediately.) Set the glazed cupcake on the wire rack.

11. Transfer the cupcakes to the refrigerator and chill until the glaze is set, at least 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
  • Cupcakes

  • 179 calories

  • 7g fat

  • 27g carbs

  • 3g protein

  • 17g sugar

  • Glaze and Frosting

  • 211 Calories

  • 10g fat

  • 30g carbs

  • 2g protein

  • 29g sugar

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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