Candy Cane Cupcakes
Makes: 18 cupcakes
Hands-on time: 40 min.
Total time: 1 hr. 55 min.
1 (18.25-oz.) pkg. white cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp. red food coloring
¾ tsp. peppermint extract, divided
1 (16-oz.) can ready-to-spread cream cheese frosting
Crushed peppermint candies
1. Preheat oven to 350. Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans.
2. Beat cake mix and next 4 ingredients with an electric mixer at low speed about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl; beat at medium speed 1½ to 2 minutes until mixture is well blended.
3. Stir together 2/3 cup batter, cocoa and red food coloring; set aside.
4. Stir ½ tsp. peppermint extract into remaining batter. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.
5. Spoon 1 tsp. red batter over each cupcake; swirl in with a wooden skewer.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to wire racks; cool completely.
7. Stir together cream cheese frosting and remaining peppermint extract; spread frosting evenly over cupcakes. Sprinkle with crushed candies.