Minty White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

Drink these cupcakes like a White Chocolate Mocha with 4 pumps of mint syrup. The icing is thick, buttery, but refreshing. The cake is moist, springy, and soaked with the wonders of coffee.

Combined, these make for a bite of fancypants mocha heaven!

I know a mocha isn’t very spring-y, but spring is almost ending and besides, in San Fran it feels like the seasons aren’t seasons anyway. The only thing that defines seasons here – kinda – is the produce. Whoop de doo. Otherwise it’s either sunny or foggy, chilly or warm. It doesn’t get HOT or COLD. This may be a good thing, but me, I want my midwestern seasons. I want the muggy Cincinnati summer. The hot grass, the sun scorching, the promise of hair that smells like chlorine from days spent at the pool, soft serve ice cream, long nights out wearing short dresses (and no tights to keep warm), the freedom of my feet in Birkenstocks, the desire to chug icy lemonade, the accidental tan, the crickets and fireflies, the burgers and corn on the cob….sigh. This is all about to be robbed from me because California is anti-sticky-summer! This makes me sad. I don’t know what this has to do with cupcakes or mint or white chocolate (which in fact all seem like wintery things) but it’s what’s on my mind. This cupcake/drink puts me in a good mood no matter how un-exciting the California seasons are. This is my refresh! MINT! Which in San Fran, is a seasonal flavor every season! Because every season feels ridiculously similar!

Okay, I’ll cut myself off here and quit whining about the beautiful SF weather!


This recipe is inspired by the latte concoction Josh and I love to share at our local coffee shop, It’s a Grind. Hot or cold, I love it and think it tastes like mint ice cream : White Chocolate Mocha with 4 pumps of mint (not to be confused with peppermint!). It is dessert. So I made it into dessert. Cupcakes! The best kind of dessert (aside from ice cream). Here is my very own recipe, inspired by my favorite espresso drink!

*all ingredients = room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup of your favorite espresso (don’t get Starbucks – sometimes that shiz is burnt)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 oz white chocolate, chopped (I <3 Ghirardelli)
2 large egg whites, 1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

OVEN : 325 degrees. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature.
MIX DRY STUFF : You know the drill, mix the flour, baking powder and salt – set aside
MAKE A LATTE : Espresso and milk should be room temp. Mix them, you barista you, – set aside
MELT WHITE CHOCOLATE : Microwave your chips or chunks of white chocolate. I do 30 seconds – stir – 20 or 30 seconds more – stir – set aside.
WHIP THE BUTTER : Cream the butter in your awesomely powerful standing mixer – or if you are like me and have yet to buy a proper mixer – then use a hand mixer and a big bowl (this is so hard haha, I sprayed butter all over the wall). Anyway cream the butter on medium-high until it’s fluffy.
SUGAR ME BABY : Gradually add the sugar to the butter. Make it fluffy on med-high speed (2-3 mins).
EGGS : Add half the eggs and blend on medium, add the other half, and blend on medium until just incorporated.
THE IVORY CHOCOLATE : Mix in the white chocolate (which should be cooled but still liquidy) and 1 tsp vanilla until just blended.
ALTERNATE DRY, WET, DRY, WET, DRY : Mixing on low, alternately add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and milk (in 2 additions), starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until incorporated.
POUR INTO 12 : Evenly pour the batter into the paper lined cupcake tray. 12. I shake the batter a bit to get it even and settled.
BAKE : 18-24 minutes depending on the attitude of your oven. Cupcakes are finished when they spring back and there are no gooey crumbs – some dry crumbs on the cake tester are okay/good.

*all ingredients = room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups butter (“…but I could eat 12 cupcakes…that would mean I’d eat all of this butter?” -Josh, *look of horror*)
2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
1 tbsp – 2 tbsp of whole milk (depends on how thick or thin you want it)
6 oz of white chocolate
1/2 tsp mint extract (I got the fancy pants organic kind because I live in San Francisco and the stores offer nothing else. Admittedly, I think it might be yummier since it’s sans alcohol.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

BUTTER CREAM : Cream the butter and salt until fluffed. Long time.
MELT THE CHOCOLATE : same as before, in a bowl in a microwave – set aside to cool.
MESSY ICING SUGAR : Add the powdered sugar (sifted if you aren’t lazy like me) to the butter 1/2 cup at a time. Whip that fat up. Whip, whip!!
FLAVOR & MILK : Add the extracts and milk. Whip this up.
MM THE CHOCOLATE : Pour the white chocolate in.
WHIP! : Whip it up until just blended. Now decide if you like thick, dense buttercream or light, fluffy buttercream. I like the ice cream texture so I didn’t blend for much longer. If you want fluffy then blend some more air in there.
TASTE : Um, this tasted like my fav Graeter’s Ice Cream. I could have eaten an spoonful of it – but I resisted…kinda. I mean I think I licked my fingers about 20 different times so – oops?
FROST THE COOLED CAKIES : Make sure your cupcakes are cooled before applying the icing. I used my new toy from Williams Sonoma. The “Ultimate Decorating Tool” for only $30 (old fashioned bags + tips were $20). It was AWESOME. ICING GUN!! I was really messy using it…haha but now I know how to be a little more graceful with it. Some of my cupcakes turned out a bit…woozy with the icing. haha. SO FUN!! Get an icing gun, seriously. You don’t have to worry about the icing getting warm as you squeeze the bag (cause it’s a canister) and there’s a trigger that makes it easy to control how fast the icing comes out and there’s an easy way to switch the tips…and and and…it’s fun!! Did I say that already? Also it comes with a little brochure on what each of the tips do – good for a newbie like me. I guess now I just need to buy a mixer so that I don’t spray butter on my walls and puff powdered sugar all over the counter.

I am dragging on. Point is – have fun icinging.

Here are pictures of the inspiration, followed by my absolute mess. I really just can’t help being messy while baking. I don’t know what it is – the flour, the sugar, the batter, the icing goes every where including my face and shirt. But who cares? Haha get messy and enjoy your fancypants mocha cupcakes!!

Some thoughts on the baker’s career

Hello, guys again! As I said before, I am so crazy about cupcakes that I became known as “The Cupcake Girl”. I was so used to this nickname that I did not attach any importance to it. And the other day I was visited by an amusing thought.

Why did I never get the idea of becoming a professional in this field? Just think: I love cakes and sweets, I have a blog about desserts and cooking, all of my social networks are filled with goodies … I am The Cupcake Girl, after all.

Therefore, I decided to conduct my own small investigation in this area and here is what I found. Of course, I started with the average salary of a baker, but more on that later. As a sample, I took a resume from here

It is obvious that the work of a pastry chef requires a lot of effort. But as it turned out, I lack education. It does not matter if you can make delicious cakes and pies at home, but if you want to get a bonus for the salary, you need a certificate.

But most of all I was struck by $ 30,352 of national average salary with a wage range of $ 17,155 – $ 56,377, isn’t it small enough? A good bartender will receive a tip of more than $ 2,296 (which the baker gets) for one weekend.

Summarizing the above, I think I found the answer to the question why I did not become a baker in the end.

Hail, Queen of Icing Rosed, the Cupcake Fairy

I used to love, eat, and take pictures of cupcakes so much that I became known as “The Cupcake Girl”. My Grandma, who followed my old blog (full of cupcake and pancake pics), would wonder at my slimness every time I saw her, “But you eat so many cupcakes!”. Yes, yes I did. I ate tons of cupcakes and I still do (if there is a worthy bakery around – I’ve become more selective). I have sampled NY, LA, Louisville, Portland, Cincy, Cupertino and San Fran cupcakes – I feel as though I am a cupcake connoisseur. If there is a new bakery nearby with cupcakes – I MUST TRY ONE – it is my duty. Continue reading

We Be Fancy : Brunch & Champagne at Park Chow + Our Roof

Last weekend we brunched it up at Park Chow at 9th and Irving in the Inner Sunset. Usually there are a lot of people milling around the sidewalk waiting for a table in the diner-esque restaurant so we called ahead for 1pm. I was really surprised they let us do that, brunch spots usually NEVER take reservations, but kudos to Park Chow for being considerate of customers’ time! Anyways, our adventure began when we got off the N train, walked past some tempting Girl Scout Cookies, and found ourselves milling around in some shade. Continue reading

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