I love coffee more than most things in life, but I am quite the purist when it comes to my coffee order – it’s always a long black with a dash of cold milk, no ifs and no buts. If the weather is particularly hot, I’ll mix it up a bit and order an iced long black. But nothing says Christmas like a festively-themed beverage, and without fail I go off piste every year around this time to try all the weird and wonderful festive flavours. From gingerbread mocha to eggnog lattes, these pair so well with coffee and remind me that the holidays have well and truly arrived.
Gloria Jeans Coffees have recently launched their new Christmas drink range ‘Taste the Twist’ which feature two new limited edition drinks – Candy Cane Chiller and Candy Cane Mocha. The peppermint flavour from the candy cane syrup offers a refreshing taste that works perfectly with the white chocolate – and both these flavours complement the smooth coffee taste. And I love that they have taken the flavour profile of the Candy Cane Mocha drink and made it into an iced coffee version too – the Candy Cane Chiller is the perfect drink to combat the brutal Aussie heat!
I wanted to create a Christmas-themed dessert that borrowed some of the flavour profiles from the new Gloria Jean’s Coffees drink ranges,, and set out to create a cupcake that featured peppermint, coffee and chocolate. The aim was to get these flavours working in harmony together, without overpowering each other or ending up with a cupcake that tasted like toothpaste!
I started with my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe which uses oil instead of butter in addition to Gloria Jean’s sereno blend coffee and candy cane extract, to produce the lightest, most moist and rich cupcake ever.
The coffee and chocolate flavours tended to dominate quite a bit in the batter, so I next set to creating a minty chocolate ganache to fill the cooled cupcakes with. While the new Gloria Jean’s Coffees Christmas drink range use white chocolate, I went with dark chocolate to really complement the peppermint notes and flavour preference. But by all means you can easily use white, or even milk!
- 1⅔ cups plain flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- ½ cup flavourless vegetable oil
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 115g dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup thickened cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 250g butter, room temperature
- 5 cups icing sugar
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tbsp thickened cream
- ½ cup candy cane dust (about 8-10 candy canes pulverised in a food processor)
- Crushed candy canes to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- Combine the milk, vinegar, coffee, oil and peppermint extract in another bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
- With the mixer on low, carefully add in the dry ingredients. Mix until combined (the batter will be very thin).
- Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ full with mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- Hold your cooled cupcake in one hand and insert a small knife, at an angle, and cut out a cone shaped piece out of the centre of each cupcake.
- Heat cream up into the microwave until warm (not boiling) and then add finely chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and combined.
- Add in the butter and peppermint extract and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool slightly before piping into cupcakes.
- Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric beater until very soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat into the butter, along with the peppermint extract and candy cane dust.
- Add in just enough cream to soften the icing and get it to a spreadable consistency.
- Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes, and finish with a sprinkle of crushed candy canes.
The candy candy buttercream is possibly my favourite part of this dessert – it features candy cane extract, pulverised candy cane dust AND chopped up candy canes on top. It’s creamy, rich, sweet and oh so minty and crunchy.
And the end result? A divine cupcake that is so rich and indulgent you might need to sit down – but it’s worth it! The cupcake is intentionally not too sweet to balance the sweet and crunchy buttercream and rich ganache filling.
I hope you enjoyed this festive cupcake, and if you love the candy cane/chocolate/coffee flavour combo as much as me, you’ll be wanting to check out the new ‘Taste the Twist’ Candy Cane Mocha and Chiller flavours at your local Gloria Jean’s Coffees ASAP. This new Christmas range is available at your local coffee house today for a limited time only!