Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor – Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

In the typical suburban neighborhood, people string up Christmas lights, walk their dogs and bring you fruitcakes bi-weekly. In my neighborhood, I’m lucky if my neighbors don’t blast gangster rap at 2 am and leave beer bottles strewn in my yard.

That being said, I will miss living here when I graduate. There is the east-facing yellow room with the yellow table that was full of beautiful light every morning. It provided endless quiet moments and cake-scapes for me.

Mostly, I will miss the people though. I made some really decent friends in college. I don’t even want to get into it now, because they deserve lots of posts on their own.

However, I would like to mention a rather shafted group of people that I came to know during my time here. I call them The C.O. Boys On The Corner.

They were not loud, inconsiderate neighbors who did drugs so that all my clothes now smell like the 60s. They were not dog-walkers or creepy old men with Hummers that blocked half my driveway on weeknights.

No, these were a bunch of polite, smiling, sweet boys who ate whatever my roommates and The Downstairs Girls and the 818 Boys couldn’t eat. Basically, every two weeks or so, they got a mish mash of all the “leftovers” pumping out of our apartment. I think they liked it, and I definitely appreciated having a cookie-swallowing abyss so conveniently located.

Sick! I just realized that 20 people couldn’t eat everything I bake. Ah well, it helped me to be a good neighbor, in a Golden Era kind of way.

These chocolate mint cupcakes were the only thing I ever made for them in a full batch. I was feeling guilty that I didn’t bring them the firstfruits of my labor, which is probably irrational. I used my standard one-bowl chocolate cake recipe and added mint extract for the cake. This recipe doesn’t always make for perfectly domed cupcakes, but it is quick, easy, and is extremely convenient when I have no butter on hand or forget to soften it beforehand.

I forget what I did for frosting. It was a quick buttercream, so 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 sticks butter, and  mint extract to taste should do it. Maybe a bit of milk thrown in for good measure. I seem to remember testing the frosting a bunch of times and always thinking that it needed more mint.

You too can be a good Mrs. Cleaver this week. At best, the dog-walkers will skip to the next house before letting their dog fertilize your yard. At worst, they will reject your cupcakes and you can eat them all yourself. At worst.

Your Samaritan friend,


One-Bowl Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart (Or her cronies, more likely. There is no way that woman could produce all the content for her website. It is inconceivable.)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
2 teaspoons mint extract, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


13 Responses to “Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor – Mint Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. 1 chubbyriceball May 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I really like some of the recipes on your blog! I will definitely have to try this one sometime soon; it looks soooo delish!

  2. 2 saltandserenity May 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    It makes me laugh that you bake more than 20 people can eat!! You are a girl after my own heart. I am forever baking giving it all away too.

  3. 3 tony d May 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Nice work on the cupcakes. The roommates demolished them and loved them.

  4. 4 The Doctor May 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks so much! Your recipes might just be what gets me to expand beyond baking only scones and apple pie over and over and over… haha it was a bit of an obsession for a while. Definitely bookmarking your page, just in case I need a good recipe on short notice. Great work!

  5. 5 tim huisinga May 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Its one thing to bake. Its another to keep more than 20 people happy with food during any given week. haha! congrats!

  6. 6 Nicole May 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    These cupcakes look fantastic! I can’t wait to make them.

  7. 7 Briseis of Lyrnessus May 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    yum, i absolutely love your blog! keep the posts coming!


  8. 8 CrookedPage May 6, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Having seen several of your recipes, I now find myself very jealous of those neighbors.

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  1. 1 Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor – Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (via piping dreams) « The Heat Behind The Heels Trackback on May 3, 2011 at 5:03 am
  2. 2 Pipe Dream #16: To Love My Neighbor – Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (via piping dreams) « The Heat Behind The Heels Trackback on May 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

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