These vegan peppermint patty brownie cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the perfect blend of sweet, chocolate, and mint!
My Perfect Brownies have quickly become one of my most popular recipes, and for good reason! They are SO delicious! Perfectly moist, chewy, rich and chocolatey—these are a super hit! Last week we made a variation — vegan Peppermint Patty Brownie Cupcakes — to celebrate my mom’s birthday. She’s a chocolate mint lover like me—she’s got good taste!
Peppermint Patty Brownie Cupcakes
I’ve already done the song and dance about how delicious these brownies are—I’ve got 2 variations on them! These are similar to my Peppermint Brownies, but with the addition of a creamy, dreamy cream cheese frosting! It is so soft and light—it’s a perfect contrast to the chewy texture of the brownie.
All Natural Food Dye
We dyed our frosting green using a secret ingredient—kale juice—David thought this was pretty much the best thing ever and he giggled with delight as he revealed this truth to my mom on her birthday! No one will ever suspect it—it honestly left no taste! You could also leave them white, or omit the peppermint extract if you want regular frosted brownies. You really can’t lose here.
These brownies tend to be SUPER sticky with the cupcake papers. I turned to Facebook and did some trial and error and have found the two best options. Brandi, from The Vegan 8 suggested Reynolds Staybrite wrappers (I found them at Kroger) and she was absolutely right—thanks for the tip Brandi! These were the only disposable wrappers that peeled off without struggle, and they were a really nice quality! I’ll definitely be getting more of these. The other cupcake wrappers that I like are silicone baking cups. These are reusable so they are great for home use—I even use them to section out my kids’ lunch boxes—but they are less practical for taking to parties.
I hope you love these sweet green treats—make sure you take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag it with #frieddandelions! The pale green color of the frosting reminds me of when my mom would sneak in the fridge overnight and dye the milk green….and then blame it on the leprechauns! What traditions do you have for St. Patrick’s Day?
Peppermint Patty Brownie Cupcakes
For the Brownies:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3 ounces dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips (~1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup aquafaba liquid from a can of beans—your can will probably have closer to 2/3 or 3/4 c—make sure you measure
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso/coffee completely optional—this does not give much of a coffee flavor, but brings out the flavor of the chocolate
- 3/4 cup flour
- 4 1/2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips (3/4 cups)
For the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Frosting:
- 4 Tablespoons shortening
- 2 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar + more as needed to reach desired consistency
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract if desired
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- green food coloring (see below on how to make your own)
For the Green Food Coloring:
- 2 kale leaves (don't need to be huge)
- 1/2 c water
For the Brownies:
- Preheat your oven to 350°. Line your muffin tins with Reynolds Staybrite or silicone liners, see above.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt 3 ounces of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup coconut oil. When melted, remove from heat. Add in brown sugar, maple syrup and pinch of salt and whisk together.
- Whisk the aquafaba in the measuring cup for about 1 minute until slightly foamy (bubble all around). Pour into the chocolate mix and whisk together. Add peppermint and instant espresso and whisk to incorporate.
- Add the flour to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Fold in 4 1/2 ounces of chocolate chips.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared cupcake liners (I could fill anywhere from 12-15). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until centers look just slightly set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Place shortening and cream cheese in a mixer. Beat until it is starting to smooth out, but it does not need to be completely smooth. Add powdered sugar, peppermint and 2 T of kale green food coloring (see below) in a mixer (NOTE: if you are using commercial food coloring add a few drops to reach desired color, and slowly add water or milk to reach the right consistency). Beat again until completely incorporated and smooth. Fold chocolate chips into the frosting by hand.
- Spoon the frosting over the cooled cupcakes, or pipe it out using either a pastry bag with a large tip (needs to be big enough for the chocolate chips) or a plastic bag with the corner clipped. Store in the fridge until serving—refrigerating the brownies gives them an extra fudgey texture! Enjoy!
For the Food Coloring:
- Blend the kale and water in your blender until the leaves are quite broken down (they probably won't break down completely because of the small amount). Drain the liquid through a strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Use as you would use normal food coloring (but note that it is not as concentrated as normal food coloring. You could reduce on the stove top if desired, but it is not needed for this recipe).