desserts Archives - 2 Dads with Baggage
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Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Sophia

It’s really fun when your kids catch on to something you love, and I love to cook. I learned to cook from my mom, and she learned from her mom, and so on. No mom in the house? No problem – Dads are great cooks too! I’ve taken over that cook role, and am teaching both my girls the way around a kitchen. It makes me soooo happy when one of our girls is inspired to cook, like Sophia recently when she asked me about making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.

baking chocolate mint cupcakes

Our little baker. Sophia knows her way around the kitchen, especially when baking delicious desserts.

No matter that we didn’t have many of the ingredients in the house. Luckily for us, there is a Vons supermarket just blocks away. A little spin around the grocery aisles, and we were in business.

Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

A while back when cupcakes were just becoming a thing, I bought this great cookbook called Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early. These are not your average cupcakes mind you – they are fancy and delicious works of art. It was a little daunting for Sophia to pick a recipe from this book, but we were game on a Sunday afternoon. The results may not have been as pretty as the photos in the book, but they sure were tasty.

Watch Sophia’s video to get inspired!

Recipe for Making Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

(Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake by Lizzy Early)

For Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 box devil’s food cake mix (we used Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix)

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla together. Add cake mix until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners to 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (Ours were ready at 17 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool completely.

pouring chocolate batter into cupcake pan

Make sure you only fill the cupcake tins to 3/4 full, or the cupcakes will grow too large in the baking process.

For Peppermint Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 tablespoons whipping cream

Put chocolate chips and peppermint extract in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Gently heat whipping cream in small pot until small bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.

Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache, twisting and coating the top completely. Set aside to cool and harden.

frosting chocolate mint cupcakes

We doubled the recipe on the mint buttercream frosting, or we would have run out!

For the Peppermint Buttercream Frosting:

(We doubled this recipe for the frosting, and were glad we did or would have run out! The amounts listed below are NOT doubled.)

3/4 cup butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

4 cups powdered sugar (yes that is a lot)

4-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate peppermint candies for garnish (we used Andes Mints)

Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add peppermint extract and slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream reaches desired consistency. Add green food coloring if desired.

Pipe buttercream on top of ganache covered cupcakes. Drizzle any extra ganache over top of the cupcakes, and finish with a chocolate peppermint candy.

chocolate mint cupcake

Ready to scarf down in one giant mouthful, Sophia’s chocolate mint cupcake turned out beautiful and delicious.



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Pistachio Pudding Cake Recipe

Pistachio Pudding Cake Recipe

From my mom’s kitchen comes this incredibly delicious and easy to make Pistachio Pudding Cake recipe. If you like pistachios, this one is for you. I updated it a bit since the recipe is from when I was a kid ( a looooooonnng time ago) but all the goodness is kept intact.

The best thing about this Pistachio Pudding Cake is how moist it is without getting too dense. Trust me, once you make this cake it will be one of your family favorites. I made it when the kids were little, and now they beg for it all the time. It’s officially been elevated to Special Occasion Status!

Ingredients for Pistachio Pudding Cake.

Sometimes I feel a little sheepish taking shortcuts, and then I remember how much time it saves thanks to my friend Betty.

Pistachio Pudding Cake

Ok first of all, do NOT give me a bad time for all the shortcuts in this recipe. Seriously, can’t we all use a little more time in our lives for things other than making cake batter from scratch? Besides, my good old friend Betty Crocker has been looking for a comeback.

Quick Pistachio Pudding Cake recipe

This Pistachio Pudding Cake is so easy and fast to make, you can have it on the table in a couple of hours.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease and flour a tube pan and set aside.

Pistachio Pudding Cake recipe ingredients

I updated Mom’s recipe by adding a roasted/salted pistachio nuts for a little savory and sweet combo.

Mix together:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 2 boxes of pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl for about 2 minutes. Do not overmix or the cake will get turn out tough and dense! (I learned this the hard way, and the first bite practically bent my fork).

Making Pistachio Pudding Cake

Sometimes the kids get into the act, like Ava helping me mix the Pistachio Pudding Cake batter.

Bake for 45 minutes until top is cracking in several places. Remove and cool.

Pistachio Pudding Cake freshly baked

Fresh from the oven, the Pistachio Pudding Cake is cracked on top and delicious inside.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 box pistachio instant pudding mix

Beat ingredients together in a bowl until thick and spreadable. Frost cooled cake and serve with a sprinkle of roasted and salted pistachios for the sweet/salty combination. Or not. We like it both ways.

Pistachio Pudding Cake

My Mom’s recipe for Pistachio Pudding Cake is one for the books.

Honestly, there is not a person I have served this to that isn’t surprised when they taste this delicious cake. See for yourself!

Dean and Anne Bailey 1974

My Mom and Pop on their wedding anniversary in 1974, about the time this cake recipe was brought on to the scene. Get a load of that pantsuit, but man was Anne Bailey a great cook!