2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups cold water
Mint Mint Chip Frosting:
1/3 cup butter
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1 box)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
A few drops green food coloring
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
For the cupcakes:
1. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture and water alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners and/or a greased and lightly floured cake pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Frost with the frosting.
For the frosting:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/4 cup milk, drops of food coloring, mint extract, and vanilla.
2. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar, beating until combined. If necessary, beat in a little additional milk to make frosting that is easy to spread.
3. Transfer unused frosting to a storage container and chill for up to a week.