Chocolate Mocha Countdown Cupcakes

You survived the holiday season but you have one more celebration to come. But this one is easier. Much easier. New Year’s Eve is a bit more celebrated than New Year’s Day. And let’s call New Year’s Day what it is: a recovery day for the night before. But New Year’s Eve is a fun, non-religious celebration recognized around the world to acknowledge the passing of time. I am a fan. Out with the old and in with the new. It is a time to restart, reboot, and make positive (often healthy) changes. It’s often a chance for optimism, and who does not welcome a little optimism?

chocolate mocha cupcakes

If you’re a history lover, you may already know that civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for millennia. The earliest recorded celebration honoring a new year’s arrival dates back about 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For Babylonians, this was in March, with the arrival of the first new moon following the vernal equinox. In the years that followed, civilizations around the world developed increasingly more sophisticated calendars, often pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event.

The first Roman calendar consisted of only ten months and a total of 304 days, with a new year beginning at the vernal equinox. In the eighth century B.C., two additional months “Januarius” and “Februarius” were added. Finally in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar  introduced the Julian calendar that resembles the modern-day calendar we follow today. It was this calendar that declared January 1 as the first day of the year. Caesar settled on this as a way to honor the month’s namesake: “Janus“, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future.

chocolate mocha cupcakes

There are many traditions associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations. Each country has a different way to welcome in the new year but all involve festive, happy gatherings. One particular tradition I’m fond of is one from the Netherlands, where ring-shaped cakes are served. Their shape represents the year coming full circle. I’m playing on this tradition with these whimsical chocolate mocha countdown cupcakes. These simple fondant clocks will help you and your friends and family celebrate the ringing in of the new year.

chocolate mocha cupcakes

The mocha chocolate combo makes for a tasty, moist, rich cupcake with just a touch of espresso (for an added boost) and cute little fondant circles painted with clock faces keep them playful. Surprisingly, these are not all that complicated to make. Buy the fondant; let’s start there.  Wilton’s makes a great one and it’s super easy to obtain as well as work with. Wilton’s also makes icing color, so buy that as well. Once you obtain that, the rest is easy. Use a bamboo skewer or toothpick to make your clock faces. Once made, store the fondant cock faces in the refrigerator until right before serving. Put them on the cupcake and serve. And as you countdown your New Year’s celebration with family and friends, remember that anything is possible in a new year.

chocolate mocha cupcakes

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

One thought on "Chocolate Mocha Countdown Cupcakes"

  1. Thanks for your note Kam. The clocks do make these cupcakes special, but I will say, they are super tasty without them as well for a year round treat. Happy New Year!

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