Candy Cane Cupcakes

These cute and festive Candy Cane Cupcakes are the perfect Christmas or Holiday treat. Topped with homemade peppermint buttercream frosting, these cupcakes taste just like a candy cane!

candy cane cupcakes on a stand

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These Candy Cane Cupcakes were created because I once again found myself with a ton of candy canes after Christmas wondering what to do with them. I really don’t like to waste or just throw things away so I decided to make them into cupcakes! Now, these are an annual tradition and will be on my Christmas table every year!

These cupcakes are super moist because they have butter and milk and little pieces of candy canes inside to add to the flavor and fun. The peppermint buttercream frosting is the perfect compliment to these minty and delicious treats.

Ingredients Needed to Make Candy Cane Cupcakes

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • unsalted butter
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • peppermint extract
  • crushed candy canes
  • confectioners powdered sugar
  • heavy cream or milk
  • red gel food coloring
  • sprinkles of choice 
candy cane cupcake with swirlde peppermint buttercream
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How to Make Candy Cane Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a cupcake pan with liners. This batter will make 12 regular cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Combine the milk and the vanilla and peppermint extracts and also set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, fully mixing them in each time. Put half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and beat in on low just until combined. Pour in the milk mixture and mix in. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk just until everything is combined.
  4. Crush the candy canes into small pieces in a bag. Add a small sprinkle of flour to the bag and shake to cover the candy cane pieces and add them to the batter and mix in.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners until they are ¾ full. Bake for 12-14 minutes for mini cupcakes or 20-22 minutes for regular cupcakes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).
mini candy cane cupcakes baked in a cupcake pan

How to Make Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for 3-4 minutes with the beater attachment. Add one cup of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of cream or milk and fully combine. Repeat with another cup of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of cream. Add the extracts and continuing mixing. Add more powdered sugar and cream to get your desired sweetness and consistency.

peppermint frosting swirled on top of a candy cane cupcake

Tips for Making Candy Cane Cupcakes

In order to make the best cupcakes ever, make sure you follow all of the steps in this recipe.

One of the most important things is to make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature before baking. Another super important tip is DO NOT OVERMIX the batter. Otherwise, you will end up with dense cupcakes, which is not good.

Only use your stand mixer or hand mixer to get everything combined at the end. Use your spatula to scrape down the bowl and incorporate the candy cane pieces Lastly, make sure the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Frosting that is runny and melted is never a good thing.

More Holiday Recipes to Check Out

candy cane cupcakes swirled with peppermint buttercream frosting

Candy Cane Cupcakes

These festive and cute Candy Cane Cupcakes are the perfect Christmas or Holiday dessert and tastes just like the candy!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
cooling time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 30 mini cupcakes
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl
  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • small mixing bowl
  • silicone or rubber spatula
  • cupcake pan (mini or regular)
  • cupcake liners
  • stand mixer or hand mixer
  • plastic wrap
  • pastry bag and piping tip

Ingredients

Candy Cane Cupcakes

  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk, room temp
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ cup crushed candy canes, with (about 2 large candy canes)

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2-3 cups confectioners powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2-3 tablespoon heavy whipping cream or milk
  • red gel food coloring
  • sprinkles of choice (optional, but ALWAYS a good idea!)

Instructions

Candy Cane Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
    mini cupcake pan with liners
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Combine the milk and the vanilla and peppermint extracts and also set aside.
    flour and baking powder mixture
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth with the whisk attachment. Add the sugar and continue to beat until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, fully mixing them in each time. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat in on low just until combined. Add the milk mixture and mix in. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk just until everything is combined. Don't overmix or your cupcakes will be dense! Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed in.
    creamed butter, sugar and eggs for cupcakes
  • Crush the candy canes into small pieces in a bag. Add a small sprinkle of flour to the bag and shake to cover the candy cane pieces. This will help them float in the batter instead of going right to the bottom. Add the candy canes to the batter and give a few gentles stirs to mix in.
    candy cane cupcake batter
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners until they are ¾ full. Bake for 12-14 minutes for mini cupcakes or 20-22 minutes for regular cupcakes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting.
    candy cane cupcakes cooling on a rack

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for 3-4 minutes with the beater attachment. Add one cup of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of cream or milk and fully combine. Repeat with another cup of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of cream. Add the extracts and continuing mixing. Add more powdered sugar and cream to get your desired sweetness and consistency (I used 2 cups powdered sugar and 2 tbsp cream).
    peppermint buttercream frosting in a bowl
  • To get the swirl, you will need to place half of the frosting in another mixing bowl. Add the red food coloring and mix in completely.
    red peppermint buttercream frosting
  • Spread out a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Take the white frosting and lay it out in a line. Do the same with the red frosting right next to the white. Gently roll the two frostings together creating a tube, hold each end of the plastic wrap and spin around until each end is nice and tight.
    white and red peppermint frosting wrapped in plastic
  • Cut off one end and place the entire plastic tube into the piping bag fitted with a tip. When you squeeze out the frosting you will have half red and half white! Add sprinkles if desired and enjoy!
    peppermint frosting swirled on top of a candy cane cupcake

Notes

  • This recipe makes 12 regular cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes.

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

swirled peppermint frosting on top of a candy cane cupcake
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Show Me Your Candy Cane Cupcakes!

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