Candy Cane Cupcakes

Kristan Roland | Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Candy cane cupcakes are super festive and fun for the holidays. Full of peppermint, everyone will adore them!

Candy Cane Cupcakes Photo

My son is obsessed with candy canes. I honestly don’t understand it because I keep a fair amount of sweets in my home. I know that some people believe in strictly limiting sugary foods, and while I DO agree, I find that the best way to go about that is to make them readily available.

Candy Cane Cupcakes Picture

As a kid, the friends that always seemed to go crazy for candy were the ones who weren’t allowed to have it. I remember one friend sneaking into the bathroom with my mom’s candy dish, hastily stuffing chocolates down her shirt to take home and hide under her bed. Good grief, that stressed me out. I wasn’t cut out for a life of crime.

My son, Jon David, who is 10, doesn’t get crazy about desserts because he’s always been allowed to have them. From Butterfinger cupcakes to Junior Mint cupcakes, because he's allowed to have them, they’re just not a big deal. He likes 'em, he just doesn't go crazy bugging me to eat them.

Candy Cane Cupcakes Image

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown away Halloween or Easter candy – it’s to the point where I don’t even get him much at holidays because it’s a waste. He DOES love it, but a few pieces do the trick. I’ve never found a secret stash under his bed. Quite the opposite – I’ve found many a bag of leftover candy from a class party, uneaten and going stale.

For this reason, the candy cane obsession is a mystery. Every year my son insists on hanging them on the Christmas tree and every year he’s constantly asking if he can eat one. Of course, he never finishes them and I often find half eaten candy canes littered through the house. My only guess is that picking them off the tree adds a certain appeal. Who knows. Kids are weird.

Candy Cane Cupcakes Recipe

    24 Servings


For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 box White Cake Mix, Plus eggs, oil, and water to prepare
  • Red Food Coloring
  • 2 teaspoons Peppermint Extract
For the Frosting:
  • 4 sticks Salted Butter, Softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 3 teaspoons Peppermint Extract
  • 7 cups Powdered Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring
  • 3-4 Peppermint Candy Canes, Or peppermint candies, crushed


For the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix as instructed on the box, adding the peppermint extract. Once batter is prepared, pour half into a separate bowl and add red food coloring until desired shade of red is reached.
  3. Fill prepared muffin tins with batter, alternating spoonfuls of red and white until tins are 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, milk, and peppermint extract on medium speed until smooth.
  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar, beating on low until fully combined.
  3. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for one minute, until smooth and fluffy. If frosting is too thick, add milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Divide frosting in half and add red food coloring to one half until desired shade of red is reached.
  5. Place frosting in two piping bags fitted with a large round piping tip or large re-sealable sandwich bags with the corner snipped off. Alternate red and white frosting on top of cupcakes.
  6. Sprinkle with peppermint candy.


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Kristan Roland

About Kristan

Kristan is known for her candy creations and hilarity on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. We know where her true genius is, though: fanciful fanatical cupcake and cake creations!