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Candy Cane Cupcakes

Candy cane cupcakes are the perfect Christmas cupcakes! With an easy vanilla base and a delicious peppermint whipped cream frosting with real candy canes they’re delicious yet simple to make. Just follow the video and step by step photos!

side view of a candy cane cupcake in front of a stand with cupcakes
Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of them, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). These links are always marked with *.

Christmas cupcakes seems to be becoming a thing at my house. Last year it was the oh so delicious Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blue Cheese Frosting (yes, it totally works) and this year my new obsession is these Candy Cane Cupcakes. What can I say?? I’m a sucker for seasonal cupcakes (apparently).

top down view of candy cane cupcakes on a cupcake stand

Why this recipe works

  1. That frosting! Whipped cram frosting really is the best kind – light, airy and easy to flavor just the way you like.
  2. Real candy cane taste from using, yes, real candy canes.
  3. The vanilla muffin pairs so well with that candy cane frosting.
  4. They’re actually easy to make. You need to plan ahead to make the frosting, but it’s not hard. And the muffins? Simplest version there is, in my opinion. (And tastiest!)

How to make candy cane cupcakes

Making candy cane cupcakes consists of three main steps: making the candy cane whipped cream, making the vanilla muffins and putting both of those things together. For more detailed instructions on how to make the candy cane whipped cream & the vanilla muffins – click the links above and you will find the details there. However, I will go through it in a little less detail below as well.

The candy cane whipped cream needs to cool down for at least four hours, or preferably over night, so we will start with that one.

collage showing how to melt candy canes in whipped cream

Pour your whipped cream in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Important note here: do not at any point let the cream start to boil! If it does, you might just have ruined the whole batch. So keep the temperature at medium or lower, and when you see steam coming off the cream keep a close eye on it. If or when the amount of steam increases, consider lowering the temperature.

Anyway. Heat up your cream and add in the candy canes. Mix often so the candy canes don’t stick to the bottom, and when they are completely melted you are done for now and can turn off the heat. Set the cream aside to cool down, and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you can, leave it in there over night to ensure it’s completely cooled. This is important if you want to be able to whip it into a nice, hard shape.

Meanwhile, you can make the vanilla muffins. For this, make sure your ingredients are all room temperatured – especially the butter – set your oven for 200 C/400 F and line a muffin tin with muffin liners.

collage showing how to mix butter and sugar together for muffins

For the muffins, start by mixing together room temperature butter & sugar until fluffy.

collage showing how to mix butter, sugar and eggs together for muffins

Then add in the eggs and mix again.

collage showing how to mix the dry ingredients for muffins

Now, in a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, vanilla sugar & baking powder.

collage showing how to add the dry ingredients to muffin batterffins

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix, then add the milk and mix again.

collage showing how to scoop the batter into muffin liners for vanilla muffins

When the batter is done, bring out the lined muffin tin and scoop your batter into the muffin liners. Do not fill to more than 2/3. Bake in the middle of the oven for 18 minutes and then set aside to cool before frosting.

While the muffins are cooling, you can whip up the candy cane cream.

collage showing how to whip flavored whipped cream

You do this in just the same way you would a regular whipped cream.

collage showing how to prep an icing bag for creating frosting with red candy cane lines

Then when you are ready to frost your cupcakes, fit an icing bag with the tip of your choice – I like a round quite large one like the Wilton 2A * for this recipe. I also like to use two or more icing bags to make sure the red stripes get nice and crisp. If you don’t mind them getting a bit blurred, or if you’re not using the coloring at all, then you can just go ahead and pack all of your frosting into one icing bag.

If you’d like to create the stripes, then dip a tooth pick in the red gel coloring and paint four lines inside the icing bag. Go as far down and as far up as you can, to ensure as even stripes as possible. Then scoop in your whipped cream.

collage showing how to decorate candy cane cupcakes

Now it’s time to decorate your cupcakes! The easiest way I find is to hold the cupcake in one hand and then hold the icing bag still in the other and while pressing the icing bag lightly I turn the cupcake instead of the bag.

And that’s it – just repeat for the rest of your cupcakes and you are all done. Enjoy!

Great tools to have for making candy cane cupcakes

The links in the collage below are Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something through one of them, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Expert tips for making candy cane cupcakes

  • Top your cupcakes just before serving for the best result. However, they will be fine all topped and done in the fridge for a few days as well.
  • For easiest & prettiest frosting – hold your cupcake in one hand and the icing bag in the other, then hold the bag still while you turn the cupcake slowly.
  • Feel free to skip the red line for the frosting if you don’t have any gel food coloring. It’s a fun touch, but these cupcakes are really all about the flavor and that will still be there.
side view of candy cane cupcakes on a cupcake stand

Frequently asked questions

I don’t have icing bags or any icing tips – can I still make these?

Yes, absolutely! Don’t let that stop you. Either make an icing bag from a regular freezer bag by filling it with the frosting and then cutting a hole in one corner – or just use a spoon. It might not look the same, but it will still be tasty & that’s really the most important thing.

I don’t have any gel coloring – can I still make these?

Yes! The gel coloring is just there for a fun touch – you can totally skip it. If you want to, use your favorite sprinkles or cushed candy canes on top of your frosting instead!

What do I do with leftover cupcakes?

If you know you’re not gonna finish all cupcakes in one go, I suggest you frost only as many as you will eat. Prep the rest of the icing in a bag and keep in the fridge for when you want to eat the rest. If you already frosted the cupcakes you want to save, then stick them in the fridge and they will be good for 3-4 days.

top down view of a candy cane cupcake with christmas decorations on the side
side view of a candy cane cupcake in front of a stand with cupcakes

Candy Cane Cupcakes

5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Baking, Fika, Sweets
Cuisine: American, christmas, European, vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling time for frosting: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Instructions

  • Start by making your candy cane whipped cream as this will have to be chilled for at least 4 hours.
  • Make your vanilla muffins, and let them cool down completely.
  • Whip your candy cane whipped cream and prep your icing bags according to the recipe. Then ice your cupcakes and serve!

Notes

Expert tips

  • Top your cupcakes just before serving for the best result. However, they will be fine all topped and done in the fridge for a few days as well.
  • For easiest & prettiest frosting – hold your cupcake in one hand and the icing bag in the other, then hold the bag still while you turn the cupcake slowly.
  • Feel free to skip the red line for the frosting if you don’t have any gel food coloring. It’s a fun touch, but these cupcakes are really all about the flavor and that will still be there.

Frequently asked questions

I don’t have icing bags or any icing tips – can I still make these?

Yes, absolutely! Don’t let that stop you. Either make an icing bag from a regular freezer bag by filling it with the frosting and then cutting a hole in one corner – or just uce a spoon. It might not look the same, but it will still be tasty & that’s really the most important thing.

I don’t have any gel coloring – can I still make these?

Yes! The gel coloring is just there for a fun touch – you can totally skip it. If you want to, use your favorite sprinkles or cushed candy canes on top of your frosting instead!

What do I do with leftover cupcakes?

If you know you’re not gonna finish all cupcakes in one go, I suggest you frost only as many as you will eat. Prep the rest of the icing in a bag and keep in the fridge for when you want to eat the rest. If you already frosted the cupcakes you want to save, then stick them in the fridge and they will be good for 3-4 days.

Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.

Did you make this?Tag @alwaysusebutter and use the hashtag #alwaysusebutter!

What did you think of these Candy Cane Cupcakes? Will they be your cupcake flavor this Christmas, or are you making something else? Let me know in the comments below!

Enjoy your cupcaking!

Emmeline



16 thoughts on “Candy Cane Cupcakes”

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