Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

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Admittedly, I am going pretty overboard with candy canes this year. I’m sorry if you’re not as big of a fan as I am! Candy canes a) scream Christmas and b) are something that everyone has (or should have) around their house during the holidays. You can easily modify your favorite holiday recipe to add mint or candy canes. Lucky for you guys, I have several more peppermint treats coming your way shortly! :)

During the summer, I posted a recipe for Chocolate Mint Cupcakes, but I decided to use a different chocolate cake recipe this time around. It’s one of the first chocolate cake recipes I used when I started baking from scratch. It’s still one of my favorites! Like the other mint cupcakes, I added peppermint extract to the cake and the Swiss meringue buttercream to make it nice and minty. These cupcakes are topped with finely crushed candy canes for a little extra sparkle.

I would advise that you should add the crushed candy cane right before serving because they do have a tendency to soften up pretty quickly.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes (makes about 30)

for the cupcakes:
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is consistent and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Working in 2 batches, blend in the dry ingredients and cocoa mixture alternatively. Fill cupcake papers 2/3 of the way full and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until cupcake is set.

for the frosting:
6 egg whites, room temperature
1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs of sugar
1 1/2 cups of butter, room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
red gel (no taste) food coloring

for garnish:
crushed candy cane pieces

Whisk together egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a small pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves. You know it’s ready with the you cannot feel the sugar when you rub a small amount of mixture between your fingers.

Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, about 10 minutes. The bowl should be cool to the touch before you move on.

Switch over to the paddle attachment and set the mixer to medium speed. Add the butter 2 Tbs at a time, letting it incorporate before adding another piece. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting comes together. This will take a while, so don’t worry if it looks soupy or curdled at any point. I find that it helps (if it’s not cooperating) to briefly chill in the fridge for a few minutes and then remixing. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.

Place half of the buttercream into a small bowl. Set aside. Using the remaining half of frosting in the stand mixer bowl, mix in red food coloring. Place your piping bag, fit with a large star tip into a tall glass. Cut a piece of card stock in the shape of the glass to divide the bag into two sections. Place the white buttercream in one side and the red buttercream in the other. Pipe a few test swirls until the frosting comes out both red and white. Pipe cupckaes as desired. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle cupcakes with crushed candy cane pieces.

Cake from AllRecipes


Comments on “Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes”

  1. Simply Tia says:

    These cupcakes are quite festive and I’m sure delicious too! Well done, they look perfect!

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    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your site and this post. You make some very informative points.Keep up the great work!

  4. Sarah says:

    This looks delicious! I would love if you shared this in my holiday dessert recipes Blog Hop. We’re giving away a prize from Wilton to the blogger with the most “likes”, come check it out! :)

    Sarah @ RecipeLion

  5. Olivia ♡ says:

    How does the cake itself taste? Is it very moist?

    You would not believe how difficult it is to find a chocolate cupcake recipe that’s actually from scratch! Sheesh!

    • allie says:

      Yes- the cake is moist as long as you dont overcook it! Make sure to remove your cupcakes from the oven when a moist crumb (not raw batter) adheres to a toothpick. If it comes out completely clean, it’s most likely overcooked!

  6. selena says:

    yeah, I’m making this right now.. I’m at the frosting where you add the butter and it won’t turn back to’s still soupy after 20 minutes of mixing it DD:

    • allie says:

      oh no! Sorry I didn’t see this right away! Is your kitchen hot? Try to chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes and whip it again. It WILL come together – I promise. I hope you didn’t throw it away! Feel free to email me at if you have more problems. Good luck!!

  7. MN says:

    I made these on Christmas, and they were so good! I think I over cooked mine as they were a bit dry, but besides that they were great, and I am obsessed with the frosting!

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  9. These cupcakes look so good! I will be adding them to my holiday baking list ASAP :) Anything candy cane is awesome in my book (but really you cant get much better than candy cane + chocolate!)

  10. Bridelicious says:

    These look delicious!

  11. Shana says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made these last night and they turned out pretty good. My downfall was in the red gel food coloring. I didn’t know if it was tasteless or not–it wasn’t. :( What brand do you use that is tasteless? The flavor of the cake was great and I loved the icing. That was a new recipe for me and it turned out so light and smooth–very nice!

  12. Very pretty Christmas dessert. The frosting look great, and these must be so tasty.I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  13. […] Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes Photo & Recipe from Cake and Allie […]

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  15. Tammy says:

    I just made these and they are delicious without an overpowering peppermint taste. I always bake my cupcakes for 16 minutes… Better to be undercooked than overcooked since you can just throw them back in the oven. 16 minutes was perfect. The frosting was time consuming, but came out delicious!! I cut the middle of the cupcakes out and filled it with the frosting. The recipe made about 42 cupcakes and enough frosting to fill the cupcakes and frost. One thing I made a mistake… I left my mixer going when I made the frosting (after adding the butter and extracts). I came back about to find my frosting was a very stiff consistency which I don’t think affected the taste, but made it difficult to frost since my frosting kept cracking when I was piping it on the cupcakes. I did; however, find that putting the frosting in the fridge after mixing the butter and extracts made it stiffen a lot quicker. Thank you for this recipe!!!!

  16. Leah says:

    Awesome recipe! I did not have peppermint extract but ground 6 candy canes in place of some of the sugar and the cupcakes turned out perfect. I can’t wait to share these with my family for Christmas.

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  19. You see that is my dream to learn to bake the cupcakes.

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