Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes Recipe: It's Holiday Baking Time by Ann Marie Patitucci

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes Recipe: It's Holiday Baking Time

These chocolate candy cane cupcakes are the perfect kid-friendly holiday cupcake. They'll please chocolate lovers, cake lovers, cupcake lovers and candy cane lovers alike! The moist, yummy cupcakes are topped with not-too-sweet peppermint frosting and sprinkled with candy canes. This easy cupcake recipe results in a fun and festive dessert that comes out looking and tasting like candy canes!

One of the things I like best about this recipe is that with some flexibility in the frosting ingredients, you can tailor it to your preferences. These little cupcakes pack a big punch of flavor and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. You might even consider leaving a couple out for Santa instead of the usual cookies. I suspect he'd be happy with the switch!

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: Makes about 18 cupcakes



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, leveled
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted (ideally)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Peppermint Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (ideally)
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream (or up to 8, if desired)
  • 1 1/12 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3 drops red food coloring
  • crushed candy canes
  • mini candy canes (optional)

Here's how to make it:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. 
  2. In another large bowl using a stand or handheld electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugars until smooth (no lumps!). Add in the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and sour cream. With your mixer on low, carefully beat about half of the milk and sour cream mixture into your oil and sugar mixture. Beat in the flour mixture, followed by the other half of the milk and sour cream. Beat until smooth, being careful not to overmix the batter. 
  4. Spoon the batter into muffin pans lined with baking liners, filling each muffin cavity about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Do not overfill them. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool. 
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl using a stand or handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until well softened. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you've added 3 cups total. Slowly add in the whipping cream about 1 tablespoon at a time while you continue to beat the mixture. Add in additional sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach your preferred level of sweetness and consistency. Beat in the peppermint extract and red food coloring, one drop at a time. 
  6. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Add a mini candy cane, if desired. 

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Cocoa Powder $2 & Up
Flour $2 & Up
Brown Sugar $2 & Up
Vanilla $4 & Up
Food Coloring $4 & Up

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I’m really excited to make these for my family this holiday season. Thanks for the fun recipe. 🎄

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