Peppermint Candy Cupcakes, Two Ways

I know I made some sweet, festive cupcakes for the holidays already, but I really wanted some fun, Christmas-y hi hats too. I’ve wanted peppermint hi hats for months and months, and what better time to have them than Christmas time? Unfortunately, I keep kidding myself about what’s possible in 88 degree weather with roughly 90 percent humidity in the air. In the end, I did end up with some sweet little hi hats, but I also made some absolutely adorable peppermint candy cupcakes too.

Personally, I think these are so beautiful! They’re simple and easy, to make and to decorate, but they are so striking and lovely. The best part is that you can use any recipe you like to make them.

Use your own favorite vegan/dairy-free, gluten-free, or standard white or yellow (or chocolate!) cupcake recipe (or boxed mix), and just substitute half (or all, depending on how minty you want your cupcakes) of the vanilla with peppermint extract.

I used this recipe again because I love it sooooo much and it was absolutely wonderful with a little minty addition! I think these would also be amazing with chocolate chips added!! The frosting can be done the same way. Use your favorite buttercream recipe with peppermint extract added. Or make hi hats with the recipe below. **None of the recipes included below are vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free.

Divide the batter evenly and tint one half bright red (I know mine looks dark red, but it’s just the lighting).

Place about 2 teaspoon of the white batter in the bottom of a cupcake liner, then put about 1 teaspoon of red batter on top of the white batter. Add another two teaspoons of the white batter, and finish up with a final teaspoon of the red batter.

Using a toothpick, swirl the batters together with three or four swirls to get a marbled look.

To make sure that I used the batter evenly, I made the next batch the same way but switched the order of the batter colors, starting with red, then white, then red again, and finally white again.

The cupcakes all turned out very fun and festive! I’ve never made marble cupcakes before, and I must say, I really love the way they look.

I ended up making half of these cupcakes into hi hats, and half of them with regular frosting on top. Actually, I had intended to make only hi hats, but something made me hold back and top half of the cupcakes with buttercream…as you can see below, it was the right choice.

The past few days have been back to hot weather and high humidity for us, so my poor little hi hats were more like middle hats. Sloppy, crooked, not-so-hi, medium hats. But, for the most part, they were holding up, so I went ahead and dipped these 12.

To make these, pile the frosting on nice and high, then chill them in the freezer for 15 minutes before dipping to help their hats stay on.

I went with white chocolate (which I’m incredibly excited about, because I am now able to melt it, thanks to my brand spanking new microwave). I used one and a half 12-ounce bags (18 ounces total) to get the frosting deep enough for a good dip. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Place the melted chocolate in a cup that is both deep enough and wide enough to fit you cupcakes. Then, just dip straight down and straight back up.

Mine turned out nice, if a little short and blobby. They ended up being pretty…

…with a couple of exceptions. It tastes good just the same, though.

I finished them off with sweet little candy cane sprinkles (they’re even minty) from Bake It Pretty, to make them perfectly peppermint.

For the remaining cupcakes, I mixed up my favorite buttercream frosting and subbed in a little peppermint extract for the vanilla. Then, to make them more festive, I added striped my frosting bag with bright Christmas red food coloring to give the cupcakes a fun peppermint candy stripe.

I love the results so much. Every time I look at these photos, I get happy! There’s just something about red and white, pepperminty sweets that make me smile. Plus, they were so fast and simple to whip up, which always makes me happy.

Mmmm! Pepperminty love. Enjoy!

Marble Peppermint Candy Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined and scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the peppermint extract until combined. Sprinkle one-third of the flour mixture over the batter and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until combined, and scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. Add another third of the flour, again mixing until just combined, before stirring in the remaining sour cream. Sprinkle in the remaining flour mixture and mix the batter until thoroughly combined.

To make marble cupcakes, follow the instructions above. Otherwise, place 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup of the prepared pan and bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Candy Buttercream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3/4 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
food coloring (optional

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and about 1/3 of the sugar. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk and milk thoroughly before adding another third of the sugar. Stir in another tablespoon of milk and the remaining third of the sugar, beating well until light and fluffy. Stir in the peppermint extract to taste. Add coloring, as desired.

Peppermint Candy Hi Hat Frosting

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 full sized candy canes crushed (optional)

White chocolate
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except the candy canes. Place the bowl over a pan filled with 2 or 3 inches of barely simmering water and whisk frequently until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk on high (with a hand mixer or in a standing mixer) until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. If using, stir int he crushed candy canes. *Assembly instructions above.

Melt the white chocolate and oil together for dipping.

Cupcakes and buttercream frosting by Darla, hi hat frosting adapted from Cupcakes!


Leave a comment


  1. Sarah says

    Why does the main flavor of the holidays have to be PEPPERMINT?!?!?!? I don't like minty things, they kinda burn my mouth and I just don't like it.

  2. bakingdom says

    This doesn't have to be peppermint. I used a regular vanilla recipe (which is linked in the post, if you'd like to use it) and added the peppermint. You can make this whatever flavor you like and still make it look minty, if you like the decor. I have a nice eggnog cake recipe, as well as lots of chocolate recipes to choose from if you're more interested in those.

    I chose peppermint because of candy canes. They're so synonymous with the holidays, and so festive looking, and of course, they're peppermint. 🙂

  3. bakingdom says

    @Bridget- To do the striping, prepare your piping bag as normal (if you're using a coupler or tip, go ahead and put it in), then put a stripe of food coloring (I used gel) on each side of the bag before filling it with frosting. Add fresh coloring each time you refill the bag to keep the colors bright. Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. Marcie says

    That's so funny! I thought some minty goodness seemed like Christmas, too so I made mint chocolate cupcakes topped with a mint buttercream frosting that I tinted a minty green color and dotted with white sprinkles. They were real cute and everyone at my office raved over them. I also made the eggnog cake from the earlier post, except I topped it with a buttercream frosting that I made with eggnog. Also a big hit at the office. Oh, and I made your ginger orange sandwich cookies from a much earlier post, too. Those were the biggest hit of all! Thanks for all the great recipes, instructions, and pictures!

  5. Rose Gold says

    These are so amazing! I like how you make your cupcakes. You really have a unique recipe. I should try this one for our new year's eve.

  6. says

    *gasp* These are so beautiful they almost bring tears to my eyes! Seriously! I know that’s got to sound totally off the wall, weird, and just plain silly, but it’s true.

    I adore peppermint, and you made your peppermint cupcakes almost too beautiful to eat!! They’re a work of art! If you made these for me for my birthday, you would be my best friend forever!! 🙂

    I’ve booked marked this page ’cause I definitely want to make these! I hope I can make them as you beautiful as you did! 🙂

  7. Laura says

    how about, these look FANTASTIC. i always loved that kind of peppermint thing about christmas, and mint chocolate has to be my favorite flavor ever. 🙂