Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes

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There is a taste of Christmas in these Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes topped with peppermint buttercream and crushed candy cane.  

Yield: 24 cupcakes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes

Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes


For Cake

  • 1 box mix Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 Tablespoon Peppermint Extract

For Peppermint Crusting Butter Cream

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 6 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pink gel food color (optional)
  • crushed candy cane (optional for garnish)


  1. For Cupcakes: Heat oven to 350° and line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, butter, water and extract using an electric mixer on low for one minute, then mix on high for one minute.
  3. Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners, filling each two thirds full.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and cool completely before frosting.
  5. For Peppermint Crusting Buttercream: Cream shortening and extracts in mixer for for 5-8 minutes on medium speed.
  6. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time. Slowly add in cream to desired consistency. More cream for a creamier frosting and less cream for a more still frosting (I prefer more still when I’m using it to pipe/decorate). Add just a little pink get food color, if desired, and whip until the color is well incorporated.
  7. To finish, scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a tip (Ateco No. 809 or Jumbo French Decorating Tip), pipe frosting on each cupcake: Garnish with a sprinkle of crushed candy canes..

Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are frosted; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.


We made a few into whoopie pies. I used my whoopie pie pan and baked cake batter for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely then top half of the “pies” with frosting and top with another “pie” to make a sandwich. Garnish sides with crushed candy canes.

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