Candy Cane Cupcakes

Can you find ANY candy more Christmas-y than candy canes? 

These cupcakes have a mint and vanilla base, peppermint filling, and a swirl of mint frosting topped with a mini candy cane and crushed peppermint candy!
Super easy and AMAZING! Recipe and links to the supplies I used are below!

(Disclosure: As a way to keep my kitchen stocked with butter, sugar, and flour I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn a commission by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
My posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Peppermint Cupcakes: (Inspiration for this recipe from TwoSugarBugs vanilla cupcake recipe!) 
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream  
Save and add later - 1/4 cup crushed candy canes (or you can save some time and mess and buy crushed peppermint candy

First – melt your unsalted butter and set aside to cool (so it doesn’t cook your eggs when you add it!) 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (180C), and prepare 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and sour cream until well combined.  Add the cooled melted butter and whisk again until well combined.

Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix the batter.  The batter will be thick.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full.  (I didn’t want my liners to overflow, and I found I had enough leftover batter for about 16 mini cupcakes, so I made some of those as well!) Sprinkle each cupcake with a bit of crushed peppermint candy/candy canes, and swirl them in a bit with a spoon or toothpick.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. 
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

This is an excellent time to make your frosting and filling!

Peppermint Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar  
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 T peppermint extract
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add peppermint extract and salt and beat until well combined.

Peppermint filling:
Save out about ¾ c of frosting to use for cupcake filling, and stir in an additional ½ Tablespoon of peppermint extract and ¼ cup crushed peppermint candy. Set aside until you’re ready to fill your cupcakes.

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- Plastic knife or cupcake corer
- Large star piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
- 24 Mini candy canes (to top the cupcakes)
- about ¼ cup extra crushed candy canes or crushed peppermint candy

Once the cupcakes have cooled, you're ready to core them. There are a few ways you can do this....you can buy a cupcake corer, you can try using the non-business-end of a large piping tip,   or....you can do what I do and cut a cone-shaped core out with a plastic knife. Up to you! I saved the tops from the cores to put back over the filling and make frosting a bit easier.
Transfer your filling to a piping or zip-lock bag, and fill your cupcakes with peppermint filling.

Pipe your mint frosting in large swirls onto your cupcakes (or however you feel like icing them).  Decorate the top of each frosting swirl with a mini candy cane and a few sprinkles of crushed candy cane if you’re feeling fancy! (Of note, crushed peppermint candy will get weird-looking and ‘melty’ if left on cupcake frosting overnight – add this the day you plan to serve them!)

Done and done! Enjoy!

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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