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close up on a peppermint swirl cupcake

White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour + 30 minutes cooling
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes


Moist vanilla peppermint cupcakes are filled with white chocolate fudge and topped with candy cane swirled frosting.


White Chocolate Fudge

  • 4 oz good quality white chocolate (like Ghirardelli), chopped
  • 1/4 cup (55ml) heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (95ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup (225g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Candy Cane Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups (330g) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 34 tbsp milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Crushed candy canes (for sprinkling)


White Chocolate Fudge

  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium-sized bowl, preferably one that’s wide and shallow.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until hot and bubbly.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, ensuring all of the chocolate is covered. Let it sit for about 1 minute, then whisk to combine. If you have any lumps of white chocolate that won’t smooth out, place the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix again.
  4. Place the dish in the refrigerator uncovered. It will thicken and turn more white and opaque as it cools.

Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. Mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle (this acts as buttermilk).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl (preferably one that’s easy to pour from) combine the milk and vinegar mixture, oil, and extracts. *there are no eggs in this recipe.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients as you whisk to combine. The batter should be pretty thin.
  6. Evenly fill the cupcake liners with the batter, each about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Try not to let the edges brown too much.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool while you make the buttercream.

Candy Cane Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter until smooth.
  2. Mix in 1 cup of powdered sugar at time, mixing in a bit of the milk between each cup.
  3. Once smooth, mix in the extracts and salt.
  4. Place half of the buttercream in a separate dish and leave it white. To the buttercream still in the mixer, mix in a few drops of red gel food coloring.


  1. Check on the white chocolate. It should be be thickened into a soft fudge-like consistency. If it still isn’t there, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Hollow out the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or a small paring knife. Fill the cupcakes with the thickened white chocolate.
  3. For the frosting, lay out two sheets of plastic wrap. Add the white buttercream to one and the red to the other, forming it into a long log shape. Cover in the plastic wrap and twist both ends, like a sausage (see picture in post for reference).
  4. Slide the two logs side-by-side into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pull the two twisted pieces of plastic wrap through the piping tip and snip them off. Now the two-tone frosting is ready to pipe.
  5. Pipe tall swirls on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: white chocolate cupcakes, peppermint cupcakes, candy cane cupcakes, cupcake recipe

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