These chocolate candy cane cupcakes have the perfect balance of rich chocolate and sweet peppermint flavor. They are easy to make and a delicious holiday dessert!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes.

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Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcake Recipe

Christmas baking time is here! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for those of us who love to bake and those of us who love to eat.

I just happen to be BOTH! I love sharing happiness on a plate with loved ones and at Christmastime, I get to share a lot of lovin’!

Just last night we had a little get-together for our small group at church. I brought my super popular Buffalo Chicken Dip and a fancy little cupcake that was equally delicious in a sugary and sweet kinda way.

This Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcake was to DIE for! Can you say YUM?! This is it! It’s like a little bite of Christmas in your mouth. AND, it’s super easy to make.

To save time, I doctored up a cake mix and didn’t just use it as stated on the box. So, it was kinda semi-homemade, but these easy chocolate candy cane cupcakes are still so easy that anyone can make them in no time.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes on a plate.

Just add a little extra flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla plus the box cake mix for this cupcake you’ll have one amazing treat!

Then for the frosting, I used my favorite buttercream recipe infused with doTERRA’s Peppermint Essential Oil for flavor and piped a swirl of frosting on top with a Wilton 1M tip. The essential oil gave it a nice clean, “candy cane-ish” flavor. (You could use peppermint extract, too!)

Then to top it off, I crushed up candy canes and sprinkled them over the top. YUMMMMMYYYY! This was OH SO GOOD! These are the best candy cane cupcakes ever and I am totally obsessed.

Need an exact recipe? I’ve got you covered! You need to make these incredible, easy candy cane cupcakes for Christmas this year. They are a real holiday dessert winner!

Ingredients For Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

  • Chocolate cake mix – I like Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix the best, but any brand of chocolate cake mix will work!
  • All-purpose flour
  • White sugar
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Vegetable or canola oil – You could also try coconut oil for a subtle tropical taste.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • Eggs – Learn the best way to crack an egg here!

Variations

Here are a few ingredient substitutions and variations that work well with these chocolate candy cane cupcakes!

  • Replace the vanilla extract with peppermint extract for even more peppermint chocolate flavor.
  • Use vanilla cake mix instead of chocolate cake mix to make vanilla candy cane cupcakes.
  • Stir 1 cup of chocolate chips into the cupcake batter before baking for even more chocolate goodness in every bite!

How to Make Candy Cane Cupcakes

  1. Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you’ll need about 36).
  2. Mix: In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
  3. Bake: Use an ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Use a store-bought frosting or the homemade icing recipe in the recipe card below!

Quick Tip

Make mini candy cane cupcakes by baking this recipe in a mini cupcake pan. Scoop the cupcake batter into mini paper liners, and bake for about 15 minutes. This recipe will make about 60 mini cupcakes!

A hand holding a chocolate candy cane cupcake topped with butter cream frosting and peppermint flakes.

How to Store Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

This recipe makes more than enough to share for holiday gatherings or gifting. However, if you have leftovers, loosely cover them with plastic wrap. They’ll stay fresh at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Or, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months instead! Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

FAQs

Why can’t I frost cupcakes warm?

If you don’t let the cupcakes cool down all the way, the frosting will melt off and cause a big mess.

How do I know when the cupcakes are done baking?

Put a clean toothpick in the middle of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done baking. It’s okay if there are a few loose crumbs, but they shouldn’t be moist!

What are the best candies to decorate cupcakes with?

I like to use crushed candy canes to decorate these chocolate candy cane cupcakes. Feel free to get creative, though! More options include chopped Andes mints, peppermint chocolate chips, Hershey’s peppermint chocolate kisses, festive sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or coconut flakes

More Amazing Holiday Dessert Recipes

Three chocolate candy cane cupcakes on a plate.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

Using a doctored up box mix and homemade frosting makes this a simple AND delicious Christmas Treat!
No ratings yet
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 36 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Equipment

  • Cupcake Pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cookie scoop

Ingredients  

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions 

  • Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add the remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
    1 (18.25 ounce) box of chocolate cake mix, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated white sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/3 cups water, 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup sour cream, 4 large eggs
  • Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting with recipe below.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: candy cane cupcakes, chocolate candy cane cupcakes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!
A hand holding a chocolate candy cane cupcake with peppermint butter cream frosting.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Make this easy Peppermint Butter Cream Frosting to decorate cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and all your favorite desserts!
No ratings yet
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 24 servings
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixer Fitted with a Paddle Attachment

Ingredients  

  • 2 room temperature sticks of butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 10 drops of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil OR 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • crushed up candy canes

Instructions 

  • Cream the butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth
    2 room temperature sticks of butter
  • Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time
    4 cups of powdered sugar
  • Next add in the milk, vanilla and salt
    2 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt
  • Beat on high until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
  • Add in the essential or extract and beat for another minute
    10 drops of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil OR 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • Add the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M Swirl tip and pipe on top of the cupcakes
  • Add crushed up candy canes on top to your liking
    crushed up candy canes
  • NOTE: this recipe is for 12-24 cupcakes if you pipe on the frosting – double it for the entire batch made above

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 5mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.01mg
Keyword: peppermint butter cream frosting, peppermint frosting
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!
chocolate candy cane cupcakes.

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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