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!
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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.
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
- 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!
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
- Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you’ll need about 36).
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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.
If you don’t let the cupcakes cool down all the way, the frosting will melt off and cause a big mess.
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!
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
Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes
- Cupcake Pan
- Mixing bowl
- Cookie scoop
- 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
- 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.
Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
- Mixing bowls
- Mixer Fitted with a Paddle Attachment
- 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
- Cream the butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth2 room temperature sticks of butter
- Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time4 cups of powdered sugar
- Next add in the milk, vanilla and salt2 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 minute10 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 likingcrushed 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