Peppermint Cupcakes

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Our peppermint cupcakes are bursting with peppermint flavor and topped with a fluffy buttercream frosting and crushed candy canes!

Looking for the perfect holiday cupcake recipe? Depending on which holiday is near, we have several. There’s the Eggnog Cupcake, Spiced Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream, Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting, and the list goes on.

Now, we have these peppermint cupcakes. The recipe is simple, sweet, and loaded with brisk peppermint flavor. To save a little time during preparation we used a boxed cake mix.

However, the buttercream is made the old-fashioned way with some added peppermint extract for flavor. We encourage you to give these peppermint cupcakes a try this holiday season.

A close-up view of the finished mint cupcakes.

How to make peppermint cupcakes with cake mix?

First, you’ll need to remove your butter from the fridge to soften. I recommend doing this about 2-hours before getting started.

Once the butter is soft, line a pan with cupcake liners, and preheat your oven to 350° F.

Cake mix, egg whites, and other ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Next, grab a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer or use a stand mixer (if you have one).

Afterward, add the cake mix, egg whites, water, oil, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract to the bowl.

The ingredients have been combined into a batter.

Now, combine the ingredients until the batter is smooth and no lumps of cake mix remain.

After that, fill each cupcake liner half-full with batter. Transfer the pan to your preheated oven.

The cupcake batter transferred to decorative liners.

Let the cupcakes bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Then, remove them from oven and transfer your cupcakes to a cooling rack. 

The cakes will need to cool completely before frosting (at least 30-minutes).

Powdered sugar and butter in a mixing bowl.

How to make peppermint frosting from scratch?

Again, you’ll need a large mixing bowl and hand mixer or use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.

Place the following ingredients into the bowl:

  • softened butter
  • powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons of milk
The mixed peppermint frosting in a mixing bowl.

Combine the mixture into a smooth buttercream frosting. Complete a taste test and add more peppermint or vanilla extract as needed.

Once the frosting is done, use a piping bag, decorator, or butter knife to frost the cupcakes.

Mini candy canes in a food processor.

When the cupcakes are done, it’s time to make the optional candy cane garnish.

Open 20 mini candy canes and place them into a food processor. Pulse them until they’re crushed into small pieces.

The candy canes crushed in the food processor.

Last, sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies over the cupcakes.

That’s it, your peppermint cupcakes are done! Kim and I hope you enjoy them and wish you all the best 🙂

Recipe Tips and FAQ’s:

  • If you don’t want to use mini candy canes, then try using softer peppermint candies.
  • For yellow cupcakes you have 2 options. Buy a yellow cake mix or use whole eggs instead of egg whites.
  • To create a light and fluffy peppermint frosting, beat the butter by itself before adding the extracts and powdered sugar.
  • When making these cupcakes, we used a 1/4-cup measuring cup to fill the liners half full with batter.
On of the cupcakes with a bite removed.

What temperature should you cook cupcakes at?

Whenever we make cupcakes, we typically bake them at 350 degrees F. and place the pan in the center of the oven (on the middle rack).

How long before a cupcake goes bad?

Usually, when stored in a sealed container, in your fridge, a cupcake should hold for up to 4-days.

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The finished candy cane cupcakes on a wire rack.

Peppermint Cupcakes

5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Author: John
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings


Peppermint Cupcakes Batter

  • 15.25 ounces white cake mix, (We used Duncan Hines classic white.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • cup canola oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract, or to taste
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk, adjust to reach the desired consistency
  • 20 mini candy canes, crushed


Peppermint Cupcakes Batter

  • Line a pan with cupcake liners, and preheat your oven to 350° F.
  • Next, place all the ingredients in a stand mixer and blend until combined. Fill each cupcake liner until ½ full.
    15.25 ounces white cake mix
    3 large eggs
    1 cup water
    ⅓ cup canola oil
    1 tablespoon peppermint extract
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • First, place the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined and smooth. Add additional milk to thin out the frosting if necessary.
    1 ½ cups unsalted butter
    5 ½ cups powdered sugar
    1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
    4 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
    20 mini candy canes
  • The peppermint cupcakes can be stored in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 4 days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of one cupcake. Actual calories may vary.
*For more information and tips, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1Cupcake | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 388IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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    1. Hi Chelse!

      Yes, if you can find Press N’ Seal wrap, that will work best to freeze these cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool completely to help prevent any condensation and gumminess. Then, wrap them in a couple of layers of Press N’ Seal. You should be able to wrap 4-6 cupcakes at a time. Drop the wrapped cupcakes in a large Ziploc bag and they should freeze well. Have a great day! 🙂

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