Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Soft and fluffy peppermint vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Christmas cupcake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m a lunatic running on fragments of sleep. Noelle is almost 3 months old (my baby girl!!), I talk and sing in a high pitched baby voice/dog voice all day long, and can’t find one of my left shoes. Is this what it’s like to be a mom?

Let me walk you through one of my recent mornings.

Put Noelle down for a nap. I had plans to bake beautifully red and white swirly peppermint cupcakes. Like peppermint swirl candies, but in a cupcake wrapper. Oh my gosh they were going to be GORGEOUS for dessert when our friends stopped by that night! And they’d photograph like a dream for my blog, too. (Always a bonus.)

Soft and fluffy peppermint vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Christmas cupcake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I got everything out to bake them. Noelle’s binky fell out, so let me fix that.

I’ll use my favorite vanilla cupcake as the base. Peppermint extract for a festive flavor and white chocolate frosting to top it all off. Cake flour, check! Sour cream, check! Egg whites, check! (Anyone remember how Monica Geller packs a suitcase? Check!)

Cupcakes are cooling, frosting is made, UPS man is here, and the pups are going bananas. Break time to tend to baby girl and herd these dogs.

Now let’s D-E-C-O-R-A-T-E cupcakes!

White chocolate peppermint cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

White chocolate peppermint cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Oh wait. Where’s the red food coloring? How can I make adorably swirled frosting in shades of red, pinkish, and white? I have virtually nothing in my cupboards to make red frosting. But I have green. An entire bottle of green. Can the frosting be swirled white and green? Or will it look like spearmint frosting? Will anyone even care? Why am I being such a weirdo about frosting right now? Is that my left shoe under the Christmas tree?

This was the day after I baked a chocolate cake and forgot to add the sugar. More on that fun cake next week.

I piped the green and white swirled frosting on and LOVED how it all turned out. They still remind me more of spearmint than peppermint, but I’m definitely the only one who cares. Red swirly, green swirly, or plain white frosting… these white chocolate peppermint cupcakes taste like Christmas no matter how you decorate them. (By the way… I have since made them with red and white swirled and they’re so fun!)

How to make white chocolate frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cupcake starts with my soft and fluffy vanilla cupcakes. We’ll take out the vanilla bean and add peppermint extract. We’re topping the cupcakes with white chocolate frosting. We’ll add a little peppermint extract to the frosting as well. I promise it’s not overpowering!

For the frosting, real white chocolate is melted down and beaten into a vanilla buttercream base. It produces the smoothest, silkiest frosting I’ve ever had. It’s not fluffy in the slightest– it’s like pure and dense white chocolate.

Silky and smooth white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For the swirling, use my two-toned frosting rose tutorial as a jumping off point. (Read/watch that if you’re confused about how to make the two-toned look.)

Tint half of the frosting green (or red!!!!) and spoon both of the frostings into one piping bag. I usually line the piping bag with one color and spoon the other color inside of it. I sloppily did that with these:

Green swirled white chocolate frosting for Christmas on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Both colors are in the piping bag, now pipe! I used Wilton 1M piping tip in these pics.

Two-toned white chocolate frosting on peppermint cupcakes! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What I love most about swirling two frosting colors together is that no two cupcakes look alike. Some cupcakes have more green, others have more white, and some are covered with a pretty pastel green. And same goes with the red. You end up with lots of pastel pink that way. Never a bad thing!

Soft and fluffy peppermint vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Christmas cupcake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

New mom life is pure chaos, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. ♥

White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200g) cake flour*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk at room temperature*

White Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 ounces (170g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (reduce to 1/4 tsp for less intense flavor)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: green or red food coloring, crushed candy canes, coarse sugar sprinkles for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners - this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners - fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. If using the microwave, melt in 20 second increments stopping and stirring until completely smooth. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Switch to medium-high speed and beat in the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Once combined, switch to low speed and slowly pour the white chocolate in with the mixer running. Taste. Add the salt if you'd like. (I always do. You can add a pinch extra if you want, too.)
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes however you'd like. See note for the swirled frosting. Top with crushed candy canes and coarse sugar sprinkles, if desired.
  8. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Make ahead tip: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

*If you cannot get your hands on cake flour, you can make a DIY version from all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 Tablespoons. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. This equals 1 cup of cake flour. I suggest doing this twice, mixing it all up in 1 bowl then removing 1/4 cup since you need 1 and 3/4 cups in this recipe.

*Whole milk and sour cream are strongly recommended for the best taste and texture. A full fat plain yogurt would work instead, though the cupcakes may not be as light. Same goes with a lower fat milk.

*Swirled frosting: I use a Wilton 1M piping tip and my method for two-toned frosting. Watch the video in that post for how I fill a piping bag with two colors. For the pictured cupcakes here, I left half of the frosting white and tinted the other half green using 1-2 drops of green coloring. In the video for two-toned frosting, I pipe roses. In today's cupcakes, I piped a basic tall swirl using the same piping tip. See #2 in this post about piping a tall swirl.

Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Frosting Bags | Wilton 1M Frosting Tip | Americolor Food Coloring Kit | Coarse Sparkling Sugar | Cute Mini Bowls

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Soft and fluffy peppermint vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Christmas cupcake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

65 comments

  1. Those cupcakes look perfect and I bet taste even better!! Thanks for the laughs and I hope you find your shoe.

  2. OMG!!! These are amazing!!!
    Can’t wait to make them over the weekend 🙂
    Thank you.

  3. These look adorable! Thanks for the lovely idea, I might make it for the guests on Christmas Eve!

  4. Just finished baking and these are DELICIOUS! Great flavor balance. One question though, what is the desired frosting consistency? I had to add a lot of extra c. sugar to get mine to the point where it would be suitable for staying on a cupcake. Thanks for the recipe and your shoe story made me laugh. We have been missing one lego figure for 2 years and we literally looked everywhere. The only one we have ever lost. After recently moving, my son took out his play doh and he had buried the mini and put him in a canister. It only took us 18 months and 1 move to find him. LOL

    • Hahaha that’s hilarious about the lego figure. And I did find my shoe!
      Anyway, this frosting is on the softer and silkier side. You want it to be pipe-able, though. (If piping is how you’d like to decorate the cupcakes!)

  5. I made these today for my daughters birthday. The cake is a good cake, but I think the peppermint is WAY too strong, especially with the mint frosting. I would make these again with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint in the cake. Perfect texture, though, and I love that I can usually count on your recipes to be perfect!  I hope everyone else likes these better than i do; I feel as though I just ate toothpaste!

    • Thanks Vanessa! I appreciate your review on the recipe 🙂

      • Sally, after seeing how many others weren’t having the same problem I did, I went back and looked at my peppermint oil from King Arthur Flour.  Turns out it’s professional strength, and I should have used 1/8 th to 1/4th the amount!  So sorry to have left a poor review when it was obviously user error lol!  I’m going to make it again using less of my oil this time! 

  6. I was so excited to make these, but had a hard time with the frosting. Everything was room temperature, but as I added the melted, cooled white chocolate to the frosting, the white chocolate hardened and then there were small chunks in the frosting. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I had a very hard time piping the frosting because the white chocolate kept getting stuck in the piping tip. I ended up scraping the frosting off many of the cupcakes and starting again. I did white frosting with red and white sanding sugar. They’re very pretty. I haven’t tasted a cupcake yet, but the frosting is delicious!

  7. You’re doing great, Sally. Blog life with my nearly 11 month old is far more chaotic (but you didn’t want to know that!)

    Merry Christmas!!!

  8. I just baked these last night as a trial run for Christmas dessert and they were DELICIOUS! I always go to your blog for any cookie or cake recipes! I have never been disappointed.

    I was just wondering if I could double the recipe or is it better to mix each batch seperate?

  9. Hi Sally!
    Can this amazing recipe be turned into a cake instead of cupcakes?
    J

  10. Thanks Sally! You are the best. We are hosting a family dinner on Friday and this recipe is our choice for dessert.

  11. Can you double this recipe? 

    • I suggest making the batter twice instead of doubling. Working with more batter could risk overmixing or undermixing.

      • Ok, thanks!  I made a normal batch this morning.  Can’t wait to see how they turned out!

      • Quick question, I see your note on DIY Cake Flour but I am planning to double to recipe. Would I remove 1/2 cup of the final mixed flour and cornstarch? I hate cups so this is confusing me. I much prefer weighing ingredients, so thank you very much for also giving me the weight measurements!

  12. Are there any changes for high altitude?

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