White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Vanilla peppermint cupcakes with white chocolate frosting swirled on top. Sparkling sugar and crushed candy canes finish these festive Christmas 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 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 took everything out to bake them. Noelle’s binky fell out, so let me fix that.

I’ll use my vanilla cupcakes 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 weird 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.

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 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 pictures.

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. ♥

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


White chocolate peppermint cupcakes are soft and fluffy, topped with incredible white chocolate frosting!


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200g) cake flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 pure 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


  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Cupcake Liners | Cupcake Pan | Frosting Bags | Wilton 1M Frosting Tip | Americolor Food Coloring Kit | Coarse Sparkling Sugar | Cute Mini Bowls
  3. Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, you can make this homemade cake flour substitute. 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.
  4. Why Room Temperature? 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Soft and fluffy peppermint vanilla cupcakes topped with sweet white chocolate frosting made with real white chocolate! Christmas cupcake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com


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

    1. HAHA I found it!! It was hiding in the laundry room!

  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

    1. 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 love how pretty these are!

  6. Vanessa Carlson says:

    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!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! I appreciate your review on the recipe 🙂

      1. 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! 

  7. 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!

  8. Helen @ scrummy lane says:

    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!!!

  9. 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?

    1. Hi Kaleigh! I suggest making each batch separate.

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

    1. Absolutely! I recommend making my white cake recipe, which is very similar to the crumb of these cupcakes. Add peppermint extract to the cake batter. And you can double or 1.5x this frosting for the cake.

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

  12. Can you double this recipe? 

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

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

      2. 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!

  13. Alison OHaver says:

    Just want to add my review! I made your (ATK’s) Boston Cream Pie last week, so was left with 6 eggs whites. I made this recipe x2 and they are wonderful! I love that there is a hint of peppermint right in the cake, and not just the frosting! The crumb is perfect, and the frosting is so yummy! I usually like my peppermint with chocolate, but these can definitely stand on their own! Thank you!

    1. Wonderful to read! Glad you found a place for all those extra egg whites. 😉

  14. These are so good! I just made them and they taste really good and have great texture. I cut the recipe for the frosting in half because I didn’t have enough ingredients and it was the perfect amount. They were a tiny bit well done on the outside, next time I’ll bake them like two minutes less. Other than that these were amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. I bought greek yogurt because I cannot get sour cream will that make them denser? If so how can I avoid that?

    1. Hi Velentina, you can use a full fat yogurt instead of the sour cream if it’s not available!

  16. I have peppermints but where I live you cannot get peppermint extract what to do?

    1. Hi Valentina! Can you order some? Or simply decorating with a peppermint candy would be perfect.

  17. Is it possible to melt the peppermints to get the flavor inside the cupcakes instead of the extract.

  18. Hello,
    This recipe looks great for a Christmas party I’m attending. I’d like to bake 24 cupcakes. Do you know if I can just double all the ingredients, or do I need to make the recipe twice, as some recipes don’t seem to come out the same when doubled (although I don’t know why)?

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

  19. Gabrielle Tarrow says:

    Followed instructions to the letter and found these to be denser than other cupcake recipes of yours I have tried. Did I over mix despite my best efforts or is the texture just different on these than say, your gingerbread or chocolate cupcake recipes? Thanks!

  20. Kristin Bell says:

    Made these and 2 of your other cupcake recipes for co-workers and my husband’s game night buddies and they were devoured and much loved by everyone! Was unable to track down any kind of peppermint to crush for the topping as I decided June was a good time to make these but crushed mint M&Ms worked and tasted great!

  21. Hi Sally. I love your recipes!! I have had great success with them and have rekindled my love for baking because of you! I like making 6 inch cakes as we are empty nesters. From reading your recipes and idea filled notes, it looks like I can use your cupcake recipes to make 6 inch cakes? This recipe caught my eye and will be my next one in the oven. This would be so helpful! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Kathy, This makes me so happy to read! Just about any cupcake batter that produces about 12-15 cupcakes is the perfect amount for a 3 layer 6 inch cake, and this one would be delicious! You can read all of my tips and baking instructions for a 6 inch cake in this post: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/6-inch-cake-recipes/

  22. Michele Greiman says:

    Sally, I LOVE chocolate cupcakes. Would this beautiful, yummy frosting work on chocolate cupcakes??? If so, would you put some of the peppermint in the chocolate cake batter too, or just the frosting?? THANK YOU

    1. Hi Michele! Yes, you can definitely use this frosting for chocolate cupcakes. Feel free to add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the cupcake batter, too!

  23. I made these today and they are amazing. The cake texture is the best! I learned That I’m not a fan of peppermint extract. I had a couple of technical difficulties but I think I know why. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully festive recipe!

  24. Sally, I just made these & they look & taste great! For me, the recipe made 12 regular-sized cupcakes & 24 mini-cupcakes. Do you have a recommendation for the food coloring for the icing? I used a kit where I had to mix yellow & blue & the color was more lime green, unfortunately! Thanks for the recipe & Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Terre, For food coloring I recommend AmeriColor Gel food colors. Gel colors are so much brighter which means you don’t have to add as much to get vibrant shades.

  25. OMG I LOVED THIS CUPCAKE!!!! I was nervous about the mint in the frosting and almost took your 1/4 teas suggestion but I’m glad I didn’t, the frosting is A-Mazing!!! It went very well with the cupcake and I even made snowflake sugar cookies (from the sugar plum fairy cupcakes) to top off this already beautiful cupcake. This might be my new favorite cupcake for the holidays. Hummm.. I may even try the frosting with a chocolate cupcake. Oooo.. I’ll definitely be making these again before next Christmas! LOL Thank you so much!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally