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!

peppermint cupcakes with white and green swirled white chocolate frosting with crushed candy canes and sprinkles

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.)

overhead image of peppermint cupcakes with white and green swirled white chocolate frosting with crushed candy canes and sprinkles

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!

peppermint cupcake batter in a glass bowl

wedding cupcake batter in cupcake pan

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!)

2 images of chopped white chocolate in a glass bowl and pouring melted white chocolate into vanilla buttercream in a glass bowl

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.

white chocolate frosting in a glass bowl

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:

2 images of white and green swirled frosting in piping bags

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

overhead image of a peppermint cupcake with white and green swirled white chocolate frosting with crushed candy canes and sprinkles

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!

peppermint cupcake with white and green swirled white chocolate frosting with crushed candy canes and sprinkles

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

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peppermint cupcakes with white and green swirled white chocolate frosting with crushed candy canes and sprinkles

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 (207g) 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!


  1. That cupcake sounds AMAYYY-ZING. It seriously makes my mouth water. White chocolate frosting? Check. Homemade? Check. Yes, please!!

  2. These look delicious Sally! I love the green swirl frosting, so festive! I will have to make these for an upcoming holiday party, aw I remember those first few months, such a sweet, but tiring time. Now my son is 15 months and sometimes I miss those days, but every age is exciting! 

    1. I hope they are a hit at the party! 15 months is still so little! 🙂

      1. Thank you! Aw yes you’re right, it still is 🙂 

  3. Those look amazing! So festive. 🙂
    Your day with a child sounds about. 🙂

  4. These cupcakes look delicious and great for Christmas! I love peppermint and white chocolate together ♥

  5. These are gorgeous Sally and them remind me of a Christmas Tree :).
    You are doing great as a MOM!

    1. Thank you, Reshana!

  6. Yes, Sally. Sounds like you are getting to see what motherhood really looks like, and you are handling it great! It’s a wild adventure.

  7. Ikhlas Hussain says:

    Hahaha yup! That’s exactly how it is for me too! Pure chaos. These look sooo good!

  8. Goosh, they look soooo amazing! 🙂 Hahahah, I love it how you quote Friends so often! 😀 In my surroundings, I’m the one who does that all the time and I think people are a little fed up with it but I don’t care! 😀

    Greets to all of you in da house! 🙂

  9. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    I feel like my life is sometimes like this and I don’t even have kids yet! lol I just know I try to do too many things at once and need to focus on one thing at a time, more like adult ADHD.  But I cannot wait to make these, I literally got wide eyed when I read the title, white chocolate frosting, YUM!

  10. What’s better than white chocolate?! White chocolate peppermint cupcakes! Yum!

    x Mariya


  11. Like a previous commentor, my life is kinda like this but I don’t have kids as an excuse. 😉 (except for the shoe under the Christmas tree…I am pretty good about shoes being together and in one place. Socks seem to travel…I blame the cats…I guess my feet just smell so good…ha ha ha!!!)

    These cupcakes are beautiful!!! I especially love the glitter of the sugar on the frosting…so pretty! I STILL am not on Team Cupcake…not sure I will ever have the patience for it (refer back to CATS in the house). But I am full on Team Cookie, Biscotti, Bread, etc, etc so I think you’ll forgive me. 😉

    Have a great day, Sally!!

  12. These are beautiful, Sally! I always love your cupcakes <3 Sorry I've been missing your posts recently! I've had more health issues but am doing better, going back to North Carolina for school in January 🙂 I've missed baking for sure! I'm glad there are so many new recipes of yours for me to try 😀

  13. You’re rocking it with multi-tasking! These cupcakes are so pretty! I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit lately, but I need to catch up on baking regardless.

  14. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says:

    1. These are gorgeous!
    2.Friends references for life! I’ve seen all the seasons at least 25 times. 😉
    3. Peppermint is my fave holiday flavor so I love these!

  15. Kelly | Maverick Baking says:

    Ok, now I’m craving every cupcake within a 5 mile radius. YUM. I’ve never had white chocolate and peppermint flavours together, usually just dark chocolate but these look PERFECT. I really like the green swirl in the frosting, red is too predictably “candy cane,” and it just shows how even “sloppily” done colouring swirls can look really pretty. Pinning these for later, good luck on your first mummy Christmas!

    1. Ha – hope you get a cupcake soon! You need to try peppermint with white chocolate! 🙂

  16. These cupcakes look beautiful! I can’t wait to make them this weekend.
    As a mother to a 3-year-old girl, I can totally relate to the lost shoe. When she was a young toddler, one of my favorite shoes was missing for months! I searched everywhere in the house that would seem like a logic place for a shoe. After accepting the fact that it was gone forever, we found the missing shoe in a bin of my daughter’s old baby toys in the storage closet. Don’t give up!

  17. Patricia Pines says:

    These cupcakes look Amazing!!!!! I love anything with peppermint!

  18. “Why am I being so weird about frosting right now? Is my left shoe under the Christmas tree?” LOL I CAN’T EVEN WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They look totally Christmas-ey, no worries girl!

  19. This all sounds like a beautiful, happy accident to me.  After all, EVERYONE makes red and white EVERYTHING at Christmas.  Doing green makes these cupcakes stand out from the pack.  Thanks in part to Noelle, Jude, Franklin, and the UPS man! Have a very special “baby’s first” Christmas!

  20. Sally,
    These would be perfect for my ex-pat holiday get together next week. That will give me time to find the ingredients.
    How I remember my son’s first Christmas. It doesn’t seem that long ago but I know that it is as I am sending him things for his first post college apartment! 

  21. These look so festive & fun! You could tint all the frosting green & use sprinkles to decorate these like Christmas trees. White chocolate is my favourite kind (it really is chocolate okay!) & I love the combination of white chocolate peppermint. Your white chocolate bark with crushed candy canes is one of my favourite Christmas treats 🙂

  22. Yes, that is exactly what motherhood is like! I’d lie to you and tell you that it gets easier, but I’ll just say this: you get more used to it as you go along. 🙂

    When my son was a toddler, I’d get him dressed for daycare and get myself dressed for work. No sooner than he’d realize where he was going, he’d start crying, build up a runny nose, and then bury his head in my shoulder, leaving a big nasty blob! After a couple of trips back inside to change outfits, I learned to have a towel ready over my shoulder when we left the house. See?
    Adaptation! 😉

    But, those cupcakes are beautiful, and kudos to you for being able to produce them with a baby in the house! I think I was lucky enough to get showers and naps in those first few months.

    1. HAHA Michelle, this made me crack up because I’m experiencing the same. I now have a burp cloth on me at all times. Thanks for the laugh this morning!!

  23. Sally, you’re hilarious. Laughing out loud as I’m reading about your morning – what a great story teller you are.
    This recipe is a keeper – yum!! Thanks Sally, keep up the good work and have a Merry Christmas.

    1. HAHA thanks Julie 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  24. Brittany Hopkins says:

    This made me laugh so hard, because you are describing exactly what my life is like right now! Trying to tend to 4 children and get a handle on all of the holiday madness while getting in some time to make homemade treats makes for some laughs!!! My youngest is 4 months, isn’t this the best age!? Enjoy all those wonderful baby laughs from your precious girl. The cupcakes look amazing of course, can’t wait to try them out 🙂

    1. Brittany, you’re a supermom! I love her age right now– she’s turning into a little person with a little personality! It’s incredible to experience. I cannot wait for 4 months.

  25. You make me laugh!!!  I thought i had my hands full with three little kids-but i wasn’t doing an amazing baking blog at the time.  It was so long ago there was no such thing as a blog! Or a cell phone!  Yikes i am old!  And now I really need a cupcake!  Thanks for the laugh and it sounds like you are doing a great job holding it all together!

    1. Haha! Thanks Dana. Trying to at least. This is tough! But everyday is getting easier. I love being a mommy!

  26. Hi Sally! We have all had our moments! These cupcakes look amazing!!  If you are taking confessions, you should know that I once made a German chocolate cake that looked so perfect. Well, it tasted horrible. I accidentally took the wrong container and put kosher salt in the cake batter instead of sugar. Yikes. I have been so much more careful about what ingredients I use years later. 

    1. OH MY GOSH. Now that tops my no-sugar-added chocolate cake. Yours must have tasted atrocious! I cannot imagine!!! Thanks for the laugh this morning 🙂

  27. Barbara Ann Sandoval says:

    I love the idea of green & white with the bits of candy cane. I’m thinking might look valentinzy ( new word).
    Unless you wanted to top red velvet cup cakes with this frosting

  28. Niki Daugherty says:

    Friends is always a favorite!  

  29. I cant believe she is almost 3 months old. It seems like yesterday everyone was congratulating you on her birth! Geesh time flies way too fast. And Sally this post was awesome

    1. Thank you Iram. 🙂 I cannot believe how big she’s gotten too! Time is FLYING!

  30. Oooo these would be pretty with light blue and white swirled frosting too! This post made me laugh.. I totally feel the multitasking. My little girl is 5 months and went from being afraid to roll over to being a rolly polly! We don’t have an “open kitchen” and if I go in there just to wipe off countertops and turn around she rolled about 12 times across the living room. Oh my goodness, mamas learn while babies learn, for sure! 

    1. Haha – this made me laugh and I can totally see this happening in my house soon!

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