Santa Hat Cupcakes

The easiest Christmas cupcakes ever! Santa Hat Cupcakes with peppermint buttercream frosting are simply decorated for the holidays.

Holiday parties just aren’t the same without cupcake for the kids! Whether they are school parties, family gatherings or neighborhood cookie exchanges, these Santa Hat Cupcakes will bring smiles all around.

cupcake with red swirled frosting and candy cane pieces

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Semi-homemade Christmas treat.
  • Cute and festive for the holidays.
  • Perfect for Christmas parties.
  • Kids will love to help!
  • This cupcake takes on a more minimalist approach to a santa’s hat, but feel free to get creative with your decorations!

How to Make Santa Hat Cupcakes

Start with about 16 white cupcakes. You can use a box cake mix, or you can use your favorite homemade white cake recipe (or here is a gluten free option). Make sure you leave time for your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.

cupcake batter in a bowl with a whisk

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

A stand mixer is preferred for the frosting, but you can use a powdered hand mixer if you’d like.

  • Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together butter, salt, lemon juice, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar along with 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Mix.
  • Pour in remaining powdered sugar and mix. Once combined, turn the stand mixer on high and beat for 5 minutes. The frosting should be very light and fluffy.

Do I need to mix my frosting for five minutes?

The action of mixing your frosting on high for five minutes makes wonderful frosting. The frosting becomes very light, fluffy, smooth, and extra delicious. It’s well worth the wait!

Piping the Frosting

Frosting swirls on cupcakes may look complicated, but it is actually fairly easy!

You’ll need:

  • Frosting Bags. We like disposable. No cleanup. (Unless you want to wash it and reuse it.)
  • Large Frosting Tip. We like either Wilton 1M or 2D. With these large tips, there is no need to use a coupler to hold the tip in. They’ll slip right into the frosting bag.

Cut off about an inch of the tip of the frosting bag. Place the frosting tip into the bag and push down so it is nice and tight.

Fill the frosting bag with frosting, then squeeze out any air.

piping red frosting swirls on a cupcake

Place the tip perpendicular to the top of the cupcake, then push and swirl in circles, piling up the frosting as high as you’d like it to go. When you are done, stop squeezing the bag and pull quickly up.

Then sprinkle with peppermint pieces and a mini marshmallow.

closeup of unwrapped cupcake with red frosting

How do I store my cupcakes?

Story your cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container. They will dry out in the refrigerator. They will last up to two days, as long as they were allowed to cool at room temperature before being stored.

christmas cupcake with red frosting
christmas cupcake with red frosting

Santa Hat Cupcakes

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The easiest Christmas cupcakes ever! Santa Hat Cupcakes with peppermint buttercream frosting are simply decorated for the holidays.
Servings 16
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Cupcakes:

  • 16 unfrosted white cupcakes in red liners (we used a box white cake mix)

For the Peppermint Frosting:

  • 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 16 mini marshmallows
  • ¾ cup finely crushed peppermint candies
  • Red food coloring optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare 16 white cupcakes according to package directions (or use your favorite homemade white cake recipe).
  • Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
  • Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together butter, salt, lemon juice, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar along with 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Mix.
  • Pour in remaining powdered sugar and mix. Once combined, turn the stand mixer on high and beat for 5 minutes. The frosting should be very light and fluffy.
  • Add frosting into a piping bag with a Wilton 1M frosting tip and frost cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle on the crushed peppermint candies and top with a mini marshmallow.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 16 cupcakes, with 1 serving being frosted cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 418IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 426
Keyword cake mix, christmas dessert

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lemon juice for?

The lemon juice in the frosting is to help cut through the sweetness (same with the salt). The frosting won’t take on a lemon flavor.

Can I use salted butter?

Yes. Just cut back the added salt if you use salted butter.

I don’t have heavy cream. What else can I use?

You can also use half and half or whole milk for best results. A higher fat milk is best for a creamy frosting.

Can I use gel food coloring?

Yes! Gel food coloring is usually more powerful than drops and gives a more vibrant color. If too much coloring is added, this can take on an artificial flavor, so make sure to taste the frosting while you are adding to make sure that you haven’t added too much.

Is peppermint extract the same as mint extract?

I recommend the use of peppermint instead of mint extract. Mint extract tends to take on a more artificial flavor, whereas the peppermint extract is more natural.

Can I use a different flavor cake mix?

Yes! Try red velvet or chocolate for a delicious twist.

About Julie Clark

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