Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

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This time of year is filled with baking.  I feel like I begin baking the day after Thanksgiving and I don’t stop until Christmas Eve!  It’s just that there are so many holiday parties, activities, and friends to give treats too.  Not to mention that I want to make as many new goodies as possible.

Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting


I couldn’t wait to get started baking as soon as I received my Holiday Flavor Bundle from Nielsen-Massey. I tried to think of a recipe that would use all three of the flavors but I was stumped.  I did manage to come up with these Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting which uses two of the tasty flavors.  It’s really a delicious cupcake perfect for the holidays.

The cupcakes are fluffy, tender, and have a great vanilla flavor from the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.  This isn’t your average vanilla.  It packs a ton of flavor that really shines through in these cupcakes.  Sometimes I feel like I have to use so much vanilla extract in a recipe in order to taste it but I didn’t have that problem with this vanilla.

Everything you need to make Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

After the cupcakes cooled I made a peppermint buttercream frosting with the peppermint extract.  A little bit of this extract goes a long way so add a tiny bit at a time until you have the perfect flavor.  I then split the frosting in half, dyed on portion red and left the other portion white, and piped a beautiful Peppermint Swirl Frosting on top of the cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Then, because I can’t leave anything alone, I topped my cupcakes with sparkling sanding sugar and a few festive sprinkles.  They looked so pretty I almost didn’t want to eat them!   When I did take a bite they were pure Christmas.   The vanilla cupcake was subtle until the bold peppermint frosting.   I can’t wait to take these to my next holiday party!


Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A tender vanilla cupcake topped with a bold red and white peppermint frosting.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. milk

For the frosting:

  • 12 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • red food coloring


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. in a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add in the egg, vanilla, and nutmeg and mix well.
  5. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until smooth.
  6. Add in the milk and stir until just combined.
  7. Mix in the remaining flour until just combined.
  8. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full with the batter.
  9. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. To make the frosting put the butter in a bowl and mix on high speed with a mixer until smooth.
  12. Add in the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  13. Mix in the peppermint extract and milk.
  14. Divide the frosting into two bowls. Color one of the bowls red.
  15. Place the white frosting in one piping bag and the red frosting in another piping bag. Snip off the ends of each and place both inside a larger piping bag fitted with a tip.
  16. Pipe a swirl frosting on each cupcake. Top with sprinkles if desired.


A Hezzi-D original recipe

Looking for a holiday dessert? Try my Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Swirl Frosting!

I received a Holiday Flavor Bundle from Nielsen-Massey but all opinions are 100% my own.



  1. My wife likes to make double chocolate chip cookies, which are chocolate chip cookies with cocoa in the batter. I think adding some peppermint extract to this cookie would be great. Mint chocolate chip cookies sound delicious.

  2. I would make cupcakes and cookies and then put some of the flavors in the icing. I like to make white chocolate covered pretzels and would try using the flavoring.

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