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Grinch Cupcakes (with Surprise Baked In)

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Grinch Cupcakes are a delicious and festive holiday treat! These moist and fluffy cupcakes are packed with red candy melts inside the cupcake dough for the perfect amount of sweetness.

Topped with with cream cheese green frosting and red hart sprinkles. Makes for a delicious and fun dessert for the holiday season.

Grinch cupcakes displayed on red and white kitchen towel with red candy melts sprinkled on the counter top.

Grinch Cupcakes

These sweet, soft and fluffy filled Grinch Cupcakes are a favorite cupcake recipe for Christmas! The added flavor of white chocolate from the red candy melts inside the cupcakes are amazing!

On top of the cupcake is rich and creamy cream cheese white frosting that has a hint of green to make it grinchy.

Add a small or large heart sprinkle on top to complete the Grinch themed look.

One decorated grinch cupckae with undecorated cupcake in background.

 

The Grinch stole Christmas but with a little help from little Cindy Lou, the Grinch’s heart grew 3 times the size and he discovered the true meaning of Christmas.

Cozy up with the whole family and make your own Grinch movie night with Grinch-style sweets! Combine these special cupcakes with this delicious white chocolate Grinch Bark and a batch of Grinch Sugar Cookies!

These cute Grinch Cupcakes are perfect for any Grinch themed holiday party. They are so much fun and will really stand out on any holiday table.

Spotlight on one unfrosted Grinch cupcake to showing the red candy melts baked into the cupcakes.

 

More Grinch Desserts to Love

White Chocolate Grinch Bark

Grinch Sugar Cookies

Grinch Pretzels (Extra Easy Grinch Treat!)

Grinch Hot Chocolate Bombs (with Marshmallows)

Grinch Cupcakes Recipe

You can also find most of this information down in the recipe card. Baking tips and tricks are added to the full step-by-step process in this blog post.

Cupcake Ingredients:

Here is the list of ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Grinch cupcakes:

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

Here’s the ingredient list for this rich and creamy Grinch cupcake frosting:

  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon Clear Vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • Neon Green Gel Food Coloring
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar

All the Grinch cupcake ingredients displayed on counter top.

 

Kitchen Tools Needed:

You can find all of these items on Amazon:

How to Make Grinch Cupcakes

Here are the step-by-step directions to make your new favorite Grinch cupcakes!

Tip: Before you get started, set out your butter, cream cheese in plenty of time to let them warm to room temperature.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan.

Step 2: In a small bowl add the lemon juice and milk and set this aside. This will make the milk thicker and it will become lumpy after it sits with the lemon juice.

Tip: You can substitute 1 cup of buttermilk instead of milk and lemon juice.

Step 3: Fill a sandwich baggie with the red candy melts and crush them into small pieces. Set aside.

Tip: Use a rolling pin to easily break up the red candy melts inside the plastic baggie.

Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. It should take about 2 minutes to beat butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.

Stick of butter and sugar in a clear mixing bowl.

 

Step 5: Add eggs, food coloring and vanilla to your bowl. Beat with hand mixer again for approximately 1 minute.

Mixing bowl with cupckae batter and two cracked eggs on top.

 

Step 6: In a separate large bowl, mix together these dry ingredients: salt, flour and baking soda.

Step 7: Add 1/3 of the milk mixture and the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until combined and repeat until all the flour and milk is gone.

Adding flour and milk to grinch cupcake batter.

 

Step 8: Fold in the crushed red candy melts into the batter.

Adding broken up pieces of red candy melts into the bowl of cupcake batter.

 

Step 9: Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full. These cupcakes won’t rise a whole lot, but if you over fill the cupcake liners the cupcakes will spill over and have an uneven top.

Cupcake tin filled with green cupcake liners and cupcake batter.

 

Step 10: Bake for 15-17 minutes (ovens vary, so watch carefully) until very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them fully cool in side the muffin tins or place on a wire rack.

Tip: You only want to cook these Grinch cupcakes to just done and let them continue cooking as they cool. Over cooking will create a hard cupcake.

Undecorated grinch cupcakes showing the red candy melts baked inside the cupcake.

 

How to Make Grinch Green Cream Cheese Frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the Grinch cupcake frosting:

Step 1: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with the hand mixer until smooth.

Step 2: Add vanilla, salt, and some of the food coloring. Continue to mix until there are no color streaks. Continue to add more food coloring as needed, to reach the desired green frosting color you prefer.

Green food coloring added in a messy swirl pattern on top of the frosting batter.

 

Step 3: Add a one cup of the powdered sugar at a time and mix until combined.

Powder sugar on top of green grinch frosting in mixing bowl.

How to Decorate Grinch Cupcakes

Step 1: Place the large star tip into frosting bag down in one corner. Cut off the tip of the plastic frosting bag until the frosting tip can through and sit tightly in the hole.

Step 2: Fill the frosting bag by placing the bag, tip side down, inside a cup and spread the open end of the piping bag over the sides of the cup.

Step 3: Spoon your frosting into the open frosting bag to the fill line then remove from the cup.

Step 4: Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes by starting from the outside and making a continuous circular motion until you reach the center of the cupcake.

Step 5: On top of each cupcake, add a large red heart sprinkle angled to the right side.

Top view of decorated grinch cupcake showing swirling green frosting on top of the cupcake with a red heart sprinkle of to the right side.

 

Tips for Making Grinch Cupcakes

TL;DR (too long, didn’t read?) – I get it!  We’re all at different levels in our baking journey. I want to point out a few of the tips included in the above post to make the best Grinch Christmas cupcakes.

  • Make sure you are using room temperature butter and cream cheese. Set them out in plenty of time before you start mixing.
  • This cupcake recipe calls for milk and lemon juice, but you can use 1 cup of buttermilk if preferred.
  • To break up the candy melts, place them in a sealed sandwich baggie and use a rolling pin to break them up.
  • Be careful not to over mix the cupcake batter, making it too thick. If this does happen, add 1-3 tablespoons of sour cream to thin it out.
  • Take these cupcakes out of the oven just when they are done. Look for a light browning and remove them. Careful not to overcook them.

Three grinch cupcakes displayed on the counter top.

 

Grinch cupcakes are so fun at Christmas time! These soft cupcakes with a taste of white chocolate baked inside make for such a sweet surprise. Cream cheese frosting tinted just the right color Mr. Grinch green and topped with a red heart will delight your friends and family.

Merry Christmas.

Yield: 15

Grinch Cupcakes

Grinch cupcakes displayed on red and white kitchen towel with red candy melts sprinkled on the counter top.

Grinch Cupcakes are a delicious and festive holiday treat! These moist and fluffy cupcakes are packed with red candy melts inside the cupcake dough for the perfect amount of sweetness.

Topped with with cream cheese green frosting and red hart sprinkles. Makes for a delicious and fun dessert for the holiday season.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Red Candy Melts
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract
  • Neon Green Gel Food Coloring
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Large Red Heart Sprinkles

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon Clear Vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • Neon Green Gel Food Coloring
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Cupcakes
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan.
  3. In a small bowl add the lemon juice and milk and set this aside. This will make the milk thicker and it will become lumpy after it sits with the lemon juice.
  4. Fill a sandwich baggie with the red candy melts and crush them into small pieces. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. It should take about 2 minutes to beat butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs, food coloring and vanilla to your bowl. Beat with hand mixer again for approximately 1 minute.
  7. In a separate large bowl, mix together these dry ingredients: salt, flour and baking soda.
  8. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture and the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until combined and repeat until all the flour and milk is gone.
  9. Over mixing the cupcake batter ingredients will make it too thick. If this happens, add 1-3 tablespoons of sour cream to thin it out.
  10. Fold in the crushed red candy melts into the batter.
  11. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full.
  12. Bake for 15-17 minutes (ovens vary, so watch carefully) until very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them fully cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with the hand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla, salt, and some of the food coloring. Continue to mix until there are no color streaks. Continue to add more food coloring as needed, to reach the desired green frosting color you prefer.
  3. Add a one cup of the powdered sugar at a time and mix until combined.

Decorate Grinch Cupcakes

  1. Place the large star tip into frosting bag down in one corner. Cut off the tip of the plastic frosting bag until the frosting tip can through and sit tightly in the hole.
  2. Fill the frosting bag by placing the bag, tip side down, inside a cup and spread the open end of the piping bag over the sides of the cup.
  3. Spoon your frosting into the open frosting bag to the fill line then remove from the cup.
  4. Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes by starting from the outside and making a continuous circular motion until you reach the center of the cupcake.
  5. On top of each cupcake, add a large red heart sprinkle angled to the right side.

Notes

See the post for multiple tips to make the best Grinch cupcakes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 0gSugar: 46gProtein: 4g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

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