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Santa Cupcakes

Santa Cupcakes are the perfect treat for your Christmas party! Made with vanilla cupcakes and white buttercream frosting in different colors, this Santa cupcake recipe is delicious. This holiday season, spruce up your dessert table and impress your guests with these cute Santa cupcakes!

Santa Cupcakes decorated with buttercream frosting to look like Santa's belly displayed on wood boards.

Santa Cupcakes Recipe

The Christmas holidays are the best time of year to create unique, fun and cute cupcakes. And, let’s face it, making a cute Santa’s face can be difficult, but with these Santa Cupcakes you get the same Christmas Cupcakes effect, but in the easiest way!

Using a white frosting with a few drops of food coloring, you’ll easily create the red Santa jacket, black belt and yellow buckle.

If you’re planning for a Christmas party, add in this yummy No-Bake Christmas Cookie Fudge add this delicious Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch for a stunning display with all your Christmas desserts!

Why You’ll Love these Santa Cupcakes

  • Delicious cupcakes can be made with our homemade recipe or you can use your favorite boxed cake mix.
  • We’re making vanilla cupcakes, but you can make them chocolate cupcakes instead. Which ever you prefer.
  • So easy to decorate! Instead of creating a Santa’s hat with a fur band, Santa’s beard, eyes and nose, all you need is a few simple elements to convey the Santa Clause theme.
  • These are so much fun to serve, all your guest will love them.

More Christmas Treats

Christmas Marshmallow Pops

Christmas Hot Chocolate Bombs

Grinch Oreo Balls with Cute Grinch Face

Ultimate Christmas Charcuterie Board

Kitchen Tools

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium Bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Muffin Pan / Cupcake Pan
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Cookie Scoop
  • Baking Sheet
  • Silicone Baking Mat
  • Piping Bag or Plastic Bag (2)

Two santa cupcakes decorated with red frosting, black frosting and yellow frosting to look like Santa's belly.

 

 

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients

Here’s our favorite homemade vanilla cupcake recipe. If you prefer to make your cupcake recipes with a boxed cake mix, simply grab the ingredient list from the box.

This batch of cupcakes will make 18 Santa Cupcakes.

Cake Flour: Cake flour is a type of flour that is made from soft wheat. It has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, and this makes it ideal for baked goods like cakes and cupcakes that need to be tender and light. When you use cake flour in your cupcake recipes, you’ll end up with cupcakes that are more fluffy and moist.

Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Kosher Salt

Whole Milk: Be sure to use whole milk, not 2% or skim. Whole milk will provide more creaminess for a richer and moist cupcake. It also adds more structure and stability to the cupcake, helping it to hold its shape better during baking.

Pure Vanilla Extract: You can use the good stuff or imitation vanilla. If you want to save the Pure Vanilla Extract, use it only in the butter cream frosting.

Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter (softened)

Sugar

Egg and Egg Whites: When making cupcakes, we use more egg whites than egg yolks. This is because the egg whites help to create a lighter and fluffier cake, while the egg yolk adds richness and density. Too many egg yolks will make your cupcakes too heavy and dense.

 

 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

Again, if you prefer not to make homemade buttercream frosting, use your favorite store-bought vanilla frosting or buttercream frosting to decorate the Santa cupcakes.

Powdered Sugar: Also known as Confectioners Sugar, it dissolves more easily than granulated sugar, so you’ll end up with a smoother frosting.

Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter (softened): The butter must be at room temperature to get the best results. To help it warm up quicker, you can slice the butter into smaller chunks and set it out on the counter. This will warm up quicker than a full stick of butter.

Pure Vanilla Extract: Definitely use the real Pure Vanilla Extract in the frosting for a much better flavor.

Heavy Whipping Cream: Heavy whipping cream results in a much smoother and creamier frosting. Plus, it simply tastes better than other types of cream, giving your buttercream frosting a richer flavor.

Red, Black, Yellow Gel Food Coloring

How to Make Santa Cupcakes

Homemade Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together these dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together these wet ingredients: milk and vanilla.
  5. In the large bowl for a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the egg and egg whites one at a time, and beat until creamy.
  7. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then all of the milk mixture. Then add the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
  9. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool completely.

Cubed butter and sugar in a a large mixing bowl.

 

Homemade Frosting:

  1. Using a standing mixer with a paddle beater, cream the butter and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  2. Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar on low speed until combined, the frosting will look like bumpy, like pebbles.
  3. Mix in the remaining powdered sugar and slowly increase speed to medium speed.
  4. Mix in the heavy whipping cream and continue to beat the frosting until it is combined and smooth.
  5. Scoop about 1 cup of frosting into two small bowls.
  6. In one bowl, mix in a few drops of yellow gel food coloring then scoop into a piping bag.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix in a few drops of black gel food coloring to make your black frosting color. Then scoop into a separate piping bag.
  8. Using the remaining white frosting in the mixing bowl, add in several drops of red gel food coloring to create the red frosting.

Santa Cupcake decorate to with buttercream frosting with red frosting, black frosting belt and buttons and yellow frosting belt bukle with text overlay on top with recipe title for sharing to social media.

 

How to Decorate Santa Cupcakes

Now, on to the fun part! We’re making flat tops on the top of our cupcakes, and here’s how you do it:

STEP 1: Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone mat on top.

STEP 2: Once you have cooled cupcakes, use a cookie scoop, scoop a mound of red buttercream frosting onto the top of each cupcake.

STEP 3: Lightly pat the half ball of frosting down so that it is thick and flat. Keep it directly in the center of the cupcake and make the circle as symmetrical as possible.

STEP 4: Carefully place the cupcake upside down so that the frosting is flat on top of the silicone baking mat. Press down evenly and the frosting will spread out to make a flat top. Stop pressing before the frosting reaches the edges of the cupcake.

STEP 5: Repeat for remaining cupcakes.

STEP 6: Place the baking pan in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is firm.

STEP 7: Carefully peel off the frosted cupcake from the silicone baking mat.

Santa cupcake with flat red frosting on top of the cupcake.

 

STEP 8: Using the black frosting, pipe a thick line of black frosting across the center of the cupcake.

STEP 9: Using the yellow, create an open square in the center of the black line. This is the belt buckle.

Santa cupcake with red frosting, black frosting belt and yellow frosting belt buckle.

 

STEP 10: Using the black frosting again, pipe two dots above the buckle, with each small dot representing a button on the Santa Claus suit.

Fully frosted and decorated santa cupcake.

 

Variations

With this favorite Christmas cupcake recipe you can make some easy variations to add even more pizazz!

  • Mix in white chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips into the cupcake batter for a chocolate surprise in every bite.
  • You can also mix in red or white candy melts to add extra white chocolate flavors.
  • I know my local grocer makes delicious cupcakes. You can always purchase plain store-bought cupcakes and decorate them for super easy Santa cupcakes.

How to Store

Frosted Santa cupcakes must be stored in the refrigerator. They can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Before serving, allow these Santa Cupcakes to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Santa Cupcakes are fun, festive cupcakes to serve up at your Christmas party or for a nice indulgence on Christmas Eve. Use our favorite vanilla cupcakes recipe (or your own) and create the cutest Santa belly cupcakes this holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

Yield: 18

Santa Cupcakes

Two Santa Cupcakes with christmas plaid background decorated with frosting to look like Santa's belly with black frosting belt and buttons and a yellow frosting belt buckle and solid red frosting for the Santa Claus suit.

Santa Cupcakes are the perfect treat for your Christmas party! Made with vanilla cupcakes and white buttercream frosting in different colors, this Santa cupcake recipe is delicious.

This holiday season, spruce up your dessert table and impress your guests with these cute Santa cupcakes!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1⁄2 cup Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1⁄2 cup Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites

Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 1⁄2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1⁄4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Red, Black, Yellow Gel Food Coloring

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together these dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together these wet ingredients: milk and vanilla.
  5. In the large bowl for a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the egg and egg whites one at a time, and beat until creamy.
  7. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then all of the milk mixture. Then add the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.
  9. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting

  1. Using a standing mixer with a paddle beater, cream the butter and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  2. Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar on low speed until combined, the frosting will look like bumpy, like pebbles.
  3. Mix in the remaining powdered sugar and slowly increase speed to medium speed.
  4. Mix in the heavy whipping cream and continue to beat the frosting until it is combined and smooth.
  5. Scoop about 1 cup of frosting and split it into two small bowls.
  6. In one bowl, mix in a few drops of yellow gel food coloring then scoop into a piping bag.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix in a few drops of black gel food coloring to make your black frosting color. Then scoop into a separate piping bag.
  8. Using the remaining white frosting in the mixing bowl, add in several drops of red gel food coloring to create the red frosting.

Decorating Santa Cupcakes

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone mat on top.
  2. Once you have cooled cupcakes, use a cookie scoop, scoop a mound of red buttercream frosting onto the top of each cupcake.
  3. Lightly pat the half ball of frosting down so that it is thick and flat. Keep it directly in the center of the cupcake and make the circle as symmetrical as possible.
  4. Carefully place the cupcake upside down so that the frosting is flat on top of the silicone baking mat. Press down evenly and the frosting will spread out to make a flat top. Stop pressing before the frosting reaches the edges of the cupcake.
  5. Repeat for remaining cupcakes.
  6. Place the baking pan in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is firm.
  7. Carefully peel off the frosted cupcake from the silicone baking mat.
  8. Using the black frosting, pipe a thick line of black frosting across the center of the cupcake.
  9. Using the yellow, create an open square in the center of the black line. This is the belt buckle.
  10. Using the black frosting again, pipe two dots above the buckle, with each small dot representing a button on the Santa Claus suit.

Notes

See additional tips and variations in the recipe post.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

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