If you love the Grinch you need to make these fun, cute and delicious Grinch Cupcakes this holiday season! A homemade peppermint flavored cupcake that is topped with homemade peppermint buttercream, decorated with green sugar and heart sprinkles for the perfect Grinch effect!
While the grinch may be a mean one, these cutie green cupcakes are a sweet one! Grinch cupcakes are something the Grinch would make after his heart grew three sizes, because they’re so festive and fun! These simple cupcakes are made entirely from scratch and have the most fluffy texture and Christmasy flavor. They pair perfectly on a dessert table with Christmas crack and all of your other favorite holiday treats.
The lime green color of this grinch-themed treat makes them not just appealing in flavor, but visually appealing too. You can make these for parties, as a special treat on Christmas morning, and even for holiday bake sales. A fun sweet treat that stepped right out of Whoville! Just the best thing to make this holiday season.
Why You’ll Love The Grinch Cupcakes
- You can prep these cupcakes in 20 minutes. Then while you’re waiting for them to cool, you can bake a batch of your favorite Christmas cookies! The best way to multi-task during the holiday baking season.
- Easy grinch cupcakes are a bakery-quality dessert at the fraction of the cost. You could pay top dollar for a local bakery to make treats that are this cute and flavorful, or you could have a blast making them yourself!
- This recipe is family-friendly — a great way to get your kids involved in the holiday baking this year.
Ingredients for The Grinch Cupcakes Recipe
- All-purpose flour – The main ingredient in these delicious little creations!
- Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a rising agent to make these cupcakes light and airy.
- Baking soda – To make extra fluffy cupcakes, you need to use both baking soda and baking powder.
- Salt – A little salt helps to balance the sweetness of this yummy dessert.
- Eggs – For best results, allow the eggs to come to room temperature before mixing them into the batter.
- Granulated sugar – Granulated white sugar is what to use to sweeten the cupcakes.
- Unsalted butter – Allow the butter to soften before mixing it into the batter. You’ll need softened butter for the frosting too.
- Vanilla bean paste – This is my secret ingredient to bakery-quality cupcakes! Vanilla bean paste adds so much flavor to the little cakes.
- Peppermint extract – Make these minty with a dash of peppermint extract. You’ll use this in both the cupcake batter and the homemade frosting.
- Milk – For best results, use whole milk. But you can use any kind of milk that you have on hand. You will need it for both the cupcakes and the frosting.
- Christmas sprinkles – Turn your cupcakes into a Christmas funfetti explosion by adding red and green Christmas sprinkles to your cupcake batter.
- Powdered sugar – Sweeten the homemade buttercream frosting with powdered sugar.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract gives the green buttercream frosting more depth of flavor.
- Neon green food coloring – This is what makes the homemade buttercream that perfect Grinch color!
How to Make Grinch Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then set the dry ingredients to the side.
Beat together the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add softened butter, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until just combined. Then mix in the milk.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold them together until just combined. Then fold in the Christmas sprinkles.
Using a cookie scoop, fill the muffin tins ½ to ¾ full with the batter.
Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes until the tops of the cupcakes are a light golden brown, or a toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean.
Remove the cupcakes and place them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. While they cool, you can make the peppermint buttercream!
Make Green Buttercream Frosting
Place butter into a large mixing bowl and use a stand mixer or hand mixer on low-medium speed to whip the butter. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing as you go. Beat the mixture until smooth and creamy.
Add peppermint and vanilla extract to the buttercream and mix until combined. Then add milk to the buttercream, starting with just 2 tablespoons.
Mixing the milk in a little at a time will allow you to find the perfect consistency. You don’t want it too think or too thick, it needs to be that happy medium to pipe.
Once it reaches a good texture, add neon green food coloring and mix it in.
Decorate the Grinch Cupcakes
Scoop the green buttercream into a large ziploc bag or piping bag, then snip the tip off.
Pipe the frosting on top of fully cooled cupcakes in an upward swirl pattern. Then sprinkle heart sprinkles and green sanding sugar as the finishing touches on your cupcakes.
Serve and enjoy!
How to Store the Grinch Cupcakes
You can store leftover frosted cupcakes and unfrosted cupcakes! So choose whichever method will work best for you.
FRIDGE: Because of the buttercream frosting, frosted grinch cupcakes must be stored in the fridge. Place into a tall airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days in the fridge. Unfrosted cupcakes will last for about 5 days. You can also store frosting separately in the fridge for about a week.
FREEZER: Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag. I do not recommend freezing frosted cupcakes.
Why is my buttercream frosting too thin?
If you end up with buttercream that is thin and does not hold it’s shape, you likely added too much liquid. It is also possible that the frosting has become too warm. Try placing it in the fridge for a few minutes and see if it firms up. If it does not, then add extra powdered sugar to give it a bit more structure. It is also important not to over-beat buttercream frosting!
Pro Tips for the Best Grinch Cupcakes
- Use gel food coloring for the best color! It tends to mix more easily into buttercream and hold a more vibrant color.
- Feel free to use your favorite piping tip and pipe a different design onto your cupcakes.
- For an extra fun surprise, take a chunk out of the middle of each cupcake and fill it with sprinkles or frosting! Then when you take a bite, the middle has something extra fun inside.
These deliciously easy grinch cupcakes are perfect for the Christmas season! Brighten anyone’s day with a bright green tasty treat.
More Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love
- For the most adorable spring dessert, make these Easter Cupcakes!
- Make Ghost Cupcakes for spooky season. Just a little spooky with all of the sweetness that desserts need!
- These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting are the best sweet treat for the cozy fall season.
- Need more festive treats for the holiday season? These Christmas Cupcakes are perfect!
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons Christmas sprinkles
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 6 sticks of butter (3 cups butter), softened
- 1 Tablespoon peppermint extract
- ½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk
- Neon green food coloring
- Green sugar sprinkles
- Heart Sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in your softened butter, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and mix until just combined.
- Next mix in the milk.
- Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and stir by hand until just combined.
- Add your Christmas sprinkles into batter and mix gently until combined.
- Fill your muffin tins ½ to ¾ full with the batter. Using a cookie scoop makes this quick and easy.
- In a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling make the peppermint buttercream.
- Add 6 sticks of butter to a large mixing bowl using a stand mixer or use a electric hand mixer and large mixing bowl. Turn onto low-medium speed and whip your butter.
- Next gradually add in the powdered sugar, mixing as you add it. Whip until completely mixed and the frosting becomes smooth.
- Add in your peppermint and vanilla extract to the buttercream and mix until just combined.
- Next you want to add in the milk to your buttercream. Start with 2 Tablespoons.
- You are just going to add a little milk at a time until you get a smooth frosting that is a good piping consistency. You don’t want it too thick and you definitely don’t want it too thin. If it goes too far one way or the other you can always thicken it back up with more powdered sugar or thin it out with more milk or creamer.
- At this point you also want to add your neon green food coloring, preferably gel food coloring. This gives you the best grinch green, add a little at a time until it is the right color.
- To make things easy I pipe these using a large ziploc bag.
- Fill the ziploc bag with your frosting and cut off the tip and pipe the frosting onto your cupcake in an upwards swirl.
- Sprinkle on the green sugar sprinkles and the heart sprinkles.