These Minnie Mouse Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes are absolutely delicious, fun to make, and coordinate perfectly with the holidays! Nothing says you are a Disney family more than serving up these cute Minnie Mouse cupcakes!
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Minnie Mouse Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.
I think these Minnie Mouse cupcakes with peppermint swirl ears are just so festive! Peppermint candies and candy canes are such an iconic thing during the holidays, and their bright design (and flavor) are what inspired these cupcakes.
These cupcakes actually come together quickly thanks to using a box of vanilla cake mix and an easy-to-make vanilla frosting. And the frosting is topped with crushed peppermint candies and candy cane-shaped sprinkles to add the peppermint taste.
The ears and bow are made from fondant – don’t worry if you’ve never used it before, I’ve got a thorough guide to help you through. It’s actually not as difficult as you might think.
If you’re an experienced cake maker you can probably jump straight to the recipe at the end of this post and get baking! But if not, please read through the steps as I’ve got lots of tips and suggestions along the way!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some baking ingredients in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed to make these cupcakes have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
Cupcakes & Frosting Ingredients
- Box of Vanilla Cake Mix – the usual additional ingredients are changed to butter, milk, and eggs to enrich the cake mix.
- Powdered Sugar – known as Icing Sugar in the UK
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy the best you can afford, it really does make a difference!
- Wilton Fondant – these come in 4.4oz packages and just the right size for these cupcakes, but you can use any brand you like.
- Red Edible Marker Pen – to draw the peppermint swirls onto the [dried] fondant ears.
- Candy Cane-shaped Sprinkles and
- Crushed Candy Canes/Peppermint Candies – buy them ready crushed, or crush your own. Check the tips section for full details!
- You can, of course, use any sprinkles that you like! Make a mix of your own with different single sprinkle types, or buy a ready-made festive mix. Whatever you use, you will need about 2 cups to decorate the cupcakes.
Cupcake Decorating Equipment
- Round Cookie Cutter – to cut out Minnie’s Ears you will need a 2″/5cm cutter.
- Fondant Rolling Pin – these have a smooth surface and won’t leave a texture on your fondant when rolling out.
- Wilton Fondant Bow Mold – this one from Wilton is the one used to make the bow you see in the photos in this post. However, for some reason, it’s not available on Amazon, which is super annoying as I use Amazon for everything! Ultimately, use whichever bow mold you can to make a 2″/5cm bow.
- Large Piping Bag – you can use disposable or reuseable, your choice.
- Large Star Tip – for example, Wilton 1M
This recipe uses American cups. They’re a handy piece of kitchen equipment to have along with a kitchen food scale. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both cups and weighted measures.
More Recipes Using Candy Canes
One of the hero ingredients in this recipe is candy canes! So here are some more recipes using the same:
Minnie Mouse Peppermint Swirl Cupcake Recipe Tips
There are several elements of these cupcakes that are made with fondant – the Minnie Mouse ears that are made using a round cookie cutter, and a bow made with a silicone mold.
Fondant needs time to dry before using as cake decorations, so allow up to 24 hours to get the pieces made before making and decorating your cupcakes.
If you have never worked with fondant before, don’t panic – it is really easy to use, follow my tips and you’ll be just fine!
- Line a cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat to place the fondant pieces on to dry.
- Dust your work surface with powdered sugar (icing sugar) (or cornstarch (cornflour)) so that the fondant doesn’t stick. Think of it like the way you use flour when rolling out dough.
- Rub a little powdered sugar into your hands and knead a handful of the fondant to make it more pliable before rolling, rather than using straight from the package.
- Dust your rolling pin too, and roll fondant to about ¼” thick. Some fondant rolling pins have guides you can use. You don’t want it too thick as it will take ages to dry, and you don’t want it too thin as it will become more tricky to work with.
- Cutting the Ears: Pour a little pile of powdered sugar onto your surface and dip the cookie cutter into it before cutting the ears – again, this is to prevent sticking.
- Using a Silicone Mold: Dust with powdered sugar before pressing some fondant into the cavity and leveling off, before gently popping out and leaving to dry.
- If there is excess powdered sugar on the pieces, you can gently brush away with a pastry brush, or an unused, clean paintbrush.
- Alternatively, you can use a vodka spray. Pour some vodka into a mini spray bottle and gently mist the fondant wings. Vodka dries quicker than water which is why it is usually used when handling fondant.
- Always make extra pieces – that way if some break or you have another mishap, you have got backups that you can use.
- Leave the cut fondant pieces to harden in a cool, dry place – do not place in the fridge.
- The fondant pieces should be solid enough to handle and insert into the cupcakes after 3 – 6 hours. I personally leave fondant pieces to dry for around 24 hours. How long this takes, however, is based on the size and thickness of the fondant, and how humid your house is, so judge best if they will hold up as they need to in the cupcakes.
- Only decorate the ears with edible marker pens when they have completely dried. This is absolutely vital as it makes using the pens really tricky, and they can “dig in” to the fondant resulting in a messy finish.
- When making cakes or cupcakes that use fondant decorations I like to make them a few days ahead of time which allows for drying without the stress. Fondant that isn’t dry enough can mean disappointing end results.
- After using fondant the surface will be super sticky (it always is in my experience!) so you will probably have to wipe away the sugar first, then give it a soapy hot wash over, and then another clean over! You can always buy a fondant rolling mat for easier cleanup!
- Always keep fondant covered when making decorations to prevent it from drying out. And when you’ve finished, wrap up any remaining fondant very well – I double wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. This keeps it fresh and you are able to use it for future cake making!
Cupcake Making Tips
- These cupcakes are made using a box of cake mix – the flavor is enriched by using butter, milk, and eggs, instead of the usual oil, water, and eggs.
- You can use festive-themed cupcake liners to bake your cupcakes in if you like or stick to a complementary color.
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally divide the cupcake mixture between the cupcake liners. Fill them about three-quarters full.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and for it to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- These cupcakes are double-frosted, for the first layer, pipe a thick ring around the edge of the cupcake and dip into a bowl of sprinkles to cover completely. Then add a swirl of frosting on top of the sprinkle layer.
- SPRINKLES! You’ll need about 2 cups of them to cover the cupcakes. For these cupcakes, it’s a mixture of candy cane-shaped sprinkles and crushed candy canes/peppermint candies. Wilton and other brands have the latter already crushed on Amazon, or you could buy whole candies and crush them up at home. Place in a food bag and use a rolling pin or mallet to smash down into small pieces. Or you could place in a food processor and pulse to get the size and texture you want.
- You will need a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Use whichever tip is your favorite. A good one to start with is the Wilton 1M Open Star Tip.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes.
More Christmas Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more Christmas cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
How Do I Make Minnie Mouse Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
For the Fondant Decorations
- Cornstarch (cornflour), for dusting
- 1 (4.4oz) package of Wilton White Fondant
- 1 (4.4oz) package of Wilton Green Fondant
- Red edible marker pen
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box of vanilla cake mix
- ½ cup of softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3-5 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups crushed candy canes and candy cane sprinkles
- Use cornstarch as you would flour when making dough. Dust your work surface, hands, rolling pin, and cutters. Line a cookie sheet or tray with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Knead the white fondant in your hands to make it soft and pliable and roll to ¼"/0.5cm thick.
- Using a 2"/5cm round cookie cutter, cut out 36 Minnie ears.
- Place the ears on the prepared cookie sheet to dry overnight or for 24 hours if possible.
- When the fondant ears have completely dried, use the red edible marker pen to draw on the swirls of the peppermint candy. Draw the lines out first and then color in,
- To make the bows, use a silicone bow mold and dust the mold with cornstarch each time you make a fondant bow. The bows should be about 2"/5cm wide.
- Pinch off a small piece of green fondant and press into the bow mold cavity. Carefully remove from mold and set on the cookie sheet to dry overnight or for 24 hours if possible. Repeat to make 18 bows total.
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners and set aside.
- Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, place the cake mix, butter, milk, and eggs into a large bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the cupcake batter between the liners - about three-quarters full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer and add the butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla to the bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth and stiff peaks form.
- Transfer the frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pour the crushed candy canes and sprinkles into a bowl and stir to mix.
- Pipe a thick ring around the edge of each cooled cupcake and dip into the sprinkles to cover.
- Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of the sprinkles layer.
- Place a peppermint ear on either side of the frosting swirl.
- Place a fondant bow on top of the frosting between the ears.
- Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Candy Cane Sprinkles 2.7 ounce
- Festival Candy Cane Peppermint Crunch 10 Oz
- Wilton Sprinkles Peppermint Crunch
- Regency Wraps RW1116STSR Greaseproof Baking Cup, Striped, Standard, Red
- Round Cutter Set, 12 Graduated Circle Cookie & Pastry Cutters,
- Wilton® Fondant and Gum Paste Mold, Bows & Buttons
- Fondant Bow Silicone Mold
- Wilton FoodWriter Color Fine-Tip Edible Markers, 5-Piece
- Fondant Rolling Pin
- Wilton White Decorator Preferred Fondant 4.4 oz.
- Wilton Green Decorator Preferred Fondant 4.4 oz.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 522Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 246mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 0gSugar: 51gProtein: 3g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Savory Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Soup: Gluten-Free Minestrone Soup with Cannellini Beans
- Main Dish: Roasted Pork Loin with Apple + Onions
- Side Dish: Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Casserole with Bacon
- Beverage: Reindeer Cocktail – Vodka Cranberry Spritzer
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!
The Create the Holidays (formerly Create Christmas) series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Christmas and the Winter Holidays! You can check out Create the Holidays from 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 and 2012 for tons of awesome Holiday ideas and inspiration!