Santa Hat & Peppermint Crunch Cupcakes

Have you ever wondered how judge-y Santa must be?

I mean, how many times were you threatened as a child that if you were naughty, you’d be screwed over with coal or no presents at all? And if you were nice, you’d be rewarded with something super neat, like a limited edition Barbie or a Razr scooter–hellooo childhood.

Obviously Santa has to be somewhat judgmental or else he’d be giving away presents to just about anyone… like Oprah. (Is Oprah Santa?! If so, can you please send me a new car? It’s kinda falling apart and I’d really love something sleek and sexy… maybe a Lambo? But I’m totally flexible with Porsches, Mercedes’, or maybe even Range Rovers…)

What classifies “naughty” and “nice”? Is there a barometer or something… some kind of naughty/nice scale that determines child behavior as one or the other?

As a kid, I was petrified of being naughty. The prospect of waking up on Christmas morning and having zilch but a bunch of charcoal was honestly miserable and frightening. I mean, you can’t even attempt to play with coal–it’s useless. It’s not like Santa threatens you with something possibly workable, like a paper bag or an empty box or something.



So I would always try to be (kind of) nice to my parents and anyone worthwhile who may have the potential to eff up my Christmas-gift-receiving on the 25th. Inevitably, I’d child-bitch someone out for some reason–I have never had that thing called ‘patience’–but mostly, I was good. I had my eyes on the prizes in the name of Barbie.

Maybe my parents had something to do with this grand scheme of judgment. Is Santa completely omniscient? That’s a helluva lot of kids to pay attention to every. second. Can you imagine? I could hardly focus on one child at a birthday party, much less bajillions of needy kids worldwide.

Parents have to rat out their kids to Santa. I knew they were in on this.

Since the big man is coming to town soon, I thought I’d commemorate him with some cupcakes. I know he’s generally a cookie man, but people! This guys lives a life of repetition. Don’t you think he deserves some mixing-things-up? And I’m not suggesting chocolate chip to oatmeal chocolate chip, if you know what I mean.

I made him Santa-Hat Cupcakes ’cause they’re cute, super easy, and totally festive. And they’re made from the Peppermint Crunch Cupcakes recipe I concocted. I imagine I’ll be getting a boatload of awesome gifts for my creativity. It’s totally nice.

Peppermint Crunch Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups chopped Andes peppermint crunch candies
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe & ingredients below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake batter according to package directions. Stir in peppermint extract and one cup of the chopped peppermint candies. Portion batter evenly into muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
About 5 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and peppermint extract together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until a nice stiff but spreadable consistency is achieved.
2. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with the remaining one cup of chopped peppermint candies.

OMG. These are amazing.

They look pretty cute like this, don’t they?

But they also look super adorbz with Santa Hats.

Santa-Hat Cupcakes *inspired by a cutie idea on Pinterest

24 cupcakes, baked in the flavor of your choice & cooled
Prepared vanilla buttercream* (use either homemade, or canned frosting works–about 2-3 cans, depending on how much frosting you plan on using)
Red food coloring

1. Separate about 3/4 cup of vanilla buttercream from the entire batch and place in a medium bowl; set aside. Meanwhile, in another medium-large bowl, add several drops of red food coloring into the remaining frosting and stir until you achieve a nice, rich red color.
2. Attach one piping bag with a large, round circle tip (I used Atecco 807) and place the red frosting into the bag. In another bag, attach a smaller open star tip (I used Wilton 21) and add the vanilla frosting.
3. Start piping the red frosting onto the cupcakes in a clockwise motion, piling high in an inverted cone shape (think the shape of Santa’s hat). Then, come in with the white frosting and pipe small stars, one at a time, along the edge of the cupcake and the red frosting, as well as one star on the top of the red frosting cone. You could also draw one single, slightly squiggly line along the perimeter of the hat, like I did (just depends on how detailed you want to go).
4. And you’re done! Oh yeah–like my cupcake sleigh? I found this one at Crate and Barrel. Such a genius way to display your holiday cupcakes!

*Here’s an easy buttercream recipe I use everytime. For this, I recommend doubling the recipe for nice, piled-high hats.

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 2-4 tsp milk
About 4 cups powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until a stiff paste is achieved. Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, until a stiff but spreadable frosting consistency is achieved. You don’t want it too runny, so only use the milk if it’s super stiff. Proceed with coloring as needed.

Set these out Christmas Eve and you’ll guaranteed get awesome presents. Unless you’ve been really naughty, in which case, money usually works wonders when it comes to bribery. Just a tip.

xo, Hayley

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  1. These are awesome! candy cane cupcakes are my fave! but the santa hats are also really cute…and the little sleigh they are in is great – good pics!

  2. Thank you! I love my little sleigh… so fun.

  3. Where did you get the sleighs? So cute! Love your cupcaes, too! Look delicious!

  4. I love your cupcakes,they are so cute,you have such creative ideas.I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.


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