Santa Claus Cupcakes


Food Trends I Could Never Get Behind:

Raw Top Ramen. In middle school, eating Top Ramen raw was like THEEEE thing to do. Kids would bring packets of chicken ramen to school and crush the living bejeezus out of that poor brick of squiggly noodles and then add the seasoning packet, sha-shake it like a polaroid picture, and then eat it. I desperately wanted to fit in with the cool kids so I attempted this same phenomenon, only to realize that being popular wasn’t worth it if I had to eat this junk to be cool. It was awful. Also, the one time I accidentally brought the shrimp flavor to school was like, the worst day of my lyyfeeee.

Beef jerky. Who in their right mind decided beef jerky was an acceptable, EDIBLE thing? It smells of dog treats and it lingers on your fingertips much longer than something that smells of misery should. Ew, seriously, when Jessie eats beef jerky, I want to vom. The smell.. the chewing.. and the fact that it’s strips of beef just chilling there. People are eating logs. of. dried. beef. This is not okay.

Sour candy. Duuuude, remember when Sour Skittles came out and it was ALL the rage? I remember middle + high school cafeterias consisted of adolescent kids drinking Mountain Dews and choking back packages of Sour Skittles like they were going out of style. I never could get behind the sour trend because why the hell would I want my tongue to burn with the sour power of a thousand citric acid suns for “fun”? And those people who legitimately enjoy the sour powder at the bottom of the packet? Masochists.

Popcorn kernels. One time, I spent the night at this girl’s house and we had some popcorn with our MKA movie marathon. Her older sisters joined in and together, we plowed through that bowl of popcorn like nobody’s business. It was clear we were finished when there were only unwanted kernel remains, but to my shock and dismay, the sisters began picking and eating the kernels. I sat there in the midst of a cacophony of bone-grinding, tooth-breaking noises as they crunched the raw kernels like this was appropriate to do. I tried it, nearly broke a molar in half and decided this was beyond moronic and the day I decided to eat raw popcorn kernels by choice would be a very depressing one.

At any rate, besides these foods I’m pretty cool with mostly everything else (except the evil that is porkchops). I even like some foods most people dislike, like Brussels sprouts (LOVE), salt + vinegar chips (one of my favorites) and black licorice (in smaller amounts, but I enjoy it.. and Jagermeister).

In fact, I like to imagine Santa being an open-minded food man himself. After all, he doesn’t really have requirements about what kinds of cookies are left out for his visits, so I’m sure he gets a multitude of weirdo cookies in addition to the welcoming classics, like sugar or chocolate chip.

Speaking of Santa, he visited my house early and dove headfirst into one of these confetti cupcakes. Guess he’s not picky.

055-2These cupcakes were a Christmasy spin on the Wicked Witch Cupcakes I made for Halloween. I got the Santa legs idea from Sugar Siren, who used fondant for her Santa legs, but I went for the ingredients and method I had used for my witches to make these adorable Santa cupcakes.

Bottoms up, Santa!


Santa Claus Cupcakes
Recipe type: Cakes/Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Can you blame Santa for being waist-deep in luscious buttercream-frosted cupcakes? I can't!
  • 12 cupcakes, baked and cooled (I made holiday funfetti)
  • Vanilla buttercream (canned or homemade)
  • 24 pieces strawberry licorice (I used Darrell Lea, found at Target)
  • 3 squares white chocolate, melted
  • 24 large black jelly beans
  • Snowflake sprinkles, optional
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Almost an entire 32 oz bag powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. First, frost your cooled cupcakes with buttercream. I used an Atecco tip #807 (a large open circle) to frost these. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the snowflake sprinkles, if desired. Set the frosted cupcakes aside or in the fridge while you make the Santa legs.
  2. (TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM: 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter + vanilla until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until light and fluffy. You’ll need to add in a little stream of milk every now and then to fluff up the frosting.)
  3. On a large foil-lined baking sheet, line up all the licorice legs; set aside. Meanwhile, in a resealable plastic bag, pour in the melted white chocolate. Seal out the air and gently snip a very small corner off the edge of the bag. Pipe white chocolate squiggly "fluffs" along the ankles of Santa's licorice pants.
  4. Using a teensy bit of remaining white chocolate, place a small chocolate dot on the top of a black jelly bean and gently press the jelly bean onto the bottom of Santa's legs; hold for 20 seconds or so to adhere.
  5. Place the completed Santa legs in the freezer to set, about 30 minutes. Once set, gently invert the legs (shoes up) and place them into the frosted cupcakes. These cupcakes are best served the same day, at room temperature.


051-2I love these festive little Santa leg cupcakes! They’re super fun to create with the kids and make for an awesome and creative presentation for a Christmas or holiday party at work or school. Plus, Santa’s legs taste pretty good! (Don’t tell Mrs. Claus I said that).

Have a happy Tuesday!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Love love love this idea, Hayley! Great idea to use liquorice instead of fondant, too. So much easier. I’ve never even come across any of the food trends you mentioned, but I can’t even imagine myself trying them! Uncooked noodles?!?!?!

  2. I don’t understand why anyone would eat dry Ramen noodles? That is really bizarre to me! I hear ya on the others! I loved your witch cupcakes and I LOVE these too! What a fun cupcake! Great idea using licorice for the legs!

  3. Too cute! I always see pictures of these (and the witch’s). Might have to take my turn and make them!

  4. Adorable!!! And I like the licorice idea for the legs.. brilliant!

  5. Oh my gosh, I have to make these with my kids, they will love these! My oldest son does that weird Ramen noodle thing, guess it’s “cool” again. Salt & Vinegar chips are the bomb:)

  6. cute!! i love the sleighs too!
    duuuuude. sour candy is my fave! not so much sour skittles, but like sour worms or sour jelly bellies… mmmmm…

  7. How adorable are these!! My girls will love these cupcakes!

  8. Ahhh! How cute! I love these 🙂 And they seem relatively easy which is a plus in my book!

  9. How adorable are these cupcakes! You are so creative!

  10. Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen says:

    You are killing me with the Santa Cuteness! Where did you get those sleighs? I too hate beef jerky my husband loves it and it makes me gag! I have never seen anyone eat unpopped kernels. Are you sure your friends aren’t part squirrel? = )

  11. I agree that those food trends are/were dumb dumb dumb
    And these cupcakes are hilarrrious, they look yummy but I don’t know if I could stop giggling long enough to eat em. Heeeehee

  12. OH my word! These are so cute!!

  13. These are adorable! I love this idea. May need to try these out for an upcoming Christmas party!

  14. raw Ramen I do not understand – but i do LOVE me some sour candy!! these cupcakes are SO stinkin cute – even cuter than the witches:)

  15. Back for Seconds says:

    Lol, I think santa is an open minded food man too! Haha! I too like brussel sprouts…and Jager 🙂 love these cupcakes! I remember the wicked witch ones, me and Bella loved those!
    That sleigh is so cute, too!

  16. As always, I just love your creativity!

  17. These are beyond adorable

  18. so stinkin’ cute!

  19. First of all, you’re commentary made me literally laugh out loud! And I LOVE this idea. These cupcakes are adorable!!! Thank u for sharing! 🙂

  20. These are adorable! And I’m with you on the sour candy. Yikes, that stuff is horrid. But…I love crunchy ramen…

  21. You are so creative! These are adorable!

  22. OMG. So CUTE! I totally have to make these for Doodle! Ooooh, or maybe some for Christmas Eve when we have a houseful of crazy kids. I love this idea! I’m with you–yuck on the sour candy (ew), and I love black licorice and Jager.

  23. OKay these are just way to fun for words!

  24. okay… these are just too cute! Honestly- how creative are YOU?! I love holiday themed treats and, Hayley, these are perfect! Thanks so much for sharing! My kids would love these!

  25. The best Christmas cupcakes I’ve seen lately .These Santa Claus are too cute, very fun and creative idea. I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  26. With Wings says:

    Hayley…..Plan on making these for Christmas 2013. They are so cute!!! When I saw your cupcakes in the same sleighs I had purchased a while back, I told my daughter that these are the “perfect” ones to set in front of each plate for our family dinner. I love decorating our table. The dining, kitchen, and living room are all decorated with Santas and Snowmen, down to the Santa curtains and trees in every room. Every year it keeps growing!!! LOL The grandkids will love these cupcakes and I am sure the adults will too…..Thanks for sharing.


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