Holly Topped White Cupcakes

A few simple candies turn ordinary cupcakes into festive Holly Topped White Cupcakes! Perfect for the holidays and scrumptious enough to make all year long!
Holly Topped White Cupcakes | Perfect sweet treat any time of year!

Christmas Week

Welcome to day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Peppermint Surprise”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you. 

Holly Topped White Cupcakes | Perfect sweet treat any time of year!

Holly Topped White Cupcakes

My family was delighted that today’s Christmas Week theme was cakes. I make tons more cookies than cakes, so these holly topped white cupcakes were an extra special treat. To make sure Katie would eat them, I took the safe route and dug up my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and topped them with vanilla butter cream…she is not a chocoholic like her brothers and dad. Then to make them festive, I added a simple garnish of red M & M’s and slices of green candied fruit.

Since this recipe makes 14, I made 12 full sized cupcakes and about 8 mini cupcakes. The small ones took about 14 minutes in the oven…and were perfect to go with my afternoon tea. A less guilty, two-bite pleasure. The two taste testers in the house gave these their seal of approval! Bill even requested that I make these again for his birthday in April…the ultimate endorsement.
Holly Topped White Cupcakes | Perfect sweet treat any time of year!
A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend, Veronica, of Veronica’s Cornucopia, sent me a wonderful flavoring called Crème Bouquet. When it arrived, Katie and I both took a deep whiff and were enveloped with scent that reminded Katie of petit fours…her favorite treat from a local bakery. We’d unlocked the secret to the unique flavor of their white cakes and icing. I was instructed to use it sparingly to start with, but the 1/8 teaspoon probably wasn’t quite enough. It’s a totally optional ingredient, but you might enjoy adding it to your next batch of vanilla or cream cheese icing. It’s quite inexpensive, but has a short shelf life, so buy it in small quantities. Thanks, again, Veronica!!! 

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Holly Topped White Cupcakes #Christmas Week

Serves 14 cupcakes     adjust servings

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 23 mins
Total Time 1 hr 3 mins

Recipe adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook



  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shortening (like Crisco)
  • 3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • I teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon Crème Bouquet, optional


  • Red M & M's
  • Green jellied candy slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Mix together milk, lemon, and vanilla. Add half this mixture to the batter. Mix until just blended, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add half the dry ingredients and mix in well, followed by the remaining milk mixture, then the rest of the flour. Scrape down sides of bowl between additions.
  4. Divide batter into 14 or so spots in the muffin tins. Bake in the middle of the oven about 15 minutes (mine took 23 minutes) or until the tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove to rack to finish cooling.
  5. To make the icing, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix till smooth. Slowly add milk till icing reaches spreading consistency. Add flavorings and mix well.
  6. Ice cupcakes as desired. Top each with 3 red M & M's and 2 slices of jellied candies to decorate.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 502kcal Calories from fat 225
% Daily Value
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Carbohydrate 67g 22%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 54g
Protein 4g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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  1. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing with us on Foodie Friday. I’m featuring you on this week’s linky.


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