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Elf Cupcakes

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling


22 cupcakes

Rich and buttery vanilla cupcakes have a tender crumb and make a perfect base for these whimsical elves lost in fluffy frosting. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Elf Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 44 miniature candy canes
  • Pastel miniature marshmallows
  • Candy cane kisses


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 22 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and 1 egg at a time. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well.
  3. Fill prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat butter, shortening and vanilla until blended; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Spread over cupcakes.
  5. To decorate, break off curved end of candy canes; reserve straight portion for elf legs. Cut strawberry or lime marshmallows diagonally in half and attach to legs for shoes; insert into frosting. Cut orange marshmallows diagonally in half for ears. Insert kisses and orange marshmallows for elf heads.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake: 422 calories, 19g fat (10g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 218mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (49g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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