Elf is a favorite classic holiday movie for many families! This festive cupcake recipe pays special tribute to Buddy the Elf’s four food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and maple syrup. Make these Elf Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting for your next holiday party and they are sure to be a hit!
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What do I need to make the Elf Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting?
The cupcake and buttercream frosting recipe is simple to make, but it does require about an hour and a half to prepare. Here are the ingredients you will need:
For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the buttercream frosting:
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, softened (6 sticks)
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Elf decorations:
Looking for more festive holiday treat recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!
How do I make the Elf Cupcakes?
These adorable cupcakes are easy to make in just a few simple steps. However, they do take an hour to bake and they will need to completely cool before frosting and decorating them. So, it is best to plan ahead if you want to make them for a holiday party. Here is what you will need to do to make the cupcakes and the buttercream frosting.
Step 1: Prepare the cupcake batter
In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Next beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk, until just combined. Finally, mix in the vanilla extract.
Step 2: Bake the cupcakes
Prepare cupcake tins with liners and divide batter between them to make 24 cupcakes (this may need to be done in batches depending on the size of your tins). Now, this is the most important part, YOU HAVE TO PUT THESE IN A COLD oven. Then set the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Step 3: Make the buttercream frosting
Meanwhile make your buttercream. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer whip the butter until fluffy. Next, gently add in the powdered sugar. Once incorporated add the in the vanilla extract. Then, add in milk until the frosting is a nice and thick, but pipeable consistency.
Step 4: Decorate the cupcakes
Place the buttercream in a large ziploc bag and snip off the end.Pipe the buttercream on each cupcakes. Sprinkle all the cupcakes with holiday sprinkles. Then, top 6 of the cupcakes with gumdrops, 6 of them with candy corn, 6 of them with mini candy canes and drizzle the remaining 6 with maple syrup. Serve and enjoy!
How do I store the Elf Cupcakes?
The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 3 days. You can prepare the buttercream frosting ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in airtight container for up to 2 weeks before use.
Elf Cupcake Tips and Tricks
- Prepare Buttercream Frosting ahead of time: The buttercream frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to two weeks. The frosting can also be stored in a covered container on the counter, but will need to be used within 3 days.
- Decorate Cupcakes right before serving: To preserve the adorable appearance of the cupcakes, I like to frost them and add the decorations right before serving. This is especially important for the cupcakes with maple syrup!
- Refrigerate Cupcakes after they are decorated: Once the cupcakes are decorated, it is best to store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator so they will last longer. Then, allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Easy Elf Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
For Buttercream Frosting:
Elf Cupcake Decorations:
- Holiday Sprinkles
- Mini Candy Canes
- Candy Corn
- Maple Syrup
- To make the cupcakes:
- Prepare cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Next beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk, until just combined.
- Mix in vanilla extract.
- Divide batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners.
- Now this is the most important part, YOU HAVE TO PUT THESE IN A COLD oven.
- Then, set the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
- To make buttercream frosting: (this can be done while cupcakes bake)
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer whip the butter until fluffy.
- Next gently add in the powdered sugar,
- When butter and powdered sugar are well combined, add the in the vanilla extract.
- Next, add in milk until the frosting is a thick, but pipeable consistency.
- Place the buttercream in a large ziploc bag and snip off the end.
- Pipe the buttercream on each cupcakes.
- Sprinkle all the cupcakes with holiday sprinkles.
- Top 6 of the cupcakes with gumdrops, 6 of them with candy corn, 6 of them with mini candy canes and drizzle the remaining 6 with maple syrup.
- Serve and enjoy!