As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, there’s nothing quite like a delicious cupcake to help brighten your day and decorate the holiday dessert table.
You may be feeling like you’ve had your fill of pumpkin spice, but don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of winter cupcake flavors to get you excited for the season.
From classic flavors like eggnog, gingerbread and peppermint, to cute-themed Christmas cupcakes reindeer and snowmen, there’s something for everyone.
We’ve also included plenty of gluten-free and vegan winter cupcake flavors and recipes too.
In the big list below, you’ll find dozens of delicious winter cupcake recipes and flavor ideas that will keep you cozy all season long. So pull out your muffin tin and get baking!
Winter Cupcake Flavors
If you’re here to get your creative juices flowing with cupcake and frosting combinations ideas for the holidays, you’re in the right spot.
Before we jump into the recipes, here’s a quick list of popular flavors for winter and Christmas cupcakes.
- Chocolate Gingerbread
- Peppermint Mocha
- White Chocolate Peppermint
- Candy Cane
- Hot Chocolate / Hot Cocoa
- Toasted Marshmallow
- Cranberry Orange
- Sugared Cranberry
- Chocolate Orange
- Spiced Apple
- Apple Cider
- Brown Butter
- Sugar Cookie
- Salted Caramel
- Red Velvet
- Fruit Cake
- Pumpkin Spice
- Sweet Potato
- Butter Pecan
- Spiced Rum
- Buttered Rum
- Mulled Wine
Classic Winter Cupcake Recipes
Now that your head is filled with all the flavor possibilities, here are some great recipes to make your winter flavor dreams come to life.
In this first section, you’ll find recipes for all of the classic holiday cupcake flavors like eggnog and gingerbread.
Gingerbread cupcakes are the perfect wintertime cupcake flavor, offering all the warmth and comfort of classic gingerbread cookies in a delicious, bite-sized package.
These tasty treats are infused with the rich flavor of molasses and the warming spice notes of ginger and cinnamon, creating a deliciously spiced base that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
And since they’re topped with cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes have just enough sweetness to satisfy your cravings but not so much that you’ll feel weighed down.
Eggnog is a classic holiday beverage that is often enjoyed during the colder months of the year. It also makes a delicious and unique cupcake flavor!
Topped with snowy white eggnog frosting, these fluffy vanilla eggnog cupcakes provide the perfect sweet treat to enjoy as you cozy up next to the fire on a cold winter evening.
Nothing takes the chill out of winter like a mug of hot cocoa. These hot chocolate cupcakes are made with real hot chocolate in the batter, infusing each one with rich flavor. But that’s not all.
They are also filled with a generous helping of marshmallow fluff, adding a gooey sweetness that takes these tasty treats to a whole new level.
And of course, hot cocoa cupcakes aren’t complete without a swirl of decadent vanilla whipped cream frosting on top!
When it comes to winter flavors, nothing beats the rich and delicious taste of peppermint mocha. These homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with espresso powder and peppermint extract for a bold flavor.
They are topped off with a creamy whipped peppermint cocoa frosting that is infused with the cooling sensation of pure peppermint extract.
And to really get into the festive spirit, these cupcakes are decorated with a mini candy cane on top, making them a cute sweet treat for a holiday gathering or family celebration.
To make these delicious cupcakes packed with classic holiday flavor, you’ll start by using a white (or yellow) cake mix and stirring in some melted white chocolate.
The finishing swirl of red and white icing on top adds an extra dose of holiday cheer.
These gingerbread cupcakes with a twist feature a deliciously rich chocolatey flavor, combined with warming hints of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
The cocoa powder and chocolate chips in the batter give these cupcakes a rich, decadent texture.
To top it all off, this tasty dessert is topped with a smooth and creamy homemade cream cheese frosting and festive sprinkles.
With the deep red color of the cake and the crisp white cream cheese frosting, red velvet cupcakes are a fun and delicious way to kick off your winter celebrations.
The cream cheese frosting is silky, smooth, and creamy, providing the perfect complement to the tender, moist and vibrantly red cake.
Boozy Holiday Cupcakes
If you’re looking for a festive cupcake filled with holiday spirits (pun intended), these boozy treats will do the trick.
Rumchata is the perfect winter cupcake flavor. The sweet creamy Rumchata is subtly spiced with traditional Christmas flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Plus it has just the right amount of sweetness to balance out its warming spices.
Buttered rum is a classic winter flavor that perfectly embodies the cozy, comforting feeling of the season. This flavor lends itself beautifully to cupcakes, with rich spiced rum flavors in every bite.
The batter is infused with rum, giving each cake a delicious and boozy taste. These cupcakes are then brushed with butter rum syrup to ensure an extra dose of warm, sweet flavor.
Finally, they are topped off with rich and creamy rum buttercream frosting for the perfect finishing touch.
Whether you’re craving a rich, boozy treat to keep you warm on a long winter night or just in the mood for a festive, seasonal cupcake, bourbon eggnog is an excellent choice.
Slightly spiced with toasty nutmeg and topped with a little Christmas cookie, these tasty treats taste like a dream.
With their rich flavor and delicate texture, bourbon eggnog cupcakes might just become your new go-to wintertime recipe.
Unique Holiday Cupcake Flavors
The cupcakes in this section capture traditional holiday flavors and combine them in creative ways.
The spicy chai flavors of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg give these cupcakes a warm, comforting feel that is perfect for cold weather.
The decadent mascarpone cheese frosting adds just the right touch of sweetness and ginger to pull everything together.
Sticky toffee pudding is a classic winter dessert that is beloved by many. So why not take this iconic winter flavor to the next level by transforming it into cupcakes?
They have all the great flavors of traditional sticky toffee pudding, but they’re made even more delicious with a lightly whipped caramel cream frosting and an extra drizzle of sticky, sweet caramel sauce.
With the cold weather settling in, nothing is quite as satisfying as a steaming mug of your favorite hot beverage. And if you’re a fan of chai spices or espresso, then dirty chai cupcakes are the perfect way to indulge this winter.
As their name suggests, these cupcakes are made with an indulgent brown butter chai spice cake base that’s infused with rich brewed espresso.
But what really takes these cupcakes to the next level is the decadent brown butter chai spice frosting that’s piped on top.
These delicious cupcakes perfectly blend two rich, seasonal flavors: tart cranberries and sweet apple cider. The apple cider cupcakes are topped with a velvety smooth, cranberry Swiss meringue buttercream.
Each cupcake is finished with a sugared cranberry for an extra dash of sweetness and holiday cheer.
For this recipe, you’ll start off with fresh cranberries, which infuse the cupcakes with their sweet, tangy flavor. The cranberry is complemented with a hint of orange zest in both the cake and frosting. The frosting gets an extra dose of flavor with a splash of real orange juice.
To make these cupcakes even more irresistible, they are finished off with a sugared cranberry on top for a beautiful burst of color and texture.
Sweet potatoes may not be the first flavor that comes to mind when you’re thinking about winter treats, but they are a perfect choice for that time of year.
The sweet potato cupcakes have all of the cozy, comforting flavors that really capture the essence of winter, with hints of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon mingling together in each bite.
And let’s not forget about their creamy marshmallow frosting, which adds just the right amount of sweetness and decadence.
Apple pie always has a place at the holiday dessert table. This year, mix it up a little with apple pie cupcakes!
These sweet treats are the ultimate combination of spice cake and apple pie, with a mouthwatering spiced apple topping and creamy cinnamon icing.
Christmas Theme Decorated Cupcakes
It’s no secret that kids love Christmas. They also love cupcakes, so adding decorated holiday cupcakes to your Christmas break bucket list is a no-brainer. Below are some super cute decorated cupcakes that the whole family can help with.
Homemade Funfetti Christmas cupcakes are the perfect treat for a cold and snowy winter day. These light and fluffy cupcakes have a deliciously sweet vanilla flavor.
They are packed full of colorful holiday sprinkles that add a festive burst of color to any dessert spread.
To top it all off, these cupcakes are topped with a smooth, creamy layer of rich vanilla buttercream that makes each bite even more delicious.
These creative treats will add a festive flair to your dessert table. They are truly showstoppers that look complicated but are actually so easy to make.
The cute little winter trees are made with fresh rosemary and a dusting of powdered sugar that looks like fresh, fallen snow.
Inspired by the Frozen movies, these cupcakes are topped with a swirl of white and blue frosting and decorated with pretty icing snowflakes to create a magical effect.
These cute little treats are made with a delicious homemade chocolate cupcake that is decorated with pieces of peppermint patty, shredded coconut, and chocolate-covered raisins to mimic the shape of a polar bear paw.
These delicious treats start with a classic peppermint cupcake base and are then topped with Grinch-inspired Santa hats made out of rich and creamy peppermint buttercream.
With their bright green and red colors and fun, whimsical design, Grinch cupcakes are a perfect way to add some cheer to any winter gathering or celebration.
These delicious homemade vanilla cupcakes are topped with fluffy red and white frosting, to form a perfectly festive Santa hat! These cute cupcakes are quick, easy and fun for the kids to help with.
These adorable sweet treats are covered in red and green fondant Mickey mouse decorations, complete with holly sprinkles and crushed peppermint candy. This recipe is a fun one for the kids to help with too.
With plenty of sweet flavors and eye-catching decorations, a wreath-decorated cupcake is a perfect way to celebrate the season.
These festive cupcakes are made with green, white, and red buttercream frosting, and they’re topped with colorful Christmas sprinkles to really bring out the holiday spirit.
These cute Christmas tree cupcakes start with a chocolate cake mix, which is then topped with delicious homemade vanilla buttercream and dusted with coconut for extra “snowy” sweetness.
The tasty green Christmas tree toppers are made from melted white chocolate and Pocky sticks.
In this version of Christmas Tree cupcakes, the trees are made from sugar cones that have been turned upside down. They form the perfect base for the green Wilton Candy Melts that get poured over the top.
To finish off the look, these cupcakes are topped with sprinkles and a candy snowflake for some extra holiday sparkle!
Get ready to have a blast decorating these adorable reindeer faces! These cute reindeer cupcakes are surprisingly easy to create.
To decorate, you’ll need chocolate buttercream frosting, pretzels for the antlers, candy eyes, some vanilla wafers for the face and a red M&M’s Rudolph’s nose.
You may also like: Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats (Easy Christmas Recipe)
These adorable little reindeer look like they just hopped right out of the snowy forest.
There’s no need to use tricky fondant to create this festive design. Just a trusty piping bag, some homemade vanilla and chocolate frosting, and your imagination will do the trick.
These cute, festive snowman cupcakes are made with a delicious chocolate cupcake base covered with vanilla frosting.
Add a marshmallow to create the snowman’s head and add details with sprinkles and draw adorable faces and arms using black icing.
Gluten-Free Christmas Cupcake Flavors
With the growing popularity of gluten-free diets these days, many people are on the hunt for delicious and festive holiday cupcake recipes to fit their lifestyles.
Luckily, there are tons of tasty and creative options out there to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.
- Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Peppermint Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Hazelnut Cupcakes With Caramel Buttercream
- Gluten-Free Candy Cake Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Eggnog Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
Pro Tip: You can buy gluten-free cupcakes online from Baked By Melissa! They specialize in bite-sized cupcakes in delicious flavors that can be shipped nationwide.
Vegan Christmas Cupcake Flavors
If you’re looking for something special that works with your diet to enjoy this holiday season, why not try out one of these yummy vegan cupcake recipes?
- Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
- Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes With Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vegan White Chocolate Cupcakes
- Vegan Christmas Tree Cupcakes
- Vegan Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
- Vegan Eggnog Cupcakes
Pro Tip: You can also buy vegan cupcakes from Baked By Melissa! Order their mini cupcakes online for nationwide shipping.