Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

After taking a nice long vacation due to needing to recover from all the MoFo action, I have returned… with an offering of cupcakes. Holiday themed cupcakes, at that!

Typically, I am not one to jump on the winter holiday excitement… due to being semi-ambivalent about the season, loathing cold weather, a disinterest in consumer driven holidays, as well as having such an aversion to Christmas music that I will avoid most retailers well past January 1st (I know… “bah-humbug”, right?). However, my son is an 8 year old boy. And he is the sweetest 8 year old boy I have ever come to love. And, he was begging us for a “traditional” Xmas setting in our home during the holidays this year. So, since my husband and I adore him… we broke down and put up a tree last night.

I’m pretty sure we go through this every single December. Ah, holidays.

I have to say, I do like the twinkling lights all over my house. I may actually leave them up. Maybe forever.

Also, we purchased a truckload of candy canes to decorate the tree with… and, oh boy, I can’t even tell you guys how much I love candy canes.  Especially combined with chocolate… and buttercream frosting. Every year I have to make myself some chocolatey-pepperminty-cupcakes to go with my ginormous mug of nog.

I guess this time of year isn’t all bad. I do love the over-consumption of baked goods part. :)

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

makes 9 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp xanthan
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy cane bits

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, cold
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 cups vegan confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp non dairy milk


Preheat oven to 350 °F and line 9 standard muffin cups with paper liners or lightly grease and flour your pan.

In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and melted margarine together until smooth.

In separate, smaller bowl, combine sorghum flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate flour mix into sugar mixture along with the non dairy milk, alternating between additions. Stir in vinegar, one tablespoon at a time.

Drop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into each cupcake cup until all batter is used. The batter is very sticky, so be prepared to use a spoon to help get it in the cups evenly. I really had to scrape my mixing bowl to get taht 9th cupcake.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Wait until cupcakes have cooled and then make your frosting.

To make frosting, simply cream margarine and peppermint extract until smooth. Next, add in confectioner’s sugar slowly until all is incorporated. Mix on highest setting possible until creamy. Add in 1 tbsp non dairy milk and whip until fluffy. Add in food coloring if desired.  I used both a mix of red and white icing to achieve the “candy cane” look. Simply place two bags next to each other in a larger piping bag and pipe as normal. Top with crushed candy cane pieces.

Store in covered container inside fridge to keep fresh.

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21 Responses to Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

  1. Nicole says:

    I love peppermint (especially with chocolate) and I love cupcakes. But I’m especially excited that these are gluten-free too. I really need to make more of an effort to eat gluten-free. And what a delicious effort these would be :)

  2. […] Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes from Manifest Vegan: […]

  3. jessy says:

    i have to say, Allyson – those are by far the prettiest cuppies i’ve seen!!! fo ‘sho. they’re so yummy looking and delicate and festive and the colors are glorious in the frosting, and mmmmmmmmm! i’m a bit of a grump myself when it comes to the holidays. i abhor all the consumer craziness (i started asking for donations to animal sanctuaries and food programs a few years ago instead of gifts i don’t need. which makes me feel a little better when people insist on getting me a gift.) and i’m not one for christmas music, unless i’m playing it on our piano – which is awesome because i skip all the songs i don’t care for and can stop anytime. ;) anyways……your cuppies are awesome and i think it’s the bees knees that you and your spouse put up a tree for your son. i am sure he sooooo super loves it – and lights, for as much of a grump as i am, do make me very happyfaced. we don’t decorate for the holidays, but i might just have to get some lights and string them around the house. yay!

  4. Katrina says:

    Cute cupcakes! Love your recipe.

  5. christine says:

    this look amazing! i’m a vegan who recently had to give up wheat and finding your blog has been a life saver. i have a long list of “to make” from your blog and these are going on it, too. thank you so much for sharing such fabulous recipes!

  6. Emmy says:

    They look perfect for Christmas!

  7. Mihl says:

    I hate Christmas songs, too. Unfortunaltey I work in a store. They have music. I should sue them.
    Those cupcakes are so beautiful! Thank you so much for the piping tip, I had no idea about this!

    • allyson says:

      oh geez! You know, I blame my one year stint at Barnes and Noble and working lotsa hours during xmas season for cementing my hatred for Christmas music. I’m so sorry, Mihl. You should sue them… just think of how much mental anguish your workplace is causing you!

      Happy Holidays! ;)

  8. kittee says:

    so amazingly pretty. so you can just put two bags together inside a larger bag with a tip. did you do halvsies or less for the colors? neat trick, never heard of it, but your results are so pretty!!!! i am officially off of sweets until i get better, but i just had pb toast and fig preserves for dinner, and realized the preserves were a no no. gah.


    • allyson says:

      Kittee, boo to no sweets. :( or maybe “yay!” ? ….but thank you for thinking they are pretty! It is a nifty trick, and not one I utilize often enough!

      So, yeah, you just place two bags side by side into another bag, both with equal amounts of icing + one large piping tip. It’s funny you say that the colored side may have less though, cuz it sure looks that way, huh? I may or may not have been twisting the bag weird when I was piping it out.. so I think that may have had something to do with it. You kinda have to finagle the two bags so they sit evenly in there too.. and like 2 part epoxy, squeeze til you get both colors flowing through. Oh geez, I just compared frosting to epoxy. mmmm….

  9. Kim says:

    WOWOWOW just beautiful, as usual! These look absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to try them out.

    Thanks :)

  10. I love chocolate and peppermint together!! We just recently made candy cane macaroons, just cannot get enough peppermint.

  11. Amey says:

    oh my goodness… just incredible! I love love love love love candycanes. And I especially love them in sweeties, like in ice cream or on cookies… or in cupcakes! I’ll definitely try this recipe! :)

    • allyson says:

      Thank you Amey! I am ridiculously in love with candy canes… we have about 5 flavors that I am currently munching on, literally. How on earth did I forget about candy cane ice cream?? I LOVE that stuff… must make it soon. :)

  12. Laurel says:

    Do you EVER put a foot wrong in the kitchen? No and that’s probably why I have checked your website at least half a dozen times every day since your last post. In fact, I was starting to worry about you. Instead you were at home trying every warding spell you know to counteract the mesmerizing effects of your little one’s pleading eyes. Not ever gonna happen. Give it up. Well, cheer up, just think of how many more sizes your heart is growing with the happiness you’ve brought him from something so simple. Is there anything better in the whole wide world?
    BTW every year since forever I’ve made about 20 batches of layered peppermint brownies. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to de-glutenize and veganize them so I can scarf them down with everyone else and now I don’t have to because cupcakes are even better, not to mention a whole lot easier. I’m kinda glad after all those warding spells didn’t work. I’m selfish that way. And bah, humbug to you too, my husband pulled out our Christmas tree and I started groaning and whining. He actually laughed at me when I asked if we couldn’t just skip the whole thing this year. Hmph!

    • allyson says:

      LOVE it! Thank you for sharing the holiday grumpies, Laurel. I can always count on you :)

      …and I was JUST dreaming about layered peppermint brownies… mmmmm. <3

  13. chefPriyanka says:

    oh my god, yum! I love the colors- so festive!

  14. Candy Cane cup cakes?!?!?! That is awesome! I really love the idea and they look phenomenal.

  15. Nicole says:

    Yum! I adore chocolate and mint, too.

    Like you, I also experience that “bah-humbug” feeling at this time of year. I have no interest in conforming to the consumer-driven holiday, and having a dysfunctional family with divorced parents doesn’t help. Baking has become my stress-reliever during this time of year. Your cupcakes are on my list!

  16. Brandi says:

    That cupcake looks fantastic! What a great way to use up some candy canes.