Candy cane buttercream frosting is perfect for holiday baking! A smooth and creamy American buttercream flavored with crushed peppermint hard candy and whipped until light and fluffy. This frosting tastes just like the holidays!
Ingredients for Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting
- Unsalted butter: Room temperature.
- Peppermint hard candy: You can use the round peppermint hard candies or candy canes! Grind the peppermint candy into a super fine powder to add to the buttercream.
- Powdered sugar: Adds sweetness and structure to the buttercream.
- Vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla extract adds a bit of vanilla flavor.
- Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the buttercream and provides a bit of contrast from the sweetness.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream helps the buttercream whip up to be light and fluffy.
How to Make Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting
Peppermint buttercream frosting only takes about 15 minutes to make! I recommend using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment if you have it for the best results. You can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Whip the room temperature butter for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add in finely crushed peppermint hard candy and mix until well combined.
- Add in half the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is combined with the butter. Then add the remaining half and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt and continue to mix on low until combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after this step to ensure everything is well mixed.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip the buttercream for 5 to 10 minutes. This step is key to make the buttercream light and smooth and to achieve the right consistency. Mix until the peppermint candy is fully dissolved and the buttercream is creamy.
- (Optional) Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low speed for an additional 5 minutes to remove air bubbles and made the buttercream silky smooth.
Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting Recipe Tips
Make the best buttercream
Finely grind the peppermint candy for best results
The peppermint hard candy or candy canes need to be ground into a fine powder to add to the buttercream. The best way to do this is with a food processor. You will want the peppermint candy powder to be as fine as possible, resembling powdered sugar. If there are any chunks, they will not dissolve into the buttercream. If you don’t want to use the peppermint candy method, use my vanilla buttercream recipe and replace the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Whip the buttercream to dissolve the peppermint candy
The key to making this buttercream light and fluffy is to whip it for a long time. The peppermint hard candy powder that is added can make the buttercream grainy. To make it smooth and silky, you will want to whip the buttercream for at least 10 full minutes to dissolve the peppermint candy. This step is KEY to making this buttercream light, fluffy, and smooth.
Storing the buttercream
The buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To use, bring the buttercream to room temperature and rewhip with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting
- Stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer
- Food processor
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup peppermint hard candy finely ground
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add in room temperature unsalted butter. Whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides occasionally. The butter will be light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Grind the peppermint candies in a food processor to a fine powder. Add in finely ground peppermint hard candy to the whipped butter and mix until combined.
- Add one half of the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed setting until fully combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix on low until incorporated.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and mix on low until combined.
- Increase speed to medium on the mixer and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Turn the mixer speed to high and whip for 5 to 10 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy. This step is important as it will help dissolve the peppermint candy and make the buttercream smooth.
- If desired, switch to a paddle attachment on the stand mixer and mix buttercream on low speed for 2 additional minutes to remove air bubbles to create smooth frosting.