Photography by Alexandra Daum.
The great thing about Grinch cupcakes is that they don’t need to be perfect! The drawings are so silly, and he makes such different faces, that it makes absolute sense for the mouth to be a bit off-kilter.
These need a bit of patience to pipe, but otherwise are very easy and don’t necessarily need special piping tips. This is also one way to keep the amount of buttercream down a bit, avoiding an overly sweet cupcake with way too much icing.
If you love the Grinch too, try these cupcakes! They’re just right to make for a movie night with any version of the movie (I like the Jim Carrey one, he’s the most on-brand Grinch).
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
Tips and Notes
The food colouring in the cupcakes is optional, but it adds a bit more Grinchiness. You can, of course, use any cupcake base that you like – our confetti cupcakes are also nice here, especially with green sprinkles.
If using green food colouring, you might want to mix with a touch of yellow to get a better Grinch colour. I used yellow and blue, with a larger share of yellow to get a warmer green.
To make a Christmas Grinch, you can see our decorating video on Instagram here. It’s also a bit more simple.
You’ll need three piping tips to get the faces pictured. A petal tip for the eyes, a very small round tip for the black details, and any kind of swirl tip for the hair at the top.
If you don’t have any specific tips, don’t worry! Simply do round eyes and cut a very small hole in a piping bag (or zip-top) for the black elements. The base green icing is spread on with an offset spatula or butter knife.
Use any kind of candy hearts you can find, or leave them out altogether. You could also pipe little hearts if preferred.
More Christmas Recipes
- Muffin tin
- muffin cups
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- Wire rack
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- offset spatula or butter knife
- Piping bags
- Swirl icing tip
- Petal icing tip
- Small round icing tip
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose (white) flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Several drops green food colouring
- ½ cup milk
- 1 batch Easy Vanilla Frosting, divided
- Green food colouring
- Black food colouring
- Yellow food colouring
- 12 candy hearts, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, until very smooth and light in texture.
- Add the vanilla and green food colouring and mix to incorporate.
- Add half of the milk and mix on low speed until combined. Add half the flour mixture and mix. Repeat, being careful not to over-mix.
- Scoop the batter out into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup three-quarters full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden in colour and the cupcakes pass a toothpick test.
- Cool the muffins for about 10 minutes in the tin before removing to cool fully on a rack.
- The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, and freeze well. After frosting, it’s best to refrigerate (take them out half an hour before serving to soften the icing).
- To Decorate
- Make the buttercream, then divide into three parts to add food colouring. You need about ¼ cup each of yellow and black, and the remaining should be coloured green.
- Add the food colouring until the icing reaches the desired shade, then scoop into piping bags.
- For the green top, use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread an even layer of icing, creating a flat top.
- Use a swirl piping tip to pipe a swirl of green 'hair' at the top of the cupcake.
- Pipe the yellow eyes with a small petal tip, the larger part closer to the middle and moving outward to create a teardrop shape.
- Use a very small round tip for the black icing. Pipe two small dabs on the yellow eyes, followed by eyebrows, a half circle for the nose, and the smile.
- Optionally add a candy heart, and serve.