Grinch Cupcakes

While Love Actually is my favorite holiday movie, The Grinch (the Jim Carrey version) is a close second. I watch it every holiday season, and it never fails to touch my heart. I’m sure I’m just a big mush, but it makes me cry everytime.

That’s what inspired me to make these cupcakes. The size of the Grinch’s heart is brought up throughout the movie, and I wanted to incorporate that into these grinch inspired cupcakes.

I also decided to let that guide the flavor I picked!

image of grinch cupcakes with hearts that grow 3 times in size

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I was super torn over what color these cupcakes should be. Red or green?!

Luckily the color was the hardest decision, because I knew I wanted to use my red velvet cupcake recipe for these.

I ended up making a batch of both green velvet and red velvet, and then decided to go with red velvet. It had a better contrast with the green cream cheese frosting.

I also thought it did a better job signifying the love and Christmas cheer that the Grinch has at the end of the movie.

image of scooping red velvet cupcake batter into cupcake liners

Too cheesy? I’ll have you know I watched all three version of the grinch while making these Grinch cupcakes and my Grinch cake, and I cried at the end of two them. It’s all hearts and love and Christmas cheer in my kitchen this time of year 🙂

So Tasty, Your Heart Will Grow 3x

All jokes aside about how delicious these cupcakes are, the Grinch’s growing heart is the inspiration for the decoration of the cupcakes. I used a set of heart shaped cutters to cut out three different sized hearts with red fondant.

image of three heart shaped cookie cutters

I don’t work with fondant much, so I usually just use pre-made fondant I order on Amazon. If you feel really adventurous, you can definitely make your own!

However, you don’t need much for this design. You only need to cut out 12 hearts, which uses about 1/2 cup of fondant. I thought pre-made fondant worked great for it 🙂 I usually use Wilton or Satin Ice fondant for small decorations like this.

I cut out my fondant hearts and set them aside for about an hour before adding them to the cupcakes. This gives them a chance to firm up, so they can keep their shape once you press them into the frosting.

Making The Grinch’s Fur with Buttercream

To make the fur on these Grinch cupcakes, I used a large grass tip! I prefer using the Wilton 234 frosting tip, which is quite a bit larger than the classic grass tip.

image of piping green buttercream fur onto a grinch cupcake

I love it because it makes piping fur go so much more quickly! However, if you only have the smaller grass tip on hand, that will work just fine! It just might take a bit more time.

When piping buttercream, the heat from your hands can transfer into your buttercream. This can change the consistency of you frosting and make it thinner. It also can deepen the color of your buttercream if it’s colored with food coloring.

It sounds wild, but it happens to most people! Luckily my hands are almost always cold, but even I get some heat transfer.

If you find this is happening to you, you can wrap either a thin kitchen towel or a paper towel around your piping bag. This will help protect your frosting, and minimize the transfer of heat from your hands.

A Pretty Sprinkle Base

I’m sure you also noticed the pretty sprinkle base that all that green cream cheese frosting fur is sitting on top of.

It might be that I’m a sprinkle addict, but I felt like these cupcakes needed something else. This step is totally optional, but I think it really adds to the finished look.

The technique is super simple. You just pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake, and then dunk them into a bowl filled with a pretty sprinkle blend.

This sprinkle blend had a nice variety of greens and blue, and for some reason felt grinchy to me.

image of grinch cupcakes with hearts that grow 3x in size

If you need to refresh your sprinkle collection, or want to try out a fancy sprinkle blend, I highly recommend trying these!

You can also use the code ‘CHELSWEETS15’ to get 15% off your entire order from Sweetapolita.

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try my grinch cupcakes recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂

image of easy grinch cupcakes for grinch birthday party
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Grinch Cupcakes

Grinch Cupcakes

These Grinch cupcakes are easy to make & absolutely delicious! They're made with red velvet cupcakes, and frosted with a green cream cheese frosting. In fact, they're so tasty they'll make your heart grow three sizes!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (56 grams)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (57 grams)
  • 1 egg (56 grams)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (114 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar (5 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (3 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (4 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (163 grams)
  • 1 squirt of red gel food coloring (or 1 1/2 tsp liquid food coloring)

Green Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (169 grams) - 1 1/2 sticks
  • 1/4 cup full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (56 grams or 2 oz.)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (375 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (15 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • green gel food coloring

Additional Tools

  • piping bag
  • wilton 234 frosting tip
  • fancy christmas sprinkles
  • red fondant
  • heart shaped cutters

Instructions

Red Velvet Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Line a standard sized muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and vegetable oil.
  4. Mix in the egg, buttermilk, white vinegar and vanilla extract.
  5. Add granulated sugar, and whisk for 30 seconds to help the dissolve the sugar.
  6. Sift in the cocoa powder, and baking soda, and add the salt. Whisk until no clumps remain.
  7. Add red gel food coloring, and mix until the batter is evenly colored a deep shade of red.
  8. Mix the flour into the batter in two installments.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins, and bake for about 18-20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs).
  10. Remove the cupcake pan from the oven, and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan, and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar on a very low speed, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. 
  4. Add in a generous squirt of green gel food coloring, and mix until the frosting is a bright green.
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 tablespoon at a time).
  6. If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time).
  7. Place frosting in a piping bag fitted with a wilton 234 (or large grass) frosting tip.

Red Velvet Cupcake Decoration:

  1. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, pipe a small swirl of buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake.
  2. Dunk each cupcake into bowl of fancy sprinkles.
  3. Pipe another medium swirl on top of the sprinkle base, and pipe fur around this using a wilton 234 frosting tip.
  4. Cut out 3 different sized hearts with red fondant, than place it on the green frosting.

Notes

These cupcake can be made in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for:

  • 2 days at room temp
  • Up to a week in the fridge
  • Up to 3 months in the freezer

If you have extra buttercream you don't use, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 440 Total Fat 23g Saturated Fat 11g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 10g Cholesterol 63mg Sodium 325mg Carbohydrates 58g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 0g Sugar 48g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g

4 thoughts on “Grinch Cupcakes

  1. These would be perfect for my sons party at school next week. Question for you. It looks like the first frosting swirl is white but the directions sound like you dye all the frosting green. Is that first swirl green as well?

    1. Hi Sheila,

      I haven’t tested it out, so sadly I’m not sure! It’s a pretty moist recipe though, so be sure to really liberally butter and flour your bundt pan if you try it.

      If you do try it, please let me know how it goes. I’d love to know 🙂

Let me know what you think!