Make the Peppermint Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Combine milk and peppermint extract, and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients: cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of stand mixer and mix on low for 2-3 minutes.
- Add butter a few cubes at a time and mix on low until mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add egg whites and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Gradually add milk mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes until batter is smooth.
- Fold in crushed candy canes.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
Make the White Chocolate Buttercream:
- Cream butter, vegetable shortening and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, until smooth.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add in confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time while mixer is running.
- Once all the confectioners’ sugar is incorporated, add the milk and mix for 30 seconds.
- Melt white chocolate in microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each until melted. Incorporate melted chocolate into buttercream and mix until fluffy.
- Reserve ¼ cup buttercream and add a small amount of red color gel to tint.
- Prepare a small piping bag with the red buttercream and snip the tip off.
- Prepare a larger piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Streak the inside of the large piping bag with six stripes of red buttercream.
- Fill the rest of the bag with the White Chocolate Buttercream.
- Squeeze a swirled dollop of buttercream on top of each cupcake.
- Place cupcakes in the fridge to chill while preparing the ganache.
Make the White Chocolate Ganache and Assemble:
- Combine cream and white chocolate in microwave safe bowl and heat on 30- second intervals, stirring in between for about 1 minute.
- Stir until chocolate melts, allow to cool & thicken slightly for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a squeeze bottle and drizzle ganache over top of buttercream.
- Garnish each cupcake with a peppermint candy.