Cupcakes, Movies, Recipes

Buddy the Elf Spaghetti Christmas Cupcakes

Buddy the Elf Cupcakes

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”

On November 7th, 2003, the world was introduced to one of the most lovable Christmas heroes of all time- Buddy the Elf. It’s hard to believe the film is now 13 years old, but, then again, I’ve easily watched it well over 13 times. Buddy’s whimsical world makes it impossible to resist Christmas spirit- all the way from the “seven layers of the candy cane forest”, “through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops”, and finally arriving at the Lincoln Tunnel. The juxtaposition of Buddy’s festive innocence against New Yorkers’ rushed hostility is enough to get viewers laughing, but the visual of 6’3″ Will Ferrell in an elf suit doesn’t hurt either.

While undoubtedly a comedy, Elf reaches beyond slapstick and brings America a genuine and nostalgic Christmas classic. Buddy’s dopey innocence is not only ridiculous, but also endearing. Filmmakers intentionally included nods to many Christmas classics, (Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and A Christmas Story to name a few,) to bring the familiarity of festive movies viewers grew up watching. Differently, the film also brought with it countless new quotable moments, as we now collectively as a society understand that “cotton-headed ninny muggins” is most certainly an insult. However, here are a few facts you may not know about this Christmas classic:

Elf Cupcakes

Jim Carrey was the original Buddy the Elf

Screenwriter David Berenbaum originally drafted the script for Elf back in 1993, with Jim Carrey in mind for the lead role. However, Carrey eventually turned the offer down, as the movie was stuck in development phase while he had offers flooding in after Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. While I could definitely imagine a Jim Carrey Elf, Will Ferrell created an unforgettable Buddy the Elf and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Will Ferrell once worked as a department store Santa

Perhaps Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf so well because of his real life experience. He actually worked as Santa at an outdoor shopping mall during his days with the Groundlings- a Los Angeles improv comedy troupe where many current SNL cast members got their start. Fellow comedian Chris Kattan played his elf for five weeks while the comedic pair passed out candy canes.

Will Ferrell turned down $29 million to do a sequel to Elf

With $220 million in box office sales, the idea of an Elf 2 naturally came to light. Turning down the staggering offer of $29 million, Ferrell felt he simply couldn’t bear if the sequel turned out poorly. “‘It wasn’t difficult at all,’ he says. ‘I remember asking myself: could I withstand the criticism when it’s bad and they say, “He did the sequel for the money”? I decided I wouldn’t be able to. I didn’t want to wander into an area that could erase all the good work I’ve done – but you watch, I’ll do some sequel in the future that’s crap.” Personally, I want to thank him for understanding the value of a classic film. We don’t need Elf 2 or 3, just like we really don’t need the Santa Claus 2 or 3 (I’m still upset about those).

Buddy the Elf

The Cupcakes

One of the most iconic scenes in Elf is undoubtedly Buddy’s spaghetti “breakfast.” Featuring pasta topped with maple syrup, chocolate sauce, marshmallows, and M&M’s, viewers can’t help but groan while watching Ferrell genuinely take a bite of his character’s concoction. While nauseating in the movie, I decided to create a much tastier nod to the iconic scene. I created a maple cupcake, topped with “spaghetti” vanilla buttercream and some of Buddy’s favorite toppings. The sugar content in this dessert is sure to power you through any Christmas movie marathon.

Pro Tip: To create the “spaghetti,” pipe buttercream with a Wilton No.233 icing tip. Typically used to pipe grass, this tip works perfectly to create loopy piles of spaghetti!

Maple Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 35m
  • Serves: 12
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/3 c maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line 12 muffin tins.
  2. Beat the sugar, butter, and extract on medium speed with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy- about 4 minutes.
  3. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Alternate adding in the dry flour mixture and the milk into the butter/sugar mixture. Once all ingredients are incorporated, carefully stream in the maple syrup.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Fill prepared cupcake tins 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 10m
  • Yield: 3 cups


  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c shortening, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 c confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, shortening and salt with an electric mixer until fluffy, (about three minutes.)
  2. Slowly add in confectioner\'s sugar, one cup at a time. Once all the confectioner\'s sugar is added, beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the milk and vanilla. Beat for an additional 3 minutes until fluffy and smooth.

Elf Cupcakes