Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Cupcakes

I'm really feeling the Christmas spirit at the moment! Especially as it's my last day in work this year (I've got 12 days off over Christmas!) and we are having a huge, delicious, food-filled buffet on my team. My contribution was these Christmas cupcakes. The Snowman Cupcake you see above, and an attempt at Santa Hat Cupcakes further down this post. I also got baking goodies in my Secret Santa gift, which I am very pleased with!

First I must introduce you to the new love of my food mixer!! It's by Andrew James and is a slightly early Christmas present. It cut the time it took me to make these cupcakes down by about 90 minutes! Mixing by hand takes so long, I love this machine! It has four attachments, 6 speeds and is just generally fabulous.

The sponge for these cupcakes is Red Velvet, so I started by mixing 165g butter and 300g caster sugar until softened and fluffy.

I then added 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 eggs, and mixed some more.

I weighed out my dry ingredients, which were 70g self raising flour, 200g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, and 20g cocoa powder. I added these to the bowl along with 225ml milk.

I mixed it all well and added an absolute ton of red food colouring! It still didn't go as red as I wanted, but I had to save some of the red food colouring for the red icing I was doing for the Santa Hat Cupcakes. I used gel colour as I heard it was stronger, but I wasn't pleased with it at all. I think I will stock up on Sugarflair colours as they seem to be the strongest pigments and you need much less of them and get a brighter colour.

I got 12 large and 12 small cupcakes out of this batter. I baked them on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20mins. They definitely weren't as red as I wanted.

I wanted my icing to by pure white, so I got this icing whitener. However a whole bottle of it later and my icing was slight showing a hint of yellow. I didn't realise how much of this needed to be used either! 

My 'white' buttercream was made by mixing 300g icing sugar, 2 heaped tsp cream cheese and 150g butter.

My red icing was made with a whole heap of red food colouring (and some pink when I ran out of red!), 200g icing sugar, 100g butter, and one 1 heaped tsp cream cheese. I also added a bit more icing sugar at the end as the amount of food colouring I used made it go quite wet.

I started with decorating the Snowmen Cupcakes first. I swirled white icing on the tops, keeping it quite flat.

I decorated marshmallows with writing icing for the snowmen's heads.

I pressed the marshmallow head onto the buttercream.

I wrapped three strawberry laces, cut to length, around the snowman's neck for the scarf.

I snapped an orange chocolate stick in half for his arms, and used three liquorice cakes for his hat. And Mr. Snowman was ready! I thought he looked super cute, but a cocktail stick would've been handy to keep his head and hat on his body. as the hat was heavier than the head I did have some decapitation issues!

I decorated the Santa Hat Cupcakes with a swirl of white icing using a star nozzle, then a big swirl of not quite red enough icing with a circle nozzle, and finally a little blob of white on top for the hat's bobble. I thought these looked cute too, but a few people had trouble recognising what they were! Taste for both cupcakes was rated highly, so I can't complain!

This might be my last post before Christmas day, so I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas! And thank you for reading! Hope Santa brings you all the baking goodies you want! :)


  1. Love the cuypcakes! And the mixer's a serious piece of kit. I think I know what you'll be doing this christmas!! Have a top one!