Christmas is fast approaching so the festive baking is well under way!! Christmas is my favourite time of year and I am so so excited! I officially have all the presents, wrapping paper and cards that I need to get! So with everything else being so organised it’s about time I got my Christmas baking organised!
I woke up on Saturday and I wanted to bake something really fun but I didn’t want to have to go out and buy lots of specific ingredients and tools.I realised that I’ve become a bit too much of a perfectionist with my baking (I’ve been doing a lot of baking that I haven’t posted about, most of which I will post in the new year because I’m wanting to get in the festive spirit while I can!).
Almost everything I’ve made so far I have gone out and bought the most specific ingredients or things I need to bake them in, with etc and that isn’t really what baking is about! Baking – in my opinion – is about creating something out of those staple ingredients most people have in their home and making something beautiful with them. So I decided I would use what I already have, not buy anything new and see where I end up. The result were these super cute Christmas tree and snowflake cupcakes and I really love them! Admittedly, not all people would have these specific decorations already but I had used them previously and there are so many things that can be put on a Christmas tree that the sky is the limit here!
Cupcakes – makes 18 small cupcakes, or 12 large cupcakes.
- 150g unsalted butter
- 120g self-raising flour
- 3/4 teaspoon cornflour
- 165g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250g unsalted butter
- 5oog icing sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 150c / gas mark 2 / 300 F. Prepare your cupcake tin with your cases so that you are ready to go! I actually use a “muffin” tin rather than cupcake as they are a bit deeper.
Now here’s where things get controversial, first step is normally to cream the butter and sugar right? You can do that if you want, but one of the great things about this recipe is that you can just put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
If you have a stand mixer (lucky you, I’m jealous!) then you can chuck everything in and mix for around one minute. Otherwise, put all ingredients for the cupcakes in to a bowl and mix with your electric mixer, it may take a little longer for everything to come together. Either way, make sure the butter is at room temperature before you incorporate and not just out of the fridge.
Once incorporated, fill your cases with the cupcake mix. If you fill the cases to around half way, you will get a smaller cup cake with a flat top sitting just below the level of the case. If you fill any higher, around 3/4 you will get a domed cupcake that will sit above the level of the case. As we are piping buttercream on to these it is best to have a flat top on your cupcake.
Place cupcakes in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. As we have gone for the smaller cupcake these should bake for around 15 minutes rather than 20 so keep an eye on them. You don’t want them to get a golden brown crusting on top as this will make the cupcake dry out! When you are happy with the colour of the cupcakes, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
Now it’s time to make our buttercream, again really easy just put all of your ingredients (icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract) in to a bowl and get ready to mix. As I don’t have a stand mixer this gets really really REALLY messy. Icing sugar quite literally gets everywhere 🙁 so I incorporate my sugar and butter together with a spoon before using my electric mixer to try and minimise the amount of icing sugar that is going to fly out! You just want to mix until they come together in to a thicker mixture and there are no lumps of anything in there.
I then split my buttercream in to two bowls with around 2/3 in one bowl 1/3 in another. This is because the Christmas trees need a lot more buttercream than the snowflak cupcakes.
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
So the bowl with more mixture is the one we want to turn this green. I used Sugarflair gel colour in mint green – it took so much of the gel to get it to turn this green! I normally use a toothpick to get small amounts of gel out of the pot but with this I was just pouring the gel over!
I used Wilton tip 2D to pipe these swirls and just went round and round until I got a height I was happy with! I sprinkled over the decorations I already had (small white snowflakes and white edible balls) and I used the extra snowflakes I had from my snowflake cupcakes as my toppers!
Now to turn the remainder of our buttercream blue, I used a tiny amount of Ice blue sugarflair and instantly got this beautiful colour.
I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe the rose swirls underneath the snowflakes. I had two different size snowflake cutters and used these to cut out my snowflake shapes from white fondant mixed with Tylo powder to ensure they kept their shape.
Once my snowflakes had hardened and were keeping their shape I dusted them with some silver lustre dust and placed on my cupcakes.
I am so in love with these cupcakes. If you make some yourself I would love to know how they turn out or if you come up with some of your own decorative designs please share with me and leave a comment below!
If you have any questions on this recipe please contact me here!
Love Amy x