Written by Claire Goodwin

Food

Recipe: Christmas cupcakes

Fancy causing an excitable hoo-ha at the school Christmas fair? Crack on with these festive fancies from ace baker Claire Goodwin. There’ll be oohing, ahhing, yumming and nomming aplenty. Kiddywink involvement optional.

Too cute to eat? Nah... Get stuck in!

Too cute to eat? Nah… Get stuck in!

It’s that time of year again, and I thought all you yummy mummies (or indeed daddies) may appreciate a little Christmas cupcake workshop so you can show off at the school Christmas fair. Obviously you can get the spawn to help – you wouldn’t want to embarrass the other parents’ efforts with your culinary prowess after all. I’ve made the instructions as visual as possible to help you get those tiny fingers involved.

The cupcake recipe will make 12. These are the deeper cupcake cases, not the fairy-cake cases of 1980s childhoods. Of course, you could always buy some cakes and decorate them, but this recipe is REALLY easy and you don’t need anything special to do it.

Enjoy!

To make the cakes:

Ingredients:

200g margarine or butter

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

225g self-raising flour

Splash of vanilla essence/paste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.

2. Put your cupcake cases in your tray.

3. Place all the ingredients in a big bowl.

4. Mix and mix and mix until you have a lovely smooth batter (it’s the Mary Berry All-In-One way).

5. Fill each case half full with batter (I use a big blue patisserie bag to pipe my batter, but this is easily done with an ice-cream scoop or a couple of spoons).

6. Cook for 12 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

7. Leave to cool.

To make the frosting:

Ingredients:

150g butter or margarine

300g icing sugar

splash of vanilla essence

Method:

1. Combine the sugar and margarine by beating together.

2. Once you have a light colour and fluffy texture, add the vanilla and mix in.

3. If you are using butter and the mixture is very stiff, add a tablespoon of milk to loosen it up.

making cupcakesDecorating method:

1. Prepare your cupcakes by cutting off any mounds on top

2. Pipe or spoon a large splodge (technical baking term there) of buttercream in the middle of the cake – see picture. Try not to get it to the sides of the cake.

3. For the following designs you will need small quantities (approximately 50g at the most of each) of the following colours of fondant; brown, green, red, blue, flesh, white, black and yellow. Both Renshaw and Dr Oetker do multipacks containing small quantities of varying colours for around £4. Remember you can use it as you would modelling clay and mix colours together to make new colours.

4. The following instructions match the numbered pictorials to help you and your little one understand each step.

5. There are six designs, so you can do two of each, or you could make some designs up of your own for the remaining six cupcakes.

6. For small designs, water is more than adequate to stick fondant together. For larger work, you would use a sugar syrup combination, but water should be fine for this project.

*sings* I saw Mommy eating Santa Claus...

*sings* I saw Mommy eating Santa Claus…

Santa:

1. Roll out some flesh coloured fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Make a ball with some more flesh coloured fondant and stick it in the middle of the cake with a small dab of water. Using a cocktail stick, or the end of a paintbrush, make some nostrils.

4. Make two balls of white fondant and flatten them with your finger. Stick them above the nose to make the eyes.

5. Make two smaller balls of black fondant and flatten these with your finger. Stick them to the eyes to make pupils.

6. Take a lump of white fondant and make lots of small balls of varying sizes to make up the beard.

7. Stick the balls onto Santa’s face to make up the beard.

8. Roll two sausages of white fondant and narrow them at one end. Attach to under the nose to make a moustache.

9. Make a very small sausage out of flesh coloured fondant and stick this under the moustache to make the lower lip.

10. Make a cone shape for the hat out of red fondant and attach it to Santa’s head.

11. Roll out a sausage of white fondant and attach this as the fur trim of Santa’s hat.

12. Attach a ball of white fondant for the bobble on Santa’s hat.

Rudolph:

*sings* Rudolph the red-nosed cupcake...

*sings* Rudolph the red-nosed cupcake…Rudolph:

1. Roll out some brown fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Using some slightly lighter brown fondant (you can mix some brown with white), cut out a small oval, around an inch wide, and attach it to the cupcake on the bottom half.

4. Make two white balls of fondant and flatten them with your finger and stick to the top half of the cupcake, above the nose.

5. Make two smaller balls of black fondant and stick them to the eyes to make pupils.

6. Make a ball of red fondant and stick it to the nose.

7. Give Rudolph a smile using a cocktail stick or a knife.

8. Roll two short sausages out of brown fondant.

9. Using a knife, cut into the sausages to make antlers.

10. Attach the antlers to Rudy’s head.

Snowman:

To the tune of Walking In The Air *sings* We're chomping on his face...

To the tune of Walking In The Air *sings* We’re chomping on his face…Snowman:

1. Roll out the white fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Roll two small balls of black fondant and attach to the middle of the face for the eyes

4. Roll a sausage of orange fondant and taper it down at one end to make a carrot.

5. Attach this to the face as the nose.

6. Make several small balls of fondant.

7. Attach these under the carrot in a smile.

8. Roll out some blue fondant and cut a semi-circle – this will be the bobble hat.

9. Attach the semi-circle of fondant to the snowman’s head. Make a sausage of blue fondant and flatten it. Cut a straight piece from this – this is the Snowman’s hat trim. Attach it to the hat.

10. Using a modelling tool or a cocktail stick, texture the Snowman’s hat to make it appear like it is wool.

Robin:

*sings* Rockin' robin, nom nom, Rockin' robin...

*sings* Rockin’ robin, nom nom, Rockin’ robin…Robin:

1. Roll out some brown fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Roll out some red fondant and cut out a fat rugby ball shape that should cover two thirds of the cake.

4. Attach this to the lower two thirds of the cake.

5. Roll out some more brown fondant and cut two slim rugby ball shapes. These are the wings.

6. Attach these to either side of the red breast, once attached you can use a modelling tool or the end of a teaspoon to create a feather texture.

7. Roll out some yellow fondant and cut out a triangle for the beak.

8. Attach the beak to the centre of the cake, overlapping the red breast. Make two small balls of white fondant for the eyes and flatten them with your finger. Attach above the beak.

9. Roll two smaller balls of black fondant to make the pupils of the eyes.

10. Attach the pupils to the eyes.

Christmas pudding:

Erm, we can't think of any Christmas pudding songs.

Erm, we can’t think of any Christmas pudding songs. Christmas pudding:

1. Roll out some brown fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Roll out some white fondant.

4. Cut out a wavy shape – this is the icing.

5. Attach the icing to the pudding.

6. Roll out some green fondant.

7. Make holly leaves by either cutting out with a knife or by using something curved (like a straw) to make the characteristic shape.

8. Stick these to the icing and give them some veins using a knife.

9. Roll out three small balls of red fondant for the berries.

10. Attach the berries below the holly.

Christmas tree:

*sings* Oh Christmas tree, in my tum-my, you really are so tasty...

*sings* Oh Christmas tree, in my tum-my, you really are so tasty…Christmas tree:

1. Roll out the white fondant and cut out a 3-inch diameter circle.

2. Place this over the frosting on the cake and work it down to the cake case. You should have a dome.

3. Roll out some green fondant.

4. Cut triangles out of the green fondant using a knife.

5. Attach the triangles in the shape of a tree.

6. Roll out a small sausage from brown fondant and attach to make the trunk.

7. Use edible pearls (60p from Home Bargains, alternatively, make baubles from small balls of rolled fondant).

8. Attach the decorations to the tree.

Merry Crimbo!

@bake_therapist

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Written by Claire Goodwin

Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK