Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cupcakes--Santa Bellies and Christmas Trees

Merry Christmas! I made these cupcakes for my fiancĂ©es work Christmas party. They were really easy to make and were a big hit! 
I used a box cake mix but added an extra egg so that the cupcakes were really moist. 
I used regular cupcake liners as well as these pretty paper cups. They're cute but guests seem hesitant to rip the paper and usually take the regularly wrapped cupcakes first. 
Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. I like round fluffy cupcakes so I tend to almost overfill my cupcakes. 
But you can push down any tops that are too tall when you core out the centers. I use this cupcake corer but you could also use a knife or an icing tip. 
Pipe in some yummy fudge! This is actually canned Hershey's frosting but it's so thick that it seems like a homemade ganache. I like to use a mix and canned frosting for the filling to save time but make my own buttercream and decorations. 
For the santa bellies I used Wilton frosting. It's really hard to dye frosting to a true red or black and I didn't want to bother with it. These are bright vibrant colors that will stain your tongue for days! 
Florian from cupcake wars would complain about the frosting tasting like red lipstick, so I spread it nice and thin. 
I put the black frosting in a ziplock bag and cut a small vertical slit in the corner to try to pipe it in a flat line. If your line isn't perfectly straight or gets wavy you can use a knife to even things out and smooth the edges. 
Whip up some buttercream and set aside a small amount of white. 
Carefully pipe the white frosting into a large square belt buckle. 
You could leave them like this but I wanted to make them extra special and painted them with some silver luster dust. 
The luster dust makes the cupcakes seem really professional but it's so easy to use (and is tasteless). You just mix the powder with a bit of water and use a food safe paintbrush to carefully paint it on. 
Because the red tube of frosting only made about 6 cupcakes, I decided to frost the rest as easy Christmas trees. 
I dyed the rest of the frosting green. 
I used a large star tip (Wilton 1M or 2D would work well) and piped big swirls. I chose to decorate with whatever I had--Valentine's day heart sprinkles and Easter sprinkles. I thought about going out and getting yellow stars for the tree tops and little Christmas sprinkles, but these were easy and still cute. 
I also used the extra frosting to make a few "peppermint swirl" cupcakes. 
Merry Christmas!