Snowflakes and Puddings

Hey guys!

With Christmas less than two weeks away, the panic has set in for anyone who is yet to start their Christmas shopping. There’s nothing worse than wandering around a shopping centre, pushing through a crowd of people to buy a last minute present, which the person may not even like. So if you’re searching for an inexpensive gift for your loved ones, or perhaps just something sweet to bring along to a Christmas party – baked goods are always the answer.
The best thing about cupcakes is that they’re really versatile. You can be creative with flavours and decorating, not to mention they’re super cute! The flavour you choose for the cupcake is completely up to you. To go with our particular theme, we used The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe from My Baking Addiction, which is absolutely delicious!

DSC_0005DSC_0014DSC_0011Now let’s face it – the best part about baking, is decorating! Here are a couple of ideas for some really simple Christmas themed cupcakes. If you’re using fondant, it’s best to start the process early on, to ensure that your shapes have enough time to set.

Decoration
Snowflakes:
1. Roll out the fondant and use a snowflake cutter to make about 20 snowflake shapes, depending on your number of cupcakes.
2. To add a little sparkle to the snowflakes you can use a paintbrush to dust some edible shimmer across the top.
3. Use a small brush to place a dot of water in the middle, to help secure a single silver sugar ball.

Holly:
1. Separate a small amount white fondant and use red and green food colouring to mix through each section.
2. Roll fondant till colour is consistent, adding more depending on the colour you’re aiming for.
3. Use a rolling pin, flatten the green fondant and use a leaf shaped cutter to create the holly leaves – you will need to connect two leaves for each piece.
4. Separate sections of the red fondant and roll into small balls.
5. Place a dot of water between the join of the two leaves and place the red ball on top.
DSC_0028DSC_0036Whilst the fondant is setting, it’s a good time to start preparing the icing. We used a really simple buttercream recipe and tweaked it with food colouring.

The Icing
Ingredients:
125g of unsalted butter
3 cups of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of milk (play with amounts until consistency is correct)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Food colouring of your choice (we used a drop of turquoise for the icy colour)

Method:
1. Beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Add icing sugar and stir, whilst gradually adding milk and vanilla essence.
3. Mix together for 3 – 5 minutes, adding extra milk or icing sugar where necessary.
4. Place a small amount of food colouring in the mixture and give a final mix through.

DSC_0045When decorating the cupcakes, keep in mind that the snowflakes look best against an icy colour. Decorate with some white and silver sugar balls to add to the effect. As for the holly, if you want to create a Christmas pudding look, pipe a small amount of white vanilla icing onto the cupcake and place the holly fondant directly on top.

DSC_0065DSC_0074DSC_0083Once again all the photographs are by the lovely Olivia, who is also a wonderful baker and a huge help.
Enjoy!
Laura Jayne x

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