Christmas Tree Cupcakes

What day is it?
December 1st

What does this means?
I can officially post Christmas recipes until my heart is content! YAY!

To start of this festive baking frenzy I have whipped up some cuter than cute Christmas Tree Cupcakes. A deliciously moist chocolate sponge topped with a buttercream tree, sprinkled with edible baubles and finished off with a sparkling Christmas star! You can also find this recipe here on ‘Let’s Knit’ blog as I have provided them with a Jessie Cakes special Christmas bake for their monthly recipe. With all the manic present shopping and card writing, a bit of baking therapy is definitely overdue; so grab your coloured sprinkles and get going!

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Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes):
150g Stork tub, straight from the fridge
150g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
2 medium eggs at room temperature, beaten into a jug
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

For the buttercream:
320g unsalted butter, room temperature
600g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
A tube of green food colouring in paste or gel form
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk (optional)

To decorate:
Coloured chocolate balls and/or sweets
Edible silver balls
A large piping bag
A large open star nozzle
Christmas stars:
(If making the Christmas stars, prepare them a few days before use so they have time to harden.)
Yellow sugar paste
Star cutters in various sizes
Edible glue, or icing sugar mixed with a little water
Gold shimmer spray (optional)

Christmas stars:
Dust a rolling pin and non-stick surface with icing sugar and roll out sugar paste until 2mm thick (15X15cm).
Cut out 12 small stars and 12 large stars. Stick the small stars to the centre of the large stars using a dab of edible glue or icing sugar paste.
Finally, spray with gold shimmer spray and leave to harden in a container.

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 large cupcakes cases.

1. In a large bowl, make your cupcake mixture by first creaming together the Stork butter and sugar.In a separate bowl, sieve together the cocoa powder and flour. Next, slowly pour your beaten eggs into the butter and sugar mixture and add two tbsps of flour and cocoa powder. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Add the remaining cocoa powder and flour along with the milk and vanilla extract. Mix again until you have a smooth chocolate batter.

2. Transfer the mixture to your cupcake cases and bake them in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, test your cupcakes by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre of a cake. If it comes out clean then your cakes are done. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

3. When your cakes are cool, you can begin making your buttercream. Beat the butter and half of the icing sugar together until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar, vanilla extract and green colouring to preference and beat together until creamy and soft. If your buttercream is too thick, mix in the milk to loosen it.

4. Place the star nozzle into the end of your piping bag, and snip the corner off so only the tip of the nozzle is visible. Transfer your buttercream to the piping bag and when finished, twist the bag at the top and hold in place to ensure all air pockets are released.

5. To achieve the Christmas tree, simply begin by piping your buttercream in the centre of the cupcake and, moving swiftly in an upwards direction, spiral in a circular motion three times.

6. Finally, decorate the Christmas tree’s with your choice of chocolate, sweets or sprinkles, and place your Christmas star on top for the perfect festive finish!

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