Snowman Cupcakes

Well aren’t these cute!

I’ve seen a few snowman recipe ideas around and thought this year I’d give one a go. However there’s a story to tell here…keep reading if you fancy a giggle!

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My first attempt was a huge….success disaster! Photo evidence below, try not to laugh 🙂

This got me thinking, how do I make sure my snowmen don’t look like they’ve spent a week on the beach in 30 degree heat!?

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Commence phase two…

I decided to add some height using white chocolate buttercream. No melted snowmen here! Then using Mikado biscuit sticks I added some ‘twig’ arms. For the eyes and mouth, I used melted chocolate and for the noses, orange sugar paste – nope they are not real carrots carved to be miniature in size like my gran thought 🙂

For the cupcake base, I used my tried and tested vanilla sponge recipe and added white chocolate chips and cinnamon spice for extra festive flavour.

I think it’s safe to say the second attempt turned out a bit better! I have to admit it’s not the quickest/easiest one I’ve posted, but they are great fun to make and the end result is so worth it. So put on your favourite Christmas music and your tackiest festive jumper, or one you don’t mind getting covered in icing sugar, and give it a go!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsps ground cinnamon
100g white chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk (optional)

For the snowmen:

Buttercream body: 125g unsalted butter, 250g icing sugar, 150g white chocolate, 1 tbsp milk
Heads: 12 white large marshmallows
Eyes and mouths: A few squares of milk/dark chocolate
Noses: Orange sugar paste, you will only need a small amount
Arms: 1 pack Mikado biscuit sticks
Buttons: different coloured icing pens
Cocktail sticks

 

Lets get baking…

Start with the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and cinnamon until the mixture is smooth. Now fold in the white chocolate chips. If the mixture is too thick add a tablespoon of milk to loosen it slightly.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases about 3/4 full with the mixture and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and springy to the touch.

Whilst your cakes are cooling you can begin the decoration…

Eyes and Mouth
Melt the squares of milk/dark chocolate in the microwave in 20 second blasts. Using the tip of a cocktail stick, dot the eyes and mouth onto the marshmallows. Set aside and leave to dry.

Noses
For the noses, take a small peice of sugar paste and roll into a cone shape. Cut the end of the nose with a knife to make a sharp flat surface (this will be the end that will attach to the head). Set aside and leave to dry out and harden.

Once for the sugar paste has dried, use an icing sugar and water paste to stick the nose on to the marshmallow head. You will need to hold it in place until it feels firm.

Body
In a microwaveable bowl melt the white chocolate in 30 second blasts until smooth. Beat the butter for at least 5 minutes until really pale in colour (if you have an electric whisk use it, it will save your arms from aching!). Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar. Pour the white chocolate in, add the milk, fold until the buttercream is smooth, creamy and light.

To assemble a snowman…

Start with the body
Using a piping bag with a large open circular nozzle, pipe the buttercream in a swirly motion starting from the middle and circulating outwards and upwards. If you don’t have a piping bag you can achieve something similar with a spoon, using the back to create definition.

Add the head
Place a marshmallow on top of the buttercream swirl.

And the arms
Snap a Mikado stick in half and push into each side of the buttercream.

And finally the buttons
Using the icing pens dot buttons on the body of the snowman.

Repeat this for all 12 cupcakes. If you think they’re simply too cute to eat, they will last in the fridge for up to five days or on the counter for two.

Inside Out Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Inside out? What does that mean? Based on the reaction I’ve had from friends and family, I’m guessing you’re probably thinking the same thing!

Well let me explain…sometimes you just don’t have the time (or patience) to pipe beautiful swirls of frosting on top of your cupcakes. So why not fill them with it instead! ‘Inside out’ making sense now?

The perfect Easter bake made simple… ‘Melt in the mouth’ carrot cake cupcakes, studded with walnuts and sultanas and filled with a creamy baked cheesecake center.

Now the cupcake recipe may require a fair few ingredients but don’t be put off by this, the method itself is actually really straightforward.

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet in another, pour the wet into the dry and mix together.

Chuck in the walnuts, carrots and sultanas and stir.

Spoonful of cake mix, spoonful of cream cheese, top with more cake mix and bake. As an added bonus, your house will smell amazing during and after!

For 12 muffins, you will need…

175g light brown sugar
200g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots
1 medium orange
100g chopped walnuts
100g sultanas

For the cream cheese filling, you will need…

180g Philadelphia cream cheese (1 small tub)
80g granulated sugar

Let’s get baking…

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with your favourite cupcake cases.

1. Start with the surprise filling – Mix together the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth. Set aside to use later.

2. Now for the cucpcakes – In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, spices and zest of the orange.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla extract, oil and juice of 1/2 the orange.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.

Now grate in the carrot and throw in the walnuts and sultanas. Fold the mixture together gently until combined.

3. Now to assemble – Drop about 1 tablespoon of mixture into the cases, top with a dollop of cream cheese and cover with enough mixture to fill the cases to about 3/4 full. Finish with a sprinkling of granulated sugar on each cupcake.

4. Time to bake – place the cupcakes into the center of the oven for approx. 18-20, or until a skewer/toothpick inserted into a non-cheesecake filled part of the cupcakes comes out clean. They should feel firm to the touch.

Your cupcakes will keep in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

Anyone dipped Oreos in a jar of peanut butter before?

Guilty!

For me this combo is also a winner and what better way to celebrate it then in the form of a delicious cupcake.

For all the Oreo PB lovers out there and for the newbies to the party, this recipe will not let you down..

Chocolate fudge sponge with a secret Oreo biscuit base, frosted with creamy peanut butter icing and decorated with the cutest Penguin Oreos!

For 12 cupcakes you will need

1 pack of Oreo cookies

80g self-raising flour

65g cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100g golden caster sugar

100g granulated sugar

2 large eggs

80ml vegetable/extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

120ml buttermilk

For the icing/decoration you will need….

250g smooth peanut butter

375g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

4-6 tbsp whole milk

1 pack of Oreos – if you want to transform your Oreos in adorable penguins check out my simple step by step recipe here!

Let’s get baking…

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake baking tray with your favourite liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, two sugars, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Now pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix together until combined. Repeat this step until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Place an Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner and fill each one with the cake mixture just over half way.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now for the icing…

Beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Now beat in half the icing sugar, half of the milk and the vanilla extract.

Beat in the remaining icing sugar and milk until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. If the mixture feels too stiff add another 1/2 tbsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Decorate your cupcakes with the buttercream (I used a star shaped icing nozzle and piping bag) and finish by placing an Oreo on top.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

This is a great summer bake. Fluffy vanilla cupcakes, with a surprise strawberry jam filling, topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting, a sprinkle of crushed Digestive biscuits and a fresh strawberry.

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Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the sponge:
150g Self-raising flour
150g Stork tub
150g Caster Sugar
2 medium eggs, at room temp
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Milk

For the cream-cheese frosting:
200g Full-fat cream cheese (cold from the fridge)
400g Icing sugar
70g Unsalted butter (at room temp)

For the filling/decoration:
1 jar of strawberry jam
12 fresh whole strawberries
4-5 digestive biscuits (crumbled)

Method

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

Start with the cupcakes:

  1. Make the sponge mixture by first creaming together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Mix in one egg at a time, along with a little flour to stop the mixture curdling. Once eggs are all added, add the vanilla extract and mix.
  3. Fold in the remaining flour and milk until fully combined, smooth.
  4. Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins until cakes are a golden brown colour and a skewer in the centre of one comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.
  5. Once cakes are cooled, remove the centre of each cake by either using a cupcake corer, as shown above, or use a teaspoon to scoop out the middle.
  6. Fill each cupcake with a teaspoon of strawberry jam, then push the core back into the cupcake to seal the cupcake.

Now make your frosting:

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave in 10 second blasts until liquid.
  2. Add the cream cheese frosting and mix together.
  3. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat together until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat as this will make the cream cheese loosen and too liquid.
  4. Use a piping bag and a large open star nozzle, pipe the cream cheese frosting starting from the outside spiralling inwards onto the filled cupcakes.

To decorate:

  1. Crush a few digestive biscuits and sprinkle over the cupcakes.
  2. Finish by placing a whole strawberry on top.