A tutorial from Britt Box: how to make these adorable Christmas Cupcakes
These cuties by Britt Box from She Who Bakes can be made well in advance, so why not spend a rainy winter's day modelling Christmas cupcake toppers ready for the big event? Certain flavours really get me into the festive spirit and cinnamon is definitely one of them! These spiced Christmas cupcakes with a warming buttercream, topped with a cheerful model are sure to make you feel all cosy this Christmas. For the cupcakes YOU WILL NEED • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour • 50g (13⁄4oz) plain flour • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter • 100g (31⁄2oz) light brown sugar • 100g (31⁄2oz) golden caster sugar • 4 free-range eggs • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp mixed spice
- In a bowl, cream together the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and golden caster sugar. Add the eggs and mix well.
- Mix in the self-raising flour, plain flour, cinnamon and mixed spice. Mix well, then divide into 12-15 cupcake cases (depending on size).
- Bake at 160°C/Gas Mark 21⁄2 for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once the cupcakes are baked, leave them to cool completely before icing. These cupcakes will be fresh for 2-3 days.
For the buttercream YOU WILL NEED • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter • 500g (1lb 1oz) icing sugar • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Cream the butter on its own for a few minutes to aerate, then mix in the icing sugar slowly. Add the cinnamon and mix well.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a closed star (1J) nozzle, then pipe a low swirl.
YOU WILL NEED • modelling paste: white, black, orange, yellow, red, blue and green • paintbrush and edible glue • small scissors • cutting wheel • small rolling pin • cornflour, for dusting the worktop • small star cutter
- Roll three balls of white modelling paste, getting smaller each time. Flatten the two larger balls slightly, then stack them from biggest to smallest, securing with a little edible glue. Leave to dry.
- For the ‘buttons’ and eyes, roll very small balls of black paste, then glue into place.
- For the nose, roll a ball of orange modelling paste then, using your fingers, taper the ends to form a cone ‘carrot’ shape. Glue into place.
- For the scarf, roll out a strip of blue modelling paste on a surface dusted with cornflour, then cut to size. Using a cutting wheel, fray the edges. Wrap this around the neck of the snowman, securing with a little edible glue. Leave to dry overnight completely before moving.
- Roll a large ball of green modelling paste and use your hands to taper it into a large cone. Flatten the bottom by pressing it gently down into the work surface. Using a small pair of scissors, cut into your tree at an angle to create the branches. Do this all around the tree until you are happy with it.
- Roll out a small amount of yellow modelling paste, then cut out a small star and glue it to the top of the tree.
- Roll out a large ball of red modelling paste, then taper it into a cone-like you did for the Christmas tree. Using your fingers, pinch the top of the hat so it is a little thinner and bend it over into a curve.
- Roll a small ball of white modelling paste and glue this to the end of the cone.
- If you’re having trouble attaching it, break off a small piece of dried spaghetti, then push half of this into the end of the hat and push the other half into the white ball to secure.
- For the trim, roll out white modelling paste and cut a thin strip using the cutting wheel. Glue this around the bottom of the hat. Leave all of this to dry overnight.
- Once dry, paint the ball on the end of the hat and the white strip in a thin layer of edible glue, then dip these parts into a small bowl filled with caster sugar. This will create a ‘fluffy’ look on the hat.
- Once the toppers are made they will last for a very long time if stored correctly. They need to be kept safe from damp and dust, but they also need air circulation. I store my sugar toppers in a cardboard cake box lined with kitchen roll. As sugar is a natural preservative, they will last months, if not years – it’s always fun to spend a rainy winter's day making cake toppers for future events!
MY TOP 5 TIPS!
- Use modelling paste. This is a stronger sugar than fondant/sugar paste and will result in cleaner models. It is also much easier to work with as fondant tends to be very soft and doesn’t model well.
- Use concentrated gel colouring; anything water-based will simply melt the toppers rather than colour them.
- Leave the models to dry on foam. This means air can get to all parts of the model, making it dry quicker and more evenly.
- Leave to dry completely before topping your cupcake. This will stop any chance of the model collapsing in any way.
- Use a very small amount of edible glue when securing together or adding decorations. Less is more.