How to Make Decorated Christmas Cupcakes
Use festive plunger cutters to achieve your best cupcake decoration yet! Plunger cutters are a must for any keen bakers looking to add a professional finish to their Christmas bakes. Easy to use, they are ideal for adding designs to sugar paste, gum paste and marzipan to name but a few.
These beautifully decorated Christmas cupcakes have been topped with gingerbread trees, meringue kisses and fondant holly, and are almost too pretty to eat!
Project and instructions by Lucy Bruns.
You will need
How to make
Ingredients for the Gingerbread Trees:
* 175g Dark Muscovado Sugar
* 85g Golden Syrup
* 100g Butter
* 350g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
* 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
* 1tbsp Ground Ginger
* 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
* 1 Egg, beaten
Ingredients for the Meringue Kisses:
* 2 Medium Egg Whites
* 160g Caster Sugar
Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
* 4oz/110g Softened butter or Margarine
* 4oz/110g Saster Sugar
* 2 Eggs
* ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
* 4oz/110g Self-raising Flour
Melt the sugar, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan until well combined and smooth.
Leave to cool for 10 mins.
Tip the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl.
Add the warm syrup mixture and the egg and stir together.
Gently knead in the bowl until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin.
Use the tree plunger cutters to stamp out your shapes.
Put these on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool the biscuits on a wire rack.
Heat oven to 120C/100C fan/gas ½.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until they are foamy and doubled in size.
Add the sugar, a spoon at a time, while you continue to whisk. The meringue will become thick and glossy and should hold up in stiff peaks on the beaters when it is ready.
Divide the meringue between two or three bowls and colour as desired with a few drops of food colouring.
Fit a disposable piping bag with a small round or star nozzle. Hold it vertically to the baking sheet and gently squeeze, pulling the bag up and away to make a peak.
Put the meringues in the oven for one hour, then switch off the oven and leave them inside until completely cold.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and fill a 12 hole cupcake tray with cases.
Using a stand mixer or an electric whisk beat the butter/margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and sift in the flour. Whisk until just combined then spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.
Bake for 15 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat the buttercream with a couple of spoons of icing sugar until smooth and pale.
Fit a piping bag with a large round nozzle and load the bag up with the buttercream. Hold the nozzle directly above the cupcake and squeeze out to form a dome.
Roll out flower & modelling paste to approximately 3mm thick and use the holly plunger cutters to cut out icing shapes.
Decorate the cupcakes with a mixture of gingerbread and icing shapes, meringue kisses, then add silver balls and snowflake sprinkles.