Happy Sunday and MERRY CHRISTMAS! In honor of the holiday I thought I'd post something pretty but easy for you to be able to copy and take with you to your family dinner this Christmas.
Cupcakes are great for family gatherings because you can make different flavors as well as eliminate the need for plates or forks, both of which are usually used up with the large family dinner! So cupcakes are an easy way to please everyone and easy to eat and clean up after.
A word about decorating cupcakes. They have become all the rage in the past few years with everything from full size figurines on top to castles to ships. While very cool looking and definitely a show stopper, these personal sized toppers are very impractical for actually eating. Very rarely do these toppers get eaten so in order to eat the rest of the cupcake they must pick off the topper and do something with it. Suddenly we are back to needing plates so that the topper has somewhere to go and we are back to having to clean something up in the end. So I'm not a huge fan of these spectacular cupcakes with their own toppers. I prefer the type you only have to unpeel the wrapper and just eat. This doesn't even go into the cost of all those man hours needed to create these elaborate mini cakes! A Caker would have to double or triple the cost just to cover that labor time. This means that the cupcakes are no longer cost effective either.
So now we are onto today's confections! Triple chocolate fudge cake and vanilla cake cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and little green buttercream "trees". All that is needed to make these are one large star tip and one mini one. Pipe the white buttercream with the large star tip as "flat" as you can beginning with the outside of the cupcake and working your way in, trying not to run over the other line as you work your way into the center. Normally you would be using the outside line to build up the next one and the next one to make an ice cream cone effect but for these you want them as flat as you can. Then you just pipe on the trees starting from a point and working your squiggles a bit wider with each pass till you end with a point in the middle again at the bottom. Top this with a silver dragee or other candy. You can, at this point, if you would like, sprinkle the whole thing with white sanding sugar to give it a bit more sparkle.
And that's it. I used some Christmas cupcake liners but you could use any type that you have on hand or that you feel fit the theme including foil wrappers. The idea is to be able to make something that doesn't take long, isn't complicated, and makes your busy holiday life easier.
Merry Christmas everyone! I'll be back next week with a beautiful Anniversary Cake to share!