On the third day of Christmas Stephen baked for me…Christmas tree cupcakes! Let’s face it cupcakes are still all the buzz right now. Speciality cupcakes shops have popped in every city, town and shopping centre. When will their reign end? Who’s to say.
For my Christmas cupcakes I took the classic chocolate and orange combination as inspiration and have used Clementine’s in their place. In all honestly the difference isn’t huge but sure you may as well eat seasonally when you can! The cake is a simple and reliable sponge recipe so these will only last about 2 days. But let’s be honest they’re not going to be around that long!
What makes these particular cupcakes special is all down to the decoration. The miniature Christmas tree effect is very eye catching and you know straight away what these are. Go all out for the decoration on this as here is a huge range of edible decorations on the market. Personally I think Dr. Oetker provides a great range of products for this purpose and you can find them in most good supermarkets. This recipe is a great way to get the kids involved as it’s so simple to make (bar the buttercream but it is definitely worth the extra effort).
You will need:
50g dark chocolate
115g caster sugar
115g self-raising flour
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
¼tsp cream of tartar
140g unsalted butter, cubed
Green food colouring
How to do it:
- Preheat oven 190°C/170°C fan. Line muffin tray with 6 cupcake cases.
- Beat butter and sugar until pale fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Mix in the zest of 1 Clementine, then fold in the flour alternatively with the juice of both Clementine’s until well combined.
- Divide into the cases equally and bake for 15 mins or until lightly coloured on top and a knife comes out clean when inserted.
Cool in the tin for 5 mins before transferring to the wire rack.
- For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream place whites in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the sugar and cream of tartar and whisk until the mixture reaches 60°C. Remove from the heat and whisk with electric beaters until stiff peaks are formed. Start to beat in the butter one or two cubes at a time and beat well. The mixture will look like it has split but don’t panic-if you keep beating it will eventually come together. Add the food colouring at the end to give your desired shade of green.
- To decorate place the buttercream into piping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe in a swirl motion to create the look of a Christmas tree. At this point add any extra decorations you wish, here I have used edible silver balls and some chocolate stars to top them off.
Move over oranges- Clementine’s are chocolates new best friend! The flavour of the Clementine comes through right away but the presence of the chocolate helps it from overpowering the cake. I actually tried writing this recipe 2 times before settling on this one as I wanted to make sure the sponge was still moist and that you got the flavour of the Clementine. After making 2 batches of dry cupcakes they were starting to drive me mad!
As I have said the best bit of this recipe is the decoration. The Swiss style of buttercream, in my opinion, is the king of buttercream. It’s so light, smooth and glossy that is makes the perfect topping to decorate a whole manner of cakes.
Thanks for reading,
PS- 20 sleeps to Christmas!
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