Sometimes I wonder what I get myself into. Signing up for too many things then regretting it immediately seems to be the chapter of my life lately.
My eager beaver self decided to sign up to bake for the Church bake sale in the middle of a busy busy weekend. Between out of town guests staying over, friends coming over for dinner, and a brunch with Santa event, I somehow thought it was a great idea to bake holiday themed cupcakes for the Church fundraiser, one I was unable to attend. In addition to that, I decided it was a great idea to double the recipe so I can give them to our neighbours as well. Two birds with one stone, right?
Thankfully I found some really easy and adorable holiday themed cupcakes I could make with my kids. We settled on reindeer themed cupcakes, snowflake cupcakes, and Christmas light cupcakes. It was really simple and much less time consuming than anticipated. What made it more simple was my favourite baking store – Bulk Barn. It was my one stop shop for all the ingredients needed for the decorations. Aside from Michaels, Bulk Barn is my happy place (and a place which encourages me to engage in more creative projects than I should!).
For the cupcakes, I always use this chocolate cupcake recipe. I love it, and it is so so easy. Essentially it’s a one bowl cupcake recipe that results into fluffy and moist cupcakes. The only modification I did was use decaf coffee, to be mindful of those with caffeine sensitivities. This is my no fail cupcake recipe, and I’ve made this recipe a million times.
For my chocolate buttercream, I always kind of wing it. Making buttercream is really forgiving. Luckily, this time I wrote it down in case I needed to make another batch.
Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 3 and 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
- 3/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp of cream
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Cream together butter and shortening until fluffy and well mixed together at low to medium speed
- Sift together confectioners sugar and cocoa powder together
- Add confectioners sugar and cocoa powder mixture, cream, salt and vanilla extract
- Increase speed to medium to high and cream together until buttercream reaches a creamy consistency. Add more icing sugar if too runny, and cream if too thick
The reindeer cupcakes were my favourite and extremely easy. I piped chocolate icing with a 2A round tip. We used unsalted pretzels for the antlers, Nilla Vanilla wafers for the face, red (for Rudolph) or brown smarties for the nose, and small candy eyeballs from Wilton for the eyes. I attached the eyeballs and the nose with royal icing.
Christmas lights Cupcakes
Instead of using chocolate buttercream, I used the Wilton’s Vanilla buttercream recipe. There are so many different recipes but this one never failed me. It’s a keeper in my books! Using a 2A round tip, I piped the icing on the cupcake, and used a black decorating gel to draw the string. Smarties were placed on its side to resemble a Christmas light.
We decided to make snowflake cupcakes on a whim. The vanilla buttercream icing was piped with a 2M tip, sprinkled with coarse sparkling sugar and silver dragees. I piped snowflakes with white chocolate and a fine round tip on parchment paper. They were hardened in the freezer but still very delicate, so be careful!
We managed to decorate all these cupcakes in a few hours. So thankful I had a lot of smarties leftover from Halloween, and glad my girls focused on the task as opposed to snacking on them! We had so much fun, I feel inclined to make more next weekend but I should probably think twice before signing up for more things again!