Santa cupcakes recipe

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serves: 12
Skill: medium
Prep: 1 hr 20 min
Cooking: 40 min
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  • Put a smile one everyone’s face by making these cute Santa cupcakes. A simple cupcake topped with an easy-to-make fondant topper, these cakes are perfect for Christmas parties, buffets or as a special food gift


    • For the cakes
    • :
    • 150g self-raising flour
    • 150g butter/stork (room temperature)
    • 3 medium eggs (room temperature)
    • 150g sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 30ml milk (room temperature)
    • For the buttercream
    • :
    • 100g unsalted butter
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 1tbsp milk (to loosen, if necessary)
    • For the Santa toppers:
    • 600g white fondant
    • Gum Tragacanth (optional - to make the fondant more pliable)
    • Black sugar pearls for the eyes
    • Tangerine food colour for the skin tone
    • Red food colour for the hat
    • Dusky pink petal dust for dusting the cheeks (optional)
    • You will also need
    • :
    • Circle cookie cutters sized: doubled-sided 68mm for the face, 2cm and a 3cm oval cutter for the nose
    • Scissors
    • Palette knife
    • Small paint brush


    • The night before you make these topper add ½ teaspoon of gum tragacanth (if using) to 150g of white fondant and knead for 5 minutes. Wrap in cling film and store in an air tight food bag or container.

    • Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.

    • Line the baking tray with cases

    • Beat the sugar and butter/stork with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy.

    • Add 1 egg, 1 third of the flour and a splash of milk and beat until just combined and repeat until all the ingredients are combined.

    • Divide the batter between the 12 cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack

    • To make the buttercream, put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Do not beat too much or the buttercream will become runny.

    • When the cakes are cool, spread the buttercream onto the tops, making sure you don’t ice up to the papers or the icing will squish out the sides of the fondant.

    • To make the toppers colour 350g of white fondant skin tone with a touch of tangerine food colour. Colour 100g of white fondant red.

    • Draw a Santa beard on a piece of paper and cut out with the scissors. Roll the white fondant out to 1/8 inch thick and place the template onto the fondant and cut around with a sharp knife. Place the beards on a piece of greaseproof paper to dry until you need them.

    • Roll the skintone fondant out to 1/8 inch thick and cut 12x 68mm circles and place them on to the tops of the cupcakes, smoothing the edges with your fingers.

    • With a brush of water stick the beards to the bottom of Santa’s face and, using the edge of the 68mm circle cutter, carve a smile onto the face.

    • Using the leftover skintone fondant, cut 12x 3cm oval shapes for the nose and stick on with a brush of water.

    • With a dot of water, push two black sugar pearls into the fondant for the eyes.

    • Roll the red fondant out to 1/8inch thick and, using the 68mm circle cutter, cut a circle, then cut into the circle again so you have a quarter circle for the hat. Stick onto the head with a brush of water.

    • To make the fur for the hat, roll the leftover white fondant out to 1/8inch thick and, using the scalloped side of the cutter, cut a scalloped circle and then use the plain side to cut a section off. Stick onto the hats with a brush of water.

    • Using the leftover red fondant, cut 12x small thin triangles and stick with a brush of water onto the hat.

    • Roll the leftover white fondant out and cut 12x 2cm circles for the bobbles and stick onto the hat with a brush of water.

    • Dust the cheeks and nose with dusky pink petal dust to give a cold look.

    Top tip for making Santa cupcakes

    You could add cranberries or cinnamon to the sponge to give them an extra Christmassy flavour

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