These are the Reindeer cupcakes we baked last year, we are intending to bake them again this year. Lots of fun to make and the salted pretzels add a little something different.
The first stage is to make some chocolate cupcakes, I have a simple recipe that I use for cupcakes and the quantity can be increased quickly and easily simply by increasing the number of eggs.
The recipe is based around a single egg.
Same weight of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar
One tablespoon of cocoa powder
Cream the caster sugar and butter together until smooth.
Add the egg and a little of the flour. Mix until smooth and then fold in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder.
Place spoonfuls of mixture into cupcake cases and bake in a medium oven for ten minutes. Once cooked, cool before decorating.
The cakes are covered in chocolate buttercream icing. Pretzels are used for the antlers and marshmallows for the eyes, spotted with black icing. The noses are homemade biscuits with a giant chocolate button, except for Rudolph who has a red icing nose.
Take one egg, now I use a traditional scale so the next bit is easy for me, weigh out identical amounts of soft butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. I place the egg where I would usually put the weights and then weigh out the butter, sugar and flour. If you have a more modern scale, then weigh the egg, note the weight and then weigh the other ingredients.
This makes about ten small cupcakes, so to make more add more eggs and add more flour, sugar and butter accordingly.
Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the egg, a tablespoon of milk, a few drops of vanilla extract and one tablespoon of flour. Mix together. Then fold in the flour and half a teaspoon of baking powder until the flour is mixed into the mixture.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Allow to cool and then ice to taste.
Very easy to make variations on this, to make chocolate ones add a tablespoon of cocoa, you could also fold in some chocolate chips.
I’ve also made marbled versions by making one batch of plain mixture and one chocolate and then add combinations of the mixture to the cupcake cases.
5oz plain flour
1oz unsweetened good-quality cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2¼oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
8oz castor sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5½fl oz milk (the recipe actually calls for buttermilk, but I keep forgetting to buy it).
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a medium bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smoothly blended – about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter.
Add the vanilla and beat for another minute. On a low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing to incorporate it, then mix in the milk. Mix in the remaining flour mixture just until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
Fill the cupcake liners half full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops feel firm and a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cupcakes from the pan onto the wire rack and leave to cool completely.
They can be topped with buttercream if so desired.
“Buttercream frosted, pink hearts and sprinkles, melt-in-your-mouth candy and violet petals.” It might be the perfect menu for an additive-enhanced children’s party, but these lavish confections are driving a sugar-coated revolution.