Winter Cupcakes


I’ve had an idea for some cupcakes in my head for a while, so for a post-Christmas Christmas dinner, I decided to make a modified version. First step, a few days before the dinner, was melting both white and chocolate Wilton candy melts and putting them into squeeze bottles. Then I melted orange and red, and armed myself with toothpicks to draw the details. I was ready… to make snowmen! I tried several styles, as you can see, but the ones I ended up liking the most (and thus will do again) are the little fat ones. These were left to dry on wax paper and set aside until I had time to do the cupcakes.

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Then when I had time, I made white cupcakes using a recipe from my trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (I haven’t made a recipe from that book yet that failed). The recipe said it would yield about 30 cupcakes, and I didn’t need nearly so many, so I tried cutting it in half. I ended up with some pretty weird measurements, and the resulting cake wasn’t quite as fluffy as I usually get, so I blame my math skills.

I think I made up for that with the buttercream icing, though. I’ve been trying to perfect buttercream icing for months now, and this time I think I finally got it just right. I’d love to share with you the actual recipe, but honestly I was kind of winging it! What I ended up with made enough for at least 2 dozen cupcakes. Here’s a guideline of how I made it:

  • 1/2 cup margarine, room temperature (regular salted kind, not unsalted like so many recipes call for)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco (I love the ones they sell in bars so you can cut what you need, just like a stick of butter)
  • maybe around 3/4 Tbs. vanilla
  • approx. 4 cups powdered sugar (I sifted the first cup or two, but not all of it)
  • approx. 1 Tbs. meringue powder
  • enough heavy┬ácream to make it smooth

I don’t know how much cream I used, but likely not as much as many of the recipes I’ve tried following have called for. My frosting always ended up too soft and runny, so I decided to just give up on following instructions and I’m so glad I did! Once I had everything good and mixed, I just left my Kitchen Aid mixer on low-med for probably 20 minutes while I puttered around. The resulting frosting was light, not deathly sweet, and held its shape when I piped it onto the cupcakes. Hooray!

To make the frosting extra snow-white, I added some Wilton White-White Icing Color, and I couldn’t have been happier with just how pristinely snowy my frosting looked. Once frosted, I sprinkled sparkling sugar on top, then snowflake sprinkles I found at Target, and for the final touch: my homemade candy snowmen!

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