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Santa Hat Cupcakes

When it comes to Christmas, cupcakes are king! They are wondrously bite-sized, easy to tote to parties, and (in the case of this here recipe) are as cute as….well….Santa Claus himself! A rich, homemade red velvet cupcake starts everything off right. Then, an ice cream cone becomes the secret base for what quickly becomes the bright red hat of the Jolly Old Man himself. Ready to wow everyone you know this Christmas? Then grab a bowl and let’s get baking!

Santa Hat Cupcakes
Santa Baby! This cupcake combines red velvet cake with creamy vanilla bean icing
and uses an upside-down ice cream cone, sprinkles, and a white gumball
to create Santa’s signature cap!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa in a mixing bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir the buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda together; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in
the eggs, one at a time; then beat in the vanilla and the red food coloring. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat well. Beat in half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then the second half of the buttermilk. Finally, add the last third of the flour mixture, beating until all ingredients are incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners with batter. Bake for 18—20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 10 minutes; then remove from tins and cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Icing
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups confectioner’s sugar
seeds of two split vanilla beans
¼ teaspoon salt
¹â„³ cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time, until all sugar is completely incorporated. Scrape in the seeds of the two vanilla beans and the salt and continue to beat. Add the milk a little at a time until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.

Santa Hats
12 sugar ice cream cones
red candy melts
red sanding sugar sprinkles
12 white gumballs
white dot sprinkles or white sanding sugar sprinkles

Assembly
With an offset spatula, frost a thin layer of buttercream icing onto the top of each cupcake. Cut the pointy tops off of the ice cream cones. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the red candy melts in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously with a spoon between intervals, until they are completely melted. They should take 2 or 3 intervals to melt completely.

To decorate each cupcake, place your index and middle finger inside the large opening of the ice cream cone for stability and then carefully, using a spoon, coat the entire outside of the ice cream cone with the melted red candy melts. Immediately coat the entire cone in red sanding sugar. Gently slide your fingers out of the cone and stand the cone on a sheet of parchment paper. Dab a small amount of the melted candy onto a gumball and place
it on the top of the ice cream cone. Allow to dry completely. Place the Santa Hat onto the cupcake. Finally, sprinkle the white dot sprinkles or white sanding sugar over the icing that is peeking out around the edge of the ice cream cone.

 

Recipe from Sweet Gifts by Lauryn Cohen, aka Bella Baker

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