Perfect for this time of year! The cupcakes are quick and easy to make and the snowmen are a perfect opportunity to get creative. A lovely way to spend an afternoon, with some festive music playing in the background.
FOR THE CUPCAKES
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1.5 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
quarter tsp vanilla extract
1. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degs C/gas 3.
3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer, or use a handheld electric whisk, and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
4. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
5. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre a cake. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
These cupcakes come from the hummingbird bakery cookbook by Tarek Malouf
FOR THE MELTING SNOWMEN
600g white sugarpaste (there will be some left over)
smaller quantities of coloured sugarpaste
icing sugar/cornflour to dust
6cm round cutter
small quantity of white royal icing
1. When the cupcakes are cold, spread a layer of raspberry jam and then vanilla buttercream on to the top of each cake.
2. To make the snowmen's heads, roll 20 balls of white sugarpaste (each about the size of a cherry). Dust a worktop with icing sugar/cornflour and roll out the remaining sugarpaste to 5mm thick. Using the cutter, cut out 12 circles. Place one on top of each cake and smooth into place.
3. Use the coloured sugarpaste to make eyes and a nose for each snowman's head, and fix these on with a dot of royal icing.
4. Put a small blob of royal icing on the bottom of each snowman's head and stick on top of each cake. Allow to dry for a couple of hours.
5. Using some of the coloured sugarpaste, roll out thin strips to make a scarf for each snowman and wind around his "neck". Put dots of royal icing on the front of each snowman and stick on a couple of mini smarties for buttons.
These sugarpaste decorations come from bake and decorate by Fiona Cairns