Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes

Sooo another Christmas post! lol I know we are way past the Christmas season but it can’t hurt to post these beautiful Christmas tree cupcakes :) I spotted these all over pinterest for Christmas. Each one had something unique about them, so I decided to try my own version :) They turned out really delicious and my little cousins really loved them. Specially Cami, so this post goes out for her ♥. Let’s get started!

These cupcakes are actually not a new recipe, I recycled my delicious Carrot Cupcakes and used my go to buttercream frosting (you can get the recipe from my previous post Cupcakes & Popcakes for a Quinceañera ♥ ). So what’s new in this post? Well I will show you my trick to keep the frosting standing nice and tall so it actually looks like a tree! I’ve seen a couple other tricks to do this. Some of them include a merengue base or a dulce de leche base. But I said to myself merengue or dulce de leche with frosting? That sounds too sweet for my taste and I’m actually a sweet tooth :D So instead I used … a strawberry! Yes a strawberry and it was the smartest decision because you can eat the frosting with the strawberry and it tastes like strawberries and cream! So here I will show step by step how I did it.

Christmas cupcakes 1

1. Have your carrot cupcake ready (remember it should be completely cool). Also you might want to have an easy to clean station.

Christmas cupcakes 2

2. Using a pastry bag and a 1M star tip with your frosting ready, drop just a little star on the middle of the cupcake.

Christmas cupcakes 3

3. Next put the strawberry right on top of the frosting star. Make sure the strawberry is not wet and it is as fresh as possible.

Christmas cupcakes 4

4. With your bag ready, start frosting around the strawberry as you work your way to the top.

Christmas cupcakes 5

5. Here is the almost finished product with your strawberry covered completely with frosting yum!

Christmas cupcakes 6

6. And then to finish it off go ahead and add some nice decorations. I went and added some silver spherical sprinkles and a heart at the top :)

I served these cupcakes as dessert for Christmas dinner and they were a total hit! But also I gave some of them away as Christmas gifts :) I put them in this nice red box my grandma bought me a while ago and they looked beautiful! Tip: you might want to prepare these the day you will be eating them and if not definitively keep them in the fridge.

Christmas cupcakes box

So these cupcake boxes were only one of the DIY gifts I made. Why not show you the other gifts :) For my aunts and grandmas in my family I was thinking something personal that they can enjoy and relax with. So I did some lavender sugar scrubs!

Lavender Sugar Scrub

 Lavender Sugar Scrub

Now for all my cousins (I have a lot from my mom’s side) I wanted to give them something personalized but also delicious. And I found this great tutorial on how to do personalized mugs with their initials! Plus I added some delicious sugar cookies I made in my previous post Christmas Cookies

Personalized mug

Personalized Mugs

Now this wasn’t a gift but I would like to show you our Christmas dinner table :)

Christmas dinner

Everything was delicious! Grandma made a potato salad, yellow rice, fruit salad, of course the turkey, and turkey dressing! You can also see my cupcakes on the far right :) And last but not least I will share the mulled wine recipe I found and it is absolutely to die for! (you can see it on the far left). For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

1 liter of red wine (you can use the one that comes in a box, no need for a fancy wine)

4 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

4 sweet black peppers

2 star anise

2 oranges cut in slices

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1. In a small pot pour 1 cup of red wine with the cloves, cinnamon, sweet black peppers, star anise and sugar and let boil for 8 minutes.

2. Incorporate the rest of the red wine and let boil for another 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile cover the top of each wine glass with an orange wedge so it will be wet and white sugar will stick to it. Also put half an orange slice on each glass.

4. Pour the wine and it is ready to drink!

And to finish off with Christmas :) here is a picture of my Christmas tree! Wish y’all had a happy holiday :)

Christmas tree

Hope you enjoyed the recipes!


Cupcakes & Popcakes for a Quinceañera ♥

15 cupcakes

 On a very special day, December 3rd, my cousin Dennise turned 15 :) For us when a girl turns 15 is a very special occasion. We have many traditions, that unfortunately have been lost throughout the generations but we still maintain the most important one of all. This is the time when you transition from being a girl to the women you will become. It is very important to share this time with your family. But what a better way to do this than with a fancy family reunion :) And so my aunt asked me if I could help out, and I gladly said yes!

To start with I helped with some party decorations including: tin can lanterns, the number 15 made out of foam board, fiber paper pom-poms and shiny crepe paper fans. Here are some pictures of how they turned out and below each picture there is a link to where you can find the tutorials I used to make these.

15 can lantern

Tin Can Lanterns 

15 number

There is no tutorial for these since I made them myself with a little imagination and some extra material on hand. I used a big foam board that I cut in the shape of a number 1 and a number 5 with a snap-off knife. Then I covered them in shiny paper to go with the colors of the party and there you go! I must admit it took some time to make these but at the end they turned out so pretty :)

15 pom-poms

Fiber paper pom-poms

15 fan

I made these as well! I used shiny crepe paper and started to fold them the same way you make the beginning of the pom-poms but instead of opening them up so they form a ball. I just decided to open them up to form a fan and voilà! Super easy decoration.

Then of course I prepared some sweets for the dessert table :) These included: chocolate cupcakes with red buttercream frosting, pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, mini carrot cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, chocolate cupcake lollipops and I couldn’t leave behind red velvet popcakes!

Nis 15.1

Nis 15.2

15 popcakes

So finally here are the delicious recipes:

For the chocolate cupcakes I once again used my go to recipe featured on my previous post Mmmm It Smells Like Chocolate  For the buttercream frosting I used the following ingredients:

1 cup of unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2-4 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream

red food coloring

* The amount of cups of powdered sugar really depends on how stiff you want the buttercream to be and how sweet you want it to be. For my frosting I used only 3 cups of powdered sugar because I didn’t want the frosting to be so stiff or sweet. That way I could swirl the frosting into a rose more easily.

1. Beat the butter (better if cold, I took mine out of the fridge just a few minutes before) in the mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth.

2. Add salt and mix.

3. One cup at a time add the powdered sugar and beat after. Here I added only two cups first. If this is sweet and stiff enough for you then stop with the powdered sugar after this.

4. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

5. Add one tablespoon of heavy cream and mix. Determine if your frosting is stiff and sweet enough. If it is too stiff add another tablespoon of heavy cream or if it is too liquid then add another cup of powdered sugar like I did.

Adapted from Glorious Treats 

In order to decorate the cupcake like a rose (Hint: will be making some of these for Valentine’s day definitively) I highly recommend watching some tutorial videos on how to do this, they were really helpful! And finally I topped off the cupcakes with edible silver glitter!

For the pumpkin cupcakes I was inspired by this recipe I ran across the other day. As soon as I saw the recipe I thought why not make these? I was originally going to do some vanilla cupcakes but for this occasion a special recipe is required :) I used the following ingredients:

1 cup of flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/4 tsp of salt

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of ground ginger

1/2 tsp of ground allspice

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

1 cup of canned pumpkin puree

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven at 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice and nutmeg.

3. Whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix well.

5. Put the mixture in each individual cupcake by filling it 3/4 of the way.

6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes and voilà!

Adapted from Glorious Treats 

Now I had the cupcakes but I needed a nice and delicious topping. Fortunately for me the pumpkin recipe I found included a maple cream cheese frosting! I’ve never had or done this recipe so I thought why not? Let’s try it out. I used the following ingredients:

1/2 cup of unsalted butter

1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)

4 cups of powdered sugar

2 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tsp of clear vanilla extract

1 tbsp of heavy cream (optional)

1. In a mixer add butter until creamy (preferably use cold butter and cut it up in small cubes. Also use the whisk attachment).

2. Add the cream cheese and mix.

3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time (I also kept tasting how sweet it was after each addition and the frosting consistency, you might not need the 4 cups necessarily).

4. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract while still mixing on low. And finally add heavy cream if the consistency you want requires it.

I decorated my pumpkin cupcakes with a more simple swirl technique and topped it off with silver spherical sprinkles.

Adapted from Glorious Treats

For the mini carrot cupcakes I used my special recipe featured on my previous post Carrot Cupcakes And for the frosting I used the same maple cream cheese frosting featured above.

The chocolate cupcake lollipops were really simple: just melted some dark chocolate and filled cupcake molds and let them cool. Easiest recipe for the party and equally delicious :)

So one more recipe to go: red velvet popcakes! Since I bought my Babycakes Pop Maker. I’ve been inclined to do more popcakes and donut holes recipes. And since the party colors were red and silver, what a better idea than to do red velvet popcakes! So here are the ingredients I used:

1 1/4 cups of flour

1/4 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of cocoa

1/4 cup of unsalted butter

3/4 cup of sugar

1 egg

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tbsp of red coloring

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1/2 tsp of white vinegar

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt and cocoa and mix.

2. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter (better if softened) and then add sugar and mix. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.

3. Separately whisk the red food coloring with the buttermilk (to make some buttermilk mix 1 1/2 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup and fill with milk to 1/2 cup. Let stand 5-1o minutes).

4. Alternatively mix the flour mixture with the butter mixture in the mixer and then add the buttermilk mixture. Do this in 3 rounds beginning and ending by adding the flour mixture.

5. Mix the white vinegar and baking soda and allow to fzz. Fold into the mixture with a spatula.

6. Lightly coat the pop maker with oil spray and preheat the machine. Drop about a tablespoon of mixture into each hole and let it bake for about 5 minutes, test it with a toothpick and voilà!

7. Melt some white chocolate and insert a lollipop stick with some melted chocolate into each popcake. Let them cool in the fridge for about one hour.

8. Meanwhile melt some more white chocolate to coat the popcakes and top them off with red and silver sprinkles and edible silver glitter!

So there you go, tons of recipes for a very special occasion. It might have taken a while to prepare all of this (weeks of planning actually) but at the end it was so worth it and everything looked beautiful. One more thing, I dedicate this post to the birthday girl, my cousin Dennise who has entered a wonderful time of her life ♥