Selwood climbing frames staff are all getting rather excited about the approach of Christmas, and one thing that we all love about this holiday season is the food, whether it be savoury or sweet. Mince pies are one of the traditional Christmas sweet treats, but they aren’t very interesting for children to make, so how about baking some Christmas cupcakes instead?
Baking is always something children enjoy with their parents, and with the lead up to Christmas, many classes at school will become Christmas orientated and time will be spent making Christmas ornaments and making Christmas cards. The two things that are always most enjoyable about baking with mum or dad is licking the remaining batter from the bowl while the cakes are in the oven, and afterwards the decoration of the cakes. Children often come up with such imaginable decorations.
The cakes themselves needn’t be something worthy of a Michelin star, a simple sponge often does the trick. It is the decoration that makes them look inviting to others. In December why not try some fancy Christmas themed decorations? We have found some fabulous examples of Christmas themed decorations on cakes and other gorgeous baked goods.
We were particularly impressed with these reindeer cupcakes as they are very imaginative. If you would like to recreate them you can find the recipe below.
- 125g softened butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100ml milk
- 100g melted dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
For the icing
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 tbsp double cream
For the decoration
- Giant chocolate buttons
- Hard shell chocolates (e.g Smarties or M&Ms)
- Mini pretzels
- Black writing icing
- Mini sliced marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs until well combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until fully combined. Fold in the milk and melted chocolate.
- Evenly spoon mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or alternatively until well risen and firm to the touch. Once removed from the oven, remove cakes from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- To make icing, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Whisk together until smooth and leave to one side to cool slightly.
- To decorate the cakes, spread icing over the top of each cake and spoon any remaining icing into an icing bag with a small nozzle.
- Press a chocolate button onto the cake and then add a hard shelled chocolate on top with a bit of icing. Stick on two slices of marshmallows for the eyes, and use the black writing icing to give pupils and for the finishing touch – add pretzels as the ears.
Hopefully this will give you some perfect Christmas baking ideas for you and your children this festive season. If you do decide to decorate your cakes with your children this December, send us a photo on our Facebook page, we’d love to see what you have come up with!