Christmas Wreath Cupcakes by Pastry Chef Elise Strachan
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups (315g) superfine sugar
- 1 cup water, at room temperature
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (340g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (55g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Cupcake liners (in dark brown or black)
- 16” Round cake board (in red or white)
- Large star piping tip
- Piping bag
- Rolling pin
- 4 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla bean (halved crosswise) or 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 11 cups (650g) powdered sugar (sifted)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
- Green gel paste food color
- Red gumballs (about ½” to 1” in size)
- Green sour tape (cut into leaf shapes)
- Red fondant
- Large Marshmallows
- Powdered sugar (for rolling)
Directions for Cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 28 cupcake liners in muffin tin.
2. In a mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Add the water, eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat on low speed until all ingredients are just combined.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add the flour
mixture to the butter mixture and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with batter.
5 Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 22
minutes. . Check first at 18 minutes, then each minute thereafter. Cool the cupcakes in the tin
for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Directions for Buttercream
1. In a stand mixer with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed for at least 5 minutes, until the butter has lightened in color and is thoroughly whipped.
2. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the vanilla seeds into the butter and beat to
incorporate or add the vanilla extract.
3. Add 1 cup of the sugar and begin mixing on low speed to combine,
then beat on high speed for about 2 minutes.
4. Repeat this process 1 cup at a time until all the sugar has been added. Add milk a dash at a
time if the mixture becomes too thick or dry. Scrape down the sides as needed and make
sure no sugar is visible.
5. Add 2-3 of drops of green food coloring and mix well. Add a few drops at a time until
desired color is achieved.
The frosting will last for 1 month in the freezer, 2 weeks in the fridge,
and 3 days at room temperature.