Christmas elf cupcakes
Delicious sweet Christmas treats which are fun to decorate and lovely to give as gifts.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 mins plus cooling
225g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
175g self-raising flour
100g icing sugar (optional)
50g milk chocolate, chopped
Smarties, to decorate
Red, green and black icing from 500g pack of ready-to-roll coloured icing
small piece white ready-to-roll icing
1. Preheat oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Line a 12-section muffin tray with muffin cases. Put 150g of the butter, the sugar, vanilla, eggs and flour in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Divide into the cake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and just firm to touch. Cool.
2. Beat the remaining butter with icing sugar to make a buttercream. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of hot water.
3. Spread the buttercream over the cakes. For each hat, take a small piece of red icing and roll into a log with a point at one end. Flatten using icing sugar-dusted fingers, and position on each cake. Place a Smartie, slightly off centre, for noses. Use red icing to shape curved red mouths and press in position.
4. Roll little balls of green icing and place at the ends of the hats, then roll out small triangles for the beards.
5. Spoon the melted chocolate into one corner of a small, new plastic food bag and snip off the merest tip so the chocolate can be piped in a thin line. Use to pipe the hair. Roll ovals of white and black icing into eyes. Leave in a cool place to harden.
Recipe courtesy of Waitrose.