Posted 9th Dec 2013
1 quantity basic cake mixture:
125g/1 stick butter, softened
115g/1/2 cup caster sugar
115g/1 cup self raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the snowmen:
1 egg white
60g/1⁄4 cup caster/superfine sugar
For the topping:
250g/2 cups icing/confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons long, shredded, soft coconut
150g/5 1⁄2 oz. ready-to-roll icing, coloured blue
black edible pen
orange decorating gel
12-hole cupcake pan filled with cupcake cases
Pre-heat the oven to 140ºC (275ºF)/Gas Mark 1.
To make the snowmen, put the egg white in a clean mixing bowl and whisk to stiff peaks using an electric whisk. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking constantly until glossy and peaked. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag fitted with the large, round nozzle and pipe 12 mounds of meringue about 3cm in diameter. Pipe a smaller round ball on top of each meringue mound to make a snowman shape.
Bake in the oven for about 45-60 minutes until the meringues are crisp. Check towards the end of cooking as they can start to crack. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF)/Gas Mark 4. Spoon the cake mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cakes spring back to your touch. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes on a wire rack.
Mix all but 3 tablespoons of the icing/confectioners' sugar with a few drops of blue food colouring and 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a stiff icing. Using a round bladed knife, spread the icing over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle the cakes with the coconut to look like snow. Roll out the blue ready-to-roll icing on a clean work surface dusted with icing/confectioners' sugar. Cut it into thin strips and fix 1 longer strip around each snowman's neck to make a scarf. Fix 2 shorter strips at the front, just below each snowman's head and score thin lines at the end of each using a sharp knife. Draw on black dots for eyes, buttons and a mouth using the edible pen and use the decorating gel to create a carrot shape for each snowman's nose. Fix the snowmen on top of the cakes using a little of the icing and dust with edible glitter to serve.
Christmas Cupcakes & Cookies, published by Ryland Peters & Small, is available to buy from www.rylandpeters.com and all other good book stores, RRP £9.99.