I’m a huge fan of the creative geniuses behind Hello, Cupcake and subscribe to their free newsletter. Just a few weeks ago, they sent out a cupcake project that was perfect for the holidays - Edible Ornament cupcakes. After taking a quick look, I realized that this was a perfect baking project that I could complete with my 3 year old toddler. As a matter of fact, it’s so easy that even Ben was able to get in on the action.
(image credit: Hello, Cupcake)
All you need are a few colorful sugars (homemade or store bought) for the sparkly coating, colorful taffy for the stripes, M&Ms Minis for the dots, and a spice drop with a little licorice lace loop for the hanger. The recipe below is directly from the Hello, Cupcake website. I’ve added some of my own tips and tricks at the bottom…
- 24 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
- ½ cup each white, red, yellow, and green decorating sugars (available at baking supply stores) *technique video
- 24 yellow spice drops
- Black licorice laces, cut into twenty-four 1¼-inch pieces
- 24 thin pretzel sticks
- Assortment of colored fruit chews (Laffy Taffys, Airheads, Starbursts) *candy swap: fruit leather (Fruit by the Foot)
- Red licorice laces (Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel)
- 1 cup mini candy-coated chocolates (M&M’s Minis) *candy swap: Cinnamon Red Hots or candy decors
- Spoon ½ cup of the vanilla frosting into a resealable freezer-grade bag, press out the excess air, seal, and snip a small (⅛ inch) corner from the bag. Set aside.
- Working on one cupcake at a time, spread the top of the cupcake with the vanilla frosting, mounding it slightly. Place the decorating sugars in separate small shallow bowls. For a two-toned ornament, roll half of the cupcake in one of the sugars to coat. Repeat with the remaining half of the cupcake in another color sugar. For a solid-colored ornament, roll the top of a cupcake in one of the sugars to coat completely. Lightly press the top of the cupcake to reshape if necessary. Repeat with the remaining frosting, cupcakes, and sugars.
- To make the top of the ornament, use a round toothpick to poke two holes in the flat side of a spice drop. Poke a single hole in the rounded end of the spice drop. Bend one of the black licorice pieces in half and insert both ends into the holes in the flat side of the spice drop to make a loop. Insert one end of a pretzel stick into the hole in the rounded top of the spice drop, pushing it in about ¼ inch. Repeat with the remaining spice drops, licorice pieces, and pretzels.
- Roll out the fruit chews on a piece of wax paper to ⅛ inch thick. Use a pastry wheel, clean craft scissors, or regular scissors to cut the fruit chews into decorative shapes. Press the pretzel end of an ornament top all the way into one of the cupcakes at the top edge. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
- Arrange the fruit-chew pieces and red laces on top of the cupcakes to make stripes, bands, and lines. Snip any excess fruit chew with clean scissors. Pipe dots of vanilla frosting on top of the ornaments and attach the chocolate candies to secure.
- Make a variety of ornament patterns with the sugars and candies.
- Set each cupcake in another paper liner and place in small boxes or on a serving platter.
Buying pre-made cupcakes is certainly the easiest and fastest way to go, but I wanted these to have even more “wow” factor so I made vanilla cupcakes from scratch.
- I added an Oreo Cookie to the bottom of each cup before pouring in the batter for a nice “surprise”.
- To help alleviate some of the Holiday-Pig-Out-Guilt-Factor that always seems to set in right around Jan 1, I went ahead and substituted C&H® Light Sugar in the recipe (just use HALF of the amount that is called for) to cut the sugar calories in HALF!
- I only needed 1 can of frosting.
- I didn’t use the pretzel sticks. I found that the spice drops stayed in place just fine without them.
- I cheated and used sour strips instead of trying to roll out taffy. I’m sure fruit roll ups would have worked great too!
Aside from my baking the cupcakes and applying the frosting, Whistler decorated the rest of these cupcakes pretty much all by himself!
Yes, if a 3 year old and his dad can make these, you can too :)
More about C&H® Light Sugar
- It is an All Natural pure cane sugar & stevia blend with half the calories of sugar. (P.S. That’s over a 350-calorie savings in each cup!)
- By blending pure cane C&H® Sugar with a naturally sweet extract from the stevia plant, C&H has created a delicious sweetener with no artificial ingredients
- Just 5 calories per serving!
- Get a $1 off coupon here!