The Christmas Cut-Out Cupcakes were created by blogger, Polly Carlson. To learn more about Polly, visit her blog at Pieces By Polly.
"These Christmas cut-out cupcakes will be a hit with the adults and grown-ups alike. They are a particular favorite of mine for taking to school parties and outings with kids. With the frosting hidden inside, your kids' faces stay cleaner, and you don't have to worry so much about cupcakes bumping each other and messing up the decoration in transport. "
- Chocolate and/or vanilla boxed cake mix and other ingredients needed to follow package directions
- 1 container vanilla frosting
- 1 container chocolate frosting (optional)
- Assorted food coloring
- WONKA® Frosty NERDS®
- WONKA® GOBSTOPPER® Snowballs (optional)
- Cupcake wrappers
- Assorted small Christmas themed cookie cutters with basic shapes
The main trick to making these is knowing how to bake a rounded-top cupcake…and it's easy. To keep things simple, I used cake mix from a box. Individually, I think the cut-outs are most striking with chocolate cupcakes because of the contrast of the bright colors against the dark cupcake. However, as a group, I like a mixture of dark and light cupcakes, so I used both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.
Most box mixes will tell you to fill the cupcake paper 2/3 full and to bake at 350 degrees. We're going to change that slightly, by filling them MORE and cooking at a LOWER temperature for a few minutes LONGER. You want to fill your cupcake paper 3/4 full and bake at 325 degree. Then you'll want to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes. You'll want to check your cupcakes with a toothpick to make sure they're done. Because we're filling the cupcake papers more than the box directions, this will reduce your yield slightly. I find I usually get about 20 cupcakes from a mix that says it will make 24.
But the slightly reduced yield is worth it to give you nicely rounded cupcakes without them overflowing your cupcake wrappers.
While your cupcakes are cooking and cooling, you can get your frosting ready and set out your candies. I divided my vanilla frosting into several different bowls to mix up different colors. If you want to keep it simple and go with fewer colors, white and green were my favorite colors to use. (Red often ends up looking more pink, and the other colors are fun, but less Christmasy.) I prefer the concentrated food coloring gel, but regular food coloring will work as well. Be sure to leave some frosting white because it contrasts so nicely with the red and green Nerds. Wonka® Frosty Nerds® are the perfect size for decorating these. I find traditional sprinkles too small to control well where they go and other candies are too big for the small cut-outs. I also loved using Wonka® Gobstopper® Snowballs for the center of the snowflakes, although they were too large to use with my other shapes. You'll also need to gather some assorted small cookie cutters. I found that small basic shapes work the best…a star, candy cane, Christmas tree, gingerbread man, etc. I found other shapes like wreaths and sleighs that are not as well defined don't work as well.
Once you've let your cupcakes cool, use a serrated knife to cut the mounded top off your cupcake, level with the top of your cupcake paper.
Put your cupcake top on a firm surface (like a cutting board), and gently press your cutout into it.
Frost the top of your main cupcake with your chosen color of frosting.
Pop your cupcake top back on.
And embellish as desired using Wonka® Frosty Nerds®.