It's not too early to start thinking about Christmas cupcakes, and these beautiful Christmas ornament cupcakes are by Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, owners of Georgetown Cupcake and stars of TLC reality show DC Cupcakes, from their new cookbook Sweet Celebrations, which you can win a copy of by entering our contest.
Christmas Ornament Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes
with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup eggnog
½ cup dark rum, or rum extract for a non-alcoholic version
½ cup sifted cocoa powder
For the Cream Cheese frosting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup dark rum, or rum extract for a non-alcoholic version
For the decoration
¼ pound each red, green, and gold fondant
¼ cup edible luster dust (gold, silver, and/or white)
¼ cup each cupcake toppings of your choice,
such as nonpareils or candy balls
For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups, and
a second pan with six baking cups
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream
together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately
3 to 5 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
5. Combine the vanilla and eggnog in a large liquid measuring cup.
6. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the eggnog mixture, beating slowly until well incorporated. Add another
third of the flour mixture, followed by another third of the eggnog mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining eggnog mixture, and beat just until combined.
7. Add the rum (or rum extract), and mix until just combined.
8. Add the cocoa powder, beating on low speed just until incorporated.
9. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, fill each baking cup so that it is two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, mix all the ingredients for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until the frosting is light and airy. Frost each cupcake with a thick layer of the frosting using an offset spatula.
To decorate the cupcakes as “ornaments”:
Roll out flat pieces of fondant in a variety of colors, about ¼ inch thick. Cut out eighteen circles with a diameter of 3 inches, enough to cover each cupcake with one circle. Brush the surface of each circle with gold, silver, or white luster dust, or a combination of all three. Next, press your favorite cupcake toppings into each circle to create festive patterns (see the photo on page 150). Place a circle on each cupcake. Then wrap each cupcake in tissue paper, and place it in a square box, wrapped with ribbon, to serve. Happy Christmas!