zoom Christmas elf cupcakes

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    Christmas elf cupcakes

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    Christmas elf cupcakes

    Delicious sweet Christmas treats which are fun to decorate and lovely to give as gifts.

    • Vegetarian
    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 1 hour
    • Cooking time: 25 mins plus cooling
    • Total time: 1h 25 mins plus cooling

    Makes: 12

    Ingredients

    225g unsalted butter, softened
    150g caster sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    3 eggs
    175 g self-raising flour
    100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
    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

    Method

    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.

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    Cook's tips

    Can be prepared in advance.

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