Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hidden Christmas Tree Cupcakes! Week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!

Here we are at week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop! I know you're still in disbelief that I'm posting Christmas treats, but isn't this fun :)? These are so easy to make (they use a box mix), kids can help, and everyone who eats them will love them for their design and their flavor. Cupcakes really are the perfect baked good to make with kids because it's so much fun to frost them and put sprinkles or whatever they want to on them.

I love the fact that the sprinkles look like lights on the tree and the star is on top shining brightly. I just keep cutting them open to look at them, then of course I have to eat them :). I'm so excited about making all of these Christmas treats this year even though it's fall. It's as though it just skipped Halloween and Thanksgiving in my head because I'm all about the red and green right now. I still have some fun ideas for Halloween but I should probably make them soon or I will miss the holiday itself!

Let's talk a little about the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop again. It is a blog hop hosted each year by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic and it's lot of fun to participate in and see what everyone makes each week. I have a very exciting idea for next week, but here's hoping I can make the recipe work :). If you want to participate too then you can sign up here.

I have lots and lots of pictures of these cupcakes and the process to help me explain how I did what I did. I used cookie cutters for the two larger circles and two different sizes of cake decorating tips for the two smaller circles. Of course you can use whatever you can find to make the appropriate sized circles, small cans, the tops of bottles or small jars, anything that will cut the cake. I decided that distributing the sprinkles on top of the batter before baking resulted in the appearance of strings of lights on the trees, but you could also just stir the sprinkles in, then spread it on the pan, and light would be all over the trees.

As you can see, I had some extra cake scraps left over. I ate a fair amount of those :). Let me know if you try the recipe, I would love to see how they turn out! Happy Baking everyone!

Hidden Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Makes 12

- 1 box white cake mix
- green food coloring
- 2-3 tablespoons sprinkles, plus additional if desired
- 1 large container of white frosting
- yellow food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 10” x 15” cookie sheet with nonstick foil (or a 9” x 13” baking dish). Prepare cake mix according to the directions on the box.
2. Measure out 1 ½ cups of prepared batter into a medium bowl. Stir in green food coloring until it has reached the shade of green that you desire. Pour the batter into the prepared cookie sheet and smooth. Evenly distribute the 2-3 tablespoons of sprinkles over the batter (or stir the sprinkles into the batter then spread into pan). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. If using a 9” x 13” pan, the cake may take longer to bake. Set aside to cool.

3. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Using 4 circle cookie cutters in different sizes, cut out 12 of each size circle. The largest cookie cutter should be almost the size of the bottom of the paper liner. Stack the cake circles to look like a tree in each paper liner. The top of the tree should come to the top of the cupcake pan.

4. Evenly distribute the remaining batter around each tree in the cupcake pan making sure not to disturb the tree itself. Leave the top of the tree uncovered by batter. Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted off center comes out clean. Cool completely. 

5. In a small bowl, stir about 1 tablespoon of frosting with yellow food coloring until the desired color is reached. Spoon the yellow frosting into a piping bag or zip-top bag. If you cannot see the green tops of the trees, then use a toothpick to uncover them. Pipe ¼-½ teaspoon yellow frosting over the top of each green circle. Carefully ice the cupcakes with the remaining white frosting using a piping bag or zip-top bag. Sprinkle with additional sprinkles, if desired.

Printable recipe

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