I absolutely love making holiday themed desserts for Christmas! Whether it’s Christmas sugar cookies the kids and I make for the neighbors or a special dessert like these cupcakes, baking special treats this time of year really puts me into the holiday spirit! These festive Holly Cupcakes are perfect for dessert on Christmas Day, as teacher or neighbor gifts or for a Christmas playdate or party! Read on for all the delicious details, supplies and recipe…
Christmas Holly Cupcake Recipe
First and foremost, please turn on your favorite Christmas music as you read this post and prepare to bake… I’m pretty sure it’s an obligatory initial step with any holiday baking! And if you’re anything like my sister-in-laws and I, holiday baking also requires a nice cold glass of bubbly! I mean, you have to get in the holiday spirit, right?
Now that we have that out of the way, please plan ahead when making these cupcakes, because the fondant leaves do require 24 hours to fully dry and set. You could do the leaves and the cupcakes one day and save the frosting and decoration for the next day.
There are a handful of items you’ll want to make sure you have on hand as well, especially if you haven’t worked with fondant before. Although you’ll likely have the majority of ingredients and tools in your pantry or refrigerator already, you’ll want to make sure you also have:
- Adorable Christmas Cupcake Liners (the polka dot or red striped ones in this set would be perfect!)
- Mini Leaf Cookie Cutter
- Fondant Veining Tool
- Fondant Rolling Pin
- Green Edible Marker
- Red Food Coloring
- Large Piping Bag with a Star Tip
- Red M&Ms
Holly Fondant Leaves
This recipe makes about 22 cupcakes, so you’ll need 44 leaves in total. You’ll start by rolling out your green fondant until it’s 1/2″ thick, then use your mini leaf cookie cutter to cut out all your leaves. Let those dry for an hour and then use your veining tool to make imprints in the leaves. We did one vein down the middle and then 3 sets of “v’s” for each Holly leaf. Next, use your green edible marker to trace the imprints you made to give them some depth. Let them fully dry over the next 24 hours.
Christmas Holly Cupcakes
Because you did extra work making fondant leaves, I think it’s only fair to use a box cake for the cupcakes, don’t you?! You’re welcome to make cupcakes from scratch, but I opted for a French Vanilla cake mix and added in a little extra vanilla. After you mix up your batter according to the recipe below, fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full and then bake! Once they’re done, make sure they fully cool before you start frosting them.
Christmas Holly Cupcake Frosting
I opted for a traditional buttercream frosting for these festive cupcakes and combined red and white to really give it a special look. Once you’ve mixed up your frosting according to the recipe, you’ll divide it into two bowls. One you’ll keep white and the other you’ll add your red food coloring to until it’s the color of red you desire. Next, you’ll carefully add the white frosting to one side of your piping bag.
Next, add the red icing to the other side of the piping bag – and yes, it’s going to be a little messy, but don’t worry about perfection – when the colors swirl together, no one will know the difference!
Then frost those cupcakes, baby! I like to go around the outside first and then swirl up and around until it’s completely covered.
And viola! A beautiful combination of red and white that’s sure to invoke visions of candy canes! The last thing to do is add your fondant leaves – two for each cupcake. Finally, place three M&Ms between the leaves to create your Holly leaves. And you’re done!
Be sure to give these a try this holiday season! It’s always fun to try a new recipe and these Christmas Holly Cupcakes are sure to be appreciated by all your friends and family! Pin this post for later so you’ll have it when you’re ready to bake!