Each year, I look forward to the holiday season. With family gatherings, good food and festive baking, there is so much to love about this time of the year. I enjoy spending time in our kitchen and I’ve recently noticed that my toddler has begun observing me while I cook and bake with the cutest look of curiosity across his face. When I look at him, I imagine our family a few years down the road sitting by the fireplace, the Christmas tree twinkling and us decorating our festive bakes while singing our favourite holiday jingles.
I love the idea of getting everyone into the festive spirit by including them in holiday baking activities. If you have older children, they can join in on the entire baking process and if you have little ones, they are always willing to get messy and help with the decorating (and snacking)!
These Christmas Tree Piñata Cupcakes are simple to make, fun to decorate and have a sweet surprise when you break into them! The cupcakes are soft, fluffy and flavoured with one of the most popular drinks of the season: eggnog! So, I know they will get the entire family into the festive spirit!
A holiday bake is not complete without fun baking tools, like these Kitchen Stuff Plus (KSP) Christmas cook silicone muffin liners that I use for more than just baking (they’re great to hold sprinkles or candies when decorating or for kids’ bento lunch boxes too!). KSP’s assortment of festive kitchen towels have the most wonderful prints for the season and are so functional, especially when you are decorating with little ones! I’m also a huge fan of the OXO baking line which is carried at KSP. Their muffin tray and cooling rack are such high quality, I know I’ll get a ton of use out of them for many years to come.
Let’s get baking so we can enjoy decorated cupcakes on the most charming holiday plates from KSP! I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind a cupcake in between all his cookies, too!
Tools you’ll need:
For the Cupcakes:
1 ¼ cup Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
¾ tsp Nutmeg
¾ cup Sugar
85 g (6 tbsp) Unsalted Butter
1 ½ tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ cup + 2 tbsp Eggnog
For the Frosting and Trees:
907g (2lbs) confectioners’ sugar + plus more for dusting
454g (4 sticks) unsalted butter
12 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
15-20 drops green food colouring
12 sugar cones
Candy (chocolate, marshmallow or candies) to fill the cones with
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in medium bowl and set aside.
- Beat sugar, butter and vegetable oil on med-high until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and mix until just combined. Add vanilla, scrape down sides and mix until well combined.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine. Add eggnog and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill the cupcake liners just over ½ full and bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Place on cooling rack and let cool completely before decorating.
For the Frosting:
- Cream butter and add sugar. Mix on high. Add milk ½ tbsp at a time until preferred consistency.
- Take half of the frosting and place in a separate bowl. Mix food colouring until combined and you reach your desired colour.
Tip: you want the frosting to be firm enough so your piping stays in place.
For the Assembly:
- Frost cupcake with a layer of white frosting.
- Using a spatula, add a thin layer of green frosting to the sugar cone. Fill the sugar cone with candy and place on cupcake. Tip: flip cupcake onto filled cone to ensure no candy spills!
- Using #30 tip, begin piping green frosting onto the cone, starting from the base.
- Sift confectioners’ sugar onto cupcake, decorate with any further candies and enjoy!
Christine Kozovski is a new mom, food photographer and health & safety professional based out of Toronto Ontario. She shares her passion for food through easy and fresh recipes that can be found on her blog and Instagram account. She gets her food inspiration from her parents, growing up with both Asian and Mediterranean influences as well as places she’s travelled. Her adventurous side shines through when she gets to explore new cities and try new foods. She’s excited to start a different type of adventure now that her family has grown to include her 10 month old son.