♫…..Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin’? In the lane, snow is glistenin’!♫………
Can you believe it’s the week of Christmas? That’s a rhetorical question, of course you can’t! Wow that went by at light speed and now there are just a few short day left to enjoy this year. I know there isn’t a lot of time left but I thought I’d try to squeeze in a few more super Christmasy things while I still can.
This is going to be my song inspired week. I’m doing a few recipes that are inspired by foods mentioned in popular Christmas songs. And speaking of Christmas songs, have you been getting in your quota of Christmas music this year? If not, it’s still not to late to start a non-stop playlist. Nostalgic Christmas songs are one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season and I feel it’s completely acceptable to listen to them up until January 2nd. Oh sorry, how dare I mention the dreaded first month of the year when we’re supposed to be celebrating! Only happy thoughts are allowed for the rest of the year, are we on the same page? Okay, good.
These are probably a little familiar for those of you who’ve grown up anywhere that markets those little Christmas tree shaped cakes with a little girl named Debbie’s face on the box. Yeah, you know what I mean. Oh my, I know packaged foods are so bad and that childhood memories of tastes are never accurate, but the chubby little me could have eaten so many of those if allowed. I remember them at our school Christmas parties every year. They were my favorite but I know they’re so bad. Has anyone else heard that they put flavor enhancers in them that literally trick your brain into not wanting to stop eating them? It’s probably not true but you have to admit it sounds legit.
I used my favorite vanilla frosting and cake recipes for these and then made a pourable royal icing to coat them. I couldn’t decide what design I liked better for the top, piping snowflakes or using white chocolate to make toppers in the same mold I baked the cakes in. I ended up including both so you can decide. Oh, and that mold, it’s a silicone cake pan and I have a bunch of different shapes of the same kind of mold because they’re the best! I can’t find the exact one I have but this one is almost the the same from what I can tell. If you prefer though, you can just make these in cupcake shapes and pipe frosting to look like snowflakes on top.
One more little thing I just wanted to note was the royal icing I used to coat these. I use fresh egg whites in my royal icing the old-fashioned way because we buy free range eggs from a local source. However, since I know the risk of salmonella concerns a lot of you I’m including a version with dried egg white powder as there is no risk if you prefer to do it that way. Another option you can use is white chocolate.
Okay, I think that’s it. These are a little more effort than making cupcakes but they are a major step above cupcakes so it’s completely worth it. You’ve still got time to make them. Hey, even if you don’t have time this week they’d be great for New Year’s too.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean (scrapings)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 egg whites
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
- Water, if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 1/2 cups (1 pound, 3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
- 1/2 ounce egg white powder
- Water, if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F(180° C) and Combine butter and sugar in large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, milk, salt, vanilla bean, and baking powder. Last add flour and stir until smooth.
- For this recipe I used a silicone snowflake mold like this one Alternatively you can use silicone or regular cupcake pans and simply do round cakes. (If not using silicone pans then you will need to grease pans.) Pour batter into cavities and fill about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- When cakes are cooled, cut them legthwise down the center and spread the filling on one half. Place second half on top and press down slightly. Repeat for all of the cakes and place on a silicone or parchment lined pan and place in freezer to chill.].
- Pour batter into cavities and fill about half way full. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- For filling, beat butter and nutella in a medium bowl until smooth. Then add milk. Beat in powdered sugar one cup at a time until mixed then continue beating on high until fluffy.
- When cakes are cooled, cut them legthwise down the center and spread filling on one half. Place second half on top and press down slightly. Repeat for all of the cakes and place on a silicone or parchment lined pan and place in fridge or freezer to chill.
- Beat butter in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add milk beat until light and fluffy. Add a little more milk if needed for a smoother consistency.
- Combine eggwhites (or powder and water) and 1 cup of powdered sugar in medium mixing bowl and star beating on low. Continue adding powdered sugar and beating until it forms a thick frosting. Add vanilla and salt and beat until thick and well combined. Scoop a spoonful and test pouring it back into bowl. It should drip slowly and be very thick. This recipe will vary based on many different factors so you will need to adjust powdered sugar and water amounts until you get the right consistency. (If you're not sure about the thickness, test it on one of your cake and allow it to dry for a while before coating them all. If needed, add more powdered sugar to make it thicker or water to thin.)
- Once you're happy with your icing, dip the bottoms of cakes in it and place them on a wire rack set over a large pan with high enough sides to catch the run off (you can re use it). Pour icing over cakes as evenly as you can and allow it to dry for about an hour. If desired you can do a second, and even a third coat to get them covered well.
- For the tops I did two different things. For the first I added some extra powdered sugar to some of my royal icing to get it thicker and filled a small, round-tipped piping bag to pipe snowflakes. For the white chocolate, I simply melted some white chocolate and poured it into the same mold I used for the cakes and allowed it to dry, then placed them on the cakes while the icing was still wet.