My friend Rosie came home for the holidays with her husband and beautiful new baby girl! We decided to make a christmas wreath made out of cupcakes and gingerbread houses! Below is the cupcake wreath recipe (we did not make the sugared cranberries or cookies but both recipes are in the link with all recipes). Just a warning, the icing used here is buttercream and it takes more time than usual but worth it! You can use any cupcakes, but we used the one in the link (red velvet). Once all the cupcakes were made, we all took turns decorating them with the “grass” icing so it truly was a group effort, and isn’t that what wreaths are all about?! All the cupcake wreath recipes can be found here.
Rosie was also nice enough to make homemade hot cocoa for everyone! It was awesome!
- 24 cupcakes (see recipe we used)
- Green buttercream (see recipe below), for decorating
- Holly leaf cookies (see recipe we did not use), for decorating
- Sugared cranberries (see recipe we did not use), for decorating
- Pastry bag fitted with large star tip
Red Velvet Cupcake Ingredients
- 1 1/2 stick(s) (3/4 cup) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup(s) milk
- 2 tablespoon(s) (1 oz) liquid red food color (we did not have any but still tasted the same!)
- 2 teaspoon(s) white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cup(s) cake flour (not self-rising)
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cup(s) (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon(s) pure vanilla extract
- Leaf green gel food coloring
Make red velvet cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need 24 regular-size (2 1/2-in. diameter) muffin cups lined with foil liners. In a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla 2 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir milk, food color and vinegar in a 2-cup measure until well blended. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in two additions, beating just until blended. Spoon a scant 1⁄4 cup batter over candy in each cup, keeping candy in center. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan to rack. Cool completely.
Once they are in the oven, make the buttercream frosting. This takes some time but allows for the cupcakes to cool before starting to decorate. In a large metal or glass bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) a saucepan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are warm to touch, 3 to 4 minutes. (To tell if the sugar has dissolved, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers. It should feel smooth, not grainy.)
Remove from the heat. Using an electric mixer, whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff glossy peaks form and the bowl is no longer hot to touch, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the butter, a few pieces at a time. After adding all the butter, continue to whisk until the mixture begins to resemble softly whipped butter, about 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the vanilla. Mix for 3 to 4 minutes to remove some of the air bubbles. Tint the frosting green.
Assemble the wreath. Remember, if you make the holly cookies and sugared cranberries, be sure to allot time to those too. Assemble the cupcakes in a wreath shape (15 in outer circle, 9 in inner circle). Place the green buttercream in the pastry bag fitted with a large start tip and frost the cupcakes with green buttercream frosting to create a wreath, filling in any gaps between cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate the wreath with the holly leaf cookies and sugared cranberries (or other decorations you may wish to use, we used sprinkles and melted white chocolate). Enjoy!
We all took turns decorating some of the cupcakes with the buttercream frosting: