Using the red velvet cake recipe or using your favorite cake recipe, make cupcakes. (The red velvet cake can be chocolate cake by leaving out the food color.)

RED VELVET CAKE

Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups flour

• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

• 2 cups granulated sugar

• 4 eggs

• 1 cup sour cream

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1 bottle (1 ounce) McCormick® Red Food Color

• 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. For the Cupcakes, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

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SANTA CUPCAKES

• You will need:

•Grated coconut, chopped, approx. a cup should do it.

• 4 oz cream cheese

• 1/2 cup powdered sugar

• silver or chocolate cake decorator candies – (or other small ball candies for Santa’s eyes and buttons)

• cake decorating tool or strong baggie to hold frosting (cut a tiny hole in a bottom corner of the baggie to make buttons on Santa’s body and a dollop on the top of his hat.

Frost cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Wash a medium sized strawberry. Dry with paper towel. Remove stem. Cut off the top 1/4 of the strawberry. Using a paring knife, cut a small cone from the center of the top of the big part of strawberry. Scoop a ball of the cream cheese mixture about as wide and tall as the strawberry’s width at the place of the cut. Place the large portion of the berry wide-side-down. Place the cheese mixture on top of the bottom portion of strawberry, allowing it to fill the cone crevice you cut out. Place top of strawberry on top for the hat. Place excess cream cheese mixture in a baggie. Removing all the air, squeeze it down into one corner of the baggie. Barely cut the tip off the corner of the baggie so you can squeeze frosting out. Squeeze a small dollop of cream cheese mixture on top of the tip of strawberry (hat). Also squeeze two tiny circles on the front of the bottom portion to create the buttons. Keep chilled until serving time. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with coconut and place strawberry Santa on top.

2013-10-19 04.57.56Eileen Majors

REINDEER CUPCAKES:

You will need:

• small box of vanilla wafers

• small circular pretzel twists

• chocolate frosting (recipe included or use your favorite)

• mini marshmallows (2 per cupcake)

• chocolate chip or small dark candy for eye (2 per cupcake)

• Junior mints (one per cupcake)

Spread chocolate frosting on cupcake. Gently clip off a small slice of the pretzel on each side as shown. Add pretzels as antlers adding a bit more frosting to hold ‘antler’ in place. Place vanilla wafer on bottom portion of cupcake. Put frosting on the back of a Junior Mint candy and stick it on the cookie. Place two marshmallows as eyes using frosting to adhere them, and to adhere a chocolate chip in the center of each.

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

• 8 oz softened cream cheese

• 1/2 cup real butter

• 2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

• 1 tsp. McCormick vanilla extract

Mix cream cheese butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Start with 2 cups of powdered sugar, adding as you mix, to desired consistency.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter

• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

• 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup milk + more as needed

• 1 teaspoon McCormick vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Add powdered sugar and milk, a little of each at a time. Beat to desired consistency for spreading, adding vanilla and a little more milk, if needed. Yields about 2 cups of frosting.

VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) real butter, softened

• 2 tablespoons sour cream

• 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

• 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.