After one of the most tiring semesters yet, I am finally on winter break with two weeks off to do as little as possible.  Last year I ran off to Puerto Rico for a few days, but this year I’m looking forward to laying low, catching up with friends and family, and sleeping A LOT.  Of course I also get to be home when the sun is up which definitely makes baking, photographing, and blogging a whole lot easier too.  Recently it’s been a whirlwind of holiday baking for me, and these snowman gingerbread cupcakes are one of my favorite treats to exit my kitchen so far.  They were a ton of fun to make and received rave reviews at our clinic holiday party last week.

Since I was so busy baking and wrapping up schoolwork, I took a few shortcuts with these cupcakes.  The cupcake is a doctored cake mix that turned out deliciously and while I originally imagined cake balls for the snowman heads, I opted for store-bought donut holes dipped in white chocolate to save some time.  The eyes and buttons are little chocolate candies I found at Whole Foods awhile back, the scarves are Twizzler Pull&Peels, the arms are mini pretzel rods, and the carrot noses are little bits of fondant dyed orange (but you could also use orange tic-tacs).  I made my own cream cheese frosting with a bit of cinnamon added for the “melted” body, but a store-bought can of frosting would work just as well if you want another shortcut.  I think hats would have put these over the top with cuteness, but I didn’t think ahead enough to pull that off (I’m imaging mini Oreos with Rolos maybe…).  You can be really creative with what you choose to use here, and I think it would be great to get the kids involved too!

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"Melting" Snowman Gingerbread Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

for the cupcakes:
1 box (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
12 oz cream cheese, cold
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

for decoration and assembly:
24 glazed donut holes
Twizzler Pull&Peels
Small pretzel rods
Mini chocolate candies or chocolate chips
Orange tic-tacs or fondant
1 package white candy melts

Directions:

for the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Combine the cake mix and all of the additional ingredients listed above (ignoring the ingredient list on the back of the cake mix box). Beat together for about 2 minutes.
- Fill paper liners 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the vanilla extract.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, then beat until well combined. Mix in cinnamon.
- Load frosting into a piping bag with a large round tip, and frost cooled cupcakes with “blobs” of frosting to resemble a melting puddle of snow.

for decoration and assembly:
- Melt white candy melts according to package’s instructions in a deep, microwave-safe bowl. If the chocolate is too thick, add a little vegetable oil.
- Drop each donut hole into the melted chocolate, then spoon it out and tap the spoon on the side of the bowl to remove excess. Transfer immediately atop frosted cupcakes.
- Add chocolate pieces for eyes and buttons, pretzel rods for arms, tic-tac or fondant for a nose, and Twizzlers for a scarf. Add a hat too if you want!

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17 Responses to ““Melting” Snowman Gingerbread Cupcakes”

  1. #
    1
    Blog is the New Black — December 19, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    These came out wonderfully!

  2. #
    2
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — December 19, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    Mega-cuteness! Love these!
    PS. I’m all for shortcuts at this time of year!

  3. #
    3
    Anna — December 19, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Ohhhhh they are absolutely adorable!! I had some cookies for a friend, but I think I’ll change my plans and make theese instead… They are so cute! :D

    Kisses!!

  4. #
    4
    Kittie — December 19, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    I love how we can see your reflection in the ornament in picture #2! Great self portrait! ; )

  5. #
    5
    Sarah — December 19, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    These look great! Love the use of pretzels for the arms.

  6. #
    6
    Liz @ Southern Charm — December 20, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    SO adorable. I absolutely love how these came out!

  7. #
    7
    mml — December 22, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    Just made your Smores’ Cookies! They are amazing. Loved the ASDA blog with the tooth cookies. I have that same cookie cutter at my house…it was from some rep at the school…I have about 8 of them!

  8. #
    8
    Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden — November 16, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    What a cute decoration,great idea for upcoming holidays. I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

  9. #
    9
    Cupcake Daily Blog — December 1, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    Absolutely lovely!!

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