Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

christmas pudding cupcakes easy recipe and method happy holidays

I can’t believe this is my first festive post of the year and we’re only just over a week away from the big day – where does the time go?

These little chocolate cupcakes were baked for a charity cake sale that my local Free Cakes for Kids rep sent over the details for. If there’s one thing guaranteed to get me in the kitchen, then a charity cake sale is just that!

The cupcakes were a rich chocolate base, with added white chocolate chunks and candied orange peel. You could easily vary the recipe and add more dried fruit, nuts, or more chocolate.

white chocolate and candied orange peel mix for christmas pudding chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients (Makes 12 cupcakes)
150g butter
150g sugar
3 medium eggs
100g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
75g candied orange peel (make your own using the guide here)
100g white chocolate, broken into small chunks

To decorate
150-200g chocolate fondant
2 tablespoons marmalade or apricot jam
100g white fondant
Red, green and black food colouring

Method
– Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– Add the eggs and a tablespoon of flour, and beat again
– Sieve in the remaining flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and add the chocolate and candied peel pieces
– Fold the mixture together with a metal spoon, until all combined
– Spoon into cupcake cases, and bake at 180 degrees C for 14 – 20 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger
– Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely before decorating

chocolate and orange cupcakes freshly baked christmas wrappers charity cake sale

To decorate
– Heat the marmalade / apricot jam until runny, and using a pastry brush lightly coat the top of each cake
– Cut circles of chocolate fondant (using a pastry cutter), and place over the top of the cupcake, pressing the sides down
– Cut a second circle, of white fondant, and either freehand (using a knife), or with a way shaped cutter, cut about a third off the circle with a wavy edge, to look like dripping icing. Stick this onto the chocolate fondant using a little dab of water.
– Stick or paint on small circles in a dark colour, to replicate the fruit in the Christmas pudding
– Finish with a green sprig leaf and holly berries – and a little edible glitter if you feel the need!

chocolate fondant covered cupcakes round cutter for christmas puddings christmas pudding base cupcake decorated with fondant icing leaf and berries sprig on christmas pudding cupcake recipe christmas pudding cupcake recipe and method easy to follow make with kids

All packaged up and ready to go. I don’t like Christmas Pudding but could happily devour a big plate of these after dinner!

christmas pudding cupcakes festive baking ideas

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

mint chocolate cupcakes recipe how to fondant flower and leaf cutter decorations with edible glitter and chocolate sprinkles

By the wonder that is Facebook, I found out a couple of weeks ago, that there was a charity bake sale taking place in Toton, mere minutes drive away from us. I’m not really that great at giving money to charity, but am always happy to give my time or skills (Christmas present wrapping I just love!) for a worthy cause. This particular cause was Little Hearts Matter, and the event the brilliantly titled Big Hearted Bake, raising money for children born with heart conditions.

I wanted to bake something fun and family friendly, chocolate was definitely on the menu! I’d initially planned to make a big show-stopping cake to serve slices of, but time really wasn’t on my side last week, so I stuck with what I knew would work best – cute little cupcakes.

These lovely little cases jumped right out of my baking box, pretty black and white ivy designs from The Cake Decorating Company, based right here in Nottingham (more on this amazing shop to come in due course, I’m sure).

floral vine black and white cupcake cases cake decorating company nottingham

The recipe I used was a simple chocolate sponge from my Be-Ro book. It occurred to me that we used to make these exact cakes at home when I was little, but back then (about 20 years ago, eek!), we would never have called them cupcakes, they would have been chocolate buns through and through, as the book calls them. Funny how even baking has its trends that change!

chocolate victoria sponge cupcakes oven tray freshly baked white and black cases

When the cakes were cool, I topped them with a big swirl of mint buttercream – just butter and icing sugar, with a few drops of peppermint essence, and a tiny dab of green gel food colouring.

chocolate cupcake with mint swirl butter cream icing frosting light turquoise looks like ice cream

To decorate the tops, I followed the ivy theme from the cases, and used a flower and leaf plunger cutter, to cut shapes out of chocolate fondant. I worked a little tylose powder into the fondant before rolling it out, so the shapes would set nice and firm.

chocolate fondant flower and leaf shapes press cutters tylose powder to harden cupcake decorating

Then, it was simply a case of squishing the fondant topper straight onto the top of the mint buttercream…

chocolate and mint cupcake with flower and leaf fondant topper

… before finishing with some chocolate chunk sprinkles and some iridescent edible glitter (they’re for children, excess of glitter is a necessity, honest!)

mint chocolate cupcakes with edible glitter and chocolate sprinkle chunks swirl icing

The finished cupcakes – it took every inch of willpower not to eat one before they got dropped off at the bake sale.

mint chocolate cupcakes with fondant leaf and flower toppers edible hologram glitter

And the best news by far – the event raised nearly £1,800 for this lovely charity. If you want to see more details on Facebook, or follow their page so you can be a part next year, you can find the Toton bake here.