Santa Hat Cupcakes

These fun, festive cupcakes are so easy and cute! They really are simple to make, and since the topping is just buttercream you can use whatever flavor of cupcake you want on the bottom. Unless you really want to extend the Christmas theme, and then I recommend using chocolate cupcakes and adding a few teaspoons of peppermint extract into the buttercream.

Just a thought.

Santa Hat Cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Decorating Time: 20 minutes
Serves 24

1 box cake mix + required ingredients
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 bag (2lbs) powdered sugar
4-5 Tbsp milk
No taste red food coloring gel

Mix and bake cupcakes according to package instructions and allow them to cool. When they are cool make the buttercream by beating together shortening, butter, and vanilla till smooth, then gradually add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. About 75% of the way through the powdered sugar additions start alternating powdered sugar and tablespoons of milk. You may have to add more or less milk than what you see in this recipe to reach desired consistency. Some brands of powdered sugar seem thirstier than others, so play that one by ear. You want the consistency to be stiff enough to hold shape but soft enough to come through the tip smoothly without cramping your hand or cracking.

Set aside about 1 cup of white buttercream and begin adding the red food coloring to the remainder. There is no real measurement for this, just keep adding it until the color is nice and red. Two tips: 1) This requires a lot of coloring so be sure to use the no-taste version of the gel or your icing will be bitter, and 2) Make sure you have enough coloring on hand to get the job done or they will end up a little more on the pink side, like mine did.

Fit two icing bags with couplers and tips,1 large tip for the red swirl (I used a Wilton 1M) and a smaller star tip (I used Wilton 18) for the white trim. Pipe the the red icing in a large, smooth swirl for the body of the hat, then use the white icing to pipe a star at the top and a ring of stars around the bottom. That’s it! Store the cupcakes covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, if they last that long.

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