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Alpine Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Ladyland

 

As the festive season draws ever closer, we asked Emma, designer, mother and blogger at Ladyland, to share one of her favourite, child-friendly Christmas baking recipes with us – and lucky for us, she happily obliged. Here’s how to make her delicious alpine cherry chocolate cupcakes…

 

 

Emma says: “I like to go all out on decorations when it comes to cakes. I’m not one for a subtle sprinkle of icing sugar to finish. In fact, I regularly use packet mixes for cakes so that I can focus on really letting rip on the decorations. This recipe is a great one to do with kids because it’s super easy and you really can’t go wrong when the end result is covered in coconut and tiny plastic creatures. We loved making this together, we made a huge mess, licked the spoons, licked the bowl and gobbled half the cherries before they made it into the mixture. We go so mucky because of all the chocolate that Frida needed an outfit change, but that meant she got to wear two lovely Monsoon dresses, lucky thing!”

 

 

Alpine Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

(Makes nine large or 12 small cupcakes)

200g chopped glacé cherries – don’t chop them too much, keep them chunky
175g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
3 eggs
5 tablespoons of water
60g cocoa
75ml very hot water

 

 

For the icing:

340g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter
150g  soft cream cheese
1 cup desiccated coconut (or ‘decimated’ coconut as we call it in our house)

For the decorations:

Some small plastic forest animals – ours are from an online toy shop
Some snippets from a christmas tree – ours are from a local florist

 

 

Method

For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Mix the cocoa and hot water together to form a thick chocolatey paste.

3. Once the paste is smooth, add the butter, sugar, flour and eggs. You may need to soften your butter if it’s not at room temperature. 

4. Beat the mixture with an electric beater until it is smooth.

 

 

6. Add the cherries, stirring them through with a wooden spoon.

7. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. Don’t fill them all the way to the top as they will rise in the oven.

8. Bake for 10 minutes.

9. Let them cool completely before you add the icing, or you’ll have a very melty winter scene!

 

 

For the icing:

1. Again, make sure your butter is at least room temperature so that it’s soft.

2. Combine the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

3. Beat the mixture with an electric beater for up to two minutes. You may need to place a tea towel over the mixer at first until the icing sugar is mixed to avoid a big puff of sugar all over the kitchen! Don’t over beat the mixture – if it starts to get glossy, stop before it turns floppy.

 

4. Ice your cupcakes using a butter knife, spreading the icing all over the top of the cakes.

5. Put your coconut in a bowl and dip the cakes in to cover the top of each one. 

6. Now add your woodland creatures and tiny trees. I trimmed the Christmas tree sprigs to look more pointy and cut off some of the little leaves off the bottom so that I had a clean stick to stick into each cake.

7. Now you can sprinkle more coconut onto your cakes and watch it snow in the forest. Bon appétit!

 

 

 

 

Please note: Remove the animals and trees before giving to small children!

Recipe, photography and styling: Emma Scott-Child from Ladyland. For more simple things to make and do for Christmas, go to www.thisisladyland.com.