I find Christmas time to be the perfect excuse to give everything I bake the wow-factor. I enjoy experimenting, creating twists on old favourites like my Mulled Wine Red Velvet Cake, as well as whipping up quick batches of glittery Candied Cranberry Cupcakes the night before a party. If you want to impress family and friends with your creations this festive period but are unsure how to go about it, or don’t enough time on your hands, then follow these 4 incredibly simple tips to giving everything you bake a proper Christmas makeover!
1. Glittery Cranberries
Baking with cranberries may seem like a given during the festive period. My tip is once to coat the cranberries in a glittery sugar to make them sparkle once they’re cooked and dry. And don’t opt for the bog standard white chocolate and cranberry cookie option! Why not try whipping up a batch of spicy cupcakes packed with nutmeg and cinnamon, topped with a zesty buttercream icing and candied cranberries? These are ideal the night before a party as the cranberries have to be prepared 24 hours in advance. Get the recipe for Glittery Candied Cranberry Cupcakes.
2. Christmas Cocktail Cupcakes
Think of your favourite thing to drink during Winter. A steaming cup of mulled wine? A tall refreshing Snowball cocktail? Or perhaps it’s something non-alcoholic, like a mug of creamy hot chocolate? See how you can echo the flavours of this drink into a dessert. I made these Gingerbread Hot Chocolate cupcakes earlier, simply because I love the heat of the ginger with dark chocolate. Top with a chocolate fudge and buttercream icing, chocolate shavings and mini marshmallows for a real festive feel.
3. Leftovers Equal CAKE!
The previous tip leads me onto my next… in the form of Mulled Wine Red Velvet Cake. Yes you did read that right. I was inspired to make this one Winter evening when we had some mulled wine leftover in the saucepan. It had gone cold and suddenly the idea of cold mulled wine seemed so offensive that nobody wanted it. So I saved it and poured what was the equivalent of ½ cup into a basic red velvet cake recipe. I added some extra cinnamon and used less vanilla as I wanted this cake to be spicy rather than sweet. The result was truly delicious and stands as one of my best re-creations of an old favourite. A definite must have at at the Christmas dinner table!
4. Serve Your Cake In A Glass
Cupcake cases are so last year. In 2015 we’ve seen cupcakes served in mugs, jars and in my case, champagne flutes and martini glasses. Have a tray of cakes in glasses ready to be served at a dinner party and they’ll be gone in seconds. It’s also great for you, because the cakes look impressive, yet can be made with minimal effort, taking literally minutes to put together. Check out my recipe for Red Velvet Berry Cakes in glasses and get inspired to make your own Christmas versions!