In December, there's a very real health risk—death by cuteness. There is cute stuff everywhere during the holidays, so I share this recipe today in full disclosure of the risk. These are incredibly cute and may cause you and others to squeal with delight and clap your hands with glee. One more thing, these cupcakes are also light and delicious. It's fruit and cake without being fruitcake. Be forewarned (and delighted).
Santa Hat Cupcakes
for the cake: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 3 egg whites 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/2 cups flour 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup milk
for the topping & frosting: 24 strawberries 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese 4 cups powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons milk
Directions For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then add to the creamed mixture and stir for two minutes. Finally, stir in the milk until the batter is smooth. Spoon into prepared cupcake liners, about 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it springs back to the touch. Remove and cool completely before topping.
For the topping: Wash and prepare strawberries by cutting off the stem to create a flat surface. Allow to dry completely on paper towels before topping cupcakes. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until fluffy, gradually mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla and milk. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar, one half-cup at a time until frosting reaches the desired consistency. Pipe a generous swirl onto each cupcake, place a berry on top, then add a small dollop of frosting to the tip of the strawberry. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 18-24 cupcakes.