Jolly Snowmen cupcakes

I simply love this time of year; with an icy chill and festive spirit filling the air, there is no place I like to be more than baking delicious Christmas treats in the kitchen. What is more perfect than these cheery little snowmen. Not only are these cupcakes delicious for children and adults alike but this no-bake recipe is a doddle to make too!

Tip – this recipe can be adapted by omitting the added chocolates and sweets and replacing with healthier nuts and dried fruits, equally delicious!

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Makes 20 fairy cakes

For the cakes
20 foil fairy cake cases
110g unsalted butter, cubed
150g plain biscuits
90g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp cocoa
50g 50% cocoa solids chocolate, broken into pieces
150g chocolates and sweets (I used mini marshmallows, crushed honeycomb chocolate bars, malted chocolate balls and caramel chocolates)

To decorate
600g white sugarpaste
Icing sugar, to dust
6cm round cutter
small piping bag white royal icing
small piping bag black royal icing
small piping bag red royal icing

40 mini chocolate beans, assorted strands, laces and long striped sweets

Place cases into 2 fairy cake trays. Crush the biscuits into small pieces by placing them in a polythene bag and bashing with a rolling pin. In a small pan, very gently melt together the butter, sugar, syrup, cocoa and chocolate. Remove from the heat and cool until tepid. Add the biscuits and stir in the chocolates and sweets. Mix well and spoon into the cases so that each is slightly domed and place in the refrigerator to set.

To make the snowmen’s heads, roll 20 balls of white sugarpaste (each about the size of a cherry). Dust a work top and rolling pin with icing sugar and roll out the remaining sugarpaste to 5mm thick. Using the cutter, cut out 20 circles. Place 1 on to each cake and smooth into place. Using the white royal icing, stick a snowman’s head on to each cake. Allow to dry for a few hours.

Pipe 2 black eyes and a red nose on to each snowman, then stick on 2 mini bean buttons. Finish by twisting a length of sweet around the neck of each snowman, holding in place with a little more royal icing.

Bake and Decorate by Fiona Cairns (Quadrille) Photograph: Laura Edwards

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