I’m not sure that anything could be a more festive dessert for a holiday party than a big batch of these Mini Santa Hat Cupcakes. Each one of the mini cupcakes is topped off with a santa hat made of red and white icing that gives them a bright, festive look sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
I used a white chocolate cupcake batter for the base of the cupcakes, although any white cake batter will work if you have a favorite. This cake batter is easy to make and has a smooth vanilla flavor and a tender crumb. Although there is white chocolate in the batter, the cupcakes aren’t too sweet, so they are a good match for the pile of cream cheese frosting on top of them.
For the frosting, I made a big batch of vanilla cream cheese frosting and divided it into two bowls. I left on bowl white and colored the other bowl red. I put the white icing into a piping bag and piped one big circle of frosting onto the top of each cupcake to serve as the base of the hat. I piped the red frosing in a peak on top of that, then used a ziploc bag with a small hole cut off of one corer to add a little dot of white to the top of each hat. The cream cheese frosting is less stiff than buttercream icing is, but when the cupcakes are finished, the hats will have a very soft, natural look to them that makes them even more charming.
These cupcakes can be baked as full sized cupcakes if you are looking for something larger. You’ll get about 18 cupcakes and you’ll need to bake them for about 25 minutes. I highly recommend sticking with the mini cupcakes, however, as you need quite a bit of frosting to get the look right for these and you may need two batches to get enough for a bigger cake. The cupcake wrappers I used had santa belts on them and were made by Wilton, but plain red or white cupcake wrappers are good options, too, and will go well with the santa hat frosting.
Mini Santa Hat Cupcakes
(Mini White Chocolate Cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4-oz white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (any kind)
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
red food coloring
Preheat oven to 325F. Line mini muffin pans with 3 dozen mini cupcake liners.*
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped white chocolate by heating it in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Stir well with a fork between each interval and cook only until the chocolate is smooth when stirred. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by cooled melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Working in two or three additions, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, ending with a final addition of flour. Stir batter until dry ingredients are just incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake at 325F for 14-16 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To frost: Divide Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting into two bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and beat in until frosting is a bright red.
Transfer white frosting into a piping bag or a large ziploc bag with a large hole cut in one corner. Pipe one circle of frosting onto each cupcake to form the base of the hat. Save a small amount of white frosting for finishing the hats.
Transfer red frosting into a piping bag or a large ziploc bag with a medium hole cut in one corner. Pipe a cone of red frosting on top of the white disc to form the body of the hat.
Put remaining white icing into a small ziploc bag with a small hole cut in one corner and pipe a little dot of white on the top of each red hat.
Store in an airtight container before serving.
Makes about 3 dozen.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
4-oz butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick and smooth.
*Note: If you don’t have a big enough muffin pan to make 3 dozen at once, you can let the batter sit at room temperature and refill the pan after it has come out of the oven and cooled.