Santa Claus Muffins
- For the cupcakes
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup superfine caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- ½ cup plain Yogurt
- 2 cups Shredded coconut
- For the lime buttercream
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Lime juice
- green Food coloring
- To decorate
- 4 tablespoons Shredded coconut
- For the Father Christmas
- 3 cups red Sugar paste
- 2 cups white Sugar paste
- powdered sugar
- tangerine Food coloring (for the skin tone)
- black Sugar pearls (for the eyes)
For the cupcakes: heat the oven to 200°C (180° fan) 400°F gas 6. Place paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the mixture with the yoghurt, until well combined. Stir in the coconut.
Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool.
For the lime buttercream: beat the butter until soft. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy, then slowly beat in the lime juice and colouring.
Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe on top of the cakes. Sprinkle with coconut.
For the Father Christmas: knead the red sugarpaste until soft.
Roll 12 oval balls for the bodies and 24 small sausage shapes for the arms. Mould 12 small pieces into hat shapes. Attach the arms to the bodies with a little water. Set aside the hat shapes.
Knead half the white sugarpaste until soft. Knead a little tangerine colouring into the sugarpaste.
Roll 12 small balls of the tangerine colour for the heads and attach to the bodies with a little water. Roll 24 small balls, flatten slightly and indent the middles with a cocktail stick. Attach to the ends of the arms with a little water. Roll 12 small balls for the noses and attach with a little water.
Roll out the remaining white sugarpaste on a surface dusted with icing sugar. Using a card template, cut out 12 beard shapes. Roll 24 thin sausage shapes for the hat and beards trimmings, 12 for the belts and 12 for the arm trimmings. Brush lightly with water and attach as in the photo.
Roll the white sugarpaste trimmings into 12 small balls and attach to the hats with water.
Press the sugar pearls into the faces for the eyes. Cut tiny discs from the remaining white sugarpaste trimmings and attach to the faces with a little water. Carefully place a Father Christmas on each cake and leave to dry.
For the Christmas trees: knead the marzipan until soft and knead in the food colouring. Roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out 12 Christmas tree shapes with a cutter or card template. Place on the cakes.