1 For the cupcakes: heat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) 350° F gas 4. Place paper cases in a 12 hole bun tin.
2 Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until well combined. Alternatively beat well with a wooden spoon.
3 Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
4 For the buttercream: beat the butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the cream and vanilla until blended.
5 Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Put half the mixture into a bowl and add a few drops of red food colouring.
6 Spoon the buttercream into 2 piping bags. Pipe a circle of red buttercream around the top of each cake.
7 Pipe a swirl of white buttercream in the centre of each cake.
8 Pipe 'faces' and squiggles on each gingerbread man with the white decorating icing. Use a dab of icing to attach chocolate beans as in the 'photo.
9 Place a gingerbread man on top of each cake. Scatter the tiny gingerbread men over the buttercream.