Rich and buttery vanilla cupcakes have a tender crumb and make a perfect base for these whimsical elves lost in fluffy frosting. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Total TimePrep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
- 44 miniature candy canes
- Pastel miniature marshmallows
- Candy cane kisses
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 22 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and 1 egg at a time. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well.
- Fill prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, beat butter, shortening and vanilla until blended; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Spread over cupcakes.
- To decorate, break off curved end of candy canes; reserve straight portion for elf legs. Cut strawberry or lime marshmallows diagonally in half and attach to legs for shoes; insert into frosting. Cut orange marshmallows diagonally in half for ears. Insert kisses and orange marshmallows for elf heads.