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The Cupcake: Hot Cocoa
The Blog: Lick the Bowl Good
Topped with fresh whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed peppermints and a mini candy cane handle, this is the baking equivalent of a warm cup of hot chocolate. "The cream is lightly sweetened so it's not loaded with sugar and kids can help with sprinkling their own toppings on it, says blogger Monica. "My 15-month-old loved it [and] I'm sure others will, too."
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The Cupcake: Santa Hats
The Blog: With Sprinkles on Top
Hats off to these clever sweets, which only require chocolate cupcakes, buttercream frosting, red food coloring and a pastry tip. "December is the season of having to bring holiday treats to your kid's school," says blogger Annie. Imagine the giggles you’ll get when you present these.
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The Cupcake: Magical Sugar Plum Fairy Cakes
The Blog: Cupcake Project
Here, The Nutcracker's sugar plum fairy is the star of blogger Stefani's mini confections (sometimes called fairy cakes in the U.K.), which are made of a blend of dried fruits, walnuts, honey, orange juice and seasonal spices, topped with coriander orange buttercream and a sprinkle of edible glitter. "Baking [these] together will provide a wonderful opportunity to talk about what sugar plums actually are," she shares.
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A PERFECT MATCH
The Cupcake: Chocolate Peppermint
The Blog: Your Cup of Cake
The combo of peppermint and chocolate is a "flavor celebration," says blogger Lizzy, who gives the magical mix an elegant makeover with these ganache-dipped treats the whole family will appreciate. They're "so good you'll eat them all before you give them away to the neighbors."
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HOME SWEET HOME
The Cupcake: Double Chocolate Gingerbread
The Blog: Sweetapolita
"I'm pretty sure we’d jingle Santa’s bells if we left him a plate of these and a tall glass of milk," says blogger Rosie. Her rich dark chocolate cupcakes are topped with tiny gingerbread houses made using the little cutter from her daughter's Play-Doh tool bin.
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O, CHRISTMAS TREE
The Cupcake: Candy Cane Christmas Tree
The Blog: Bakerella
Presents under the tree look even more enticing when done in sugar. Blogger Angie dreamed up this modern confection using sugar cones coated in melted white candy for the tree, candy canes for the trunk, and cupcakes topped with pink frosting for the base. A few fondant boxes are a sweet final flourish.
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The Cupcake: Chocolate Christmas Pudding
The Blog: Bakingdom
A cross between seasonal figgy pudding and chocolate cake gets dressed up with drizzled frosting and gumdrops. "If you're looking for a last-minute treat that doesn't require a ton of time, effort, and crazy ingredients (and still elicits oohs and ahhs from your friends and family), these are definitely the way to go," says blogger Darla.
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SUGAR & SPICE
The Cupcake: Chocolate Gingerbread
The Blog: Cupcake Project
A splash of coffee and a bold ginger orange glaze gives these mini-cakes a unique twist little and big kids will love. Here, Stefani takes Paula Deen's chocolate gingerbread recipe a step farther and finishes it off with well-dressed gingerbread men.
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The Cupcake: Reindeers
The Blog: Sprinkles on Top
Dasher, Dancer and Prancer have never looked cuter. Using pretzels for the antlers, a Nilla Wafer for the face, white MampMs dotted with black icing for the eyes, and brown and red candies for the nose, "these [cupcakes] are super easy to make and kids will love them!" Annie says.
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The Cupcake: Vegan Cinnamon
The Blog: Bittersweet
Home is where the heart is with these yummy treats created by blogger Hannah. To create a whimsical winter setting, they're topped off with marshmallow frosting, chopped walnut stepping stones, coarse white sugar for sparkle, a mini dragee snowman and gingerbread house-shaped nuggets.
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The Cupcake: Cupcake Christmas Tree
The Blog: teaspoonsf
Why stop at one? After baking enough cookies for one holiday season, blogger Caitlin went all out and designed this cupcake-filled Christmas tree. More simple to make than it looks, this dual-purpose dessert makes a colorful (and delicious!) centerpiece for a holiday table.