Pretty Little Winter Wonderland Cupcakes and a Pretty Little Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me what I was baking that day, and I told him cupcakes.

“I hope they’re vanilla,” he said.

“Um. No…they’re chocolate.”

“Oh,” he said, his shoulders slumping slightly. “That sounds good,” he claimed in a falsely cheery voice.

He’s not a very good liar. Probably because he never lies. He’s a heart-on-his-sleeve, tell-it-like-it-is, read-him-like-a-book kind of guy. Well, at least to me he is. When I say that to others, they look at me like I’ve lost my mind, because he’s so reserved around others. But I digress. He clearly wanted vanilla cupcakes. Turns out he was sick of all of the chocolate, chai, fruity cupcakes that I’ve been making lately.

That got me thinking…I haven’t actually made a straight up vanilla cupcake on here! I’ve come close before, but never just simple vanilla cake and frosting. I felt I owed it to him, so a few days later I baked up some vanilla cupcakes with whipped vanilla frosting (not whipped cream…you’ll see). Then I got all mopey because I’m used to seeing snow on the ground by now, and decided to cheer myself up by making some winter wonderland cuppies!

I had already ordered some adorable decorations from Bake It Pretty (I promise these people aren’t paying me or anything, I just love their stuff and their company…incredible customer service and amazing fast, cheap shipping), so I just needed to decide on colors and what I’d do to make them cute. That’s when I was inspired to make my own printable cupcake picks! You know, they’re everywhere right now, and really, they’re such a great idea! I already had a theme (winter) and settled on a color scheme of pale pink, light blue, white, and silver. I wanted something wintry, but different than the typical red and green or blue and white that you tend to see this time of year. Then, photoshop and I spent the day together, and the results were pretty stinking charming, if I do say so myself!

Aren’t they fun?! I love how sweet and elegant, yet whimsical, they look, but they’re still perfect for the holiday season! You wanna know the best part, though? I know you do! The best part about these pretty picks is that you can make them too! You can make them, because I’m going to give them to you! *throws confetti and claps hands* Yay!! Clearly, I’m pretty excited about this.

This isn’t like your typical giveaway, though, because you don’t have to win these! And they’re not just for one person either! They’re free for anybody who wants them!! All you have to do is open the link at the end of the post, print them out on heavy white paper, and assemble! Your day just got happier, huh? It’s ok, mine did too.

Here’s a closer look at them:

There’s sweet little birds holding ornaments and my favorite winter wish: let it snow.

There’s also pretty trees and wintry snowflakes!

To assemble, just cut the shapes out along the lines (there’s three columns, four rows, totaling 12 picks), then decide if you want them to be square, round, or scalloped, and glue them to sticks! It’s that easy.

There’s two sizes available: smaller one and a half inch circles, and larger two inch circles. The larger circles look great cut out as plain rounds:

Just cut them out around the outside edge, or use a two inch round craft punch on them. Just be sure to center them in the punch.

The smaller circles look adorable with scalloped edges. These are my favorite! I just used a two inch scalloped craft punch to cut them out. After cutting the squares out, I centered the circles in the punch and had them all punched out in a matter of minutes!

If you don’ have a craft punch for the job, and you’re not so steady with scissors, you can also leave these square, and they still look great. For the few that I left square, I decided to round the corners.

I used another craft punch for the job (I do a lot of scrapbooking and other crafts too).

I think all three designs are so much fun! And I had them all cut, glued, and ready to go in less then 30 minutes! For the sticks, I used six inch lollipop sticks, cut in half (giving each pick a three inch stick). I put tacky craft glue on the top three-quarters of an inch of the stick, then, with the cut out picture lying facedown, I stuck the stick to the back. Next, I flipped them over and made sure the sticks were centered and straight, before lying them facedown again to dry.

Now on to some tasty cupcakes to put these picks in!

Like I said above, I went with a classic vanilla cupcake for the hubster, but I did decide to punch the vanilla up just a bit, making these very vanilla. All you need for these is sugar, sour cream, unsalted butter (at room temperature), vanilla extract, baking powder, all-purpose flour, eggs (at room temperature), and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined and scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla until combined. Sprinkle one-third of the flour mixture over the batter and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until combined, and scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. Add another third of the flour, again mixing until just combined, before stirring in the remaining sour cream. Sprinkle in the remaining flour mixture and mix the batter until thoroughly combined.

Place two tablespoons of batter into each cup of a lined muffin pan and bake at 350 for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, I slightly adapted this recipe, which is supposed to be great. I did enjoy the frosting a lot, but it’s not my favorite. It’s very similar to this frosting, except a lot easier to make. If you like a whipped frosting, with a milder sweetness, then this frosting is definitely for you.

To decorate these, I swirled frosting on them, then rolled the edges in light pink sanding sugar (yum!), and topped them with my freshly made cupcake picks! I also had those adorable, elegant little silver tree picks from Bake It Pretty (which are currently sold out, but there’s still these and these, so I tinted half of the frosting a pretty shade of pale pink and rolled them in white snowflake quins, before topping them with more of my homemade picks or the silver trees. As for those sweet silver snowflakes, they came as plain white (they’re pressed sugar), but I spruced them up a little with a light layer of silver luster dust!

I am so in love with how these turned out! They’re pretty, fun, and festive, but also elegant, unique, and easy! Let’s not forget delicious either! The cupcakes were sweet, fluffy, and moist, and were perfectly complimented by the light whipped frosting. These made my whole family happy: the hubster got his vanilla cupcakes, I got to have fun and be creative, and our boy? Well, they’re cupcakes, aren’t they?! He’s always happy when there’s cupcakes to be had!

I had so much fun designing and creating these picks! These don’t just have to be cupcake picks, either. Print them on sticker paper for favor bags and cards, or make them into gift tags by writing names on the backs. They’re also adorable printed onto edible paper and placed on top of frosted cookies and cakes, trust me! I hope you have fun using them on your cupcakes and other treats too! Enjoy!

Very Vanilla Cupcakes
with Creamy Whipped Vanilla Frosting
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES
3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

FOR THE FROSTING
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (not confectioners’ sugar)

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined and scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla until combined. Sprinkle one-third of the flour mixture over the batter and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until combined, and scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. Add another third of the flour, again mixing until just combined, before stirring in the remaining sour cream. Sprinkle in the remaining flour mixture and mix the batter until thoroughly combined.

Place 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup of the prepared pan and bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Whisk the flour and milk together in a small saucepan. Whisk frequently over medium high heat until the mixture has thickened substantially (about the consistency of marshmallow fluff, except not sticky). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then transfer to a small bowl and place in the freezer to cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s very important that the mixture be completely cooled to room temperature before continuing. Once the milk mixture is cooled, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk mixture and beat the frosting on high speed until very fluffy and whipped. If the mixture looks separated, continue beating it until it comes together.
Click on the link(s) below, then click File>Save as or Print. Print at 100%, do not scale, on heavy bright white paper.

Large (2-ich) Winter Wonderland Printable PDF (cut as-is)
Small (1.5-inch) Winter Wonderland Printable PDF (perfect to use a 2″ punch with)

Cupcake recipe and picks designed by Darla, Frosting recipe slightly adapted from Tasty Kitchen

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Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    This is the most beautiful post ever! Not only are the cupcakes delicious looking but you including the prettiest cupcake toppers. Very awesome :)

  2. Lori says

    Beautiful cupcakes. I like seeing non-traditional Christmas colors. I love traditional colors, but these are so pretty to look at, not to mention they look yummy!

  3. sugarswings says

    so pretty! and i need to try that flour frosting again, last time i did it, don't think i let the mix cool enough….love the pink color too!

  4. Cheri says

    I've been wanting to make a basic vanilla cupcake for a while now, but no recipes have really stuck out to me. These look so delicious, I just have to give them a try. They're super cute too. Great job on the printables!

  5. Karen says

    So pretty! I love the cupcake toppers– thanks for sharing! And I'm a sucker for pastels and sparkles to show winter :) *swoon* Now if only I could have a bite…

  6. lunafleur says

    I think the printouts would actually look really cute as a coasters. Maybe a neat little crafty idea to try for different holidays? =]

  7. Darla says

    Thanks everyone! Glad you like the printables and I hope you're having fun with them!

    @Anon. – I completely agree, but vanilla beans are not available where I live, which is why I doubled up the vanilla.

  8. Stephanie says

    these are adorable!!!

    I love how you made them vanilla for him. My boyfriend has been talking non-stop about lemon meringue pie, which is totally a summer pie to me. But now our fridge is full of lemons because he keeps pointing out good recipes for it

  9. Cara Lee says

    love these! i'm a fan of the non-traditional holiday colors too… ps – funny my BF loves vanilla too, sometimes i think he's boring but i find a way to kick them up ;-)

  10. Dori says

    I wanted to come back and let you know that I made the icing–a version of the second one, the one with the egg whites–on a birthday cake this weekend and also for Christmas party cupcakes and EVERYONE kept saying it was The Best Frosting they'd ever had. Honestly? No more work than any other frosting I've made and it held up so much better. But, oh yeah, it is now my frosting of choice!

  11. Darla says

    @Bake4fun – I am doing a Christmas cake, as a matter of fact! I hope that everyone likes it as much as the Halloween cake!! :) I'm so glad you liked that one…I had a lot of fun making it!

    @Dori – I completely agree! I love that frosting sooooo much! And it does hold up beautifully! I personally think it's pretty easy too, but not everyone wants to temper eggs (which I totally understand). I like it more than the recipe I used for these, which was just off to me, for some reason. Glad you liked it!

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