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FOOD FUN: Christmas Cupcake Tree

Deck the cupcakes with lots of candy! This holiday cupcake tree from Jelly Belly is a fun project that uses jelly beans and Sunkist Fruit Gems to decorate a cupcake tree. It’s an opportunity to practice your frosting piping skills. Even if your cupcake trees don’t look as professional as the ones in the photo, they will be eagerly devoured just the same.

RECIPE: CHRISTMAS CUPCAKE TREE

Ingredients For 4 Cupcake Trees

  • 4 jumbo cupcakes, baked in green paper liners
  • 4 standard cupcakes, baked in green paper liners
  • 4 mini cupcakes, baked in green paper liners
  • 1 can (16 ounces) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) assorted green jelly beans in different flavors (e.g. Jelly Belly’s Kiwi, Green Apple, Margarita, Sunkist Lime and Sour Apple)
  • 1 cup assorted jelly beans in assorted colors (e.g. Jelly Belly’s Berry Blue, Bubble Gum, Lemon Drop, Red Apple and Sour Orange)
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    The dessert can also be a centerpiece. Photo of Christmas Cupcake Tree courtesy Jelly Belly.
  • 4 yellow Sunkist Fruit Gems—or—crystallized ginger slices
  • 1 cup coconut jelly beans—or—shredded coconut, for “snow”
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    Preparation

    1. TINT the vanilla frosting dark green with food coloring. Spoon some of the frosting into a freezer weight zipper bag or a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Snip a small (1/8 inch) corner from the zipper bag.

    2. TRIM the tops of the jumbo and standard cupcakes to make them flat.

    3. SPREAD a thin layer of frosting on each cupcake. Pipe the green frosting around the cupcake edges, always pulling the frosting away from the center. Pipe a second row of frosting inside the first, overlapping slightly. Leave center of cupcake open. Cover the tops of the mini cupcakes completely. Stack the cupcakes to make the tree shape with the jumbo cupcakes as the base, a standard cupcake in the middle and topped with a mini cupcake, pressing to secure.

    4. PRESS the green jelly beans randomly over all of the cupcakes. Cut the remaining colored jelly beans in half crosswise. Press the cut sides of the jelly beans, which serve as the lights, into the frosting (all over the cupcakes).

    5. CUT the yellow Sunkist Fruit Gems or crystallized ginger into star shapes for the tops of the trees, using a small (1 inch star) cookie cutter or scissors. Press the star candies on top of the cupcakes.

    6. ARRANGE the coconut jelly beans or shredded coconut all around the base of the cupcake trees to represent snow.
     
    Here’s the recipe video.
      




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