Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe

Step into a world of enchantment with these delightful sugar plum fairy cupcakes. A whimsical treat perfect for the holiday season, these cupcakes combine the delicate flavors of vanilla, almond, and a hint of peach jam. The fluffy texture is a result of the sour cream and egg whites, while the lightness of cake flour creates a perfect crumb. It's like biting into a sweet, sugary cloud with a surprise inside!

Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe
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While most ingredients in this recipe are common pantry items, you may need to seek out a few special items. Cake flour, not to be confused with all-purpose flour, gives the cupcakes a lighter, more delicate crumb. Peach jam is used for the surprise filling, but feel free to substitute with your favorite jam. Snowflake sugar cookies are used for decoration and can be found at any supermarket around the holiday season or made at home.

Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcake Ingredients

Cake flour: A finely milled flour that gives the cupcakes a light and delicate texture.

Baking powder and baking soda: Leavening agents that help the cupcakes rise.

Nutmeg and Cinnamon: Spices that add a warm, festive flavor.

Butter and Sugar: Creamed together to give the cupcakes a rich, sweet base.

Egg whites: Provide structure and lift.

Vanilla and Almond Extracts: Flavorings that add depth and a special touch.

Sour cream: Adds moisture and a slight tanginess.

Whole milk: Adds moisture and helps create a tender crumb.

Peach jam: The surprise filling in the center.

Ingredients for Vanilla Almond Buttercream: Creates a creamy, flavorful frosting.

Snowflake sugar cookies: Used for decoration.

One reader, Anders Mattingly says:

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These sugar plum fairy cupcakes are pure magic! The combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and peach jam creates a delightful burst of flavor. The vanilla almond buttercream is the perfect finishing touch. These cupcakes are a dream come true and will definitely be a hit at any gathering!

Anders Mattingly

Techniques Required for Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

How to prepare the cupcake batter: Mixing the dry and wet ingredients together until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

How to fill the cupcakes with jam: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle or hole into the center of the cooled cupcakes to create a little pocket about 1-inch deep. Spoon the jam inside each carved-out cupcake, using as much jam as will fit. Then, place the carved-out piece back on top of the filling.

How to make vanilla almond buttercream: Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, then gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Adjust the consistency with additional confectioners’ sugar or cream if needed.

How To Make Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

Enchantingly tasty, these Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes are cinnamon-spiced vanilla cupcakes filled with jam, and topped with buttercream frost and candies!

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking: 22 minutes
Total: 57 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • cupscake flour,spoon and leveled
  • ¾tspbaking powder
  • ¼tspbaking soda
  • ¼tspnutmeg,ground
  • ½tspground cinnamon
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ½cupbutter,unsalted,softened to room temperature
  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • 3large egg whites,at room temperature
  • tsppure vanilla extract
  • 1tspalmond extract
  • ½cupsour cream,or plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • ½cupwhole milk,at room temperature
  • cuppeach jam,or preserves, or preferred favorite flavor

For Vanilla Almond Buttercream:

  • 1cupbutter,unsalted, softened to room temperature
  • 5cupsconfectioner’s sugar
  • ¼cupheavy cream,or milk
  • tsppure vanilla extract
  • ½tspalmond extract
  • salt,to taste
  • snowflake sugar cookies,gum drops, peppermint candies, sprinkles, optional, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

  2. Line a second pan with 2 to 3 liners. Set aside.

  3. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.

  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamed.

  5. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

  6. Beat in the egg whites on high speed for about 2 minutes until combined.

  7. Beat in sour cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

  8. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.

  9. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

  10. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour and mix in the milk just until combined. Do not overmix.

  11. Pour or spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only ⅔ full to avoid baking over the sides.

  12. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  13. For around 35 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11 to 13 minutes under the same oven temperature.

  14. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before filling and frosting.

  15. Using a sharp knife, cut a circle or hole into the center of the cooled cupcakes to create a little pocket about 1-inch deep.

  16. The piece removed will be the shape of a cone.

  17. Spoon the jam inside each carved-out cupcake. Use as much jam that will fit.

  18. Slice off the pointy end of the “cone” piece removed so that it can fit on top of the filling.

  19. Place on top of the filling.

Vanilla Almond Buttercream:

  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes until creamy.

  2. Add 4 and ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

  3. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes.

  4. Add up to ½ cup more confectioners’ sugar if the frosting is too thin or another 1 tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.

  5. Add 1 pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet, around ⅙ teaspoon salt.

  6. f desired, tint the buttercream with gel food coloring.

  7. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Use a Wilton 8B piping tip, and decorate with garnishes and candies.

  8. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Make-Ahead Instructions: The cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Almond Extract: If not a fan of almond extract, leave it out of the cupcakes and buttercream. Replace with equal amounts of vanilla extract or, for something different, orange extract or coconut extract. Craving peppermint? Leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cupcake batter and replace the almond extract with peppermint extract.
  • All the refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly.

 

Nutrition

  • Calories: 488.62kcal
  • Fat: 21.83g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.64g
  • Trans Fat: 0.74g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.67g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.89g
  • Carbohydrates: 71.69g
  • Fiber: 0.40g
  • Sugar: 56.89g
  • Protein: 2.75g
  • Cholesterol: 59.04mg
  • Sodium: 295.76mg
  • Calcium: 48.46mg
  • Potassium: 66.48mg
  • Iron: 1.30mg
  • Vitamin A: 188.82µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.72mg

Essential Technique Tips for Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

When filling the cupcakes with peach jam, it's important to ensure that the hole you've cut is not too large, as this could cause the cupcake to fall apart. Instead, aim for a small, deep hole that can securely hold the jam. This will also ensure that each bite of the cupcake has a balanced ratio of cake, jam, and frosting.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

Prep ahead: Measure and prepare all ingredients before starting. This will streamline the process and prevent any last-minute scrambling.

Efficient tools: Use a stand mixer for the batter and frosting to save time and effort.

Bake in batches: If you have multiple muffin pans, bake the cupcakes in batches to expedite the process.

Organized workspace: Keep your work area clean and organized to avoid unnecessary confusion and time wastage.

Multi-task: While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting to maximize efficiency.

Chill frosting: If the frosting becomes too soft, chill it for a few minutes to make it easier to work with.

Quick cleanup: Clean up as you go to minimize the mess and make the final cleanup faster.

Time-saving tools: Utilize kitchen tools like piping bags and tips to decorate the cupcakes quickly and efficiently.

Plan ahead: Create a timeline for each step of the recipe to ensure everything is completed in a timely manner.

Streamlined process: Follow the recipe steps in a systematic order to maintain a smooth and efficient cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe

  • cake flour - Substitute with all-purpose flour: All-purpose flour can be used as a substitute for cake flour. However, for every cup of cake flour, use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

  • baking powder - Substitute with baking soda: If you need to substitute baking powder, use four times the amount of baking soda. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

  • baking soda - Substitute with baking powder: If a recipe calls for baking soda and you only have baking powder, you will need to use three times the amount of baking powder as baking soda.

  • nutmeg - Substitute with cinnamon: Cinnamon can be used as a substitute for nutmeg, providing a warm and slightly sweet flavor.

  • ground cinnamon - Substitute with allspice: Allspice can be used as a substitute for ground cinnamon, providing a similar warm and aromatic flavor profile.

  • butter - Substitute with margarine: Margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in baking. However, the texture and flavor may be slightly different.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener in place of granulated sugar, adding a unique flavor to the cupcakes.

  • egg whites - Substitute with aquafaba: Aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas, can be whipped to create a foam similar to egg whites, making it a suitable substitute in baking recipes.

  • pure vanilla extract - Substitute with almond extract: Almond extract can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract, providing a nutty and sweet flavor to the cupcakes.

  • almond extract - Substitute with vanilla extract: Vanilla extract can be used as a substitute for almond extract, providing a classic and sweet flavor to the cupcakes.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream, providing a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture.

  • whole milk - Substitute with almond milk: Almond milk can be used as a substitute for whole milk, providing a dairy-free alternative with a slightly nutty flavor.

  • peach jam - Substitute with apricot jam: Apricot jam can be used as a substitute for peach jam, providing a similar fruity sweetness to the cupcakes.

  • butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for butter, adding a hint of coconut flavor to the cupcakes.

  • confectioner's sugar - Substitute with granulated sugar: Granulated sugar can be blended to a fine powder to create a substitute for confectioner's sugar in a pinch.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a substitute for heavy cream, providing a rich and creamy texture to the buttercream.

  • pure vanilla extract - Substitute with maple extract: Maple extract can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract, adding a unique and sweet maple flavor to the buttercream.

  • almond extract - Substitute with coconut extract: Coconut extract can be used as a substitute for almond extract, providing a tropical and nutty flavor to the buttercream.

Presenting Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

  1. Elevate with a sugar plum fairy theme: Create a whimsical and enchanting presentation that captures the essence of the sugar plum fairy. Incorporate pastel colors, edible glitter, and delicate snowflake sugar cookies to evoke a sense of magic and wonder.

  2. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a touch of elegance and sophistication by garnishing the cupcakes with delicate edible flowers. Choose flowers that are safe for consumption, such as pansies or violets, to bring a pop of color and a subtle floral aroma to the presentation.

  3. Incorporate a fairy tale display: Arrange the cupcakes on a tiered stand adorned with crystal accents and sparkling fairy lights to create a captivating display reminiscent of a fairy tale setting. This presentation will transport the judges to a magical wonderland.

  4. Use a pastel color palette: Opt for a soft and dreamy color scheme, such as pale pinks, lavender, and mint green, to evoke the enchanting world of the sugar plum fairy. Incorporate these hues in the cupcake liners, frosting, and decorative elements for a cohesive and visually stunning presentation.

  5. Add shimmer and shine: Dust the cupcakes with a touch of edible luster dust to impart a subtle shimmer, giving the impression of fairy dust. This ethereal touch will elevate the visual appeal and add a hint of enchantment to the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

  • Oven: Used for baking and roasting food items.
  • Muffin pan: Used to bake cupcakes and muffins.
  • Cupcake liners: Used to line the muffin pan and prevent the cupcakes from sticking.
  • Whisk: Used for mixing dry ingredients and beating eggs.
  • Handheld or stand mixer: Used for creaming butter and sugar, beating egg whites, and making frosting.
  • Rubber spatula: Used for scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl and folding ingredients.
  • Sharp knife: Used to carve out a hole in the cupcakes for filling.
  • Piping tip: Used for decorating cupcakes with frosting.
  • Pastry bag: Used to pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Used to measure ingredients accurately.
  • Baking sheet: Used to bake snowflake sugar cookies.
  • Rolling pin: Used to roll out cookie dough for the sugar cookies.
  • Cooling rack: Used to cool the cupcakes and cookies after baking.

Storing and Freezing Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you plan to store them for longer, place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze the cupcakes:
    • Place the unfrosted cupcakes on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
    • Once frozen, transfer the cupcakes to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag.
    • Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
    • When ready to serve, thaw the cupcakes at room temperature for about an hour before frosting and decorating.
  • If you have leftover buttercream frosting, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
    • To use frozen buttercream, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then bring it to room temperature before re-whipping it to restore its creamy texture.
  • If you have already frosted the cupcakes and need to store them, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    • Allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving for the best taste and texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Cupcakes

  • To reheat leftover sugar plum fairy cupcakes, first, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. This will help ensure even heating and prevent the cupcakes from drying out.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the cupcakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, leaving some space between each one to allow for even heat distribution.

  • Cover the cupcakes loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the frosting from melting or burning. The foil will also help retain moisture, keeping the cupcakes soft and fluffy.

  • Place the baking sheet with the covered cupcakes in the preheated oven and reheat for 5-7 minutes, or until they are warmed through. The exact time may vary depending on the size of your cupcakes and the efficiency of your oven.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the cupcakes in the microwave. Place an individual cupcake on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on medium power (50% power) for 15-20 seconds. Check the cupcake and continue heating in 5-second intervals until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the cake to become tough or rubbery.

  • If the buttercream frosting appears slightly melted or soft after reheating, place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to allow the frosting to set again. This will help maintain the appearance and texture of the cupcakes.

  • For best results, consume the reheated cupcakes immediately. If you need to reheat multiple cupcakes, work in batches to ensure even heating and to prevent the cupcakes from drying out or becoming overcooked.

Fascinating Facts About Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

The Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes recipe is inspired by the famous character from Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker. The sugar plum fairy is often associated with the holiday season and is a popular theme for festive treats. This recipe captures the essence of the sugar plum fairy with its delightful combination of flavors and the whimsical touch of snowflake sugar cookies as decorations. It's a perfect way to bring a touch of magic to your holiday celebrations.

Is Making Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this sugar plum fairy cupcakes recipe is moderate. The use of cake flour, butter, and sour cream can be affordable, but the inclusion of almond extract and peach jam may increase the overall cost. The vanilla almond buttercream requires confectioners' sugar and heavy cream, which can add to the expense. Considering the quantity and quality of ingredients, the approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20-$25. Overall Verdict: 8.

Are Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Healthy or Unhealthy?

The sugar plum fairy cupcakes recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main concerns are:

  • High sugar content from the granulated sugar, confectioner's sugar, and peach jam
  • Significant amount of butter, which is high in saturated fat
  • Use of whole milk and heavy cream, contributing to the overall fat content
  • Refined cake flour, which lacks the fiber and nutrients of whole grain flours

However, the recipe does include some redeeming qualities, such as the use of nutmeg and cinnamon, which offer small amounts of antioxidants and potential health benefits.

To make this recipe healthier without compromising taste and texture, consider the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the cupcake batter and frosting, or experiment with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup
  • Replace some of the butter with healthier alternatives like Greek yogurt, avocado, or nut butters
  • Opt for low-fat milk and cream, or use plant-based alternatives like almond or coconut milk
  • Incorporate whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour to increase the fiber content
  • Add grated zucchini or carrots to the batter for extra moisture and nutrients
  • Top the cupcakes with fresh fruit instead of sugary decorations

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced treat that still satisfies your sweet tooth while providing some nutritional benefits.

Editor's Thoughts on Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe

This sugar plum fairy cupcake recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of peach jam as a filling adds a sweet and fruity surprise, while the vanilla almond buttercream provides a rich and creamy finish. The incorporation of nutmeg and cinnamon adds warmth and depth to the cupcakes, making them perfect for the holiday season. The recipe's clear instructions and detailed steps make it accessible for both novice and experienced bakers. Overall, these cupcakes are a whimsical and delicious treat that will surely enchant anyone who tries them.

Enhance Your Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the sugar plum fairy cupcakes.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Colorful and flavorful grilled vegetable skewers, a light and refreshing side to enjoy alongside the sugar plum fairy cupcakes.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender honey glazed carrots, adding a touch of natural sweetness to complement the sugar plum fairy cupcakes.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes: These delicious cupcakes are a perfect fall treat, combining the flavors of pumpkin and warm spices with a creamy latte frosting.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: This savory and sweet dish features tender salmon fillets coated in a sticky honey garlic glaze, perfect for a quick and flavorful dinner.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This refreshing and healthy dessert is made with creamy coconut milk, sweet mango chunks, and nutritious chia seeds for a satisfying treat.

Appetizers and Main Courses to Serve with Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a mouthwatering appetizer by stuffing large mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of sausage, cream cheese, and herbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Whisk up a light and crispy batter for shrimp, then coat them in shredded coconut before frying to perfection. Serve with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce for a tropical twist on a classic appetizer.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish featuring tender chicken and a rich, savory Alfredo sauce. Pair it with your favorite pasta for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a flavorful and colorful stir fry with tender strips of beef, crisp vegetables, and a savory sauce. Serve it over steamed rice for a delicious and balanced meal.

Why trust this Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes Recipe:

This recipe is a delightful creation inspired by the enchanting sugar plum fairy from the Nutcracker ballet. The combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and almond extract infuses the cupcakes with warm, aromatic flavors. The use of peach jam adds a sweet and fruity surprise in the center, while the vanilla almond buttercream provides a luscious and indulgent finish. With meticulous attention to detail and a harmonious blend of ingredients, these cupcakes are a testament to the chef's expertise and passion for creating memorable desserts.

Share your thoughts on the Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how your batch turned out!
FAQ:
How can I make these cupcakes gluten-free?
To make these cupcakes gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free flour blend in place of the cake flour. Make sure the blend contains xanthan gum to help with the texture. Additionally, double-check that all other ingredients, including the baking powder, baking soda, and flavorings, are gluten-free.
Can I use a different type of jam for the filling?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of jam for the filling. Feel free to experiment with different flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, or even a mixed berry jam to customize the cupcakes to your liking.
How can I store these cupcakes?
You can store these cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you need to store them for a longer period, it's best to refrigerate them. Just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
Can I make the cupcakes and frosting ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can bake the cupcakes in advance and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The frosting can also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure to bring the frosting to room temperature and give it a good stir before using.
Can I omit the almond extract from the buttercream?
Yes, if you prefer not to use almond extract, you can simply omit it from the buttercream. You can increase the amount of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor, or you can leave it out entirely for a classic vanilla buttercream.

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