Santa and Christmas tree cupcake images by The Hummingbird Bakery

UPDATE 29th November – The giveaway has now closed and Helena was the winner! Congratulations Helena! We’re sure you’ll love the course.

I don’t host giveaways too often so I wanted to be clear on how I chose the winner – I counted up the eligible entries (15) and then generated a random number between 1 and 15. Helena was lucky number 13!

Right around this time of year is when I get slightly overexcited thinking about Christmas baking (and Christmas in general!). I have to calm myself down by reminding myself that there are only so many baked goods that one family can eat (and, somewhat horrifyingly, many of my family aren’t exactly as enamoured of baked goods as I am). So with that in mind, I’ve had to focus in on what I really want to bake this Christmas out of the extensive list of treats pinned to my Christmas food board on Pinterest.

At the top of the list is definitely cupcakes – I LOVE how cupcakes are so versatile – you can take the same basic vanilla cupcake recipe and transform it completely by using different coloured buttercream and decorations. So I thought I’d share a few ideas for easy Christmas-ified cupcakes – and I’m also giving away a place on a cupcake class worth £125!

  • Red and green – well its Christmas, duh! I’m thinking a big batch of Christmas cupcakes including red frosting swirls, green frosting swirls (and maybe some with red, green, red layers, and some with red green accents like these) would be very festive indeed. Be sure to stock up on Christmas Red gel colour. As for Christmas Green, I’ve found the Sugarflair green to be not quite the right colour, but I recently discovered that Asda do a fantastic Christmassy green gel colour for around £2 in their home2bake baking range.
  • Vanilla with added Christmas – If even making coloured frosting seems like too much work, why not just invest in some cute Christmas sprinkles to decorate your favourite vanilla cupcake recipe? My favourites are Christmas trees (as seen on my Christmas cookies last year), snowflakes (so cute), candy canes (ahhh!) and these holly leaves and berries (aiiii!).
  • Glitter – glitter was BORN for Christmas. A light dusting of non toxic glitter in a complimentary colour (silver or gold work well) will make your cake POP. You can also try lustre spray which is now available in all supermarkets, although it gives a less impressive result.

Cupcake Class Giveaway!

If you’re dreaming about perfecting your Cupcake making and decorating skills for Christmas, look no further! I’ve teamed up with the lovely ladies at Blue Door Bakery to host a giveaway worth £125! During an all day Cupcakes – Start to Finish class, you’ll learn

– how to bake the perfect cupcake
– how to make gorgeous decorations including flowers
– how to make and pipe fluffy buttercream, and how to perfect various swirls, including rose swirl
– how to get around any baking niggles you’ve faced in the past

The class includes lunch and your box of lovely freshly made cupcakes to take home.

I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found Blue Door Bakery on the interwebs. It’s so refreshing to see people offering great quality cupcake courses, and even though I’ve not been on a course myself (one day!), the enthusiasm, professionalism and expertise of the team, led by Sarah, shines through in everything they do online and their course feedback. They even have a brilliant blog where they give you the lowdown on some quite tricky techniques in an easy to understand way!

A bit more about Blue Door Bakery –

Blue Door Bakery are a baking and cake decorating school in a stunning setting, right in the middle of England. They offer a host of classes including cupcakes, tiered cakes, bread and mini cakes to name but a few! They teach complete beginners, baking experts, cake businesses owners and everyone in between. Classes are taught by an expert team, in small groups, so you get brilliant tuition in a relaxed environment, for a great day spent learning stacks of new skills.

Sarah started Blue Door Bakery in 2008 and baked 20,000 cupcakes from her home kitchen in the first year! As the business grew it moved to a fabulous purpose fitted studio and now focuses completely on classes and an online shop selling cake decorating equipment.

To enter –

Just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite cupcake combination is. Mine changes all the time, but right now I think it would be cookie dough cupcakes. It hopefully goes without saying that this giveaway is unfortunately only open to UK readers, and those who can easily reach Hagley in Worcestershire for this great day out – easily accessible by train from Birmingham and other parts of the midlands.

The small print –

  • Giveaway closes 25th November 2012.
  • The prize is for a weekday class (but the winner can upgrade to a weekend class for £25.)
  • The prize does not include travel to the class.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner must take their class within 6 months of being notified of their success.

Why not visit Blue Door Bakery on Facebook or on Pinterest for baking advice, chat and inspiration? Oh, and let me know whether you’re feeling inspired to bake festive cupcakes!

*Update* – Blue Door have also got a special offer running for the rest of this week – you can bag a class for only £95 to celebrate their first birthday. All classes booked by phone before 5pm on 16th November are available for £95 instead of £125/£150! Call 01562 228 232 to book.

Good luck! x Kerry