Don't be a cotton headed ninny muggins and try these Buddy the Elf Breakfast Spaghetti cupcakes for a Christmas Eve treat waiting for Santa to arrive. They're packed full of Elf food group essentials M&Ms, marshmallows, sprinkles and syrup frosting!
It's the same every year in our house. Christmas arrives and the question on everyone's lips isn't "What's your favourite Christmas song?"; whilst that is completely and utterly hands down 'I want a hippopotamus for Christmas (honestly check it out). No, the question is "What's your favourite Christmas movie?"
It's a question that divides generations, boys and girls. For the men, it's always 'Die Hard'; nothing says Christmas like Bruce Willis in a vest. For the more nostalgic of us, 'It's a Wonderful Life' tops the watch list. But for the little ones and us big ones that still believe in Father Christmas, it's hard to pick between The Muppets Christmas Carol, Arthur Christmas and Elf.
For me, I've been captivated by the magic of Aardman and Arthur Christmas; it's full of love, laughs and Santa spirit that never fails to bring a tear to my eye. I utterly adore it! But the one film that signals the arrival of Christmas when it airs is Elf!
If you haven't watched Elf then I wholeheartedly suggest you do, it's full of feel-good factor that will warm you right down to your toes and have you feeling festive in no time. That and Elves have the best diet ever. The 4 Elf food groups being candy corn, candy canes, candy and syrup. Mmmm syrup!
Well, maybe it's not the best diet, because, you know, sugar is not good for your teeth! But it's Christmas, so we're allowed to indulge a little, and Buddy the Elf certainly does with his breakfast spaghetti. Piled high with mini marshmallows, M&Ms, sprinkles, candy, chocolate sauce and of course syrup; the only thing that raced through my mind at the speed of Santa's sleigh was that they'd look good on top of a cupcake. Always thinking about food as usual!
These Buddy the Elf Breakfast Spaghetti cupcakes have almost everything that an Elf would wish for. I had scoffed all the candy corn left over from Halloween, and I wasn't sure it a candy cane would work well with all the other toppings. I got two of the major Elf food groups in there so its a start.
Let's start with the frosting because that's the star here! Pasta of any kind including spaghetti is not going to go well with a nice and moist cupcake, so there had to be another way, and there is. Ladies and gents, I give you the 'grass nozzle'. This genius piping tip is responsible for fluffy buttercream teddy bears, football pitch cakes and now... Elf Breakfast Spaghetti cupcakes! There's nothing difficult or fancy, just pop the piping tip into your piping bag as normal and squeeze through the frosting in one long swirl, and you'll find that you get long strands of frosting, or as I'd like to call it... frosting spaghetti!
Now syrup frosting can be a little on the sweet side, and that's why its an Elf's favourite flavour. But with all that frosting and candy, you really need something to balance them out, and here's where the cupcake comes in. Rather than going with a standard vanilla cake, which would have worked well, I raided the ingredients pantry for the dark brown sugar, that I remembered to buy after forgetting it for my Baileys cupcakes.
Switching out regular white caster sugar for the soft brown sugar, not only gives the cupcakes a darker colour and a slightly heavier texture but also gives them a caramelly taste that perfectly compliments the syrup frosting and the candy overload on the top. In fact, a touch of ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and you'd be on the way to a gingerbread cupcake. For me, I actually quite like it just as it is.
Get the four food groups into your Elf Breakfast Spaghetti cupcakes
I've covered off two of the four Elf food groups in these cupcakes, but there has to be a way to get them all in and really overload your sweet tooth. Or if you didn't want to come crashing back down to earth after a sugar hit; then you could switch some of the toppings around instead. Let's take a look...
- Holiday M&Ms aren't that easy to find in the UK and are massively expensive, so I ended up picking the red, green and yellow ones out of a pouch bag instead. If you're tempted to use the Holiday M&Ms, you'll need the chocolate mint ones.
- Candy corn is a stable Elf food group, I didn't have any left over from Halloween, but if you can resist eating them all stick a couple in the top of the cupcake amongst the frosting spaghetti.
- To get the candy canes into the breakfast spaghetti, they would be awesome crushed and then sprinkled over the top, either as a candy cane dust or chunks.
- And you've got the syrup in the frosting, so there's the fourth food group right there!
Don’t forget, if you’ve tried these Elf Breakfast Spaghetti Cupcakes recipe or which of the four Elf food groups is your favourite, I’d love to hear what you thought. Drop me a note in the comments below and a star rating.
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Looking for more inspiration?
Then why not check out these other awesome Christmas dessert recipes.
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For the Cupcakes:
- 200g Slightly Salted Butter
- 200g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- 4 Eggs, Medium
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 200g Self-Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
For the Frosting and to Decorate:
- 400g Icing Sugar
- 200g Slightly Salted Butter
- 1-2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- Mini Marshmallows
- Mini Jazzies
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 180C or 160C (fan) and line a deep muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. Alternatively, you can make the cake batter, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.
- Add the brown sugar to the softened butter and cream until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture. Beat well between adding each egg.
- Add the vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together, and add to the mixture. Gently mix together until the cake batter is soft and smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cupcake cases, approximately 1 scoop per case.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
To Make the Buttercream:
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the maple syrup and half of the icing sugar. Beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining icing sugar. Beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the frosting as it will slacken and may be runny when piping, meaning your spaghetti won't work as well.
- If the buttercream is too stiff, add a tsp of whole milk and beat until smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop, and add a scoop of frosting on top of each cupcake. Use a palette knife to smooth it onto the cupcake.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 'grass nozzle' with the maple syrup frosting.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes around the scoop of buttercream, to represent spaghetti.
- Decorate with the M&Ms, mini marshmallows, mini jazzies, sprinkles and any other candy Elves might like to eat!
The soft dark brown sugar gives the cupcakes a caramelly taste; but if you prefer you could switch for a light brown or white caster sugar. Alternatively, stick with the dark brown sugar and add a little ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice for a festive taste.
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