Tina Cornett / Styling: Buffy Hargett
Iced with Cream Cheese Frosting, bite-size Chocolate-Red Velvet Cupcakes are sure to delight children of all ages. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, crushed peppermints, or decorative candies, and then package the treats in miniature muffin pans. Tie on a ribbon and some candy canes, and slip the pan inside a cellophane gift bag so all the goodies shine through.
We had great fun testing our Christmas cake batters in different sizes and shapes. Here are some of our favorite pans. They're available in kitchen shops (such as Williams-Sonoma, 1-800-541-2233 or www.williams-sonoma.com), in discount department stores (such as Target), through mail-order catalogs, and on Web sites (such as amazon.com and cooking.com). You'll find baking instructions included on the packaging with most pans.
- Fluted brioche molds, traditionally used to bake the rich and buttery French yeast bread known as brioche, are also perfect for baking fanciful cakes such as the Fluted Chocolate-Red Velvet Cakes on our cover. Sold in a variety of sizes, we chose the 8-inch brioche molds for our cakes. Because we used nonstick molds with a dark outer surface, we covered them with aluminum foil. The shiny side of the foil reflects the heat away from the sides of the mold for a lighter, bright red crust.
- NordicWare makes this multi-mini Bundt cake pan that has two each of three different shapes. Dust the finished cakes with powdered sugar to accent the molded designs.
- The Bundt brownie pan is also the perfect size for cupcakes. We garnished ours with a dollop of whipped cream, raspberry candies, and fresh mint sprigs.