recipe image

Kids will love helping make the cute snowmen that sit atop a vanilla buttercream snowdrift on these deliciously light, sweet and easy snowman cupcakes.

Multiple snowman cupcakes sat on a table with festive decorations in the background.

The snowmen’s clothes are a little wonky and rough around the edges, but I think that works perfectly for these particular cupcakes.

Snowmen don’t wear top-of-the-range clothes, they wear old, beat up hats with uneven coal eyes and reject carrots for noses, right?

Multiple snowman cupcakes on a table with a festive background. The centered snowman cupcake has been unwrapped and a bite taken out.

Here’s what to do to make these snowman cupcakes.

Ingredients

For the muffins

  • 200 g (7.1 oz) margarine
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) white caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) white self-raising flour (self rising flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the snowmen

  • 360 g (12.7 oz) white sugar paste
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) black sugar paste
  • 10 g (0.4 oz) orange sugar paste
  • 4 strawberry laces cut into thirds
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the frosting

  • 600 g (1.3 lb) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 300 g (10.6 oz) slightly salted butter
  • 1 tbsp whole milk

Equipment

  • 12-hole muffin tray

  • Cupcake cases

  • Thin wooden skewers

  • Closed star nozzle

Instructions

Make the sponges

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F (180C/355F fan)

Put the sugar and margarine in a large mixing bowl.

Butter and sugar being mixed in a bowl for the snowman cupcakes.

Cream together until fluffy.

Overhead shot after the butter and sugar has been mixed together. The bowl is surrounded by additional ingredients which are required to make the snowman cupcakes.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Adding eggs to the snowman cupcakes mixture.

Beat again, just until well combined.

The snowman cupcakes ingredients so far having been mixed together.

Add the flour and baking powder.

Overhead shot of adding flour and baking powder to the snowman cupcakes mixture.

Fold through.

Folding in the snowman cupcakes mixture.

Add the milk.

Overhead shot of adding milk to the snowman cupcakes mixture which is inside a pyrex bowl.

Gently mix – this helps loosen the batter slightly.

The snowman cupcakes having been slowly mixed together.

Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases and spoon the batter into the cases evenly. Don’t forget to level off the tops so the cupcakes rise evenly.

Overhead shot of a 12 hole cupcake tray lined with cupcake cases and filled with the snowman cupcakes mixture.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden on top and springy in the centre.

Overhead shot of the cupcake tray after spending 12 minutes in the oven.

Leave to cool until firm enough to handle, then remove from the tin and stand on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the snowmen

Divide the white sugar paste into 12 pieces. Then take one piece and divide it into three, each smaller than the last, as pictured. Roll each piece into a ball, these will be the three segments of your snowman. Push a skewer into them to hold them together, then trim the skewer so that there’s an inch or so of stick remaining.

Four process images of making the snowmen for the snowman cupcakes.

To make the hats, divide the black sugar paste into 12 pieces. Pinch 1/3 off a piece, roll into a ball and flatten to make a disc – this is the brim of the cut. Form the rest of the piece into a cylinder. Repeat with all of the black fondant.

Two process images of making the snowman for the top of the snowman cupcakes.

For the carrot noses, divide the orange sugar paste into 12 and gently roll each piece between your finger and thumb to form a little cone.

Two process images demonstrating how the black and orange sugar paste is manipulated to make the snowmen for the top of the snowman cupcakes.

Now you can dress your snowmen.

Press the hat pieces (a black disc, then a black cylinder) to each snowman’s head. You can use a dab of water to help the pieces stick, if needed.

The snowman having been put together on a skewer. Ready to be added to the cupcake.

Now attach the orange noses.

Overhead shot of the snowman made out of sugar paste that will sit on top of the snowman cupcakes.

For the arms, break off thin slivers of cinnamon bark and push into the sides of the snowman’s body.

Adding the cinnamon bark to the snowman made of sugar paste. This cinnamon bark is used as arms.

Use your black writing icing to add the eyes, mouth, and buttons down each snowman’s front.

Overhead shot of the finished sugar paste snowman complete with cinnamon park as arms and icing for added details such as the eyes and buttons.

Finally, for the scarves, tie a piece of strawberry lace around each snowman’s neck.

Adding a strawberry lace to the sugar paste snowman to demonstrate the scarf.

Leave your showman to set a little while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting

Put the icing sugar, milk and butter in a large bowl.

Mixing together butter and flour to make the frosting for the snowman cupcakes.

Beat until pale and fluffy.

Overhead shot of the butter and flour having been mixed together in a pyrex bowl.

Add a tiny dot of purple food colouring – just the end of a toothpick’s worth. Whisk again and the magic of colour theory should turn your frosting ivory white.

The pyrex bowl of icing sugar after adding a tiny dot of purple food colouring.

Transfer your frosting to a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and pipe generous swirls onto your cooled cupcakes.

Overhead shot of the cupcakes after adding the frosting.

Carefully sit a snowman on top of each cake and you’re done!

The completed snowman cupcakes.
Multiple snowman cupcakes sat on a table. The centered snowman cupcake has been upwrapped and a bite has been taken out.
Multiple snowman cupcakes.

You can have so much fun with sugar paste once you get started. What creations have you made recently?

Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect easy snowman cupcakes

Are snowman cupcakes easy to make?

These cupcakes are such a joy to make, the cakes themselves are a simple vanilla sponge you can whip up in one single bowl. Whilst the muffins are in the oven set to work building your snow people, this is great fun to do with the kids, making each one unique.

Will I need any special equipment for this recipe?

Most of the equipment you need should be easy to find in the average kitchen, the full list of kit can be found on the recipe card below. The main things you will need are mixing bowls, weighing scales, a 12 hole muffin tin with cases, and a wire rack for cooling.

Where can I buy different coloured sugar paste?

Sugar paste, sometimes called ready-to-roll icing or rolled fondant, can be easily found in most large supermarkets or with your online shop. They come in such a rainbow of colours you’ll be spoilt for choice.

As we’re only using a little bit of the orange and black remember you can re-seal the bag, and store it in an airtight container to use at a later date.

Are snowmen cupcakes suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, this recipe is suitable for vegetarians, it’s important to check the decorative elements you’re using as not all food colourings and setting agents are suitable for vegetarians which may be in the strawberry laces, or the icing.

Are snowmen cupcakes suitable for vegans?

For this recipe, I’ve used dairy margarine, butter, milk, and eggs which makes this bake unsuitable for vegans. That said you could try making these using plant-based alternatives, I haven’t tested this recipe vegan yet, let me know how you get on!

To replace the butter and margarine you can use a vegetable baking block or good quality vegan margarine.

The eggs will need to be replaced with one of the following options (each = 1 egg, so multiply as needed for any given recipe):

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed chia seeds or flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (the water you get in a tin of chickpeas).
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce (bear in mind this will add sweetness).

Do be sure to check all decorative elements for you snowmen are suitable for vegans too, you may need to improvise a little and use different sweets to create their scarfs.

Are snowmen cupcakes gluten-free?

The muffins that these cute Christmas snowmen sit atop are made with wheat-based flour and baking powder so are not gluten-free.

I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour yet but you could give it a try if you’re making these for someone who needs to avoid gluten.

I always recommend using a good quality brand, which will usually be made from a blend of different flours such as rice flour, and oat flour, raising agents, of course, and usually a binding agent such as xanthan gum.

It’s important to check all ingredients including the decorative elements are gluten-free

Are snowmen cupcakes safe to eat while pregnant?

Advice regarding eggs safety during pregnancy can vary from country to country so it’s best to check information local to you.

Other than this, there isn’t anything in this recipe that would usually pose a risk to a pregnant woman as long as all the ingredients are in good condition, and the cakes are cooked and decorated following good food hygiene practices.

A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice, if you have any questions or concerns please speak to a qualified health professional.

Can I make this recipe without egg?

If you need to avoid egg for whatever reason, you can try using an egg replacer instead. I haven’t tried this recipe egg-free yet, but you could give one of these options a try (each = 1 egg, so multiply as needed for any given recipe):

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed chia seeds or flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (the water you get in a tin of chickpeas).
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce (bear in mind this will add sweetness).

Make sure to check any decorative elements you are using are also egg free. And remember, though these cupcakes will be egg free they still wouldn’t be suitable for a vegan because of the milk and butter.

I haven’t got a cinnamon stick, what can I use instead?

You can try a few different things, shards of dark or milk chocolate work well. Cut a few thin slices into a bar of chocolate and shards will form, you’ll need to work quickly though as these have a tendency to melt in your hands. You could also roll out some of the black icing you’re using for the hats to create arms.

How should I store snowman cupcakes?

These snowman cakes should be kept in a container in a single layer, if you have a cake box that would be ideal. I find these cupcakes keep at their best in the fridge, this keeps the fresh buttercream well.

Can I leave snowman cupcakes out on the counter?

Other than for serving these cupcakes need to be kept in a sealed container to keep them at their best. It’s not a good idea to leave them on the side for ages, and if you have space it would be best to keep them in the fridge.

Can I make these snowman cupcakes ahead?

As with most cakes, these are best served freshly baked. If you want to make some elements ahead then you could bake the cupcakes the day before, once cooled store them in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark.

Make your snowmen and decorate before serving.

Can I keep my snowmen cupcakes in the refrigerator?

Yes, because of the fresh buttercream I find cupcakes like this keep best in the fridge. Keep them in a sealed container to protect the snowmen from condensation.

Can I freeze these snowmen cupcakes?

Yes, you can, as with most bakes like this, they keep well in the freezer, though the height of your snowmen might mean they won’t fit in.

Check you have space before packing them up ready for freezing. Keep your cakes in a container, in a single layer to protect the decorations. These cupcakes will keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

What is the best way to defrost snowman cupcakes?

I find it best to keep these cupcakes in the container they are in, simply transfer this to the fridge to defrost for about 6 hours, or overnight. Keeping them in the box protects the icing from exposure to moisture as they thaw out.

It’s important to defrost these slowly at a low temperature, rather than just out on the side as they are not being reheated. Once thawed consume within 24 hours.

Can I make these snowman cupcakes in a different quantity?

If you want to make more or less of these adorable snowman cupcakes then head down to the recipe card where you’ll see the number of servings is set to 12.

Just click or hover over this number with the mouse and a little slider will appear that you can move up or down to get the number you want to make.

You’ll see all the ingredients updating automatically, it’s best if you can get things like eggs to reach a whole number, it’s hard to put half an egg in a recipe!

Can I make this recipe in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?

Yes, if you like you can make the cake batter and frosting in a stand mixer.

For the cupcakes start by adding the sugar into the mixer bowl, this helps stop the margarine from sticking to the bowl. Add in the margarine and beat on medium to high until the mixture looks light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat again until they are just mixed in. Now time for the flour and baking powder, fold this through on low to medium speed as not to create a snowstorm in the kitchen or overwork the batter.

Finally, mix through the milk to loosen the batter slightly. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl down every now and then to make sure everything is well combined.

How can I make sure my cupcakes are perfectly cooked?

This is a really simple single bowl cake batter that is easy to bring together if the kids are helping double-check the ingredients are weighed out correctly to get the right balance for your cupcakes.

When the cakes are in the oven you can keep an eye on them through the oven door, watching as the magic happens and the cupcakes rise to soft golden mounds.

This will take about 20 minutes and you can check they are done by sticking a metal skewer into the center of a cupcake to make sure it comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray and then transfer to a wire rack. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before you start to ice.

Why did my snowmen fall over?

These are quite top heavy decorations atop a soft cupcake so if not supported they may fall over.

This is why I’ve used thin wooden skewers to help hold the snowmen in place. Make sure to leave enough skewer at the bottom of the snowman so it can be inserted into the cakes. And let people know the skewers are in there too!

Why didn’t my cupcakes rise?

For these cupcakes we’ve used self-raising flour, and also added baking powder to help things along, so there shouldn’t be any issue with the raising agents in the batter.

A few other factors might be at play if your cakes don’t rise. Either the over is too hot, which means the cakes rise too quickly and then collapse, or conversely, the oven is too cold in which case the cupcakes won’t rise at all.

Another issue could be the batter is overworked or left on the side for too long before going into the oven, all the hard work the raising agents are doing making tiny air bubbles will be lost.

Next time, preheat your oven as soon as you start making the batter, so by the time the batter is ready to go in the oven, it is hot enough.

How can I add/change the flavours in these cupcakes?

I’ve made vanilla cupcakes with snowmen, you could make a different flavour by adding another flavour extract, and why not pair it with a different festive topper.

Print these easy snowman cupcakes

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Easy Snowman Cupcakes

Kids will love helping make the cute snowmen that sit atop a vanilla buttercream snowdrift on these deliciously light, sweet and easy snowman cupcakes.

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time50 mins

Course: cakes and bakes, Festive makes

Cuisine: British

Diet: Vegetarian

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Author: Emily Leary

Ingredients

For the muffins

  • 200 g (7.1 oz) margarine
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) white caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) white self-raising flour (self rising flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the snowmen

  • 360 g (12.7 oz) white sugar paste
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) black sugar paste
  • 10 g (0.4 oz) orange sugar paste
  • 4 strawberry laces cut into thirds
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the frosting

  • 600 g (1.3 lb) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 300 g (10.6 oz) slightly salted butter
  • 1 tbsp whole milk

Equipment

  • 12-hole muffin tray

  • Cupcake cases

  • Thin wooden skewers

  • Closed star nozzle

Instructions

Make the sponges

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F (180C/355F fan)

  • Put the sugar and margarine in a large mixing bowl. Cream together until fluffy.

  • Add the eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat again, just until well combined.

  • Add the flour and baking powder and fold through.

  • Add the milk and gently mix – this helps loosen the batter slightly.

  • Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases and spoon the batter into the cases evenly. Don’t forget to level off the tops so the cupcakes rise evenly.

  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden on top and springy in the centre.

  • Leave to cool until firm enough to handle, then remove from the tin and stand on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the snowmen

  • Divide the white sugar paste into 12 pieces. Then take one piece and divide it into three, each smaller than the last, as pictured. Roll each piece into a ball, these will be the three segments of your snowman. Push a skewer into them to hold them together, then trim the skewer so that there’s an inch or so of stick remaining.

  • To make the hats, divide the black sugar paste into 12 pieces. Pinch 1/3 off a piece, roll into a ball and flatten to make a disc – this is the brim of the cut. Form the rest of the piece into a cylinder. Repeat with all of the black fondant.

  • For the carrot noses, divide the orange sugar paste into 12 and gently roll each piece between your finger and thumb to form a little cone.

  • Now you can dress your snowmen. Press the hat pieces (a black disc, then a black cylinder) to each snowman’s head. You can use a dab of water to help the pieces stick, if needed.

  • Now attach the orange noses.

  • For the arms, break off thin slivers of cinnamon bark and push into the sides of the snowman’s body.

  • Use your black writing icing to add the eyes, mouth, and buttons down each snowman’s front.

  • Finally, for the scarves, tie a piece of strawberry lace around each snowman’s neck.

  • Leave your showman to set a little while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting

  • Put the icing sugar, milk and butter in a large bowl. Beat until pale and fluffy.

  • Add a tiny dot of purple food colouring – just the end of a toothpick’s worth. Whisk again and the magic of colour theory should turn your frosting ivory white.

  • Transfer your frosting to a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle and pipe generous swirls onto your cooled cupcakes.

  • Carefully sit a snowman on top of each cake and you’re done!

Nutrition

Calories: 780kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 98g | Vitamin A: 1280IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

* Note: nutritional information is estimated, based on publicly available data. Nutrient values may vary from those published. Information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. Cuisines identify the primary region of inspiration for a dish.

Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and tag @amummytoo on Instagram or tag @EmilyLearyCooks on Twitter. I can’t wait to see your posts!

Pin these easy snowman cupcakes

Three process images of the snowman cupcakes. At the top of the image there's some text describing the image for Pinterest.
Close up of the snowman cupcakes. The centered cupcake has a bite taken out of it. The text at the top of the image describes the image for Pinterest.
Front on shot of multiple snowman cupcakes on a table. There's some text at the top righthand side of the image describing the image for Pinterest.
Close up front on shot of the snowman cupcakes. The centered cupcake has had a bite taken out of it. The white text at the bottom of the image describes the image for Pinterest.
Close up forward facing photo of the snowman cupcakes with text describing the cupcakes at the top of the image.
Forward facing image of the snowman cupcakes on a table. There's some teal text at the top of the image describing it for Pinterest.

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