For the Vanilla Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 400º F (200º C). Line cupcake pans with 24 paper cup liners.
- Sift the flour, superfine sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl, twice, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes, make sure your butter is at room temp.
- Add the eggs, flour/sugar mixture, heavy cream and vanilla to the creamed butter mixture, and then beat slowly until well incorporated, but not more than 1½ minutes.
- Scoop the batter into prepared pans, using a standard size ice cream scoop, filling about ¾ full.
For the Peppermint Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, mix all the ingredients until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Be careful not to overbeat mixture. If, by chance, you have overbeaten the mixture, simply add a few teaspoons of cold heavy cream (straight from the refrigerator) and carefully blend. It’s a trick I learned from Martha Stewart, and it makes the cream perfect again!
*If your preference is a less sweet frosting, simply use less confectioners’ sugar.
- Place the cream in a piping bag; I use a #849 nozzle from Ateco.
- Pipe frosting on top of each cupcake. If you find it difficult to pipe on a swirl on a cupcake, check out my YouTube video on how to do a similar swirl.
- Roll out red marzipan, press your favorite stamp on it, take a round cookie cutter and cut out a circle, place it on top of the frosting, or add crushed candy canes or chocolate pearls on the frosting.