From BETTY CROCKER
Makes 10 regular cupcakes and 18 mini cupcakes
A combination of regular and mini cupcakes make up this adorably crafted gingerbread train! Use your favorite candies to make festive and magical decorations.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2cup butter, softened
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup water
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
Assorted candies (such as candy-coated chocolate pieces, round chewy caramels in milk chocolate, chewy fruit snacks, licorice twists, hard round peppermint candies, fruit flavored ring-shaped hard candies, and gumdrops)
1 sample-size ice cream cone
1.Heat oven to 350 degrees Grease and flour 10 regular-size muffin cups, or spray with baking spray that has flour included. Place mini paper baking cup in each of 18 mini muffin cups.
2.In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter, molasses, and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, and water. Divide batter evenly between regular and mini muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
3.Bake regular cupcakes 15 to 18 minutes, and mini cupcakes 11 to 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, lemon peel, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar,1 cup at a time, until smooth. Beat in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreadable. Reserve 1/2 cup frosting for decorating.
5.Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting, leaving one regular size cupcake unfrosted. Place 5 regular cupcakes on serving platter. Cut unfrosted cupcake in half; place upside down at front of train. Attach mini cupcakes to both sides of train with frosting and connect with pretzel sticks. Add additional cupcakes to front and back of train, as shown in photo. Decorate with candies, pretzel sticks, and cone, as desired (attaching with frosting as needed). Serve any remaining cupcakes, as desired.
TIP: Use cream cheese ready-to-spread frosting instead of homemade. You’ll still get rave reviews for these sensational sweets!
Find this recipe and more holiday treats at bettycrocker.com