I love snowglobes. I think as a child I found them quite magical and fascinating, so now when I look at them as an adult they remind me of the excitement and magic surrounding Christmas as a kid. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was SO cool! Though obviously, with most things on Pinterest it’s never as easy as you imagine!
I also made the cupcakes on a Saturday, leaving the snowglobes to dry overnight. Then proceeded to drink wayy too much at a party and be so hungover the next day that I couldn’t face taking pictures of the snowglobes till the afternoon when I’d lost natural light. So lesson to all, don’t get drunk on a baking/photography weekend. Though I imagine the different light in the pictures is probably more aggravating to myself than anybody else!
It definitely takes some practise to get the snowglobe right, but they can look so adorable once they are! It’s all completely edible too, as you make the globes from gelatin. The process to make the snowglobe is actually fairly simple, but you’ll need a fair bit of time for the gelatin to dry. Overnight is perfect though!
To create the snowglobe shape, you’ll need to blow up some small balloons. Then melt the gelatin sheets over a low heat until its a thin enough consistency to be able to dip the balloons in. These are then left to set overnight until the gelatin is no longer tacky. The balloons can then be (carefully!) popped and you will be left with a hard shell-like snowglobe to place over your cupcake. Stopping the balloons from sticking together was an issue! But I figured it out below, by sticking skewers through the balloon tie and sticking them into polystyrene.
For the base of the snowglobe, I made gingerbread cupcakes which are so moist and have the perfect amount of spice. I topped the cupcakes with a little vanilla icing, and some sugar sprinkles to look like snow. For the decorations inside the snowglobe, I used fondant icing to create presents, trees and snowmen. You could make any little decorations you wanted, but modelling fondant is nottt my forte so I tried to stick to quite simple shapes!
I really hope you give these snowglobe cupcakes a go, even with the added effort and time I think they’re so worth it! And best of all they taste delicious and super festive!
- 16 small 4" balloons
- 16 gelatin leaves
- non-stick cooking oil
- 140 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 g caster sugar
- 60 g black treacle
- 60 g golden syrup
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- 310 g plain flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 240 ml hot milk
- 120 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- one tube sugar 'snow' sprinkles
- fondant icing in assorted colours
- For the snowglobes: Blow up 16 balloons, until they are a similar size to a muffin case. Place a skewer through the balloon tie and set aside.
- Fill a bowl with ice-cold water and place the gelatin leaves in one at a time, making sure they are submerged. Then leave for 10 minutes to soften.
- Once they are soft, remove the leaves from the bowl and squeeze them to remove all excess water. Then place in a saucepan and add 3tbsp of the water from the bowl. Melt the gelatin over a low heat, stirring occasionally. You don't want to get this too hot, so keep an eye on it and remove it from the heat as soon as the gelatin is melted and fluid.
- Spray some non-stick cooking oil or dab some liquid oil onto your hands, and then rub over the balloons. You don't want a lot of oil here, just a light coating - enough to ensure you will be able to remove the gelatin from the balloons.
- Pour the gelatin into a measuring jug and dip the balloons one by one into the melted gelatin. Turning the balloons so they have an even covering and letting any excess drip back into the jug. If the gelatin starts to set whilst you're dipping them, return the gelatin to the saucepan to re-melt.
- Let the balloons set for about 10 minutes and then repeat the process so they have a double layer. Then leave to set overnight, ensuring none of the balloons are touching each other - use the skewers to prop them up. (I stuck the skewers into styrofoam.)
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas Mark 5 and line a muffin tin with 16 muffin cases.
- Using a hand-mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the treacle, golden syrup, eggs and egg yolks and continue beating until all ingredients are combined.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and and salt. Then whilst mixing on a low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture in three batches alternating with the hot milk. Ensuring you start and end with the dry mixture. Mix until the dry ingredients are just combined, then divide the mixture between the muffin cases.
- Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the muffin tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the buttercream: Beat the butter and icing sugar together using a hand-mixer on a low speed. Once combined, add the vanilla extract and milk then beat again on a high-speed until creamy and smooth.
- For the decoration: Using the fondant icing mould 16 festive items such as Christmas trees, presents and snowmen.
- For the assembly: Divide the buttercream between the 16 cupcakes and using a palette knife spread the buttercream to the edges of the cupcake creating a flat base. Then cover the buttercream in sugar 'snow' sprinkles and add a fondant decoration to each cupcake.
- When the gelatin balloons are no longer tacky to the touch and feel almost like plastic, carefully pierce the balloons and remove them from inside the snowglobes. The balloon should naturally pull away from the sides of the gelatin, but be careful when pulling it away if it gets stuck. Place a gelatin balloon over each cupcake to create the snowglobe.