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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.38 / 5 (37 votes)

Prep time:
40 min
Cook time:
30 min
Makes 12

Christmas spiced cupcake with a snowman made with marshmallows and Swiss meringue


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the mix a little at a time alternating with a spoon of the flour to prevent the mix from curdling.

2. Add the orange juice and zest and again follow it with a spoon of flour to prevent the mix from curdling. Sift in the spices and the remaining flour and mix thoroughly.

3. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 12- 15 minutes until golden and a skewer comes away clean when inserted. Leave to cool.

4. For the Swiss meringue: Put the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Make sure the water beneath doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the sugar over the heat until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to whisk until the meringue mixture reads 60C on a sugar thermometer.

5. Transfer the meringue mixture to a standalone mixer with a whisk or use a handheld mixer/whisk and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes. The meringue should be bright white in colour and form very firm peaks.

7. For the snowmen: Take one of the marshmallows and pierce a hole on either side with a skewer. This marshmallow will become the snowman’s body and the holes will be used to insert the chocolate mint sticks to create snowman arms. Cut another marshmallow in half and reshape with fingers if necessary. Pierce a hole in the centre of this half marshmallow. This will become the head of the snowman and the hole will be used to insert a small piece of carrot for the snowman’s nose.

8. Spoon a little of the Swiss meringue onto the top of the cool cupcakes and using a combination of a teaspoon and palette knife begin to create a snowcapped cupcake. Place your snowman’s marshmallow body on top of the snowcapped cupcakes and using your spoon and palette knife artfully cover it in Swiss meringue. Once the body is covered repeat the process with the snowman’s marshmallow head.

9. Add the carrot and chocolate mint sticks in to the holes previously made with the skewer. Finish bringing your snowman to life using dark chocolate chips for eyes and the sprinkles for buttons on his frosty coat.


For the cupcakes:

  • 150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 1 orange, half juiced and the whole zested
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, grated

For the Swiss meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 120 g caster sugar

For the snowmen:

  • 24 white marshmallows
  • 12 mint chocolate sticks, cut in half
  • 1 carrot, cut in to small triangles
  • dark chocolate chips, to decorate
  • sprinkles, to decorate

Tips and suggestions

The Swiss meringue is incredibly sticky and can be very messy, make sure you have wet wipes at the ready when decorating

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