Welcome to the 3rd Friday in December. Officially, it’s National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Since 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. It’s a fun excuse for holiday lovers and ugly sweater wearers to break out their most obnoxious winter holiday wear.
If I had it my way, we’d make Ugly Christmas Sweaters a requirement for our Christmas At The Farm Family gatherings. I have what I consider to be two not overly obnoxious sweaters to pick from. While I have managed to convince Hubby to wear a bright green Christmas Tree hooded sweatshirt to the farm, Kiddo’s lone Ugly Christmas Sweater still hangs in the closet, never worn.
I miss the days when I could get my guys to go along with my silly traditions. When Kiddo was growing up, we all got new matching Christmas Pajamas. Another childhood tradition lost. I have half a mind to get us matching PJs for a family picture. Of course I’d need to really spike the Eggnog to get the menfolk to agree.
One Ugly Christmas Sweater that I can get everyone to agree upon is the edible kind. This year instead of making an Ugly Sweater Sheet cake, I thought cupcakes might be fun. And for those of you with little ones, letting the kids decorate their own cupcakes to add to the “sweater” might really be a hoot.
Happy Ugly Christmas Sweater Day everyone!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Cupcakes
1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup Water
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
Heat oven to 325-degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cups. Line another with 6 cups for a total of 30 cupcakes.
Note: If you do not have muffin tins, use liners that do not require a pan. Arrange in rows to fit all 30 liners on a single rim-sided pan.
Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moist, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
Using a cookie scoop, divide batter between the paper liners.
Place in the heated oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of one cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Let cool completely.
Almond Buttercream Frosting
8 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Solid Butter-Flavored Vegetable Shortening
1-1/2 cup Butter, Softened
1-1/2 teaspoon Almond extract (or to taste)
3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup, or as needed
No-Taste Red Food Coloring
Red Sanding Sugar
Sift powdered sugar, set aside.
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add almond extract. Beat to blend.
Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl between additions and after the last of the sugar has been added.
When all sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will appear to be dry. Add the heavy cream and corn syrup, alternating, until desired consistency is reached. (Think mashed potatoes without the lumps).
Add red food coloring until a nice red color is achieved. The color need not be deep since the cupcakes will be dipped in red sanding sugar to give a deeper red finish.
Note: The Red Food Coloring and Red Sugar are suggestions. If you wish to make the sweater another color, that’s fine, too. No food coloring and white sanding sugar is also fine.
Spread finishing sand on a small plate. Frost the cooled cupcakes with frosting. Dip each frosted cupcake in the red sugar.
Arrange on a cookie sheet or cardboard cake board. Three cupcakes to form the neck. Four cupcakes to form each arm. Three more just below the neckline. Complete the body of the sweater with four rows of four cupcakes each.
Now that the sweater is formed, decorating is more a matter of personal choice. The decorations here are suggestions.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Decorations
1 tube Yellow Icing
1 tube Blue Icing
1 tube Green Icing
1 tube Orange Icing
1 box Skittles Candy
1 bag Mini Marshmallows
Using the colored icing, pipe Christmas Lights as desired on some or all of the cupcakes. Pipe green icing
Using the colored icing, pipe Christmas Lights as desired on some or all of the cupcakes. Pipe green icing to create the light strings.
Arrange skittles and mini marshmallows to the cuffs, the bottom and neckline as desired for a finished look.
Finish the sleeves with skittles or other designs.
Last year for Ugly Sweater Day I shared an Ugly Sweater Sheet Cake. This can be adapted to decorate the cupcake sweater using candied sugar decorations