Week 33: Martha Stewart's Snowball Cupcakes with Snowball Frosting

This the second in a series of three holiday-themed cupcakes. The first was the Candy Cane Cupcakes. I found this recipe in the December Martha Stewart Living magazine. She calls them "whimsical wax creations" because she used beeswax sheets to make the little trees, etc. I could not find beeswax sheets anywhere around here so I thought a good substitute for beeswax would be fruit rollups! At least you could eat them instead of burning them! The cupcakes were easy to make...but you have to have bittersweet chocolate on hand. I made them this morning before we went to Butlers Orchard to get our Christmas tree. Then when we got back I needed to do some work on my annual "xmas" cd that I send out to my family and friends--this is the sixth year. So it wasn't until about 4:15 that I returned to the kitchen and began a real trial...opps, I mean, learning experience...that lasted until about 9:00 tonight!

The Snowball Frosting just looks easy. Here are the ingredients: 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons light corn syrup; 6 ounces whipping-quality pasteurized egg whites. It's a cinch, right? No Way! I must make note of one missing ingredient not on the list above: 2/3 cup of water (it is mentioned in the the text below the ingredients. So, I don't add the water, in fact, completely miss the water...I had no idea what it was supposed to look like! But, somehow I knew that tan was not the right color. That batch was a complete failure (however, don't forget the learning experience...now I know what not to do. right? Nod your head here) Second Try: Okay. Now I am seeing that this will take two people to complete, but not until I actually went through it a second time. The recipe calls for you to bring the corn syrup and water and sugar to boil in a small sauce pan until it reaches a temp of 235 degrees. Sounds easy, yes? But the next thing says, "meanwhile, put eggs white into the bowl...etc. etc. You're supposed to beat them up for a while and then when the other pot reaches the right temp, pour that into the egg whites. I was jumping from one side of the kitchen to the other so much that my dog Layla was hiding under the table! On the second run, the eggs got whipped to the "soft peak" stage and then had to wait until the other thing got to the right boiling point. So, while in the end the frosting did seem okay, it didn't reach completely reach the "stiff peak" stage. But, I did use it on the first batch of cupcakes.

It was only one the third try, with the help of two family members, Laura and Catherine (of the whatsheate.blogspot.com fame) that I was able to reach almost perfection of the frosting so that I could "deliver" something that actually imitated a snowball to the top of the cupcake. Whew! This one really wore me out....but they do taste extremely decadent...rich chocolate and almost marshmallow frosting! I think I need to talk to Jeff who sometimes comments here...he's in pastry school. Jeff: HELP!

Don't forget about entering my Holiday Giveaway Cupcake Cookbook Contest before Dec. 16. All you have to do is post to my post about it. Do it now!

Recipe will magically appear tomorrow, I promise!


  1. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Does this mean that Laura and Catherine are now Cupcake Ladies in Waiting? What a yummy title. And what yummy, teeth-tingly, richly wonderful, oh-no-i-really-shouldn't-but-i-will tasties are these. You spoil us so.

  2. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Ooo! Ooo! And extra points for the fruit roll ups decor. I'ma copy that idea and impress my kid (later I'll tell him who did it first, you know, after I get the big grin and all for being so creative).

  3. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Fruit rollups seem like a much better idea than wax to me!

  4. Marshmallow frosting! Yum! I'm going to try and make some peppermint cookies tonight! Wish me luck!

    By the way, I love your blog!

  5. Ah yes - the tricks of 7-minute frosting! I start the eggs when I start turn the heat on for the sugar. Stop the eggs and then wait for the sugar to finish.

    Worth noting is that Martha never lists water in her ingredients list EVER!

  6. Anonymous5:37 PM

    You rang? Hi! That does sound like marshmallow frosting. I remember wathcing Barefoot Contessa make homemade marshmallows (recipe follows) and she whipped and whipped the whites and the corn syrup mixture for what seemed like forever. The volume increased until it was almost coming out of the KitchenAid mixer bowl.

    Homemade Marshmallows:
    3 packages unflavored gelatin
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


    I would try refrigerating the mixture until it hardens a bit and then use an ice cream scoop to get that snowball shape.

    I'm going to have to try this one!

  7. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Oh, and it's the egg whites that give the frosting its sheen (like royal icing) and differentiates it from dull marshmallow.

  8. Jeff...you are awesome! I never thought about refrigerating. I knew you would know what to do! Thanks so much.

  9. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Love the cupcakes, my grandkids and I have a grand time trying to bake them but the best part is eating them.

  10. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Good Job! :)