Hoping you had a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Christmas!  It came and went!  But, I'm still celebrating because there are still CUPCAKES!!!

These are coconut cupcakes and they are delicious!  The cake, the frosting, everything!  They're from Ina, you know, the Barefoot Contessa.  Don't you wish you lived right next door to Ina?  I'd like to live right in between Ina and the Pioneer Woman with maybe Martha the next block over....I don't clean enough for Martha to live next door.

I trust Ina....and this recipe is no exception.  I've made them several times and make the recipe exactly as she writes it.  No tweaking, no modifying....it's perfect.
Here is the recipe for the coconut cupcakes and the frosting in their original perfect state from Ina. (I did use large eggs instead of XL, but that was all I had on hand.)

{Just to give you an idea of how good it is.....the frosting starts like this:
....with 3 sticks of butter and a pound of cream cheese. Yep, it's good.}

For the holly, I planned to make fondant, but December 25th kept getting closer and closer.  I saw marzipan on the grocery store shelf and decided to give it a try.

You guys....it was EASY!!!  Marzipan is basically ground almonds and sugar.  Inside the box, it comes wrapped in a tube.
I divided it and used my AmeriColor Gel Paste food coloring in Super Red and Leaf Green to color it.  (I put my hands in baggies while kneading in the color because I didn't have any gloves....and we were going to a Christmas party and I didn't want to scare anyone with red & green hands.)
To shape the holly berries, I just pinched off pieces of the colored marzipan and rolled it into balls.  For the leaves, I rolled out the marzipan and used a tiny maple leaf cutter. Then with a paring knife, made the leaves a little more pointy.  I used the knife to make veins in the leaves as well.
Once formed, the marzipan can be left out at room temperature.
I do hope you had a HOLLY jolly Christmas. We did...and this picture about sums it up...
{Have a favorite from your holiday baking? Or a favorite from someone else? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.}


  1. T he cupcakes look so good! I loved the holly what a cute touch and you made it look easy!

  2. Pretty, pretty! Looks like the perfect treat for Christmas! Love the marzipan details :)

  3. Gorgeous! I have used fondant, bought and homemade. How does the marzipan taste? I decorated 30 snowflake cookies the night before Christmas eve. I started at 11 p.m. after finishing a scrapbook project and worked until 4 a.m.!

  4. Merry Christmas! They look gorgeous, and no doubt they were enjoyed by all.

  5. (You can never go wrong with an Ina recipe) Sounds like you might want to keep an endless supply of these around. Happy Holidays to you and your family Bridget! XOXO

  6. Those cupcakes look so cute and so yummy! My favorite recipe this Christmas, well every Christmas is for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. It reminds me of Christmas since my aunt always gave it to my family. Here is a link: http://lovetobeinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/12/chocolate-crinkle-cookies.html

  7. Cranberry Orange Cookies


    1 c. butter, softened

    1 c. white sugar

    1/2 c. brown sugar

    1 egg

    zest of one orange

    1 t. vanilla

    2 T. orange juice (from zested orange)

    2 1/2 c. flour

    1/2 t. baking soda

    1/2 t. salt

    2 c. fresh cranberries, chopped


    zest of one orange

    6 T. fresh orange juice (use leftover juice from first zested orange and all juice from second zested orange)

    3 c. powdered sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg until well mixed. Mix in orange zest and orange juice. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix. Mix in cranberries until evenly distributed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Space cookies about two inches apart.

    3. Bake 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

    4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together orange zest, orange juice, and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon glaze onto each cookie, and let stand until set.

  8. These look and sound amazing!!! I can't resist anything with coconut:P


  9. The cupcakes look sooo delish. Great job. :)

  10. These look GORGEOUS Bridget!! the holly was the PERFECT touch!!! and look at your Christmas lights bokeh in those pics!! AWESOME!!!

  11. I've made that recipe from Ina and loved it! I like how you used to to make it look like snow!

  12. Those look lovely, and I am like you I still need to get to those cupcakes, I am wanting to do some winter wonderland cupcakes, more for the decorating than the taste!

    Here is one of my fav Holiday recipes: Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls http://locococoasconfections.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-morning-rolls-or-overnight.html

  13. I love Ina, she is one of my favorites on Food Network. Your cupcakes look amazing!And it does look like you had a Holly Jolly Christmas! We did too.
    Happy New Year!
    These Cookie Dough Truffles were a HUGE hit this year...

  14. Beautiful cupcakes... truly!! I am not a huge coconut fan, but I know I would eat one (ten) of those!!!

    Glad your Christmas was blessed!


  15. Gorgeous! Imagine what those would look like with Chocolate frosting!!!

  16. Those cupcakes are adorable! I loved making sugar cookies for my family. I also like making rugelach too! It's become a family favorite.

    But one of my new favorite recipes is this one from the Culinary Couple. Snickerdoodles!!! I dipped them in white chocolate for a little more fun and they were delicious!!

    Here's the link - so easy to make!


  17. Those cupcakes look wonderful! The holly looks stunning on top of the white coconut. And, I love that you used marzipan instead of fondant. So much tastier!

  18. Beautifully decorated cupcakes Bridget! Great idea to have used the marzipan. Certainly looks like Kiddo enjoyed his Christmas...what a super shot!

  19. Love your cupcakes! Wishing you a happy new year! :)

  20. Marzipan tastes better than fondant, anyway, and your cupcakes turned out so cute!

  21. I'm in total agreement about living next door to Ina... she'd always be surprising you with this or that food gift! At least she's always doing that to her friends on the show.

    Love your blog!!


  22. ...Simply splendid. :o)

    ...And the last photo made me smile - whatta happy face!

    ...Thank you for sharing!

    ...Blessings... :o)

  23. Beautiful cupcakes! I've always wanted to work with marzipan but never have. Love that last picture of kiddo! SOOOO happy :)

  24. The cupcakes look amazing! I did a ton of holiday baking, I made cake pops and they were a hit! But I'm making cupcakes next year, maybe I'll have to try these out(:

  25. Looks like a yummy cupcake! I love the marzipan topper..makes me wish Christmas was somehow extended so I won't have to wait till next year to try it. =)

  26. Those look super yummy! Mmmm...coconut and cream cheese sound devine. Might have to try these for NYE. :) I made candies this year for the first time-toffee, truffles, caramels and marshmallows. I impressed even myself!

    Glad to hear you had a great holiday!

  27. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  28. Those cupcakes are as precious as your son and his expression! Merry Christmas and Happiest of New year's to you & your darling family! ♥

  29. I would LOVE to live next door to Ina. She's my favorite! I have also made this recipe in cake form. It was a huge hit and was perfect as she wrote it. These cupcakes are so cute with your special touch. I have really enjoyed your blog since I found it this year!

  30. Such festive cupcakes! I love Ina. And, Santa brought me some AmeriColor gel paste for Christmas, wohoo!! :-)

  31. Gorgeous, the coconut looks like fresh snow on top! Love the marzipan holly leaves and berries, I've never worked with that before!

  32. the cupcakes look great and i bet they tasted even better.
    i love ina also and would like to be her best friend so i could cook with her. i lust after her friend t.r.
    i just found your blog and love it!

  33. These were delicious! Love the picture of J and nice bokeh!:)

  34. Just thought you might get a kick out of this!
    Those cookies were gone before we got home! We saved the chocolate dipped velvet cake for CC! LOL And THAT was only through amazing "self control."
    Soooooooo delicious!
    Thank you again!

  35. Beautiful cupcakes! Happy New Year Bridget! :)

  36. These are beautiful and I agree, in Ina I trust. I would love to live next door to her. I once saw her make truffle mac n' cheese for neighbors returning from a trip! :)
    My favorite holiday recipe were my gingerbread pancakes. http://sweetandcrumby.com/2010/12/05/ginger-three-ways-in-three-days/

  37. I have made those cupcakes before and they are sooo good! Also that frosting recipe makes a huge amount, so there is leftover for eating with a spoon...err...freezing for later.
    Love the holly leaf detail!

  38. Love the pic of Jack!!These cupcakes look amazing :)

  39. I love your festive coconut cupcakes! I think I need to make sure that whoever I marry loves coconut, because I love it but no one else in my family does.

    I made a delicious trifle for Christmas dessert - spice cake, slow cooked pears & walnuts, butterscotch pudding :)

  40. The cupcakes look wonderful. I hope you have a great christmas too.

  41. I actually made some of YOUR cookies for this Christmas and while I discovered that I'm certainly not a cookie decorator, everyone loved them!


  42. YUM! I love all the pics. Well done :)

  43. These look so perfect! The coconut makes them look snowy :) I've never used marzipan- maybe I will now!

  44. Love these cupcakes and these pics! Too cute! We had a wonderful holiday...hope you did too!

  45. Beautiful! Please tell me where to find marzipan in the grocery store! I've never seen it!

  46. These are good with her original coconut frosting- but they're KILLER with dark chocolate cream cheese frosting, especially if you're not QUITE so into sweet!

  47. Just found your blog today (courtesy of Skip To My Lou) and even tho I've been making & coloring fondant for several years, I NEVER thought to put baggies on my hands so they wouldn't get colored! Thanks so much for the tip!!

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