For the Buttercream:
With a handheld mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is pale and creamy - this will take about 2-3 minutes.
Add 4 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar, cream. and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low speed. After the ingredients are combined, increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting is too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar. Since we need to pipe this buttercream high onto the cupcakes, it needs to be on the stiff side so that it is easily piped and holds its shape. However, if you feel the frosting is too thick or stiff, then you may add a bit more of heavy cream starting with 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
Once the buttercream is ready, divide it into three bowls. 1 1/2 cups of the buttercream frosting for the green frosting (for the christmas tree cupcakes), 1 1/2 cups of the buttercream frosting for the red frosting (for the santa hat cupcakes) and1/2 cup of buttercream frosting for the white frosting (for the snowman cupcakes). I used Wilton red, green and white food color gels to do this (see above to see the exact names of each color in the equipment list). Each took a few drops of food coloring to reach the colors you see in the pictures. You can adjust the amount of the food color depending on what shade you want.
For the Santa Hat Cupcake:
Fill a piping bag with the red buttercream frosting and pipe in a circular motion starting at the outer edge of the cupcake (building height of each swirl as you pipe) until you reach the desired height of your santa hat. I used the Wilton piping tip 32.
Top the santa hat with one mini marshmallow, and place mini marshmallows around the edge of the cupcake to make the santa hat border.
For the Christmas Tree Cupcake:
Fill a piping bag with the green buttercream frosting and pipe in a circular motion starting at the outer edge of the cupcake (building height of each swirl as you pipe) until you reach the desired height of your christmas tree cupcakes. I used the Wilton piping tip 22.
Decorate the christmas tree cupcakes with the candy stars.
For the Snowman Cupcake:
Ice the cupcakes with a thin layer of white buttercream frosting. I used a butter knife to ice these cupcakes.
Place two regular sized marshmallows on top of each other, and then place a Hershey's kiss on top (as the hat), and gently push a toothpick through the bottom marshmallow, so that it goes through the second marshmallow, and into the base of the hershey's kiss. This will help ensure that the snowman doesn't fall apart.
Cut 2 corners of one green candy to make the green eyes. Cut one corner of the orange candy to make the orange nose. Cut 2 corners of the yellow candy to make the two yellow buttons. Using a toothpick, add some icing on the back of these candy pieces, and gently press them into the marshmallow to make the snowman features.
Now break the chocolate/pocky sticks into little 'arms', and using the frosting, place them on the side of the bottom marshmallow to make the arms.
Now to place the snowman onto the cupcake, I like to insert another toothpick into the bottom of the snowman, and then insert it onto the cupcake, so that the snowman stays fixed and doesn't topple off.
Lastly, place mini marshmallows around the edge of the cupcake.
Your easy christmas cupcakes are ready! :)