With Christmas just 8 days away (I know right?!) I started thinking about the holly jolly man who we've all come to know and love, Santa Claus! Every kid loves Santa (I know I did) and eagerly awaits his yearly visit. But where did this magical man come from? When did Santa Claus become such a huge part of the Christmas tradition?


Santa has been around for way longer than I knew. I knew he is based on someone who once lived but I didn't suspect that this person was a monk who lived sometime around 280 A.D. This monk, St. Nicholas, was famous for traveling the countryside of what is known today as Turkey and helping the poor. His popularity grew over time and he was remembered as a savior to children and the poor.


St. Nicholas did not become popular in the U.S. until the late 18th century! This is crazy to me because this is such a huge tradition in American culture and it's been around for such a small amount of time! The tradition started in New York when Dutch immigrants celebrated the death of St. Nick.


John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, drew the first image of the Santa in 1804. When Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', we gained more traditions and insight into who St. Nick is. It was at this point that the idea of Santa going from house to house giving presents started. Thank goodness it did because I love presents! I love wrapping presents more than anything. It's so much fun...I know I'm weird.


Throughout time different legends and tales from all over the world have melded together and created the Santa we know now. My personal favorite version of Santa is this old time Cocoa-Cola Santa! This year instead of leaving out cookies, you could leave out these adorable Santa hat cupcakes, I mean maybe Santa gets sick of cookies!


What is your favorite version of Santa? What is your favorite part of Christmas?

Santa Hat Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcake

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 2 tabsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temp.
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. pure vaniila extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temp.

Frosting

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 stciks butter,unsalted at room temp.

Directions

For the cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk, vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, oil and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time; beat until thick, 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low; beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk mixture. Beat just until smooth, then finish mixing with a rubber spatula.
  4. Fill the liners 2/3 way up with batter.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes.

For the frosting

  1. Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium- high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to low and beat in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, increasing the speed to medium-high.
  3. Repeat with the remaining 4 cups, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and milk.
  4. Add gel food coloring of your choice, I chose red for the red santa wears.
  5. Fill plastic piping bag with red frosting with the tip of your choice. I chose the star tip. Pipe the frosting from the bottom up. Fill a piping bag with white frosting and pipe around the border of the cupcake for the brim of the hat. Don't forget to add a ball to the top of his hat!