Make the kids an advent calendar filled with cool treasures (or the sweet stuff) with this DIY Christmas craft by My Cupcake Addiction’s Elise Strachan.
The cooking queen has released her long awaited debut cookbook, ‘Sweet! Celebrations’ just in time for Christmas. And, not one to hold back on gift giving, Elise has kindly shared this Mini Muffin Advent Calendar how-to to kick-start the festive cheer.
As well as clever DIY projects, ‘Sweet! Celebrations’ is jam-packed with Elise’s delicious dessert recipes and no-bake options, complete with step-by-step photos and smart tips. Like her hit Youtube channel, My Cupcake Addiction, there’s impressive recipes and projects for every level.
But before we get to that cool advent calendar, let’s find out how Elise and her family celebrate Christmas.
Q. Elise, what Christmas traditions do you celebrate with your family?
“Of course there’s food and fun, but the two traditions we all look forward to at Christmas are waterslides and the Santa Key. We have a magic Santa Key that we leave on the front door, as we didn’t have a chimney until recently. And, (living in Queensland), we all love a good makeshift backyard waterslide with plastic sheeting, Dove shampoo and the garden hose!”
Q. What’s the highlight – Christmas lunch or dinner?
“Lunch! Definitely! And being able to eat candy for breakfast.”
Q. What do you cook?
“I do a cooked ham every year and am always in charge of desserts. We have a pretty big family and I make sure to delegate so I don’t spend the whole day tied to the kitchen. No-one gets past my front door without their designated dish!”
Q. Any tips for reinventing Christmas leftovers?
“I usually make some type of cake for Christmas Day, and I use the leftovers to make mini jar trifles for Boxing Day.”
Q. What Christmas cooking shortcuts do you have?
“I season and glaze the ham the day prior and pop it in the oven as soon as the kids are up. I love the way the house smells when it’s cooking.
“And I always have the desserts prepared the day before. I love staying up Christmas Eve making and baking, so all I usually have to do on Christmas Day is add fruit and cream to my pavlova and focus on presentation and playing with the kids.”
DIY Mini Muffin Advent Calendar
- Card stock
- 1 (24-hole) mini muffin tin (try to find one with a small hole at one end)
- Craft paper in assorted Christmas colours and patterns
- Mini chocolate bars, treats or gifts (small enough to fit in a mini muffin cup)
- Small number stickers: 1 through 24
- Double-sided adhesive tape
How to make it
- Trace the Advent Calendar onto a piece of card stock and cut out to use as a template.
- Using the template as a guide, cut out 24 assorted coloured and patterned “covers” for the muffin-tin holes (A).
- Place a treat in each muffin hole (B).
- Affix a number sticker to each muffin-hole cover, and attach the covers using four small pieces of double-sided tape, placing the numbers randomly, not in sequence (C).
- If the muffin tin has a small hole at one end, use this to hang the calendar with a ribbon.
ABOUT: This is an edited extract from ‘Sweet! Celebrations’ by Elise Strachan. ‘Sweet! Celebrations’ is filled with recipes for classic cakes, icings and toppings that will make any novice baker feel like a pro’. There’s also innovative drinks, tips for adding extra wow factor to a party or celebration, DIY projects, fancy cakes, ‘small bakes’ and even ‘no bake’ recipes. Organised around special occasions throughout the year — from spring parties to Christmas — Sweet! Celebrations includes Elise’s favourite recipes for a rustic wedding, backyard barbecue, elegant afternoon tea, colourful children’s birthday parties and many more.
Elise become a household name in the world of sweets six years ago when she started her YouTube channel My Cupcake Addiction, which now has almost 3 million subscribers. Elise is an Australian who divides her time between the Gold Coast, Los Angeles and New York. Elise’s impressive background as a trained pastry chef, her engaging character and accessible approach to all things sweet have led to her global reputation as the ‘People’s Baker’.