These Insanely Clever Christmas Tree Cupcakes will make You the Christmas Queen!

The Brickman Experience: A LEGO tour with Ryan McNaught

These Insanely Clever Christmas Tree Cupcakes will make You the Christmas Queen!

Ryan McNaught introduces Brick Fanatics Editor Graham Hancock to The Brickman Experience, his touring exhibition that is now open in Leicester

Meeting Ryan McNaught in Leicester, the Australian LCP (LEGOCertified Professional) is just as enthusiastic in person as one would imagine.He is more familiar than most of the expert pro builders thanks to his role asjudge on LEGO MASTERS Australia.

The Brickman Experience, his first ever LEGO exhibition, has arrived in the UK for the first time and is located in Leicester’s Highcross Shopping Centre.

Here is the first part of an exclusive tour, in which Ryan talkthrough the models in the exhibition…

“It was six years ago, the first time this show came together. The other shows all have a very different meaning or purpose – we have one about wonders of the world, we have one about transport, we have one about cities, they are all very different. We call this one the ‘bitsa’ show.

“This flower for example’s sake, it was part of a treasure hunt for kids to explore the gardens. The cool LEGO, the light yellow, was brand new when we made this flower, it was LEGO Friends of course that brought us that colour.

I only had about three elements to choose from – the 2×4 brick, the 1×4 and I think a 1×2 and a 1×1 were the only parts in that cool yellow.

I loved the colour so much I wanted to use it, and so the flower was the perfect opportunity to do it.

“My favourite part of the flower is actually the back, where you really get to see the contouring. When I was researching this particular flower, a begonia, I had only seen photos from the front.

I had to make an assumption as to what a flower looks from behind and I got it wrong.

It actually opens in two halves from the back, I went a dandelion where it splits, so I have had about an 85 year old lady at a big festival in a town called Balranald telling me how wrong my flower is.

“About 10 years ago now was the 50th anniversary of LEGO in Australia, so LEGO made a short film called the Festival of Play and I made all the models for it.

These were used in the filming and all the stop motion and all that kind of stuff. These all are used in telling the story of how LEGO came to Australia.

This British chap was sent to the colonies with a suitcase full of LEGO to try and introduce the Antipodes to the wonders of LEGO.

“Then The LEGO Movie came into our world a few years ago, in 2014, so we made these. The logo is made of a quarter of a million bricks, that is an insane LEGO model. We actually made them a couple of years before the movie came out.

“The animation team is Australian, based in Sydney, Animal Logic, so we did a lot of stuff. LEGO was quite new to them, animation wasn’t – so they needed to know about LEGO bricks, they were always ringing up and asking about different bits and pieces.

“A museum in Melbourne, my hometown, had a whole collection of really cool James Bond stuff from the films come, they had an actual Aston Martin and all sorts of great Bond stuff from the films. I am quite partial to Bond myself so I made a portrait of each of the Bonds as part of the exhibition and I snuck in Johnny English.

“Here is the first of our activities. We change the challenge regularly, usually for the first couple of days we ask them to make themselves, their face, so they’ll make it on a 16×16 and then they’ll put it up on display. And there is a bit of a curriculum behind it, we call it education by stealth, they don’t know they’re learning but they are actually doing some learning.

“Then my Ferrari, this is the Ferrari from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I could never afford the real one so I had to make one LEGO. LEGO doesn’t make a slope that has that very faint edge so I made a pretty simple decision to go with the plates because the curves were so gradual.

“There is the whole conversation, the anti-stud movement – people are trying to hide every stud, but in models this I don’t mind embracing it. And you can see in the other stuff there is quite a contrast in where we hide and don’t hide. But it shows a certain style.

“This one here, the pirate ship, I modelled this off HMS Victory, it has a normal side and of course we have a cutaway on the other side. So I made this for Brickvention, which is a big AFOL event in Australia.

“I am an AFOL – that hasn’t changed, just because I do it for a job it doesn’t mean I am not an AFOL anymore. I do a lot of cutaways, that is my thing. As a child, I d those cutaway books as a kid, you would see a tank cut in half and see how it works. I used to love those books as a kid so this is a way to do it LEGO.”

Check back next week as the tour of The Brickman Experience continues.

To continue to support the work of Brick Fanatics, please buy your LEGO sets from and Amazon using our affiliate links.


20 Christmas Cupcake Ideas!

These Insanely Clever Christmas Tree Cupcakes will make You the Christmas Queen!

Cupcakes are relished all year round.

You can enjoy them for birthdays, holidays, any celebration really, or to treat yourself! They’re sweet and delicious and that is why they are enjoyed by kids and adults a! Instead of heading to the bakery this Christmas season, whip up a batch of delightful cupcakes to share. Better yet, make it a family activity and create a delicious treat to enjoy together! We have found a few exciting kid-approved cupcakes as well as a few sophisticated adult recipes too!


20. Candy Cane Chocolate Cupcakes

Candy canes always remind me of the holidays. The red and white color is perfectly festive for the holidays while the peppermint flavor is oh so delicious! Combine the flavors or peppermint candy canes with rich chocolate to create these beautiful cupcakes.


19. Christmas Light Cupcakes

Christmas lights are what make holiday decorations so alluring.

They glimmer in the night and can be used around the tree, on the house, and anywhere you want to string a set of lights! Create these Christmas light cupcakes for your next holiday party and everyone will gobble them up.

These cupcakes are made from a simple boxed chocolate cake mix and a few other ingredients. Get creative and decorate the cupcakes with black frosting and m&m’s to look string lights.


18. Mini Christmas Tree Cupcakes

These mini Christmas tree cupcakes are not only adorable but incredibly easy to make too! Start with your favorite boxed cupcake mix. Then, when you’re ready to decorate this tutorial will walk you through several different icing techniques to create the perfect Christmas trees. Lastly, decorate the trees with candies of your choice!


17. Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

This idea is so easy it doesn’t even need a recipe! First, you’ll want to whip up your favorite boxed chocolate cupcake mix! Once cooled, fill a piping bag with vanilla frosting.

Swirl a dollop of frosting on your cupcakes and garnish with your favorite sprinkles.

Lastly, cut red and white paper straws into thirds and add to the cupcakes! These hot cocoa cupcakes will not only look adorable but they will taste lovely too!


16. Snowflake Cupcake Topper

If getting creative especially in the baking department isn’t your forte, no need to worry! You can still create beautiful cupcakes for the holidays with little to no effort! Instead of decorating using icing techniques decorate with an adorable cupcake topper these snowflake toppers. They’re glittery and beautiful! Whip up a batch of boxed cupcake mix or buy store-bought cupcakes and then add these toppers for an added touch of a winter wonderland!

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15. Reindeer Wrappers And Toppers

This is another excellent option if creative decorating isn’t for you! These reindeer wrappers and toppers quickly dress up a cupcake effortlessly! All you’ll have to do is whip up your favorite cupcake recipe, pipe icing on top and add the topper and wrappers. These wrappers are also reversible with a “Merry Christmas” saying on one side and the adorable reindeer on the other which allows versatility for you!

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14. Christmas Holly Cupcakes

These sophisticated cupcakes are made with a fruit and spice batter. Orange and walnuts are added with fruit to pack each bite with a ton of flavor. A great option is to soak the dried fruit in your choice of alcohol such as brandy! This really takes home the festive flavors. Remember to subtract the added liquid from the total liquid in the recipe!


13. Rudolph The Red Velvet Cupcake

These adorable cupcakes are almost too cute to eat. To make this cupcake decoration, cover the cake with a thin layer of chocolate icing. Add on a small cookie and stick on a red chocolate piece with royal icing. You’ll use broken pretzels make the antlers. To make the eyes, pipe white circles slightly larger than a chocolate piece. Then stick the chocolate on top!


12. S’mores Cupcakes

Bring back memories of sitting around a campfire with these s’mores cupcakes. A graham cracker crust is placed on the bottom and miniature marshmallows are baked into the chocolate. Top with homemade marshmallow icing and flame for an authentic taste. Both adults and children will love these cupcakes.


11. Christmas Ornament Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a great craft for children. Ice them and coat them in colored sugar and let it set in the refrigerator. When you to start the craft, pull out candy and gel icing tubes. Let your children decorate the “Christmas tree ornaments”. Add a jujube with a licorice string to the top to complete the look.


10. Vanilla Snowman Cupcakes

These adorable little snowmen are actually made healthy and still taste delicious. Use an 18.25 box of cake mix and add in 6 oz of plain Greek yogurt, 1 1/3 cups of water, and two egg whites. The Greek yogurt keeps the cake moist and delicious. If you don’t tell your guests or children that you’ve made the cupcakes low fat, no one will know the difference!


9. Grinch Cupcakes

I cannot let a Christmas go by without watching a classic The Grinch! Make these Grinch cupcakes with your kids and indulge while you watch your favorite Christmas movie! First, you’ll need to whip up your favorite vanilla cupcake mix.

Next, add a couple drops of green food coloring to for the perfect Grinchy green color. While they bake in the oven whip up a buttercream frosting with drops of green food coloring too.

Then follow this tutorial to decorate your perfect little Grinch cupcakes!


8. Christmas Wreath Cupcakes

While you hang your Christmas wreaths on your front door think about whipping up a delicious batch of Christmas wreath cupcakes. These cupcakes are perfectly festive for the holidays and are so adorable you could even treat someone with a delicious gift! These wreath cupcakes start with a chocolate base and then are decorated using a piping bag, buttercream frosting, and a few candies!


7. Melty Snowman Cupcakes

This is another excellent snowman cupcake idea, however, this one has an adorable melted look. Your kids will definitely enjoy making this treat and they’re so cute you could gift them too! You’ll want to begin by making your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. Then follow this tutorial on how to decorate your cupcakes to look a melted snowman!


6. White Christmas Tree Dessert Toppers

Transform a store-bought cupcake into a perfect treat for the holidays by making these Christmas tree dessert toppers. They’re so easy to make and require minimal ingredients too! All you’ll need are pretzel sticks, white chocolate wafers, white sprinkles, and silver balls. Once you create your cupcakes you can try these Christmas tree brownies next!


5. Eggnog Cupcakes

Eggnog hits the grocery stores for a limited time every year! Extend the flavors of your favorite holiday beverage into a delicious cupcake! These cupcakes contain eggnog in the cupcake batter as well as the icing which together provides a lovely authentic flavor. Shares these eggnog cupcakes this Christmas and everyone will be begging you for the recipe!


4. Gingerbread Cupcakes

Planning on building gingerbread houses with the family this year? Well, you’ll want to add these gingerbread cupcakes to your to-do list too! This is a recipe for gingerbread cake, however, the recipe will walk you through the proper instructions to transform the batter into cupcakes along with the proper cooking times. While the cupcakes bake in the oven you can whip up the delicious caramel frosting!


3. Baileys And Coffee Cupcakes

Enjoy the flavors of an Irish coffee bundled up into a delicious cupcake. This boozy cupcake might be the perfect adult holiday treat you’ve been looking for! The cupcake batter contains delicious flavors of coffee while the frosting is infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream! Just make sure those who enjoy this treat are of legal drinking age!


2. Snow Globe Cupcakes

These snow globe cupcakes will surely capture everyone’s attention! The best part about these cupcakes is that the snow globe bubble is edible too! This is made gelatin. Follow this recipe to discover how you can easily recreate this treat at home!


1. Mickey Mouse Santa Hat Cupcakes

Put a fun Disney twist onto a holiday cupcake to serve this Christmas season! These Mickey Mouse Santa hats are easy to make and only require a few ingredients.

First, you’ll need to make your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. Then while they bake you can follow this tutorial to create a delicious buttercream frosting.

Lastly, you’ll decorate the cupcakes using the buttercream frosting and Oreo cookies that together make an exciting treat. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to