Perfect vanilla cupcakes topped with a swirl of chocolate buttercream and mini chocolate eggs. Perfect for Easter time and Mother's Day.
Look how cute these cupcakes are (!!!)
They are definitely the best cupcakes I have ever made; in taste and looks. Sweet and as light-as-a-feather vanilla cupcakes kissed with a swirl of thick and luxurious chocolate buttercream with mini eggs. I love the look of the pastel eggs on top of the chocolate cream, it looks so delicate but pretty. These cakes are perfect for Easter baking - I always bake 10000x more at Easter time and I don't know why! Probably because of the amounts of chocolate eggs in the shops....
btw; I hate, hate, hate those big chocolate eggs! If I ever get one it is either given to anyone else in the family or it meets a bain-maire and I disguise it in a brownie.
Does anyone else have an obsession with Easter? I definitely do even though I am not religious, it is all so cute, fun and it gets you in the mood for spring.
However, it feels like spring is a million miles away from Scotland; 7ºc and pouring as per usual. Why does it always have to be so cold and grey 99% of the time? Eventually, a hot day will come, probably in late April, it might even be 15ºc, wow!
I need a hot holiday...
These cupcakes are superior to any I have ever had. Perfectly light and buttery with a delicate vanilla flavour. The best baking always starts with the best ingredients so make sure the ingredients are as fresh and as good quality as possible. The main ingredient of the cakes is butter, so make sure you use fresh local butter from happy cows! I use butter made just down the road from were I live so the quality and freshness is guaranteed.
Next is the vanilla. I use either pure vanilla extract or vanilla pods. Right now, I only have vanilla pods in the house so these cakes are extra luxurious. My go-to vanilla extract is Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, found in nearly every shop. Make sure you use extract and not essence; vanilla essence is the nemesis of baking! Vanilla essence is vanilla flavouring and some contain no vanilla at all.
Extract is the way forward.
To make these cupcake super light, I whipped the butter and caster sugar together in my freestanding mixer with a flexi-beater for 7 minutes. In those minutes, my mixture went from looking like gravel to looking like whipped cream. It is the addition of air and beating of the mixture which makes it soft and fluffy.
The trick to make these cakes work is to add the egg so slowly. Adding the egg a teaspoon at a time avoids curdling the mixture. Curdling the mixture results in a sloppy and split mixture, holding no air or structure.
But wait until you have tried the chocolate buttercream - sweet, decadent and dark and full of flavour! This easy topping is made from 5 ingredients and is so quick to make. Beat the butter, add the remaining ingredients and beat for as long as you dare; the longer, the fluffier. I whipped mine for 7 minutes again, like the butter and sugar in the cupcake mix, until uber thick, glorious and fudgy.
Do be warned however, it is crazy addictive!
QOTD - what is your favourite thing to bake?
Easter Nest Cupcakes
Posted by Eve
- 55g butter, at room temperature
- 105g caster sugar
- 1 large egg, organic or free range
- 115g plain flour
- 10g cornflour
- 3/4 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 115ml buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
For the buttercream
- 40g butter, at room temperature
- 95g icing sugar
- 40ml whipping cream
- 3 tbsp. good quality cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mini eggs to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 160ºc fan/ gas mark 3 and line a muffin tray with 8 cupcake cases
- Put the butter and sugar into a bowl of a freestanding mixer or use an electric mixer, beat well for 5 minutes until creamy in colour. The longer you whip it, the better! Whisk the egg lightly in a cup and still beating, add the egg a tiny but at a time and beat very well after every addition.
- Sieve the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla.
- Add the dry mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately into the butter, sugar and egg base with the mixer running on the lowest speed.
- Once all of the ingredients are added, whip the mixture on high for 5-10 seconds to thoroughly mix.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop slightly rounded scoops of the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 18-22 minutes until risen and golden brown and when a skewer is inserted, it comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the tins for 1 minutes and then removed on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Next, make the frosting. Put the butter into a bowl and beat it for 5 minutes until lighter in texture. Slowly sieve in the icing sugar, a little at a time, until all is added and is starting to resemble buttercream.
- Now, stop mixing and sieve in the cocoa powder and add the cream and vanilla. Beat again for 5-8 minutes until really light in texture and gorgeously chocolaty.
- Once the cakes are cool, we can decorate the cakes. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a start nozzle and pipe a ring around the edge of the cake to make a nest. Pipe a small amount of the buttercream in the centre of the nest and put 3 mini eggs in the centre.
The cakes should be kept covered well with a large bowl and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Delicious straight from the fridge or at room temperature.