Easter is one of my favourite times of the year. There are eggs galore and more chocolate than you know what to do with and it certainly isn't a celebration without cupcakes! These Easter Cupcakes are perfect for any party, whether you are hosting your own or you want to take them as a gift to another. Or maybe you simply want to make them for yourself, you can't go wrong!
In my opinion, the best thing about cupcakes is how versatile they are. You can pick any flavour, any toppings and away you go. Easter is no exception, there are so many treats on the supermarket shelves to chose from, you can let your imagination run wild. You could add crushed mini eggs to the sponge or you can put a whole creme egg into the centre of a chocolate sponge (these are absolutely divine). This recipe is the basic sponge that you can play around with to create something you love.
Step One| Pre - heat the oven to 190'c/180'c fan/ GM 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with cases and set to one side. Using a stand mixer, electric whisk or wooden spoon (nothing wrong with the old fashioned way) and cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. You can't really take this too far, it should have changed into colour to almost white. This is when you know it is ready.
Step Two| Add one egg at a time along with 1 tbsp of the flour (this stops the mixture from splitting). When the eggs are added, sieve in the rest of the flour, bicarb of soda and the cocoa powder, mix until combined. Don't over mix at this stage is it may result in tough cupcakes. Add the vanilla extract and the milk a little at a time. You may not need all the milk, you are looking for the consistency of a thick (but still movable) batter.
Step Three| Fill the cases to about 2/3rds full. The easiest way to do this is by using a small ice cream scoop. This gives you an even amount of batter to create even cupcakes. If you don't have one of these you can always use a piping bag which gives a little more control into how much mixture goes in the cases. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and if a skewer comes out clean then the cupcakes are done. If the skewer isn't clean, keep checking every 2 minutes or so. When they are ready, leave to cool completely before decorating.
Now comes the fun bit, decorating! You can keep it super simple if you like, but just using icing or you can really go to town. If you shop around you can get your hands on some pre made chocolate decorations like I used. These are from Lakeland and were fairly cheap. Mini chocolate nests are always a winner, especially on top of cupcakes. Slicing a Creme Egg in half and placing on top of the icing is an easy way to create a 'wow moment' as the fondant centre oozes down the cupcake.
Step One| Mix together the icing sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy. It should have changed in colour to a pale white. If you find the icing slightly too thick to work with, add 1 tbsp of milk at a time until you have a consistency that will pipe but hold its shape.
Step Two| You can use whatever style nozzle you would like, I used a large plain one, as it really makes the other toppings stand out more, but you could use a start one if you wish. Again, this bit is up to you, you can put as much or as little buttercream as you want.
For the chocolate nests, I melted 100g Milk Chocolate and broke in 2 shredded wheat biscuits. I used a small cupcake tin, lined with cling film and pressed in the chocolate mix, press a little dent into the top to hold the mini eggs. Add the mini eggs and set in the fridge until firm.
As always, if you make any of these, be sure to tag us in your pictures and share your versions of these delicious cupcakes!