Easter Cupcakes

These cute little vanilla cupcakes are decorated using a 234 tip to pipe buttercream grass with Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.  They are a good alternative to the more traditional Easter chocolate nest cakes made with cornflakes or Rice Krispies.

Easter cupcakes

Ingredients:
180g Butter at room temperature
180g Self-raising flour
180g Caster sugar
1tsp Vanilla extract
3 Extra-large eggs

To decorate:
250g Butter at room temperature
500g Icing sugar – sieved
1tsp Vanilla extract
Green food colouring – enough to turn the buttercream grass green!
Cadbury’s Mini Eggs
Sugar flowers to decorate

Easter cupcakes3

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a bun tray with 12 paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  I made mine in a stand mixer, but a wooden spoon will do just fine.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully mixed in before adding the next one. Then add the vanilla and stir in the flour until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 12-15 minutes.  They will be a light golden colour and a toothpick should come out clean when they are baked.

Easter cupcakes1

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate, whip the butter and icing sugar together until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and then the green food colouring.  I used a gel colour and quite a lot of it before it took on a grass colour!

Easter cupcakes2

Pile the frosting into a piping bag, fitted with a number 234 tip and pipe the grass onto each cake.  I’m not great at piping, but it doesn’t have to look like a manicured lawn, it’s just for fun and the frosting is really a vehicle for the mini eggs and sugar flowers.

Easter cupcake

They are so pretty when finished and look just like Spring – even if it’s grey, wet and cold outside!  Add a fluffy chick or two and they are just the thing for Easter.

Baby chocolate Oreo tea cakes with marbled chocolate cheesecake frosting

This recipe makes a lot (at least 18), so would be perfect for a bake sale or fund raising coffee morning.

Oreo cakes

I used the Master Class, non-stick, 12 hole mini sandwich tin for this recipe. It makes perfect cakes with straight sides and has loose bases, so every single cake comes out with no effort.  I got mine from Amazon here.

I once had a delicious cupcake at Starbucks that had a mini Oreo cookie on the top. The girl serving us was enthusing how pleased she was that they had started using the mini cookies, rather than half a normal sized one. I thought it was really nice and wanted to make my own version at home.

The cake recipe includes instant espresso powder which (as Ina says) brings out the chocolate flavour even more. The cakes by themselves are very moist, but the frosting is the star here.

I have seen many recipes online for oreo cupcakes with a lot of them using ground up oreos in the frosting. I’m not so keen on the little bits in the frosting, so decided that I would make a smooth icing with mine.

I then thought how good a cheesecake type frosting would be and because I couldn’t decide whether to do a white or a dark chocolate version, I decided to use both! I don’t have any duel colour piping bags, so just divided the frosting and put melted white chocolate in one half, melted dark chocolate in the other half and made delicious marbled chocolate cheesecake buttercream frosting.  These are very rich and indulgent, but very good with coffee for an occasional treat or for afternoon tea.

…unless you are my eldest son and can easily eat 3 or 4 before feeling a bit sick!

Oreo Cake

Cake ingredients:
400g plain/all-purpose flour
50g cocoa
2tbs instant espresso powder
350g golden caster sugar
2tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½tsp salt
3 extra-large eggs
175g unsalted butter at room temperature
1tbs vanilla extract
150ml sour cream
130ml vegetable oil
300ml whole/full fat milk

Method:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, whip the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy – around 5 minutes.

Beat the eggs with the oil and milk and with the mixer still running, add to the butter and sugar until fully incorporated.

Then with the mixer on low speed, add all the dry ingredients until just mixed in.

Using an ice cream scoop, distribute the cake batter into the waiting tin and bake for around 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Repeat with the rest of the cake batter until you have 18 cakes. Leave to cool completely.

Marbled Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
360g room temperature cream cheese
360g icing sugar – sieved
120g softened butter
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp instant espresso powder
100g packet of good quality white chocolate – broken into smaller pieces
100g packet of good quality 70% cocoa solids chocolate – broken into smaller pieces

Method:
Melt the dark chocolate with the espresso powder in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then microwave again for 10 seconds, stirring and repeating until almost melted. The residual heat will continue to melt as you stir. Leave to cool and repeat with the white chocolate.

Beat the cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the butter and continue whipping. Add in the vanilla and then on low speed, the sieved icing sugar.

Halve the mixture and place one half in a separate bowl.

In the mixer, add the cooled white chocolate and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the dark chocolate.

For icing, you can either use a dual colour piping bag which is made for such a job, or, as I have done, you can just use a normal piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle, or even just with the end cut off. Fill one side with the white chocolate and the other with the dark chocolate and squish to remove any air pockets. It doesn’t have to be exact as you are going for a marbled effect.

Oreo cake closeup

Cut the cakes in half and pipe a little of the frosting on one half. Sandwich together with the other half and pipe more onto the top and adorn with a mini Oreo cookie.