Easter Cupcakes 3 Ways

Wow, I can’t believe it’s only 1 week until Easter Sunday!

Here are 3 simple ways to decorate cupcakes for Easter. I used my favourite dark chocolate mud cupcake recipe for the cakes, but they would be equally delicious vanilla or any other flavour of your choice! When I made mine, I just made one batch of the cakes and divided each of the frosting recipes by a third, but feel free to triple the cake recipe if you want 3 full batches, or pick and choose which decorations you’d like 🙂

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Dark Chocolate Mud Cupcakes Ingredients (makes 12)
90g softened butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
⅔ cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
⅓ cup almond meal
⅔ cup water
60g dark chocolate melts, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.

Beat butter, sugar & eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in sifted flour and cocoa, almond meal, water and melted chocolate.

Fill each patty pan approximately ⅔ of the way full. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Stand cakes in tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

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Dark Chocolate Easter Nest Cupcake Ingredients (makes 12)
Dark chocolate frosting: 
125g butter, softened
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Easter Nests
1x 100g packet Chang’s Original Fried Noodles (or equivalent)
2 tbspns crunchy peanut butter
200g dark chocolate melts
1 bag of Cadbury “Mini Eggs” (or equivalent)

Method
To make the nests, microwave peanut butter and chocolate until melted. Mix until it is a smooth paste. Add the noodles and coat them well.

Spoon the mixture onto grease-proof paper and shape into nests small enough to fit on top of your cupcakes. Top with three mini eggs and then place in the refrigerator until set.

While the nests are setting, make the frosting. Beat butter in a medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar, cocoa and milk in two batches. If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar or cocoa.

To decorate, spread each cupcake generously with frosting and top with a nest.

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Bright Springtime Easter Cupcake Ingredients (makes 12)
Vanilla frosting:
125g butter, softened
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or flavouring of your choice)
Green food colouring

To decorate:
Wilton grass icing nozzle tip
1 bag of Cadbury “Mini Eggs” or equivalent

Method
To make the frosting, beat butter in a medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar, vanilla and milk in two batches. Add green food colouring until desired colour is reached (start slowly, the colouring is often very strong!) If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.

Spoon frosting into a piping bag with a grass tip attachment. Pipe frosting vertically onto the cupcake until each cupcake is fully covered. Top with 3 mini eggs.

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Bunny Behind Cupcake Ingredients (makes 12)
Vanilla frosting:
125g butter, softened
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or flavouring of your choice)
Green food colouring

Decorations
12 Ferrero Raffaello white chocolate truffles (or equivalent)
36 white mini marshmallows
Pink icing pen (or alternatively use pink icing, fondant or melted pink candy melts)
Milo (Australian malt powder) or crushed chocolate biscuits, for the soil

Method
To make the frosting, beat butter in a medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar, vanilla and milk in two batches. Add green food colouring until desired colour is reached (start slowly, the colouring is often very strong!) If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.

Top each cupcake with a generous layer of frosting, but be sure to leave aside a small amount of frosting to use as ‘glue’. Smoothe the top of each cupcake so you have a flat surface to work with. Sprinkle milo or crushed chocolate biscuits onto the frosting (but leave a border of green around the edge); this makes the ‘soil’. Firmly place a Raffaelo truffle into roughly the centre of your soil on each cake.

To make the tails, shape mini marshmallows into spheres and press firmly down. Attach each tail, using a small amount of frosting (so the green doesn’t show), to the Raffaelos (I chose to do mine to one side but I have seen them work top and centre).

To make the bunny’s feet, flatten 2 white marshmallows per bunny and squeeze in the centre to give a foot-like shape. Using your icing pen, draw on foot and toe-pads. Attach, toes down to the Raffaelos using a tiny amount of icing on the top back-side of each foot.

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Frosting recipes adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cupcakes by Colour’ cookbook.

 

Snickers Cupcakes!

The exclamation mark in the title is necessary because these are the best cupcakes I have ever eaten (and I’ve sampled A LOT of cupcakes in my time). I made them for a family birthday party by combining a number of different recipes so that these cupcakes are like a deconstructed Snickers. Everyone went crazy for them, not that I blame them, because who doesn’t love Snickers? With a dense, fudgy chocolate base, a light and fluffy peanut-nougat icing and oodles of caramel, these cupcakes are to die for and I can imagine them becoming a firm family favourite.
EDIT 2015: Still a winner! I made these for my 21st birthday celebrations with family & friends and the went down a treat 🙂 
Elise August 2015 182

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Ingredients (makes around 30)
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
350g butter
450g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
2 ½ cups caster sugar
1 ½ cups almond meal
2 cups cocoa
10 eggs
2 tspns vanilla extract

Peanut Nougat Frosting
1 cup smooth peanut butter
250g butter, softened
4 tspns vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
2 tblspns milk
Salted peanuts (chopped), remaining caramel, melted dark chocolate & chopped snickers, to decorate

Caramel
100g butter
⅔ cup soft brown sugar
¼ cup golden syrup
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C. Line 3 12-hole muffin trays with patty pans (about 30).

Combine butter, chocolate and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Mix continuously until melted and smooth. Sift the almond meal and cocoa into a large bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and beat for 1min on a low speed. Add eggs two at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Divide mixture evenly between patty pans (filling each about ¾ full) and then bake for  30mins or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the tray and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before icing and decorating.

As cupcakes are baking, make the caramel sauce. Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for at least 5 mins. Take off the heat and cool to room temperature.

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Once the cupcakes are cooled, dig a small hole at the top of the cakes with a teaspoon.

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Fill the holes with the cooled caramel.

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To make the frosting, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and slowly add the icing sugar. Add the milk and beat until just combined.

Using a piping bag with a star attachment, pipe the frosting in a circular motion onto the cupcakes, starting around the edge so that you form a soft-serve ice-cream effect. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce, melted dark chocolate and then top with salted peanuts & chopped snickers. Enjoy!

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Elise August 2015 182

Cupcake recipe adapted from the Crabapple Cupcake Bakery Cookbook.