When it comes to cupcakes, I generally find chocolate too rich (vanilla, red velvet etc offer a lighter alternative). But when it comes to Easter, and all the chocolatey egg goodness that ensues, I am willing to make an exception.
I’m always keen to ensure all recipes on my blog are accurately sourced, but the cake recipe below was scrawled into my recipe collection by hand (originally around the time of the Royal Wedding festivities) and I failed to document its origin. So sincere apologies if you recognise the below as your own – please do leave a comment if you can name the source! The chocolate buttercream came from BBC Good Food, and then I added the decorative bits.
Ingredients (makes 16):
- 175g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75g cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml milk
For the topping:
- 110g/4oz butter, softened
- 170g/6oz icing sugar
- 55g/2oz cocoa powder, sifted
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Chocolate sprinkles (I use Silver Spoon chocolate strands but any that given you a ‘bird’s nest’ effect will do)
- Cadbury’s Mini-Eggs (1 x 195g ‘share bag’ will give you 3 eggs per cupcake with a few extra to nibble on while you’re at it)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with cupcake cases.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Beat well.
- Fill the paper cups 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the oven, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once cool, remove from the baking tray and set on a wire rack to decorate.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining icing sugar, cocoa powder and one tablespoon of the milk and beat until creamy. Beat in more milk if necessary to loosen the icing.
- Once the cakes are cool, pipe the buttercream icing on top of the cakes using a small nozzle, creating a shallow well in the centre.
- Sprinkle each cupcake with the chocolate strands. Nestle three Mini-Eggs of different colours into the centre of each cake. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to slightly set the icing before serving.