Easter Chocolate Cupcakes

As you have probably realised from my Carrot Cake Recipe, I love baking… and I also rather enjoy the consumption part as well!  Seeing as Easter is this weekend I thought I would create some Easter inspired cupcakes to share with my family and friends.   This recipe makes around 12 cupcakes but can be easily adapted if you wanted to make more!  So without further ado, let’s get into it…

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INGREDIENTS:
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100g Margarine
100g Caster Sugar
75g Self-Raising Powder
25g Cocoa Powder
2 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
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YOU WILL NEED:
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Mixing Bowl
Whisk/Electric hand mixer
Spatula
Muffin/Cupcake tin
Cupcake cases
Decorations (i.e. mini marshmallows and chocolate mini eggs)
Icing bag and nozzle
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METHOD:
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1.  Preheat the oven to 180 C/ Gas Mark 4/ Fan 160 C.  Line a cupcake/muffin tray with cupcake cases, I chose spotty pastel colours just because I liked them and I thought they fit well with the Easter theme.
2.  Cream the margarine and the sugar together, I used a hand mixer for this but a whisk or stand mixer will work perfectly fine!
3.  Once combined, crack in one egg with a small portion of the flour and mix together.  Repeat with the second egg and more flour until well combined.
4.  Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and cocoa powder until smooth and lump free.  Using a sieve helps to remove any lumps before they enter the bowl, I have learnt this the hard way that is for sure!
5.  Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, aiming to fill them up half way because they will rise a lot in the oven!
6.  Place the cupcake tray in the oven and bake for around 12-15 minutes.  You can use a skewer to check that they are baked all the way through or gently press on the top of the cake and ensuring it bounces back, being careful because they will be hot!
7.  Time to get the washing up done whilst the cupcakes cool down!
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DECORATIONS:
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For the first decoration I decided to make some little sheep, firstly I made some chocolate buttercream (melted chocolate, margarine and icing sugar) and piped it on top of the cake in a swirl.  Then I added on a chocolate sheep face that I had piped using melted chocolate on a sheet of greaseproof paper and placed into the freezer until they had set.  Finally add some white mini marshmallows for the sheep’s wool and even went on to add a tiny chocolate mini egg as a multi-coloured tail!
For the second design I followed the classic chocolate mini egg nest cupcake with a little twist!  Pipe the buttercream from before in two rings around the cupcake (they do not have to be neat, I liked mine being uneven) and use a small knife or spatula to spread some of the buttercream onto the middle of the cupcake so the eggs have something to stick to.  Then add as many chocolate mini eggs as you would like.  Seeing as I was already melting chocolate for sheep faces I decided to make some little rabbit faces to stick into the buttercream as a little twist to this cupcake design!
And voila!  Your Easter themed chocolate cupcakes are complete and ready to devour!  You obviously do not have to go to the extremes that I did…I just really enjoy getting creative when I bake!
Have a wonderful Easter holiday!
Love, Em x
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