You may remember that back in February I introduced a new monthly feature on the blog – Cupcake of the month – inspired by a calendar I was given for Christmas with a different cupcake recipe each month. This month the recipe was for vanilla cupcakes, with a slightly more unusual order for combining the ingredients than I had come across before. It’s not exactly the same recipe as appears on the calendar (I always adapt recipes!), mainly in that I halved all the ingredients, used marg instead of butter, missed out the salt, and doubled the amount of vanilla. I bought vanilla ‘flavouring’ instead of ‘essence’ last time I went shopping for it because they didn’t have any essence, and I knew that flavouring wasn’t as strong, so put twice as much in; disappointingly though, they still don’t taste strongly of vanilla, so I won’t be buying that again!
The decoration suggestion on the calendar was a swirl of buttercream icing with mini eggs on top. Although they look very creative, I thought I’d go one step further and combine these relatively plain cakes with another of my favourite things to make and eat at Easter – chocolate egg nests! You can’t beat a bit of shredded what covered in chocolate and honey, shaped into a nest with a couple of mini eggs in it 🙂 Andrew loved helping me make these too, not least because I let him lick the spoon! He was fascinated by the mini eggs and interested to learn about nests and count the eggs into them – he’s very into numbers and counting.right now. We made some small nests (I would make them bigger if we were eating them on their own) that fitted nicely on the top of the cupcakes, held on with a blob of buttercream (that was the ready-made stuff left over from Andrew’s birthday cake).
If you’d like to have a go at these treats for Easter, here’s the recipe……
Ingredients – makes 10
- 130g self-raising flour
- 75g sugar
- 125ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 55g margarine
- 1 egg
- 150 dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp honey
- shredded wheat
- chocolate mini eggs
- buttercream icing (I had some ready-made stuff left over – or you could mix 25g butter/marg with 50g icing sugar)
- Put 10 fairy cake cases in a fairy cake tin and 10 cupcake cases in a muffin tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, then add the milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Beat in the margarine and egg until well combined and smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about half to two thirds full.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the nests…. Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water.
- Stir in the honey.
- Crush shredded wheat in your hands over the bowl and keep doing this, stirring it now and then into the chocolate, until the shredded wheat is nicely covered and the mixture is thick enough to spoon into the fairy cake cases.
- Spoon a small amount into the bottom of each case, and press two mini eggs into the centre.
- Chill in the fridge until set.
- Once the cakes are baked and cooled, and the nests are set, assemble by putting a small blob of icing in the centre of each cake and pressing a nest down on top of it.
- Store in an airtight container and eat as fresh as possible.