I’m not even remotely religious, but who doesn’t like Easter eggs? Yesterday I got busy in the kitchen to celebrate the long weekend (there is little I would love more than a four-day weekend every single week), and made these sweet little Easter cupcakes. Baking comprises an important part of my personal hygge, and I have some great memories of making brownies or Rice Krispie cakes in my friends’ kitchens after school. It’s slap-bang between an art and a science, and watching the ingredients come together into something delicious fascinates me.
I don’t know if anyone really reads all the preamble before a blogger’s recipe post, so let’s keep it snappy. If you have friends or relatives over and feel like you need a bit more chocolate in your life today, this is the PERFECT recipe, because it’s super easy and absolutely delicious. I’ve adapted this from other recipes over the years to make it as simple as possible, so it’s ideal if you have kids who want to get involved.
Easter chocolate cupcake recipe
For the cupcakes (makes 12):
- 100g softened butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g self-raising flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Optional: 1 tsp extra flavouring (I used chocolate syrup, but you could add orange, peppermint, almond…)
For the chocolate buttercream icing:
- 80g softened butter
- 120g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Chocolate mini eggs
- Chocolate flake
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Cream together the softened butter and sugar (leave the butter out of the fridge for a couple of hours at least – I’ve tried to do this with fridge-cold butter when I decided to bake on a whim in the past and it makes life very difficult) with a wooden spoon until you create a soft, gritty paste.
- Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the bowl.
- Crack the eggs into the bowl, add the vanilla essence and any other flavouring and stir everything together until smooth. I find that this recipe is a lot thicker than other cake recipes I’ve used – this is about halfway between a batter and a dough.
- Split the mixture into 12 cupcake cases (I use an ice cream scoop to make it really easy) and bake for around 12-15 minutes.
- While the cakes are baking, beat the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the rest of the softened butter. Add 1 tbsp of milk and check the consistency (you want a pale brown paste which sticks easily to the back of a spoon), and if it’s still too dry add one more tbsp of milk.
- When the cakes come out of the oven, let them cool for at least 20 minutes. This is very important, because if you try to put buttercream onto hot cakes it’ll just melt (I speak from experience here – patience is a virtue!).
- When the cakes are lukewarm to the touch, smooth on the buttercream with the back of a spoon. Place a few mini eggs in the centre (mine are actually VERY mini eggs designed for baking, but if you’re using standard-sized mini eggs, one should be fine) and press gently into the icing, and crumble a little chocolate Flake over the rest of the exposed icing to create a ‘nest’ effect. I used one Cadbury Flake for all 12 cakes.
And we’re done! This is far and away the easiest chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve ever found, and I think the results are quite impressive. If you want reusable cupcake cases, I recommend these – I love that pretty pastel pink and mint green, so they’ll see you through spring and summer’s baking projects. Mine will never win any beauty contests, but I like my baking to look homemade. And speaking of which, it’s worth reminding ourselves that hygge doesn’t always go right…
This was my first horrifying attempt (complete with abandoned raw batter from the never-baked second batch). I tried a new recipe the first time round, and it all felt a bit off from the very start, but as I was unfamiliar with the method I put my faith in the instructions and carried on. I ended up with a VERY liquid batter, and after about 8 minutes in the oven I noticed that they were bubbling with butter. They looked absolutely gross, so I had to bin them and start again with my trusty old recipe. The moral of this story is, when you find a cake recipe that works for you, cling onto it for dear life, write it down, share it, don’t keep it to yourself!
Have you done any Easter baking this weekend? I’d love to see your recipes!