Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes

I thought I'd have a go at getting an Easter recipe up on the blog, but I was a little stuck as to what to do. I'm not a fan of fruit cake or marzipan, so a traditional Simnel cake is not for me. 

I got thinking on what to bake, and I was inspired by chocolate Easter eggs. When I was little, most Easter eggs came in gold foil, so I decided to make some golden eggs to sit on top of the cupcake in a buttercream nest.

I made a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate buttercream to pipe the nests. I also found some leftover walnuts in the cupboard that needed using, so I ended up chucking them into the cake batter too.

I've only made one chocolate cake before - I don't know what recipe I used, but it was a disaster! It overflowed in the oven as the mixture was too runny, and I ended up with a crispy oven bottom cake too!

I've made Sacher tortes and brownies, but these aren't really a chocolate cake...

I decided to have a go at my own chocolate cupcakes, just by substituting some of the ingredients for a normal sponge.

My chocolate cupcake recipe is as follows:

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes (would also fill 2 roughly 7 inch sandwich tins)

3 Medium eggs (weighed)
Same weight Caster Sugar
Butter - 50g less than egg weight
Self Raising Flour - 25g less than egg weight
50g melted cooled chocolate (milk or dark depending on preference - I used milk)
25g Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (optional - I used this, but the cakes came out a bit domey. I'll probably leave it out next time)
50g walnuts (optional - I had these in the cupboard so chucked them in!)

Start by creaming the butter and cooled chocolate together. Add the sugar and cream again.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Add the vanilla and 1 tbsp of the flour with the last egg.

The vanilla enhances the flavour of the chocolate.

The small amount of flour stops the mixture from curdling before the rest of the flour goes in. 

Sift the remaining flour with the cocoa powder and baking powder (if using).

Fold in the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, until fully incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake at 160 (fan) for around 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden on top and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool before trimming the tops (if necessary). 

I used the baking powder this time, so the cakes were a bit domey and needed a trim. There is one bonus though - you get to eat the top bits!   

Next, I made the egg toppers as these needed to be fairly dry before use.

To 100g of sugarpaste (ready to roll icing), add 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp of white vegetable fat. 

I added these a little at a time while kneading.

To make the eggs, (I wanted 3 per cake so made 36) roll a small ball in your palm, then flatten out one end with one finger to narrow it.

Paint the eggs with edible gold paint and allow to dry.

Once the eggs were drying, I made the buttercream to pipe the nests with.

Chocolate buttercream recipe
Enough for 12 cupcakes with a little spare.

150g room temperature butter
425g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder
100g melted, cooled chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp water (if needed)

Start by beating the butter, vanilla and chocolate together until creamy.

Add the cocoa powder and some of the icing sugar and beat. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is too stiff, add some water to slacken the mix. 

If it's too thick, it'll be very difficult to pipe!

There are many different icing nozzles you can use to make a nest effect. I've shown some of the ones I have below.

Basketweave nozzle
Basketweave nozzle
open star nozzle
 Open star nozzle
open star nozzle
Open star nozzle
closed star nozzle
 Closed star nozzle
rosette nozzle
Rosette nozzle
multi opening / grass / hair nozzle
Multi opening / grass / hair nozzle

I chose the multi opening / grass / hair nozzle as I thought it would give the best effect, but you can use whatever nozzle you have.

Fill your piping bag with buttercream.

Hold the nozzle at 45 degrees to the top of the cupcake, and pipe from the centre outwards. Once you have reached the outer edge of the cupcake, keep piping the sides upwards to make it more nest like.

The piping bag split.....

Completed nests

Finish the cupcakes by placing 3 eggs in each nest.

I'm sorry the photos are a little dark, it's the first time I've been brave enough to dig out the proper camera rather than my phone...

{Edit}I am much happier with these photos though, I'm definitely going to continue to use the proper camera rather than my phone and a popular phone app! 

I'm really pleased with how these cakes turned out, and they tasted great too!

I hope you'll have a go at making them!




  1. oh my word, they look absolutely incredible :) wish I had one of them to eat this easter :) amazing blog :)

    Rebecca x

    1. Thanks Rebecca :) It's taking every ounce of self control I have not to eat the lot... Gave some to my neighbours to stop me eating them, but still have a couple left :)

      Going to have one before bed I think :)

      Kate x

  2. These looks awesome, Kate!
    What kind of piping bags are you using? I love the Get A Grip piping bags from Lakeland. They're my favourite! They're a little more expensive (around £8 a box)but they never burst and they never slip that they're totally worth it.

    I'm on a diet at the moment, so no chocolate for me, but if I had to cheat, I'd pick these :)
    Sam x

    1. Thanks Sam!

      I'm using Clas Ohlson disposable piping bags at the moment, but I'll definitely check the Lakeland ones out - thanks!

      Easter is one time of the year I couldn't diet, chocolate is my downfall!

      Kate x

  3. Kate I love these! The nest and eggs are just adorable! Your green cake stand is beautiful x

    1. Thanks Claire,

      I'm really pleased with the effect from the multi opening nozzle, it's the first time I've used it!

      The green cake stand came from my mum when I was at hers over Christmas. It used to belong to my Great Grandmother and my mum thought I'd get more use out of it than her. I'm so pleased with it, but I have strict instructions not to break it!

      Kate x

  4. Ohhh my goodness! These look amazing, the nest looks super realistic! And I love how you made the little eggs :):):) xxxx

    1. Thanks Gemma!

      I'm really pleased with how they turned out :)

      Kate x

  5. these look FANTASTIC! and the picture is brilliant as well :)

    1. Thanks Wil!

      I'm getting a little braver with the proper camera now :)

      I'm really pleased with how the cakes and photos turned out.


  6. I know its well past Easter and I've kind of missed the boat, but hey who needs it to be Easter to eat chocolate anyway? These look fantastic and I love your piping on them and the gold just sets them off. Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed the post :)

    1. Thanks Emma,

      You're right, chocolate is great any time :)

      I'm really pleased with the effect from the nozzle, it's the first time I've tried it out. I definitely be using it more!


  7. These look so good! The eggs are really impressive. Just started following you :) xxxx

    1. Thanks Sophie,

      I've seen a lot of cakes with mini eggs, but wanted to do something a little different!


  8. Hi Kate,

    I love the butter-cream nests!!

    I've nominated you for a versatile blogger award.

    Go take a Look...

    xx Kat xx

    1. Thank you so much Kat!

      I've just nominated you for the Liebster Award as I really enjoy reading your blog!

      I hope you'll take part!


      The Liebster Award


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