I have always loved Easter! What's not to like? There are cute cuddly baby animals all over the place, pretty pastel colours and its a great excuse to eat silly amounts of chocolate. While its Autumn here in Australia the days definitely have a Spring feel, the end of Summer rains have made everything happy and green and the cooler days make me want to spend all my time outdoors. When I was little Mum would always spend the few days before Easter out in the gardens making sure the yard was perfect for our egg hunt on Sunday morning. My brother and I would spend Saturday night decorating our baskets with crepe paper, ribbons and fuzzy yellow chicks ready to fill with our chocolate egg loot. The fuzzy yellow chickens from my childhood have remained one of my favorite Easter decorations, I knew I had to use them to cutesy up some yummy cupcakes.
I don't really know what to say about these cupcakes, except that after I placed on the egg and chick toppers I stood back and laughed. They are just so ridiculously cute! And easy!! all you need are some hollow chocolate eggs and some baby chicks to make these adorable hatching cupcakes.
After debating about what kind of cupcake I'd like to make I went with the obvious choice. Chocolate cupcakes for the one day when there is no such thing as too much chocolate. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe and teamed it with a pastel purple fluffy vanilla frosting, both are quick and simple and all the ingredients are usual pantry items.
For the Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 14)
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
10 medium hollow medium chocolate eggs
10 fuzzy chicks
To make the cupcakes- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c. Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
In a large bowl add sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisk together. Add the eggs, milk, oil and the vanilla to the dry ingredients.Beat the wet and dry ingredients together on medium speed for two minutes.
Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, until they spring back when poked in the center. Place cupcakes on wire racks to cool.
Using a hot knife cut zigzag holes in the top of 4 of the eggs, place a little chick inside each with its head poking out. Break the last 2 eggs into large and small pieces.
125 grams unsalted butter (softened)
500 grams icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
To make the frosting- beat the butter on medium speed until very pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the icing sugar, milk, vanilla, salt and a couple of dots of colouring, beat on low until all the ingredients are incorporated. Increase the mixing speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and spoon in the buttercream. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto each of the cupcakes.
Stand the whole eggs and the chick filled eggs onto the tops of the cupcakes. Top the remaining cupcakes with a fuzzy chicken and press some broken egg pieces around the base. Add a few broken pieces around the bottoms of the hatching eggs also. Decorate each little cake with some fondant flowers.