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A Spring Twist on Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a very happy Easter, or at least a fabulous weekend. In the spirit of Easter and Spring I wanted to do something fun and festive, especially for the little ones that I knew would be present during the family gathering today. When I saw these little bird’s nest cupcakes I thought they would be the perfect sweet treat. After all, my only instructions were to bring dessert and to make sure there was chocolate involved! So that I did. I decided to rely on my favorite cupcake combination….yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Oh how I love thee!

In the end I not only had a tasty dessert (that included chocolate), but also an eye catching one. These were a crowd pleaser and really weren’t that difficult to make. The worst part was keeping the chocolate “nest” pieces from melting during the decorating process. Then again, who’s going to complain about a little melted chocolate on their fingers??

Bird’s Nest Cupcakes

idea courtesy of Bakers Royale

1. Prepare your preferred cupcake and frosting (see recipes below).
2. Use any egg shaped candy for the “eggs.” I used Hershey’s chocolate eggs.
3. For the nest look, melt some chocolate and spread it to a 1/8 of an inch on parchment. Cool in fridge for 5 minutes. Once removed, starting at one end of the parchment roll it to the other end. Your chocolate will crack in shreds. For 12 cupcakes I used around a half of a bag of mini chocolate chips for melting.
4. Work quickly as the chocolate tends to melt from the warmth of your hands. If it does, return the chocolate to the fridge for a few minutes.

Yellow Cupcakes
courtesy of Joy of Baking

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon milk

Whisk the butter in a mixing bowl for about 6-8 minutes, until pale and creamy.

Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and milk and whisk for another 6 minutes, until fluffy and creamy. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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