Thursday, April 10, 2014

Birds' Nest Cupcakes for Easter

Introducing today the Birds' Nest Cupcakes I made for my son's Easter party at school! Here they are below, all lined up and ready to take off for the party... :)

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Cadburry Eggs in the "nests". Easy to make classic combination of flavors with an Easter "twist"- a special treat for first-graders... The vanilla cupcakes are moist and delicious- my favorite recipe by far. The Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is so decadent, it can be eaten all on its own (at least in yours' truly humble opinion)... :) But don't take my word for granted- make it and see for yourself!

Vanilla Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners (for cupcakes).
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes).
Blend vanilla, oil, and sour cream.
Add flour and milk, alternating- starting and finishing with flour.
Pour in muffin tins, filling each about 2/3. Bake 18-19 minutes or until they test done.
Cool on wire racks before frosting.
Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese, at room temperature
1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
3-4 tsp heavy whipping cream or half-n-half

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add powdered sugar cup by cup, making sure to cover the mixer with the shield attachement and/or kitchen towel to avoid a cloud of powdered sugar all over your kitchen once you turn the mixer back on. :) Beat until well incorporated. Add cocoa powder and mix well. Finally, mix in heavy cream (or half-n-half) until desired consistency is reached. Frost to your heart's content or grab a spoon and forget about the cupcakes... :)  It is that good!


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