It may be nearly a month late, but spring has finally come to London! Today was the first day that it’s gotten above 40°! In fact, it was nearly 70°! Ben and I had the balcony doors open to our flat and let the warm Southern breeze float through our living room – a welcome freshness to help air out an apartment that’s been hermetically sealed for the winter since October or November.
For some reason, it feels like winter lasts forever in the UK, but then one warm day and POOF! every single flower and tree is in full bloom and the grass is suddenly a bright shade of green as it soaks up the sunlight.
To welcome the season, here’s a simple cupcake that will bring the spring from outside in to your kitchen.
For the cupcakes (makes 12):
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup (100 grams) flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
- 6 Tablespoons (86 grams) butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups (160 grams) icing sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 36 chocolate minieggs
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C). Place cupcake liners into the pan.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; then beat in the eggs one at a time.
3. Gently mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder, being careful not to overmix.
4. Spoon the batter into your cupcake liners, then place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them, as chocolate cupcakes have a tendency to dry out really quickly. Once they’re finished, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the buttercream, place your butter into the bowl of your mixer, and beat it on medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy. Then, lower your speed and gradually mix in the icing sugar. Beat until they are well mixed, then add in the milk and vanilla. Divide your batter by thirds, dying one third green and the other two thirds brown. Place each frosting color into a piping bag.
6. Fit the green piping bag with a grass-type decorating tip (it has a bunch of little holes in it). Roughly pipe the grass around the outer rim of your cake, lifting and releasing the pressure each time so that it breaks up into several ‘tufts’ of grass. Fit the brown pastry bag with a flower-type decorating tip. Use this bag to create your nests by swirling it around while leaving the middle hollow. Arrange three minieggs into each nest to finish.