Happy Easter everyone! I love Easter so much, I'm a bit of an Easter nut in fact. Last year I ate hot cross buns all day long, made my own Easter eggs and did some art with an Easter craft set. Then I put my art work on the fridge - a great day! This year I am being slightly more grown up and spending the weekend at my boyfriend's parent's house. I decided to make Simnel cupcakes because they are a traditional Easter recipe. Then I went for it with Mini Eggs and fluffy chicks to decorate! Here's how I did it...
First I mixed together 150g butter and 150g light soft brown sugar until creamy.
Then I added 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and the zest of one lemon, and mixed well.
I added in 150g dried mixed fruit. The mix I used was called luxury dried fruit and was from Aldi. It's great because it has everything in it. Raisins, sultanas, cherries, and mixed peel. So you don't have to buy everything separately!
Finally I folded in 100g plain flour, 150g plain wholemeal flour (both sifted and the bran from the wholemeal flour tipped in), 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp mixed spice.
I used golden marzipan and made 12 balls each weighing 12g (no particular reason for this weight, they just looked like the size I wanted). Traditionally, on a large sized Simnel cake, 12 marzipan balls are used to represent the twelve apostles, without Judas, or 11 marzipan balls are used to represent Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas again. No cake for Judas.
Once I had filled the cupcake cases with mixture, I pushed the balls of marzipan in.
Then I put a small amount of mixture over the top.
I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until they were golden brown.
Once the cakes were cooled I whipped up some almond buttercream using 340g icing sugar, 170g butter, 2 tsp cream cheese and 1 tsp almond extract.
The first decoration I did was this fluffy chick. First I coated the cupcake with buttercream using a palette knife. You can also use the back of a spoon. Then I sprinkled on the 'fur', made from dessicated coconut dyed yellow with some food colouring, finally I stuck on chocolate chips for eyes and some orange sugarpaste for the beak.
My second design was a simple swirl of almond buttercream using a star nozzle, and three Mini Eggs arranged in the middle.
For this design I spread the almond buttercream across the top of the cupcake using a palette knife, then using my star nozzle I piped a small swirl into the middle. I sprinkled on some Dr. Oetker Citrus Strands, then added a (non-edible!) fluffy chick. So frickin' cute!!
Finally I went a bit glamorous. I spread the almond buttercream on the cupcake using my trusty palette knife again, then piped a small swirl in the middle, then little rosettes around the edge, and topped each one with a silver ball. Upright Mini Eggs in the centre finished it off.
The cupcake sponge was really delicious, and had just the right amount of fruit. The marzipan ball hidden in the middle is a nice surprise! I had planned the first two decorations, but made the other two up as I went. So be creative and see what you can come up with! Grab some little eggs, sprinkles, whatever you fancy and celebrate Easter with sweet delicious treats!
I am really pleased with my cupcakes and am entering them into Calendar Cakes 'Easter Extravaganza' hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dollybakes.