lemon cadbury cream egg cupcakes

cupcake & standI wish I could take credit for thinking up this combination.

But I can’t.

I don’t think I would ever think to stuff a cadbury cream egg into a cupcake. And then top the cupcake with frosting.

Nope. I’d never think that up myself.

Thank goodness for Pinterest and all the lovely things I find on there.

That’s where I found this.the inspiration

Are you as excited as I am????

I basically clicked my way to this blog and decided … yep. I’m gonna make these. Only I’m gonna change things up a little.

I don’t know about you … but although I do love me a cadbury cream egg … I do find them pretty rich and decadent … so maybe rather than stuff one into a chocolate cupcake … perhaps a lemon cupcake would be better?

The tartness of the lemon vs. the insane richness of the chocolate egg.

Winner.

Then top it all with cream cheese frosting?!

Absolute winner.

When testing this recipe out over the weekend, I opted to make both large and mini cupcakes. Let me just say … I’ve decided that I prefer the mini cupcakes.

Here’s why:

1. Adding a regular sized cadbury cream egg to a large cupcake results in a HEAVY cupcake. Like really heavy.

2. No questions asked – this is one rich dessert. You need to commit if you’re going to eat a large one.

3. It can get expensive to use the large eggs! Mini eggs come in a large bag. More value for your buck (trust me on this one).

4. Honestly … this cupcake is proof that two-bites are just enough. Actually not just enough … two-bites are utter perfection. A little lemon, a little chocolate, a touch of cream … it’s a bite of happiness.

This is the kind of thing you should TOTALLY make for your Easter festivities!mini lemon cadbury cream egg cupcakes frosted

Think of it … not only do they make a perfectly delightful addition to the end of your meal … BUT you could also be really sneaky and use them in an Easter-egg hunt! Can’t you picture a bunch of kids trying to find their chocolate eggs … and spotting little cupcakes instead????

Have I convinced you to give this a try?

If the lemon and chocolate cream egg combo haven’t already sold you on this recipe … I’ll give you another couple of good reasons to make these:

1. They will impress the heck out of everyone. Seriously … annoying relative? Impressed! Little kids? Impressed. They’ll take a bit, then look in the centre and just rave about how “awesome” and “cool” it is. (I tested these out at my book club … so I’m speaking from experience).

2. My lemon cupcake recipe can get you 2 dozen mini cupcakes (or 1 dozen large cupcakes + 6 mini cupcakes). A bag of mini cadbury cream eggs makes 3 1/2 dozen mini cupcakes. Bang for your buck AND time.

3. These are DEAD EASY to make. I swear! Super simple.

Whip up a batch of your favourite lemon cupcake batter, unwrap 2 dozen mini-cadbury eggs, top with more batter … then bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.

I told you. Dead. Easy.

This is my favourite lemon cupcake recipe – my basic “go-to” whenever I need to whip up a batch of lemon goodness.

lemon cupcakes

ingredients:

140 g (½ c. + 2 tbsp) sugar

40 g (2 ½ tbsp) butter, room temperature

120 g (¾ c. + 1 tbsp) flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

juice of ½ lemon

120 ml buttermilk

24 x mini cadbury cream eggs

batch of cream cheese frosting

Heat your oven to 350 F. Line 2 trays of mini cupcakes with liners (for a total of 24). Set aside.

Combine the lemon juice, egg and buttermilk into a measuring cup. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the sugar, lemon zest, and butter. This batter is going to feel completely wrong. You’re going to feel like there isn’t enough butter to sugar ratio. Don’t worry. It’ll be fine.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the sugar/butter mixture. Again … this is going against almost all cake / cupcake recipes I tend to share with you … trust me. Continue to beat the mixture at low speed for a minute. You’ll notice that the batter looks a little like sand.

That’s when you want to add the buttermilk / egg / lemon juice mixture.

Beat on low speed, and then, increase the speed to medium. The batter will come together and get airy and creamy. It shouldn’t take you more than a minute or so.

Done.stuffing the cupcakes - pre baking

Now for the fun part!

Spoon 1 teaspoon worth of batter into each cupcake liner.

Top with mini cadbury cream eggs.

Spoon another teaspoon of batter on-top of each cream egg. You might have to smooth the batter a little to ensure that the egg is covered.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven; gently lift each baked cupcake out of the pan: the cream egg centre will feel really soft – so be careful. Cool on a wire rack.frosting the cupcakes

While the cupcakes cool, make a batch of your favourite cream cheese frosting. Frosting is something I have a hard time giving an exact recipe for … my goal is always to make it smooth and creamy; not too buttery, not tasting too much of powdered sugar … with just the perfect hint of vanilla. I really play the chemist when making my frosting; trial and error. If I want it thinner, I’ll add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream. The advice I will give when making cream cheese frosting is always to start with creaming the butter and powdered sugar together. Once combined, add your cold cream cheese to the mix. Increase the speed to break the cream cheese up and incorporate into the frosting. Salt and vanilla is always a good thing … taste test while you work and you’ll totally end up with some great frosting. Or be wild … swap in lemon juice instead of the vanilla. Double wham of lemon for your mouth!

Top each cupcake with the cream cheese frosting … et voilà! Done.

Oh! And another bonus to these cupcakes: it’s actually better to make them in advance so that they can cool completely. The cream egg melts and then reshapes; hence why my picture doesn’t look quite as cool as the pinterest inspiration … I just couldn’t wait to cut in and see the finished product!

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a visit with jenna

Oh what an awesomely fun weekend I had!

I decided to extend my already long weekend and spend 4 days in Halifax / Prospect Village … hanging, laughing and baking with the wonderful, talented and lovely Jenna Durling, aka little red kitsch’n.

After spending 3 weeks together last summer, we decided to do it again.  The only low point … that I had to leave on Sunday morning and couldn’t stay longer.

I have to say … I have a grand ol’ time when I’m cooking & baking with Jenna!  We spend most of the time talking food – ideas … flavours … techniques … what would work … what wouldn’t … what is too “styled” … what we would like to eat … when we would like to eat it …

 And it’s GREAT. 

Plus … Jenna is so inspiring.  She was whipping up her clam chowder while I was chopping up all the vegetables to go into her quinoa salad.  She was enhancing her already insanely delicious wild rice salad (one of the best salads I’ve ever had), while I was making a big batch of lemon curd … and the cupcakes …vanilla, chocolate, carrot and red velvet …

Oh.  Another thing I heart about being in a kitchen with Jenna … we use at least one of my recipes each week at the market.  True.  Over the summer … those peanut butter cookie dough double chocolate brownies … mine.  Those cranberry-lemon-lime-white chocolate mousse squares my idea too. 

This time round I was asked to come up with a cupcake flavour and we made my coconut, toffee oreo cookie bars (recipe to follow … but my co-workers have called them “heaven in a bite”

 Oh yeah … plus I made two hello kitty cakes.  For realz.  One was for Peter from the Fish Shop (he sponsored me for my ride the rideau) … he didn’t ask for anything in particular … but I thought he would find the cake hilarious.  He did.  And he enjoyed eating it as well :0)  And the second ended up being bought by Graham (Gateway Meat Mongers) … he pretty much loved the cake the moment he saw me arrive with it … at 6 am :0)With the pressure of the 5th cupcake flavour on my mind… I decided to go old school.  A classic.  A cupcake that always reminds me of my grandmother (although she never made it as a cupcake).  I actually have her hand-written recipe card on my fridge … a small token to make me smile and remind me of her.

I decided to go ahead with the queen elizabeth cupcake.  Except … with a twist.

You see … usually queen elizabeth cakes are covered with a brown sugar / coconut / cream mixture.  I’ll admit it … it’s delicious.

But not very handy when baking for the market.  We like to pipe the cupcakes on the spot … and spooning the mixture on top of each mini cupcake didn’t really appeal to either Jenna nor I.

So we decided that a sweet cream cheese frosting would still compliment the spicy cake.

And since it’s a queen elizabeth cake … we decided to colour the frosting with a little teal food colouring … more regal looking … don’t you think?

The result … an adorable little cupcake topped with some sprinkles.  And it tasted pretty awesome- a little spicy since I added cinnamon and nutmeg to my grandmother’s original recipe.

It turns out that I still had these cupcakes on my mind when I got home on Sunday afternoon.  Since I already had the dates in my pantry, I figured it’d be nice to make another batch.  Only this time … I figured I could twist the recipe up again: I decided to incorporate the brown sugar and the coconut into the cake batter.

spicy queen elizabeth cupcakes

ingredients:

1 c. dates, chopped

1 tsp baking soda

1 c. water

1/4 c. butter, room temperature

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 c. flour

1 c. flaked coconut, toasted

1 batch teal coloured, cream cheese frosting

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  This batter will make a 9-inch round cake, or 5 dozen mini cupcakes, or 2 dozen regular cupcakes.  Line your cupcake pans with liners.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and chopped dates to a boil – you want them to boil down and thicken (and the water to evaporate).  Stir so that they don’t stick to the bottom (lower the heat if you need too).  Then add the baking soda.  It’ll bubble.  Awesome.

Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool (I never let it get to room temperature … but I do let it cool about 10 minutes).

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the butter and sugar.  You want it to become pretty fluffy … so this should take about 5 minutes.  Add the egg, continue to beat at medium speed.  Then add the vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. 

Add the date mixture to the batter, increase the speed to medium and beat until everything is incorporated.

Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add the flour until everything is just barely blended.  Turn off the mixer and fold in the toasted flaked coconut with a spatula.Spoon the mixture into a piping bag – this allows you to fill the mini cupcake liners mush faster and easier than if you have to spoon them into each paper liner individually.  If you are making regular sized cupcakes, use an ice cream scoop, and if a 9-inch pan, simply pour the batter directly into your pan (previously sprayed with non-stick pam).

Baking time will obviously depend on what you are making.  Mini cupcakes should be done in 13 minutes.  Regular in 17 minutes, and a cake can take anywhere from 25 to 32 minutes.  You want the top of the cake to bounce back when you gently press on it.  It’s a pretty moist cake, so don’t worry if it seems a little under-done.  No one likes a dry cupcake (or cake).

If making cupcakes, remove the pans from the oven and immediately take the cupcakes out of the pan and cool on a wire rack.  If you baked a cake, allow it to sit in the pan for 10 minutes and then run a metal spatula around the sides and turn it over onto a wire rack to cool.

Cool completely.Spoon your frosting into a piping bag and pipe a little on each cupcake.  I like the look of the star tip … but it would look good with a large round tip as well! 

The best way to describe these cupcakes … “they taste like a hug from your grandmother feels …” Comfort baking at its best (and yes… you can quote me on that).