Saturday, 31 March 2012

Elderflower & Lemon Easter Cupcakes

Let me show you these super easy cupcakes, which I made last spring before the idle blogging had begun. Sweet and fresh tasting, they're light on the tongue, and - dare I say it - very moreish! A lovely contrast to all the big chocolate eggs and rich cakes of Easter.

My own recipe.
Makes 12 medium muffin-sized cupcakes

125g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
125g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon elderflower cordial

1. Turn the oven to 180 (160 fan) and place large cupcake cases in a 12 muffin baking tray. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until smooth and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in. Then pour in the lemon zest and tablespoon of elderflower cordial, stirring well.

3. Next sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, stirring gently until the batter is combined.

4. Spoon the batter into each cupcake case, until they are approximately two-thirds full (you want to leave enough room for the cakes to rise).

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. You'll know the cakes are done if a skewer comes out clean.

6. Take out of the oven and leave for a few minutes, before moving the cupcakes in their cases to a wire rack or plate to cool.

for the icing:

1 or 2 teaspoons of elderflower cordial
100g butter
100g cream cheese
410g icing sugar
food colouring - at the time I used liquid pink colouring, which made the icing a bit too runny, so now I'd recommend tint pastes (such as Dusky Pink by Sugarflair) 
mini chocolate eggs, little chicks, sugar flowers or anything else you fancy to decorate

7. Combine the butter and cream cheese. Stir in the teaspoon or 2 of elderflower cordial and mix together.
8. Sift half the icing sugar into the mixture, and stir thoroughly, before adding the other half and continuing to stir until it is a thick paste. Take care stirring the icing sugar, as this is a bit messy, I tend to wear an apron as I've been known to accidentally drench myself in it when stirring too vigorously!

9. When the icing is combined, the only thing left to do is to colour it. With colour tint pastes you only need to add a pin prick amount before stirring it in to give the icing a beautiful pastel colour.
10. Get a pint glass (or 2 if you're icing 2 different colours, in which case just follow the same method for each individual colour). Place a piping bag with a nozzle inside the glass, so that the nozzle is on the bottom of the glass. Fold the piping bag edges over the glass rim. Spoon the paste into the piping bag, then carefully take the bag out of the glass and twist the end of the bag so that the icing is well contained.

11. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and add any mini chocolate eggs, sugar flowers and chicks you fancy to decorate.

I idly baked these whilst looking outside at the gorgeous spring blossom in the garden last easter.

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