Week 16: Bird’s Nest Cupcakes
Happy Easter everybody! I used to do so much more baking and Easter seemed like the perfect occasion to make more treats. Many years ago I used to make these nesting baby blue bird cupcakes, so I decided to do a twist on that with eggs instead of birds in the nests. Apparently it was so long ago that I couldn’t even find my usual white cupcake recipe on the Martha Stewart website! I used to know it by the picture that had orange and black jellybeans on top of the cupcakes for Halloween, so I am starting to realize why they might have changed things up.
I decided to use a recipe from my Martha Stewart baking cookbook but you can use any cupcake recipe you’d like. For the chocolate frosting, I used Savory Sweet Life’s recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting. The original recipe for assembling the cupcakes is here, and is useful for toasting the coconut.
Ingredients: lots of butter, both cake flour and all purpose flour, coconut (I bought sweetened shredded coconut), and other basic baking staples.
Timing: about 2 hours of total time but longer if you factor in waiting time (mainly for the cupcakes to cool, but also for the butter to soften)
Yield: 2 dozen (24) cupcakes
Serving: perfect Easter/spring dessert!
How did it go? Great! I love baking. I’ve made cupcakes before so I know the drill. See tips below for what I’ve learned over the years. I did find there was too much batter for the 24 cupcakes so I filled them a little fuller than the recommended 2/3. I still had a little batter leftover so I put it in a mug and popped it in the microwave for 90 seconds and enjoyed myself a little mug cake!
The only thing I had a little trouble with was the coconut – I checked it early at 6 minutes (instead of 8-10) and the edges were already quite brown while the insides were still white. I stirred it around and popped it back in for two minutes to try to toast up the middle parts, but I would’ve liked this to be more evenly toasted. That’s me nitpicking though. Oh and I ran out of Eggies. Note to self: buy two packs next time.
Taste: I love these. The cake is light and perfectly sweetened (my two biggest complaints about cupcakes is when they are dense and/or overly sweet). The combination of chocolate frosting with white cake plus toasted coconut is spot on. The toasted coconut takes the standard flavour profile to the next level!
- Buy two bags of Eggies (a 200g bag was not enough). I love Mini Eggs but they are not peanut free, so Eggies it is.
- Make sure all ingredients are room temperature before you start, especially butter.
- To help the butter come to room temperature faster, cut it into tablespoon sized cubes and spread them out on a cutting board or plate that can be easily scraped into the bowl. The increased surface area will help them warm up faster. Try to avoid the temptation to use the microwave as you risk over-softening or melting the butter.
- Cupcake liners save time rather than greasing the pans, ensure your cupcakes won’t get stuck coming out, and make for a smoother clean up.
- When toasting the coconut, stir half way through (~4 minute mark) for more even toasting.
- When making the frosting, do NOT add all the icing sugar and cocoa powder to your stand mixer at the same time. Unless you have some sort of mixer cover, I can almost guarantee you’ll end up in a cloud of dust as the powdered sugar flies everywhere. Add it bit by bit.
- If you don’t have a piping bag and tip (I used Wilton 1M), you can either use a Ziploc baggy and cut off the corner, or just spread the frosting on with a knife. Don’t worry if your piping skills need work as the coconut will cover up any imperfections.
- Put the Eggies on the before you sprinkle the toasted coconut. Shake off any excess coconut.
Luke’s review: sadly, Luke’s Swoop flight was delayed by over 7 hours today (with no explanation provided, call centre not answering calls, no bad weather… DON’T FLY SWOOP!!!) so his review will resume next week. I can guarantee you that he will love these though!
Luke’s recipe rating: safe to assume this one will be a solid two thumbs up.