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Juliet Sear's cupcake Easter wreath

Keep boredom at bay this weekend, with some Bank Holiday baking! Juliet Sear’s in the kitchen with a delicious Easter cupcake wreath.

Easter cupcake wreath

Juliet says: This is a lovely idea to bake for Easter, and looks so pretty set out on the table to share with the family at Easter. It’s really fun for the kids to get involved and you can use whatever eggs or Easter chocolates you have.

Serves: For a medium wreath 10-12 fairy cakes and 12-14 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

You’ll need:

Cupcake tin and cases (I used both mini and standard sizes)

Bowl and wooden spoon or stand mixer and paddle attachment

For the decorating

2 x small open star nozzles

1 x grass nozzle

Palette knife and teaspoon

Little cups, egg cups or moulds to set the cereal nests in

Baking paper

Scissors

For the sponge mix

*You can use any type of cupcake sponge recipe or use shop bought cupcakes and just have a go at the cake decorating*

This amount will make 12-14 small fairy cakes and 14-16 mini cupcakes

100g butter, softened

100g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

2 medium eggs

100g self raising flour sifted with ½ tsp baking powder

For the frosting

You may have a little left over which can be frozen or kept for up to a week, but you need a decent amount so you can pipe nicely

250g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

25g cocoa powder

50 ml milk

For the decorations

1 chocolate flake, broken into fine pieces placed in a shallow bowl or plate

Mini and medium assorted chocolate Easter eggs of your choice

Little Easter chicks (optional)

For the cereal nests

1 block of shredded wheat

50g White chocolate

Method

For the cupcakes: Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.

Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time then slowly stir the flour into the mix until combined.

Spoon into the cake cases and fill up halfway. Bake for 8-10 minutes for the mini sized ones, and 12-15 minutes for the standard size. Leave to cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until pale and fluffy.

Remove half of this vanilla frosting and pop it aside in another bowl (we’ll come to this later) leaving the remaining half in your mixing bowl which we will now turn into two shades of chocolate icing.

Mix the cocoa powder in a small bowl with the milk to make a paste. Add in one tablespoon of your chocolate paste to the frosting in the original mixing bowl beating well until smooth and mixed through thoroughly. This will create a lovely light milk chocolate shade. Place half of this mix into the piping bag with the open star nozzle. This is chocolate shade one.

Now add the remaining chocolate paste into the original mixing bowl and beat well, this will give you a second darker shade. Now place this in a piping bag with the grazz nozzle.

For the vanilla frosting you removed earlier, take about two thirds of it out of the bowl and load it into a piping bag with a small open star nozzle, and keep the remainder third for doing for the chocolate flake nest design, we’ll cover these cakes with just a palette knife and spoon.

To make the cereal nests Melt the white chocolate and crumble in the shredded wheat block with your fingers, stir well to coat the finely broken cereal. To set them, grease little coffee cups, egg cups or ramekins, and place a cross of baking paper inside. Press some of the shredded wheat in and push it up the sides, allowing it to be a little rough around the edges, poke the middle with your finger to create a well for the eggs to sit in. Set in the fridge, then pop out of the moulds or lift out with the paper. You can do these in advance - they will keep if wrapped well for a few days. This amount makes about 6-8 small nests.

To decorate

Nest 1: Dark chocolate twig style

Grass nozzle, this creates a lovely straw like effect that looks very realistic. Hold the piping bag vertically to the cake and swirl in a circular motion to cover the cake until you get to the outer edge of the cake. Continue winding around in a couple of rows at the edge to build up a nest leaving a little well in the middle that you can fill with eggs. If you do this on the mini or the regular size it is the same technique, you’ll just have a smaller nest so will only fit a few or one medium egg inside.

Nest 2: Milk chocolate swirly style

Hold the piping bag vertically to the cake and swirl in a circular motion to cover the cake until you get to the outer edge of the cake. Continue winding around in a couple of rows at the edge to build up a nest leaving a little well in the middle that you can fill with eggs. If you do this on the mini or the regular size it is the same technique, you’ll just have a smaller nest so will only fit a few or one medium egg inside.

Nest 3: Vanilla swirl with cereal nest

Hold the piping bag vertically to the cake and swirl in a circular motion to cover the cake until you get to the outer edge of the cake. Continue winding around in a couple of rows at the edge to build up a nest leaving a little well in the middle that you can fill with eggs. If you do this on the mini or the regular size it is the same technique, you’ll just have a smaller nest so will only fit a few or one medium egg inside.

Nest 4: Vanilla with chocolate flake nest

Using a palette knife, load on the vanilla frosting by holding the knife against the edge of the case and scraping down to leave a mound of frosting on the top. Use the palette knife to form a conical topping. With a teaspoon dipped in warm water witt the excess shaken off, push it into the middle of the frosting cone to form a well. Take some larger bits of the flake and place them around the top ring in the cupcake to create the top edge of the nest. Sprinkle in a little to fill up the well a bit, then add in your eggs.

As soon as they are all frosted, place them all together to form a wreath on the table, allowing them to touch so the wreath appears to be joined up.

These will last for a few days.

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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm ITV