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April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes

I found this recipe on the William's Sonoma website as I was scanning recipes online for Easter.  Don't they look good?  I am a coconut lover, so this really caught my eye and is especially cute with the egg candy nestled in the center.

















Toasting the coconut that forms the nest adds a natural straw color as well as a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor to these whimsical cupcakes. Easter egg candies come in many different sizes; use as many as will comfortably fit in each nest.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature

Vanilla buttercream for frosting cupcakes {see recipe below}

Easter egg candies for decorating

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beating until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until the cupcakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream. Top each cupcake with a ring of toasted coconut. Place an Easter egg candy {or candies} in the center of each nest and serve. {The finished cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.} Makes 12 cupcakes.


Butter Cream Frosting
Ingredients:

6 cups confectioners’ sugar
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 1/2 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Food colorings (optional)

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners¿ sugar, butter, the 4 1/2 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Tint with food coloring as desired. Makes about 4 cups.


Enjoy!

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