Spring Cupcakes

Spring!

Happy Spring!

I was inspired to make these cupcakes from others I had seen on Pinterest, but the nests usually consisted of dyed coconut (icky!) or sprinkles. I love sprinkles, but a mouth full of sprinkles doesn’t seem that appealing. So, I thought about other ways I could make a “nest” and realized shaved chocolate pieces would be perfect! Who doesn’t love a mouth full of more chocolate? ๐Ÿ˜€ I also got to use my FAVORITE chocolate sour cream frosting! (The sour cream adds a really rich flavor to the frosting!)

Spring Cupcakes:ย 

1 box yellow cake mix (get a moist type with pudding added)

(Vegetable oil & Eggs per the box directions)

Chocolate almond bark (for nest-only need a small amount)

Whopper’s Mini Robin Eggs (or another small egg shaped candy)

Make the cake mix according to the box directions. Tip: Follow the box directions that say to beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes-this ensures all is well mixed and it incorporates air into the batter to make the cupcakes nice and fluffy. Bake per the package directions, use a toothpick to test the cupcakes to ensure they are done. The toothpick should come out “clean” with no wet batter or crumbs on it; if it is wet bake a little longer & test again. Let the cupcakes cool.

Use a vegetable peeler to grate the chocolate almond bark into little chocolate rolls/pieces. These will be the nest.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:ย 

1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in a bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Let it cool a couple minutes and transfer to a large mixing bowl & add the sour cream & vanilla. Mix together. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly with a whisk attachment to insure it is lump free. *This frosting recipe is from a cookbook entitled “Chocolate”on page 19.

Thin a third of the frosting with about 1/2 teaspoon of milk to make it easier to spread. Put the other two thirds of the frosting into a piping bag with a decorating tip. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes with a thin layer of the chocolate frosting & pipe a circle onto each cupcakes. While the frosting is still moist, roll the edges of the frosting in the chocolate almond bark shavings. Finally, add three (different colored) Whopper Robin eggs (or other small egg shaped candy) into the center.

Follow the directions on the box. Tip: Set a timer for 2 minutes and mix on medium speed. This helps to really make sure all of the ingredients are mixed together and it incorporates air into the batter which makes it light and fluffy.

Follow the directions on the box. Tip: Per the directions on a box-Set a timer for 2 minutes and mix on medium speed. This helps to really make sure all of the ingredients are mixed together and it incorporates air into the batter which makes it light and fluffy.

See the nice air bubbles in there.

See the nice air bubbles in there. That will make the cupcakes nice and fluffy.

Fill the batter 3/4 full. I used my large Pampered Chef scoop to spoon in the batter.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full of batter. I used my large Pampered Chef scoop to spoon in the batter.

Bake per the directions on the box, using a toothpick to test for doneness. Note: Cupcakes can become dry very quickly, so try to catch them right at the point when they are done so they will stay moist. It can be difficult to tell when cupcakes are done because the bottom and sides of cupcakes can cook more quickly, and burn before the top shows much color. So, set the timer to the lowest cooking window and keep an eye on them, testing with a toothpick.

Grate the chocolate bar. I used chocolate almond bark as it has a bit more wax in it, ,so it will hold its shape better when on the cupcake.

Grate the chocolate almond bark. I used chocolate almond bark as it has a bit more wax in it than a regular chocolate bar, so it will hold its shape better when on the cupcake.

Chocolate shavings ready to be the nest.

Chocolate shavings ready to be the nest.

The cupcakes are cooling. Notice the awesome floral cupcake liners! ;)

The cupcakes are cooling. Notice the awesome floral cupcake liners! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let the cupcakes cool completely after baking. While they are chilling on a cooling rack, make the frosting!

The best part! Making the frosting! :) Melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

The best part! Making the frosting! ๐Ÿ™‚ Melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

Its important to stir the melting mixture every 30 seconds because chocolate tends to hold its shape, so it doesn’t look like it is melting, when it actually is melting, usually on the bottom and the sides. Also, the butter will melt more quickly than the chocolate, so its good to stir to get that incorporated. The melted butter will tend to make the chocolate seize up a bit, this is normal. As long as you are stirring it every 30 seconds, and it doesn’t smell burnt it is fine. (The first time I ever made it, I thought I burned it, so I threw it out-turns out I didn’t, that’s just the way it looks)

It should look like this when it is ready.

It should look like this when it is ready. Transfer to the mixing bowl.

Add sour cream to the chocolate/butter mixture.

Add sour cream to the chocolate/butter mixture.

Add the vanilla.

Add the vanilla.

Mix together.

Mix together using a whisk attachment to thoroughly mix the ingredients.

Add the powdered sugar, mixing 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time.

Add the powdered sugar, mixing 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. This helps ensure it has a creamy consistency that is lump free.

Almost ready. Add all of the powdered sugar required, it  mellows out the sour cream flavor and really adds a nice richness to the frosting.

Almost ready. Add all of the powdered sugar required, it mellows out the sour cream flavor and really adds a nice richness to the frosting.

Once the frosting is ready…

Prepare a piping bag with a decorating tip. I used Wilton 1M decorating tip. Then put the bag inside a tall cup, and fold down part of the bag around the cup to keep it propped open. Spoon in the frosting with the spatula.

Prepare a piping bag with a decorating tip. I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip. Then put the bag inside a tall cup, and fold down part of the bag around the cup to keep it propped open. Spoon in the frosting with the spatula.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of milk to the remaining frosting in the bowl to thin it a bit to make it easier to spread on the cupcakes. It doesn't have to be perfect because it is just the base and the eggs and nest will go on top of it.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of milk to the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl to thin it to make it a bit easier to spread on the cupcakes. It doesn’t have to be perfect because it is just the base and the eggs and nest will go on top of it.

Pipe a circle with the frosting in the decorating bag.

Pipe a circle ย using a frosting “Shell border” technique with the frosting in the decorating bag.

After piping the nest, while the frosting is still moist roll the edges in the shaved chocolate.

After piping the nest, while the frosting is still moist, roll the edges in the shaved chocolate to create the nest.

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Cupcake decorating station.

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Cupcake prepared: 4 WW Points (20 cupcakes), Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting: 5 points per cupcake; Total=9 WW Points per cupcake