EASTER BUNNY CUPCAKES

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I often find that beautiful cupcakes are disappointing in taste. Despite an extraordinarily sweet tooth, I usually end up picking off the sugary decorations or scraping off the icing to reveal something that actually tastes like a cake. I figured a good way to make a well-balanced cupcake was to stick to traditional flavours. These Easter bunny cupcakes are a play on the English Victoria sponge cake – fluffy vanilla sponge filled with homemade strawberry jam and topped with a light vanilla whipped cream. I love how they turned out – a little bunny bite of Victoria sponge heaven and just in time for the Easter weekend.

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Makes 10-12 cupcakes. Vanilla sponge cupcakes ingredients: 100g butter, 100g sugar, 2 eggs, 100g flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon baking powder. Method: Preheat over to 180°C. Cream together butter and sugar. Whisk in eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in flour and baking powder. Split evenly between 10-12 cupcake cases. Bake until golden for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool.

Strawberry jam ingredients: 150g strawberries, 75g sugar, 1 tablespoon water, a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Method: Chop strawberries into chunks. Place in a saucepan with sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil. Once strawberries are soft, use a potato masher to break them up. Leave to simmer with the lid off, stirring regularly, until you can run a spatula along the bottom of the saucepan and clearly see the traces (see photo above). Remove jam from saucepan and leave to cool.

Vanilla cream topping ingredients: 200ml cold whipping cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Method: Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Use an electric whisk beat the the cream until you get stiff peaks.

Cupcake decoration: It’s best to decorate the cupcakes just before you serve them to make sure the strawberries stay fresh and the colouring from the decorations doesn’t run into the cream. Method: Cut fairly deep holes out of the centre of the cupcakes and fill with jam. Use a pallet knife to smooth the whipped cream over the cupcakes. Cut bunny ears out of strawberries and push into where you think the jam filled hole is. Add a mini chocolate egg or mini Smartie as a nose and 2 heart shaped sprinkles as cheeks. Melt a few squares of dark chocolate and use a piping bag (easy how-to video here) to pipe on eyes and a mouth.

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These are so cute and they taste great too! xS

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