Vanilla Cupcakes with Spring Bird’s Nests

Ingredients for Cupcakes

(makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup & 1 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz sour cream

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt together using a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly pour the mixture in, taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  • Add one third of the flour into the mixer and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Add one third of the sour cream. Repeat with remaining flour and sour cream.
  • Portion batter into 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool before decorating.

Ingredients for Vanilla Butter Cream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions:

  • Set a pot of simmering water over medium heat to make a bain marie.
  • In your mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Continue to whisk as you set it atop the simmering water. Remove when the mixture reaches 120 degrees (F) and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Using your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the mixture on high speed until cool and mixture has tripled in volume. Add vanilla. Slowly add butter one tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue to whip until the buttercream is smooth. If it looks runny, continue to whip and it will come together after a few minutes.
  • Separate into bowls and stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired, to get a festive effect.

Ingredients for “Nest & Eggs”

  • 1 cup toasted, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup mini chocolate eggs or jellybeans. I used coconut M&Ms!

Directions:

  • Apply a generous dollop of buttercream to each cupcake and create a well in the center.
  • Roll (or sprinkle) with the coated coconut to create a “nest” and place a few mini chocolate eggs in the center.

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