Easter Eggs in the Shape of a Cupcake
– For years I’ve had a tradition of celebrating Easter with a layer cake – a tradition originating from my granddad. He lived at Bornholm, an island which is basically on the other side of Sweden from Denmark, so we didn’t always get to visit him and my grandmum at Easter when I was a child. But when we did, he would sometimes make a special layer cake. The cake in itself was not so special, but to make it fun for the grandkids he would decorate it with an Easter theme, creating a lawn made of green glaze strewn with miniature candy Easter eggs, tiny homemade marzipan Easter bunnies and little yellow cardboard chickens on toothpicks. Such fond memories!
Through the years I have done many variations of my grandfather’s Easter layer cake – usually when my mum and sisters would come to visit. This year, however, we were the ones travelling around the country to visit family, so I decided to create an Easter cupcake instead. Much more festive to transport and serve in rounds than a half-eaten layer cake The result was these marzipan and lemon cupcakes with white chocolate frosting – a delicious combination!
The recipe is my own. I have gathered inspiration from various Danish recipes using marzipan and created this Easter-egg-inspired cupcake with lemon and marzipan in the cake, white chocolate and lemon juice in the frosting and miniature marzipan Easter eggs on top. I’ve added a little green colouring to the frosting so that I could create my lawn and get a chance to try out my new grass piping nozzle (Wilton #233). I generally prefer to use natural ingredients for colouring my food when possible, but sometimes you need a little extra to get the result you want. That’s why I am happy to have been introduced to food colouring paste – you can create amazing results with ridiculously small amounts. If you are new to using food colouring paste, beware that it is highly efficient. Add tiny amounts at a time by inserting the tip of a toothpick into your paste, dip it into the frosting and mix well before deciding whether to add more.
The recipe for the Easter eggs come last, but if you want to do them you should really begin by making these as it takes a while for the white chocolate coating to harden. Meanwhile you can easily make them at least a couple of days in advance and store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Or you could simply go to the supermarket and buy a bag of your favourite Easter candies, and you’ll be good
Recipe (about 16 pc.)
Lemon cupcakes with marzipan
- 200 g sugar
- 250 g plain / all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 150 g butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 100 g marzipan, coarsely grated (leaving it in the freezer for 30 min. first makes grating easier)
- Zest + juice of two medium lemons (about 4 tsp zest + 3 tbsp juice)
- 1,5 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (1,2 dl) milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degreess C and line standard-sized muffin pans with paper liners
- Whip the butter with a hand mixer until creamed – about 2 minutes. add sugar and eggs and whip until the mixture is light and creamy and the sugar is largely dissolved.
- Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl and mix it. Grate the marzipan and mix it gently into the flour mixture to keep it from getting lumpy and sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes.
- Add half of the milk to the egg and butter mixture, then half of the flour and so on, stirring gently in between so that each addition is just incorporated. Finish by stirring in the lemon juice and zest. Be careful not to over-mix at any time!
- Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling each about 2/3. Bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (I recommend that you test a couple of cupcakes to make sure that they are evenly baked). Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Lemon and white chocolate frosting
- 115 g butter, room temperature
- 150-190 g powdered sugar, sifted
- 75 g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- 1-1,5 tsp lemon juice
- Food colouring paste if wanted
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set in a water bath over medium-low heat – be careful that no water gets into the bowl. Stir occasionally. When melted, set aside and leave to slightly cool.
- Beat the butter until white and creamy using a hand mixer or a stand mixer (I use like to use the flexible k-beater) at medium-high speed – about 2 minutes. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is white and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes. Start at low speed and gradually increase to avoid a cloud of powdered sugar rising into the air.
- Stir the slightly cooled melted chocolate to ensure that it is smooth. Add it to the butter and sugar mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and pour in the cream while beating. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the consistency is deliciously light and creamy, yet firm. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed to ensure that everything is incorporated.
- Finally, add the lemon juice – start with 1 tsp and add extra to taste – and food colouring paste if you want and beat until the frosting is well mixed and the colour even. scrape down side and bottom as needed.
- Frost your cool cupcakes using a piping bag or simply spread it in a smooth layer with a knife. While tempting, don’t overdo the amount of frosting as the white chocolate can be a bit much despite the lemon
Homemade marzipan Easter eggs
- 80 g marzipan
- 75-100 g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
- Zest of 1 small lemon (½ tsp) + 1 tsp lemon juice
- Lemon zest for decorating
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set in a water bath over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to ensure that all of the chocolate is melted and has a smooth consistency.
- Meanwhile, knead the marzipan with the lemon juice and zest and shape miniature eggs about the size of a pinkie nail. Coat the eggs with white chocolate using a couple of teaspoons to toss them in the chocolate and place them on a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle a little finely grated zest on top and leave to dry for 24 hours – or 4-6 hours in the refrigerator if you need them to be ready faster.
- If you want to add an additional twist, you can do half of the eggs with orange zest and juice instead (I did this on the ones on the picture). Use ½ tsp orange juice and about 1/8 tsp zest for 40 g of marzipan (orange zest is much more moist than lemon zest and hence more dense). For decoration you can grate a little extra zest on the coarse side of your grater and chop it finely with a knife – this will give you a more nice and dry zest for sprinkling on top of your Easter eggs.