BBC Good Food Magazine

Family baking

Chocolate spring cupcakes

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MAKES 12 PREP 45 mins plus cooling COOK 20 mins MORE EFFORT V

140g light brown soft sugar 100g self-raising flour 50g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

135ml vegetable oil

4 tbsp milk

For the decoration­s

300g icing sugar

150g unsalted butter, softened 2 tbsp milk

250g ready-rolled white

fondant icing orange, yellow, pink and black

gel food colourings

2 tbsp cocoa powder white mini marshmallo­ws (check the

label if vegetarian)

1 Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Tip the brown sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, oil and milk in a jug. Slowly pour the wet ingredient­s into the dry, whisking until smooth. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases. Divide the mixture between them, then bake for 20 mins until risen. Leave to cool in the tin.

2 Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the icing sugar and butter with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Whisk in some of the milk to loosen to a pipeable consistenc­y, if needed. 3 For the chick decoration, colour a small piece of fondant orange using a drop of food colouring gel and another small piece black. Colour a few tablespoon­s of the icing yellow and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe a yellow blob in the centre of the cupcake and a smaller one on top. Roll the black fondant into two small balls and place them as eyes. Roll a little cone of orange fondant for the beak. For each foot, roll three small, longer pieces and pinch them together at one end. Push the feet in beneath the body, hiding the pinch. 4 For the bunny, beat the cocoa and 1 tbsp milk into a few tablespoon­s of the icing. Spread over the cupcake.

Spoon a few tablespoon­s of the plain icing into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe a small blob on top. Stick a mini marshmallo­w on top of that for a tail. For the feet, shape two small pieces of white fondant into ovals and press down to flatten. Colour a small piece of fondant pink and form two balls and six smaller ones. Press the balls into the flattened ovals in a paw pattern. Place the feet on either side of the rabbit’s bottom. 5 To make the sheep, colour a piece of fondant black and shape a small piece into an oval. Use a skewer to press nostrils into the bottom end. Pinch two smaller pieces into ears and stick these on using a little water. Roll two small balls of white fondant and two smaller black balls to make eyes. Cover the cake with a layer of plain icing and fix the face in the middle. Surround with mini marshmallo­ws for the woolly coat.

PER SERVING (sponge only) 426 kcals • fat 25g •

saturates 9g • carbs 46g • sugars 39g • fibre 1g •

protein 4g • salt 0.2g

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