My favourite part of spring is seeing all the flowers come into bloom and the fields come to life with animals and wildlife, so I make these nest buns every year for Easter! They are pretty impressive, but easy to make.
The buns are made using 3 easy recipes: a basic sponge, buttercream icing and rice crispy cakes.
All simple recipes, but they come together to look fancy ;)
Basic Sponge cake recipe:
250g Self-raising flour
250g Caster sugar (I used golden, but white is fine)
250g Margarine, softened
4 regular eggs (I used 3 large!)
Preheat the oven to 200 (180 fan) and line a cupcake pan with bun cases.
Cream the sugar and margarine together until pale and creamy.
Gradually add the eggs one at a time, mixing in well before every addition. Add in a spoon of flour if the mixture starts to separate.
Sieve in the rest of the flour and fold in thoroughly.
Divide the batter between the cases.
Put into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a skewer when inserted comes out clean.
This is a basic sponge recipe, so the same batter could be divided between 2 cake tins to make a layered sponge.
Feel free to add flavourings- I used orange zest. Lemon zest, vanilla extract or other extracts all work too. To make chocolate cakes, replace around 20g of the flour with cocoa powder and add chocolate chips for double chocolate cakes (around 100g).
I used a hand mixer for this. It makes it much easier to cream together the margarine and sugar. It can be done by hand, but takes longer.
Be sure to have the margarine our of the fridge and soft before you start to make these. If not, creaming is very difficult!
Basic Buttercream Icing:
90g butter or margarine (marg is easier to mix up!)
175g icing sugar
2-3 tbsp. of milk (any)
Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar.
Add in enough liquid to make the correct consistency.
Use to top cupcakes!
To use for a full cake double the recipe.
Use orange or lemon juice instead of milk if you wish, I used orange juice here.
Add vanilla extract to make classic icing.
You can make this ahead- keep covered and in the fridge.
Rice Crispy Buns:
100g plain/dark chocolate
3 tbsp. golden syrup
50g butter/margarine (or more chocolate!)
125g rice crispies
Optional: mini eggs or similar.
Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter together in the microwave or over a ban marie (bowl over a pan of boiling water). Be careful not to burn it!
Once melted and mixed, cool the mixture slightly.
Add in the rice crispies and mix thoroughly so that the mixture evenly coats them.
You may need to cool the mixture again before they come together- just test a bit to see if it holds together.
When the mixture starts to hold together, shape.
You can either put them into bun cases to make full rice crispy buns, or to make nests scoop a spoonful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, making a well in the centre.
Place 2-3 mini eggs into the well.
Place in the fridge or freezer to set solid.
Once set, place on top of your buns.
Other cereals can be used, cornflakes work well too.
Top with sprinkles or other decorations if you wish.
I use dark chocolate, so the bun isn't too sweet, but adjust to your own preference. Half dark/half milk chocolate would create make them slightly sweeter (bear in mind that the golden syrup is very sweet too!).
These are 3 great, simple recipes to keep handy. There are loads of variations, especially with the sponge and buttercream. And kids can definitely get involved in making these!
Let me know if you try and have a wonderful long weekend.
Lots of love,
Little O x