If you are making these for a baby shower, you could very easily make the chicks pink for a girl, or stick with blue chicks for a boy. They do require a bit of work, but nothing is technically advanced. Practice making the chicks, and the beaks, on a piece of wax paper first and you'll get the hang of it in no time. Ready for the recipe?
If you are in a serious time crunch, you could use either a white or chocolate cake mix to make the cupcakes. I promise I wont tell anyone.
Baby Bluebird Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen
Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; scrape down bowl, and beat in vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Divide batter evenly among liners, about three-quarters full each. Bake until golden and tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool completely.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Martha says, "If you live in a warm climate or you want to display your cupcakes for an extended period of time, use half solid vegetable shortening and half butter, which will result in a more stable frosting."
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place over a pot of simmering water; whisk until hot and sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer stand, and beat on high speed until cooled, 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Replace whisk with paddle attachment, and set mixer on medium-high speed; add butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Beat in chocolate. If not using immediately, refrigerate buttercream in an airtight container for up to a week. Bring to room temperature, and re-beat or stir vigorously before using.
To Make the Cupcakes:
Makes 1 dozen
Martha says, "When preparing the chocolate buttercream frosting, reserve 1 1/2 cups buttercream and 1 teaspoon melted chocolate."
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut(about 5 ounces)
Yellow and light-blue food coloring
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pan once. Set aside to cool.
2. Lightly frost cupcakes with 1 cup chocolate buttercream; set aside. Tint 2 tablespoons reserved buttercream pale yellow; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #349 Ateco leaf tip; set aside. Tint remaining buttercream light blue; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #11 Ateco plain round tip, and pipe three bluebird heads, 3/4 inch in diameter, onto each cupcake. Using leaf tip, pipe yellow beaks. With a toothpick, add melted-chocolate eyes. Form each nest with 2 tablespoons toasted coconut.