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Easter Basket Cupcakes - total time 1 hour

I think Mother Nature is trying to teach us a lesson... enjoy the sunny and 80 degree days because the next day there could be an inch of snow on the ground!  Oh my poor daffodils.  :(  What can you do...

Since it is cold outside again, might as well whip up some Easter treats from scratch!  My grandma used to make the best yellow cake and chocolate frosting ever!  She would make it when the whole family was coming over for a holiday dinner; Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas... and once in a while throughout the summer when my sister and I were over at her house during summer break.  To this day, it is the only cake I would ever get seconds of (unless you count cookie cake as a cake... and then that throws the whole idea out the window).  I can't quite remember what made her cake so special, I just remember really enjoying it.

My husband's favorite cake, as it turns out, is also yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  So I thought I would give it a go making yellow cake from scratch.  Turns out, it is egg yoke (not butter, like I originally thought) that makes yellow cake yellow (unless its a box mix, in which case there is probably some food coloring that makes it extra yellow).  He said these are the best cupcakes yet... and I've made so pretty darn good cupcakes (according to other people, of course... case 1, 2, and 3)

I had the idea of these chocolate shavings Easter baskets last year (because I don't like coconut) and it just didn't work out.  I used a vegetable peeler, which made the shavings too wide.  Then I used a grater and the chocolate melted in my hands.  This year I used my handy parmesan grater and it worked out nicely.  Knowing most people don't have room in their kitchen for an extra gadget (and a parmesan grater is definitely not a necessity), you could use parchment paper around the chocolate and take breaks to toss the chocolate in the freezer to prevent a melty mess.  Or you could use chocolate sprinkles and avoid the complication altogether!

.75 cup butter
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
.75 cup milk
1.5 cups flour

.5 cup butter
2 tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cup powdered sugar
.75 cup cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter in mixing bowl until well whipped.  Add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add salt, vanilla, and baking soda.
2.  Separate egg whites from egg yolks (use the egg whites for breakfast!).  Add one yolk into the batter at a time and mix until blended.
3.  Add is 1/4 cup milk and half cup flour... mix together... repeat two more times.
4.  Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake for 18 minutes.  Let cupcakes cool for 10-15 minutes before frosting.
5.  While the cupcakes are cooking mix together butter, cream, and vanilla.  Add a half cup of powdered sugar at a time and blend together.  Once you get to two cups of powdered sugar, add in cocoa powder, mix, and taste test.  If it tastes butter, add the final half cup of powdered sugar.  If it tastes too sweet, skip the remaining sugar.
6.  Using a grater, make a pile of chocolate shavings, at least a half of a cup worth.  Put a dollop of frosting on top of the cupcakes (doesn't need to be perfect) and then dunk them into the chocolate shavings.  Top it off with some candy eggs.  Enjoy your cute cupcakes!

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