Try Garth McColgan's recipe for an Easter tea party worthy of any wonderland.


  • for cupcakes:
  • 175 g butter (at room temperature)
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 g self raising flour
  • 3 tblsp milk
  • 1 lemon (zest, finely chopped)
  • 0.5 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • for decorations:
  • chocolate topping
  • 60g soft butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 50g melted milk chocolate
  • raspberry topping
  • 100 ml cream
  • 35 g caster sugar
  • 0.5 tblsp crushed black pepper
  • raspberry jam
  • lemon butter cream topping
  • 1 lemon (full zest and juice of half)
  • 100 g soft butter
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • candied lemon garnish
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon (peeled and sliced into ½cm strips)


  • For the cupcakes:
  • Line the cupcake paper cases into a cake tin. Pre-heat oven to 170°C. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale in colour. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mixing well between each stage. Gently fold in the flour a little bit at a time. Add the milk to loosen the mixture up slightly.
  • Split the mix in two and add zest to one half and vanilla seeds to the other. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before decorating.
  • Chocolate Topping:
  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together well to form a paste. Add the melted milk chocolate and mix well again. Using a spoon spread the mixture onto each cupcake as required. Leave to set for 10-15 minutes before devouring!
  • Raspberry Topping:
  • Whisk the cream and sugar together well to form a thick consistency. Add the cracked black pepper and mix again. Using a spoon heap the sweet cream mixture onto the cupcake and top with a small spoon of raspberry jam. Simple and tasty.
  • Candied Lemon Garnish:
  • Put the lemon in a bowl and cover with water. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Strain and repeat this process twice more using fresh water each time. Put the water, caster sugar and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Add the strips of lemon zest to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Strain the zest and put on a plate covered in caster sugar and give them a quick shake to coat. When cool, decorate the top of the lemon cupcakes. Also nice on the chocolate cupcakes.

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