Landscape photo of Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes (Vegan Gluten-Free)

These Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes so light but rich and chocolatey with a moist fluffy texture. Topped with smooth vanilla buttercream and homemade dark chocolate cornflake cake nests with mini eggs inside – and they are vegan and easy to make.

As this recipe goes out, it is Easter Sunday (aka the day of chocolate) so what’s better than combining chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cornflake cakes and more chocolate for good measure? These little cupcakes are so fun to make and they wow friends and family with the shimmery dusted eggs on top, too.

Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes with a pink shimmer mini egg
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

What makes these cupcakes so special?

These cupcakes are such a welcome addition to any Easter spread, they are:

  • Light, fluffy, rich and moreish
  • Chocolatey and sweet
  • Tender and soft
  • With the best vanilla buttercream
  • Topped with chocolate healthier chocolate cornflake nests
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Natural vegan and easily gluten-free
  • Fun to make with little ones

If you already want to skip ahead to the recipe card to make these cupcakes now, read on. Or, we are going to go into more detail about the recipe first.

Piping buttercream onto Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

What ingredients do I need?

The base of the cupcakes is an easy but delicious recipe:

  • Plant-based milk: use your favourite milk like oat, almond, soya or (carton) coconut milk.
  • Lemon juice: this reacts with the milk to curdle and form a buttermilk which binds the batter in place of eggs.
  • Sunflower oil: or you can use melted and cooled coconut oil. This keeps the sponges light and tender.
  • Thick dairy-free yoghurt: this substitutes some of the oil as it adds lots of moisture and healthy fats, too. it is important that the yoghurt is thick otherwise the batter will be too runny. My favourite is Cocos Coconut Yoghurt but other Greek-Style yoghurts will work well.
  • Light brown sugar: the brown sugar adds a richer flavour to the cupcakes which I really love. That said, white or golden sugar will also be great or use coconut sugar.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: this keeps the cupcakes really light and fluffy. For best results, use plain flour but if needed, you can use your favourite 1:1 baking GF flour as long as it contains xanthan gum (or add your own).
  • Cocoa powder: for the rich chocolate batter. Cacao or cocoa are both fine here.
  • Coffee: this adds a lot of richness to the chocolate cupcake but you cannot taste it. As it’s only for flavour, decaf coffee also works well or you can leave it out.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
  • Salt: to heighten all the flavours.

And onto the cornflake cakes:

  • Dark chocolate: you can use your favourite chocolate, I went for the 85% Divine chocolate but dairy-free milk chocolate or other dairy chocolates are also great.
  • Coconut oil: this helps the cornflake cakes to set firm but easily to eat as this softens the chocolate slightly.
  • Maple syrup: this adds a lovely stickiness to the cornflake cakes that makes them amazing. You can swap this for other syrups like agave or brown rice or use vegan honey, too.
  • Mini eggs: the classic filling for cornflake nests. I used dark chocolate eggs and dusted them with shimmer dust or you can use regular pastel-coloured mini eggs.
  • Shimmer dust: make sure this edible and you can use any colour to dust the eggs.
Half open Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcake
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcake with a fork on a small plate
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

Finally the buttercream:

  • Vegan butter: allow the butter to rest at room temperature for 1 hour or so beforehand to soften it. This results in softer and fluffier buttercreams.
  • Vanilla essence: for the vanilla flavour.
  • Icing sugar: essential for all good buttercreams.
  • Plant based milk or aquafaba: I like to use aquafaba (the water from a tin of chickpeas) for a really fluffy Swiss-Meringue style buttercream but plant-based milk is great, too. You can use your preferred milk as above.
  • Chopped chocolate: for more chocolate goodness, add more chocolate on top of the cupcakes.

How do I make these Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes?

There are only a few steps involved in these cupcakes:

  • Whisk together the wet ingredients: for the cupcakes until mixed.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and whisk till smooth.
  • Divide between the cupcake cases: and bake for 16-18 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out almost clean.
  • Remove immediate from the tin: and cool fully on a wire rack (about 2 hours or you can speed up the process in the fridge).
  • Make the cornflake nests: melt the chocolate with the coconut oil then whisk in the maple syrup.
  • Fold in the crushed cornflakes: and divide between 16-18 mini cases. Set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • If making shimmery eggs, brush the eggs with the shimmer: or have your pastel-coloured eggs to hand.
  • Make the buttercream: beat together all the ingredients until really fluffy.
  • Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes: I used a round nozzle.
  • Add a cornflake nest on top: and add a little more buttercream.
  • Fill the nest with a mini egg: and more chocolate.
  • Enjoy these really chocolate cupcakes: and serve to guests.
Half-eaten Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcake
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

Can I make these cupcakes without the nests and vice versa?

Yes, you can simply make the chocolate cupcakes with the vanilla buttercream for delicious cupcakes. Or, you can use the recipe for the chocolate cornflake nests to make mini nests or make larger ones, too using regular sized cupcake cases.

Are these Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes nut-free and gluten-free?

Yes, these are nut-free just check that your chocolate, milk and butter are all free from nuts. To keep these cupcakes gluten-free, use your preferred GF baking flour and make sure your cornflakes are free from gluten.

How long will these cupcakes last?

Once frosted, you can keep these Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days or keep unfrosted cakes in the freezer for up to 1 month and defrost at room temperature before frosting.

Half eaten Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcake
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

I love cupcakes and cakes, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love these Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes and for more inspiration, how about my:

Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes so light but rich and chocolatey with a moist fluffy texture. Topped with smooth vanilla buttercream and homemade dark chocolate cornflake cake nests with mini eggs inside – and they are vegan and easy to make.

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:
  • 120ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil, or melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 120g thick dairy-free yoghurt
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 180g plain or GF plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coffee powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the Cornflake Cakes:
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 40g cornflakes
  • 18 mini eggs
  • Shimmer dust, optional
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 100g vegan butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250-300g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk or aquafaba
  • Chopped chocolate, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a cupcake tray with 12-14 cases.
  2. Add the plant-based milk and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and stir. Now add in the sunflower or coconut oil, yoghurt, sugar and vanilla essence. Whisk till smooth.
  3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the salt and whisk to a smooth batter, be careful to not over-mix.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cases, filling ¾ full.
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until light and fluffy and an inserted skewer comes out almost clean. Remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, make the cornflake nests: chop the chocolate small and melt with the coconut oil. Stir in the maple syrup till smooth then crush the cornflakes and add to the mix. Stir well and divide between 16-18 mini cases. Make a small indent in the middle and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, till set.
  7. For the buttercream: beat the vegan butter using a handheld or freestanding mixer till smooth then gradually beat in the vanilla, icing sugar and plant-based milk or aquafaba. Beat for 2-3 minutes till really fluffy.
  8. If you like, dust the dark chocolate mini eggs with edible shimmer.
  9. Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes and add a chocolate cornflake nest on top. Pipe on a small amount of the buttercream in the nests and top with a dark chocolate mini egg. Sprinkle over the dark chocolate.
  10. Enjoy straight away or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Unfrosted cupcakes will keep for 1 month in the freezer.
Landscape photo of Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes
Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Chocolate Cornflake Nest Cupcakes so please do let me know in the comments below. If you do make these cupcakes, I’d love to see them so please tag me in your creations, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With choc cornflake nest love x

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