E is for Easter: Easter Basket Cupcakes
Hooray! It’s Easter time! Easter is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Spring weather is returning, flowers are starting to peek out from the earth, fancy little girl hats and dresses are out in the stores, bunnies and chicks, colorful eggs and candy are everywhere. Did I mention the candy? I think Easter is the best “candy holiday” there is. Yum! I have fond memories of Easter as a child too. My mom always went out of her way to make holidays fun and to add special little touches. This must be why I love to celebrate holidays as much as I do as an adult. One of my favorite treats at Easter as a child were these Easter basket cupcakes. I still remember being so excited to take them to elementary school for a class treat. I made some for my family this year and want to share with you how to put these cute, easy cupcakes together.
Start with any kind of frosted cupcake. White cake, yellow cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake, whatever sounds good. Frost them with simple white frosting. I wish I could tell you that I baked up a batch of cupcakes at home filled with love and care, but I must confess I took the easy route. I picked up 6 cupcakes from the local bakery and didn’t look back. There will come a time in my life when I can both bake AND decorate cupcakes for my family, but now is just not that time. Really, homemade or from the store, either is just fine! I used a butter knife to smooth out the frosting to hold the “grass” better and scraped off the excess sprinkles that came on my bakery cupcakes.
Next I made the grass for the baskets. I used 1 cup of sweetened flake coconut – the kind you find in a bag in the baking aisle of the grocery store. Pour the coconut into a zippered plastic bag and add approximately 1 teaspoon of green food coloring. I used gel food coloring this time, but I have used traditional food coloring in the past. Add more or less food coloring to get your desired shade of green. Shake the coconut and the food coloring together until the coconut is an even shade of green. Break up any clumps with your fingers as you go. This is a great activity to have kids help with as the plastic bag contains the mess. One cup of coconut made an ample amount of grass for 6 large cupcakes. Sprinkle the coconut on top of your cupcake and press down gently ensuring that it sticks in the frosting. Shake off any excess before proceeding to the next step.
Now we will add the handle to the basket. I used standard sized pipe cleaners in bright and pastel colors. Stick one end of the pipe cleaner all the way down into the edge of the cupcake making sure that it is actually in the cake and not just inside the wrapper. This will help keep the handle in place. Stick the other side of the pipe cleaner down into the cupcake on the opposite side to complete the handle. Gently bend the pipe cleaner to make an even arch over the cupcake. I added a small foam flower sticker to the handle for a little added touch. You could also tie a small ribbon to the handle or just leave it plain. Obviously the pipe cleaner handle is not edible and needs to be removed before eating these treats.
The last step is to fill your basket. My mom always used large sized jelly beans to fill the basket when I was a kid. I used malted milk ball eggs on these cupcakes because I like the speckled finish and the larger size. You could use small foil wrapped chocolate eggs, tiny chocolate bunnies, Peep chicks or bunnies – so many possibilities! I’m not kidding – I really do have a thing for Easter candy.
That’s it – so simple and super cute. These come together really quickly. I think I had my six cupcakes put together and on the tray in less than 30 minutes seeing I started with the store bought cupcakes. I hope you and your family enjoy these Easter basket cupcakes as much as we have. It melted my heart to see my children’s faces light up with joy when I served these for dessert tonight. Wishing you a very Happy Easter from our family to yours!
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