Now that my children are all grown but with no grandchildren on the horizon, coloring Easter eggs has gone by the wayside. (Note to offspring: I am not hinting at anyone to make me a grandmother—well, maybe with the exception of my oldest!)
After viewing countless photos of Easter goodies online and in magazines, I decided I wasn’t going to let the lack of having young children around stop me from making these adorable Easter basket cupcakes. Aren’t they cute?
There really isn’t a “recipe” for these baskets—it’s more of an approach or creative process. All I did was decide which recipe I wanted to use for the cupcakes, and then I frosted them with one of my favorite buttercreams. I’d heard of using broken up Chex Mix to simulate twigs in a bird’s nest, but I decided to go with coconut “grass” instead. (The baskets the Easter bunny brought always had green grass in them.) From there, it was just a matter of deciding what to use for the handle and which brand of Easter egg candy I wanted to use.
I brought some cupcakes in to work where they were smiled upon and eagerly snatched up. I saved a couple for Roger since he meets a friend for coffee in the afternoon at a local coffee shop a couple of times a week. I put them in an uncovered container so as not to endanger the handles. Roger laughed when he saw the container, saying that everyone at the coffee shop would think that he and his friend were gay when they saw him walk in with the cupcakes. I told him that if I saw two gray-haired geezers sharing Easter basket cupcakes, I’d think that was sweet. And for sure I’d go over and ask where they’d gotten them!
One year ago: White Chocolate and Blueberry Brownies
Easter Basket Cupcakes
- 1 batch of DIY yellow cake mix or your favorite cupcake recipe
- 1 batch of your favorite vanilla buttercream frosting (mine is below)
- Approx. 3 cups of shredded coconut
- Several drops of green food coloring
- Red twizzlers for the handles, cut lengthwise
- A large bag of Easter egg candy
Prepare cupcakes and bake. While the cupcakes are baking, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
Place coconut in a bowl and sprinkle with enough green food dye to get the shade of green you want. Set aside.
Cut the twizzlers lengthwise to a width somewhere between 1/8” to 1/4″. Use a sharp knife and be careful! Alternatively, you could use colored pipe cleaners for handles. Set aside.
After baking the cupcakes, frost them generously with the vanilla buttercream. Sprinkle the colored coconut over the top of the frosting. You may want to tap lightly on the coconut to help it adhere.
At this point, you can either nestle the eggs in the grass before you attach the handles or vice versa. I tried it both ways, and it didn’t really make a difference to me as to which I did first. In any event, I used a wooden chopstick to make holes on either side of the cupcake so that it would be easy to insert the twizzler handle; and that worked great.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Yield: Enough to frost 24 cupcakes
- 2 cups (4 sticks—yes, that’s 1 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbl. vanilla extract
Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.