Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Bird Nest Cupcakes (An Easter Delight)

Are you looking for a sweet little dessert to serve this Spring...whether it be for Easter, a baby shower, or just for the sheer enjoyment of welcoming in the warm weather?  

I had these lovely little bird's nest cupcakes at my own baby shower last spring and not only were they delicious but they were fantastic to look at as well!  Here's how it's done...

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies You will Need:

~ Cupcakes (we used Carrot cupcakes & the recipe is below, but you can substitute any flavor you choose)
~ Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe is below)
~ jelly beans or Easter candy in the shape of an egg
~ frosting/pastry/piping bag with no metal tip--the opening should be about 1/2 inch wide

1.) Allow your cupcakes to cool.

2.) Toast the coconut flakes in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir often--coconut has a high fat content and will easily burn if you stop watching it. Remove from heat once all of the coconut is golden.

Toasting the coconut that forms the nests adds a natural straw color as well as a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor to these whimsical cupcakes . . .

Working with a few cupcakes at a time, use your piping bag to top each cupcake with a ring of cream cheese frosting and pipe a big O on top of the cake. Turn the cupcake over and lightly smush each O into the skillet of toasted coconut, flattening it slightly. 

Sprinkle coconut liberally all over the sides of the O and shake off any extra that doesn't stick. Pipe a dot of frosting in the middle of the O and place Easter candy eggs in the center of each nest.

Easter egg candies come in many different sizes; use as many as will comfortably fit in each nest . . .

The finished cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Carrot Cupcakes:

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
makes decoration for 12 cupcakes

2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup of butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
~1/4 Cup of finely grated coconut
~1/2 lb. powdered sugar

Cream together cream cheese and butter until homogenous and soft. Add vanilla and coconut and mix thoroughly. Beat in the powdered sugar a bit at a time until frosting is the right consistency, thick but spreadable and holds it shape.

Photos & Partial Tutorial Courtesy of Tea Pots & Polka Dots



  1. Right? They look so much more difficult to make than they truly are! I bet you could do a german chocolate version as well...yum!