Cupcakes. Who doesn’t love them? I do, and I’ve been waiting anxiously to share the cutest little Easter basket cupcakes with you. Everyone, everywhere seems to have an obsession with cupcakes. Recently, an article in our local paper highlighted the number of bakeries featuring cupcakes in one area shopping center. Fortunately, this open air shopping center is less than 10 minutes from my house and I either pass by it or shop at it (Tuesday Morning, Office Depot, DSW) several times a week. I probably eat lunch out at one of its restaurants at least 2 times a week. And if you, me or anyone needs a cupcake fix, this is the place to be: Sprinkles, Susie Cakes, Carlo’s Bakery (from the Cake Boss, a hit on the Food Network), Panini Bakery, Unrefined Bakery, The Hospitality Sweet, not to mention Corner Bakery and a local grocery store. It’s cupcake heaven just down the street.
I haven’t been to every one of these bakeries, but I’m trying to make the rounds, but not all at once. (A girl has to watch her figure, right?). Over the past few weeks, it’s been a whirlwind of pretty spring decor and tablescapes, Easter DIY projects and decorating ideas, and flower arrangements and arranging. So I was really ready for some holiday baking. This week I shared the flower arrangements sold at a charity event I’m involved with. Another part of the event is the bake sale featuring homemade items baked by our members (no cheating with store bought!). This year I made strawberry cookies, a strawberry cake (shared on my newsletter last week), chocolate covered marshmallows, and the cutest little Easter basket cupcakes. Ready to learn how to make these cupcakes?
First, a little history. Every cute little Easter basket cupcake has a history, right? Every month I write a column for a local neighborhood magazine. I interview a resident who shares a recipe. The candidate for April shared these cupcakes and I thought they were precious. She used a store~bought vanilla cake recipe and store~bought icing in a container. Well, I’m a bake~from~scratch girl most of the time. I have my favorite go~to vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and and lemon cake recipes, so I turned to my tried~and~true vanilla cake and frosting recipes for this Easter basket cupcake. But I cannot tell a lie, the decoration suggestions are courtesy of my new friend.
How to Make the Cutest Little Easter Basket Cupcakes
How to Make the Vanilla Cupcakes
This recipe comes from my favorite little baking cookbook, Sweet Chic by Rachel Schifter Thebault. If you can find this little book (It literally is little.), grab a copy. What I like is that Rachel shares standard cake making procedures ~ just like I learned in culinary school ~ but she gives you ideas for variations and the yield for different size pans. For example, this recipe will make 1 3~layer 8~inch cake or 36 cupcakes.
This recipe follows a standard vanilla cake procedure, but here are a few tips:
- Take out your butter and eggs before you do anything else so they can come to room temperature.
- Measure all the dry ingredients into one bowl and use a small whisk to blend them together before adding to the batter.
- Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl for both the cake batter and the frosting to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Use a large ice cream scoop to place an equal amount of batter in each cupcake liner.
- Fill the cupcake liners just barely over halfway full.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting and decorating them.
- 2½ cups all~purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1
- ¼ cups buttermilk
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place baking cups in a standard size muffin tins.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
- Add the sugar and mix on medium~high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that the ingredients are fully combined.
- Add about half the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix until combined, about 15 seconds.
- Add the remaining flour and mix until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrap down the sides and bottom.
- Divide batter between baking cups and bake for 19-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Another Tip: Make your cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them. Make your frosting up to 3 days ahead. Then the night before or the morning of Easter, frost them and decorate them.
How to Make the Vanilla Frosting
This recipe will make enough for 1 3~layer cake or 36 standard cupcakes
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon our vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on high speed until it is light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. The frosting will be somewhat thick and pasty.
- Add the vanilla and milk and mix on medium~high until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Decorating the Easter Basket Cupcakes
For the decorations, you will need:
1/2 bag sweetened coconut flakes
green food coloring
decorative pastel candies
pipe cleaners in color of choice
1/8 to 1/4~inch wide ribbon
- After the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a small offset spatula to ice the tops of the cupcakes.
- Place the coconut in a small bowl. Add a very small amount of green food coloring and use a fork to blend the food coloring with the coconut until you get a grassy color. Be careful to start with just a little bit of food coloring or you’ll end up with black grass.
- Place a small amount, about 1 tablespoon of the colored coconut on top of the frosting, pressing it down just a bit.
- Place 6 ~ 8 of the pastel candies on top of the “grass”, pressing down to stick. Use a variety of colors for the best look.
- Cut each pipe cleaner in half ~ about 6 inches.
- Bend the pipe cleaner into a half circle to make the basket handles and place on each side of the cupcake, gently pushing into the cupcake.
- Cut a piece of ribbon, about 6~inches long and tie in a bow at the top of the pipe cleaner handle.
- You may add a name card to each cupcake and use as place settings for your Easter dinner table.
That’s it. How simple, but absolutely precious. I love the idea of using the Easter Basket Cupcakes as name cards for your Easter dinner. If you are having Easter dinner elsewhere, I think you should take these adorable cupcakes as dessert and amaze your friends and family. And make all the kids happy, too.
Have a wonderful weekend and Palm Sunday.
Tomorrow on my newsletter, It’s Scrumptious Saturday, I’m sharing 2 spring vegetable dishes that are quick, easy, and delicious. Be sure to sign-up with your email to receive these and other recipes in your every own inbox.
Parties I’ve visited this week (March 31 ~ April 6)