Don’t frost cupcakes when hungry, or do – it tastes great!

I’m always looking for any excuse to make cupcakes and more importantly share with them friends and family so I don’t eat them all! For Easter I decided to put a twist on a favorite recipe and add some Easter creativity. I added shredded coconut that I dyed green with food coloring to the top of these cupcakes. Then I added some jelly beans to look like a nest and Peeps to the top of some of the cupcakes instead of jelly beans. The result? Easter fun! Here is the recipe (click “more” below).

Easter Peep Bunny

Easter Peep Bunny

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting – with Easter Chicks and Nests


bird's nest Easter cupcakes

Bird's nest Easter cupcakes

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature – I use Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend (28% less fat than reg. butter)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 light brown sugar, packed
2 x-large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp Trader Joe’s Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken and at room temp.
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp.
2 tblsp brewed coffee or espresso
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp. – I use Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend (28% less fat than reg. butter)
4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tblsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
1 tsp Trader Joe’s Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shreded coconut
1 cup sweetened flaky shreded coconut(dyed with food dye it desired)
Yellow Peeps
Starburst Jelly Beans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Getting my chicks in a row

Getting my chicks in a row

For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Stir in the coconut.

Frost each cupcake with the icing and top with the shredded coconut and then either jelly beans or Peeps. Hint: spread just a small amount of the remaining icing onto the bottom of the Peeps to help them stick to the coconut.

Sources: chocolate cupcakes from Barefoot Contessa and frosting from AllRecipes.com

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