These little bird nest cupcakes are perfectly cute for an Easter (or Mother's Day) brunch. They’re so easy to make, but they look like they came from a professional bakery. All you need is your favorite cupcake (we included a recipe for a delicious lemon-vanilla cake), some cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and Easter egg candy. You can make these as homemade or as semi-homemade as you wish using cake mix, store-bought cupcakes, and/or canned frosting.
The flavors for this recipe are similar to a classic coconut cake. Alternatively, you can use chocolate shavings for the “nest” if you don’t like coconut.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon peel (grated)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 pound cream cheese frosting
- 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 bag chocolate Easter egg candy
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Beat the butter with the whisk attachment of your stand mixer for about 3 minutes to soften. If it’s room temperature, this will take less time. You can also use a large bowl and a hand mixer. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of your bowl. Add the lemon peel and vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.
Add it to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides in between.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill to 2/3 full with the batter. Depending on the size of your cupcake tins you may be able to make more than 12.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and the center comes out clean when pricked with a toothpick.
Allow the cupcakes to cool. Assemble your frosting ingredients.
Toast the coconut by placing the shreds in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat on medium-high heat, shaking the pan or stirring frequently until the coconut is golden brown. Make sure to watch it closely so it does not burn. Turn the heat down if you need to.
Frost each cooled cupcake using a pastry bag or just a knife. It doesn't have to be perfect, since the frosting will be covered in the toasted coconut.
Dip the frosted cupcakes into the toasted coconut. Top with more as needed and press to make them stick into the frosting.
Place a bit of frosting at the bottom of each piece of candy. Assemble three eggs into the center of each nest.
Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.