Candy, coconut make cupcakes festive for Easter

Robin McDaniel
Decorate your Easter table with cute cupcakes using candy and Peeps.

Decorate your Easter table with cute cupcakes using candy and Peeps.

It wasn’t just the name that caught my eye while looking through Food Network’s offerings for Easter treats. Robin’s Egg Easter Basket Cupcakes does have a nice ring to it, though. These cute cupcakes are easy to make and easy to decorate but look like something only a bakery could deliver. A trip down the candy aisle at the grocery store will give you all the tools you need for a festive Easter treat.

I have included a recipe for Raspberry Cream Cupcakes from Food Network that are as delicious “un-decorated” as they are decorated. If time is your enemy, the regular cupcakes made from a boxed mix work well and are great to decorate.

Robin’s Egg Easter Basket Cupcakes

Prepare cupcakes as directed on box. Let cool.

Icing:

1 (1 lb) box Confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

1/4 cup water plus 1 Tablespoon, if needed

Green and blue food coloring

In an electric mixer, add all ingredients to bowl and blend until well-mixed. Separate icing into separate bowls and tint with food coloring.

To color coconut:

Add shredded coconut to plastic bag with two to three drops of food coloring. Toss bag and shake until well-blended.

Decorations:

Colored jelly beans

Pastel M & Ms

Pastel Malted Milk balls

Chick Peeps

Bunny Peeps

White Airhead candy cut to use as cracked egg shell

Twizzlers for basket handles

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

1 (18.25-oz.) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)

1 1/3 cups water

3 large eggs whites

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 (6-ounce) containers fresh raspberries, cut in half or 1 (16-oz.) container fresh strawberries, chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Line muffin cups with muffin papers. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, water, egg whites, melted butter, almond extract and vanilla extract in a large bowl for 2 minutes, or until the batter is well blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes until they are very pale golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Using a fork, coarsely mash 1 1/2 containers of raspberries in a medium bowl. Beat the cream and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold the mashed raspberries into the whipped cream.

Remove the muffin papers from the cupcakes and cut the tops off each cupcake. Spoon the raspberry whipped cream atop the cupcake bottoms. Place the cupcake tops on the cupcakes. Dust with more powdered sugar or decorate with icing. Serve with the remaining berries.

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