Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin down the bunny trail……. Hippity hoppity Easter’s on it way!
I can’t believe Easter is just about here! March was a record breaking warm month, in the 80′s a good part of the time, and April is headed in the same direction starting out in the 90′s! Feels more like Forth of July than Easter here in Missouri.
Whether it is a new dress, a bonnet or basket filled with candy, many will be celebrating Easter this Sunday. After the morning egg hunts, and church, it’s time to settle in for a nice Easter meal that always includes some delicious baked goods!
I few months ago I saw the cutest little marshmallow bunnies on BHG.com and I knew they’d be adorable on top of a cupcake, a lemon cupcake to be exact!
I slightly adapted my lemon pound cake recipe for the cupcakes, filled them with a tangy lemon curd and topped with lemon buttercream. I knew they’d be good any time, not just for Easter, so I decided I to decorated them three different ways.
Grab your aprons and lets get started (the recipes are at the end of this post)
Marshmallow Bunny Cupcakes
- Large and miniature marshmallows
- Vanilla canned frosting
- toothpicks (*optional)
- Flaked coconut
- kitchen shears
- Candies and Sprinkles (I used Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles, Sixlets and Pink Candy Grass)
- Pink Food color and brush (*optional)
For Grass Frosting
Tint buttercream green with gel-paste food color (I use Leaf Green). Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a Witon #233 tip. Starting at the center of the cupcake and moving outward, pipe rows of grass on top of cupcakes: Start with the tip on surface of cupcake, squeeze bag, then release while quickly pulling up to form 1/4-inch-long blades, making some slightly longer than others. (don’t be discouraged if it looks a mess, I’m not good at doing this, but trust me, no one will notice and they will still look cute!)
Form Marshmallow Bunnies:
- Place a large marshmallow on a toothpick and frost with canned frosting, then roll it in coconut.
- Attach two miniature marshmallows for the feet using a little frosting to “glue”.
- Decorate with candies for the eyes, nose, and whiskers.
- To make ears: Use kitchen shears to cut a strip from the top edge of a large marshmallow. Dip brush in pink food color, then into a bowl of water (to dilute) and lightly brush center of “ears” (*optional), then attach with a bit of frosting.
- Place bunny on top of buttercream “grass” and remove toothpick
Refrigerate 30 minutes to allow frosting to set. Cupcakes are best served the same day they are decorated; keep at room temperature. (I did take mine to a party two days latter and they were still delicious, I stored them in the refrigerator and removed a few hours before the party)
Using the same recipes, transfer untinted lemon buttercream frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round Ateco #809 tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Top with Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles . Green polk-a-dot cupcake wrappers from Sweet Baking Supply.
Lemon Topped Cupcakes
Use the same technique as above, but instead of sprinkles, drizzle cooled lemon curd over buttercream. Happy Easter cupcake wrappers from Wilton.
This creamy velvet lemon curd is super simple to make using the microwave.
To fill cupcakes:
Use a large piping tip and press into the middle of each cupcake. (If you don’t have a tip, you can cut a circle with a small knife). Press the tip down about a third of the way and then remove it. It should remove a circle of cake from the center of the cupcake. Then fill hollowed out cupcake with lemon curd. To see how to do this with a knife, check out my raspberry filled cupcakes for instructions.
So there you go……..one cupcake decorated three ways. The bunny cupcakes are fun to make and eat – perfect for Easter holiday, but this lemon cupcake recipe is so delicious, you can decorate one of the other ways to enjoy any day.
- 1 box Lemon Instant Pudding mix (4 serving size)
- 1 box Lemon Cake Mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (squeezed from 5 lemons)
- zest of 3 lemons
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want white frosting)
- zest of 2-3 lemons
- fresh lemon juice from 1-2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
- 1-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (start with one and add until you have desired consistency)
- Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
- Combine all cupcake ingredients and mix for 2 mins at medium speed.
- Using a large scoop (I use an ice cream scoop) fill each cupcake line 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small well in the center of each cupcake using a knife; I like to use an icing tip or apple corer, but a knife works well too.
- Whisk together sugar and eggs in a large microwave safe bowl. Add lemon juice, zest and butter and whisk until well combined.
- Cook in microwave on high at one minute intervals, stirring after each minute. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on your microwave. Lemon curd is done cooking when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Remove from microwave and cool completely.
- Spoon lemon curd into each hollowed out cupcake and top with buttercream.
- Drizzle lemon curd over buttercream, for optional garnish
- In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Slowly add salt, vanilla and lemon zest on medium low until smooth and combined (about 1), scrapping sides of bowl as necessary.
- Slowly add powdered sugar one cup at a time on low until combined, scrape sides of bowl.
- Add lemon juice and mix until well combined. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 1 min.
- If buttercream is too thick, slowly add heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.
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More Easter Cupcakes: