Let me just start by saying that it’s not usually my thing to make cute artsy desserts that take a bajillion hours to decorate. But on the other hand – I MADE YOU A CUTE ARTSY DESSERT!! That did not happen to take a bajillion hours. Promise.
I think my aversion to really cute desserts is due to a few things. One, my lack of patience when it comes to finishing touches. I like cookies and brownies that are ready to eat when they come out of the oven, and actually get annoyed when I have to make a frosting for brownies. So then there’s cakes and cupcakes that require a significant amount of time to decorate once they’re out of the oven and I’m like – nuh uh. Not happening. I leave that fancy stuff to my favorite bakeries and hilarious and talented
bloggers like Amanda. Girl crush, right there.
Also, my household might lack the appreciation slash amusement that comes from cute baked goods. Maybe once Baby E is a little older I’ll start making more decorated treats for him and his buddies. Who knows.
So why did I make these Easter cupcakes, you might ask. For you! I felt kind of bad that I dropped the bomb on any fun St. Patrick’s Day food and I just had a little inkling that it might be fun to make some sort of fun spring dessert. And I have to admit – I am pretty dang proud of how these turned out. I mean just look at them!
They’re cute little cupcakes with cute little nests with cute little eggs in them! And seriously – they’re so dang easy, even I could make them.
I found the “grass” in the Easter section at Target, which is edible and green apple flavored. I really couldn’t taste a whole lot of green apple flavor, but rather more sugar. My mother-in-law pointed out that you could also dye shredded coconut green, which is just pure genius. The eggs, of course, are jelly beans. I bought larger ones that are pastel colored and speckled, which I think
makes them resemble eggs more than the small solid colored jelly beans.
So now that we’ve established that these cupcakes are just dang cute, here’s the real question: how do they taste? If you love lemon, you are going to L-O-V-E these. Even if you don’t love lemon, I think these could change your mind. They’re not INYOURFACE lemon, like lemon bars, but rather both the cupcake itself and the frosting are lightly lemon flavored with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice.
They’re lemony, but not overly lemony. I think lemon just screams spring, and these would be so cute for your Easter brunch or to make for your kids or coworkers for a fun treat. And if you really just don’t want to deal with the grass and
jelly beans – then don’t! Just make the cupcakes and frosting…the cupcakes themselves are worth the effort!
- For the cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- For the lemon buttercream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Candy grass or shredded coconut mixed with a couple drops of green food coloring
- Jelly Beans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.
- Add vanilla, and beat until combined.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture.
- Combine milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Slowly add into batter, until just combined.
- Scrape down the sides and make sure all is completely mixed.
- Evenly distribute among 12 cupcake liners.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting:
- Beat together butter and powdered sugar, until well combined.
- Add cream/milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla, beating until well combined.
- Add more milk if needed for desired consistency.
- Beat for another 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- To decorate:
- Frost the cupcakes either with a knife or by piping it on. Leave a little extra frosting for applying the jelly beans.
- Sprinkle with "grass", then use remaining frosting to stick jelly beans onto the grass. I just put a small bit of the frosting on the back of each jelly bean to ensure they stuck well.