We’re hosting a little Easter lunch/playdate this week, so I wanted a cute dessert to serve. Cupcakes are one of my favorite things to make, and I got in my head that I wanted to make them look like bunnies. There are a ton of cute bunny cupcakes on Pinterest, but most of them either use ingredients that my kids don’t like such as coconut and marshmallows (I know, my kids can be a tough crowd!), OR things that I didn’t have on hand. I also thought it would be nice if Henry and Charlotte could help with the decorating because they’ve been getting more and more into that lately. Since I’ve always loved baking, it’s a hobby that I fully encourage!
These funny bunny cupcakes are the result of some creativity and my baking cabinet! I used white and pink melting wafers to create the bunny ears and pastel Easter M&Ms to make the eyes and nose. While I made the ears after the kids were asleep the night before, I’m sure older kids could help with this step. Henry (5-1/2) and Charlotte (4) loved gently pressing the ears into the cupcake and picking out the M & Ms and adding them to the face. I’m calling these “Funny Bunnies” because they’re certainly not perfect, but Charlotte’s reaction when I showed her the one I made as a test run was just perfect. She laughed and laughed. Definitely made the late night of melting after their bedtimes worth it.
I made these cupcakes using my go-to “doctored” cake mix recipe. If you’ve been to a birthday party within the past 4 years at my house, you’ve likely had these cupcakes. I have plenty of from scratch recipes that I love, but when I’m spending the extra time decorating cupcakes and just want a quick and easy base that I know we all love – this is the one I use.
“Doctored” Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Bake 24 cupcakes according to your favorite box mix directions but with these substitutions!
- Replace water with milk
- Replace oil with melted butter
- Add one extra egg
- Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter
Note: I typically use Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist French Vanilla
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- 4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until combined.
Once the butter and sugar have come together, add the vanilla and 1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Add 1-2 more Tablespoons of milk until you get the desired consistency. You don’t want it too stiff, but you also don’t want it to be runny. Beat for another 2 minutes so that it’s light and fluffy.
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- 1 bag of white candy melting wafers
- 1 bag of pink candy melting wafers
- 1 bag pastel Easter M&M’s
While the cupcakes are baking (or anytime beforehand), melt the white candy wafers. I usually add them to a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power for 1 minutes. Stir and then heat an additional 30 seconds as needed until candy is smooth and melted through.
While the candy is melting spread a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board or baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator.
Spoon the melted candy into a decorating squeeze bottle like THIS one, or just use a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in a corner. (I have the bottle but was feeling lazy and just used a baggie this time.)
Squeeze out the melted white candy onto the parchment paper making small ovals or bunny ear shapes. Fill in the centers to make them solid white shapes. Make at least 2 ears per cupcake. (You might want a few extra in case they break.)
Place the baking sheet or cutting board in the refrigerator to harden.
Repeat the melting process with the pink wafers and place in a bottle or plastic bag.
Remove the white ovals from the refrigerator. And create smaller pink ovals on top of the white to be the inside of the ears.
Place inside the refrigerator for a few minutes until they’re hard and can be easily removed from the parchment paper.
If you’re decorating right away, take directly from the parchment paper. If you’ll be decorating at a later time, you can place the candy ears in an air-tight container until you’re ready.
To assemble the cupcakes, spread buttercream frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. (I used a round piping tip, but you could also just spread using a knife or spatula.)
Gently press two ears toward the top of the cupcake and then use 3 M&M’s to create the eyes and nose. (We went with one pink for the nose and 2 blue, green, purple or yellow for the eyes. I think blue and green look the best.)
And that’s it! I have other activities planned for my kids and their cousin, so we did the decorating ahead of time. But this could be a fun activity for kids to do themselves at an Easter party.
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