Bunny Ear Cupcakes

Earlier this week I showed you how quick and easy it is to create Sprouting Carrot Cupcakes and today I am showing you a fun companion cupcake to go with them, Bunny Ear Cupcakes.

For these cupcakes I decided to make coconut cupcakes, since it is a popular flavor for Easter, topped with cream cheese frosting (my favorite frosting flavor). I then sprinkled the top of the frosting with sweetened shredded coconut.  If you are not a fan of coconut, or, just want to make something a bit quicker and simpler you could opt to make a white or yellow box cake mix into cupcakes and then top it with store bought vanilla frosting and instead of topping the cupcakes with coconut opt for white sprinkles.

Using kitchen shears I cut large marshmallows in half on the diagonal. I then dipped the cut side in a small bowl I filled with pink sanding sugar. And voila, bunny ears.

Next, I placed the marshmallow bunny ears on to the cupcakes.

And there you have it, Bunny Ear Cupcakes. While I decided to stop with the ears, sometimes less is more, you could decorate these cupcakes further by using chocolate chips for the eyes and rolling a small ball of marshmallow in the pink sanding sugar for a nose.

Coconut Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 Cupcakes
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Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract*

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk**

7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut***, plus more for topping cupcakes

*If you want a stronger coconut flavor, substitute the almond extract with coconut extrac

**I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own buttermilk. To do so, add 4 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup, then fill it with enough milk (I’ve used 2% and whole milk) to reach 1 cup. Stir it a few times then let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The buttermilk is ready when it begins to curdle. For this recipe since I only needed 1/2 cup of buttermilk, I used 2 1/4 teaspoons of vinegar and added enough milk to my measuring cup to reach 1/2 cup.

***I used about a 1 1/2 cups of coconut

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer beat the butter and sugar together on high spend until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scraping the bowl as needed between each addition. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and continue mixing until everything is well incorporated.

In a separate medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined and then fold in the shredded coconut.

Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake tin, filling the batter to the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled top with frosting.

Recipe modified from Food Network

 

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 8oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

 

 

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I bought a bag of sweetened shredded coconut a while back and kept changing my mind as to what I wanted to make with it. Initially I bought it to make Coconut Macaroons for Easter, but, after making a Carrot Cake I opted not to make them. I then came across a recipe for Coconut Almond Macaroons that sounded yummy, but, I soon changed my mind on making them. And then I saw a recipe for an Apricot Coconut Cake that sounded amazing, but, while flipping through my recipe binder I discovered a Coconut Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing recipe that I had ripped out from the September 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine and I immediately settled on what I wanted to use that bag of shredded coconut for.

To begin I assembled all of my ingredients for the cupcakes together: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & buttermilk.

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And you can’t have Coconut Cupcakes without the coconut…

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While the recipe calls for sifting the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt – together after creaming the sugar and butter together, I opted to do this first this way it didn’t interrupt the flow of making my batter.

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I then creamed together the butter and sugar until the mixture was light and fluffy – per the directions.

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While the butter and sugar were mixing I got my eggs ready. I used to just crack my eggs right into my batter, but, after having to fish out egg shells once or twice I decided cracking them into a separate bowl is a better idea and it also makes the process of adding them to the batter a lot quicker.

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After adding in the eggs and the vanilla & almond extracts the batter was now ready to come together with the addition of the flour mixture and the buttermilk. I added them by alternating between the two – beginning and ending with the addition of the flour mixture.

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And then it was time to fold in the coconut. The recipe only called for half of the 14 ounce bag which was approximately 1 cup.

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Then the fun part… Scooping the batter into the paper lined muffin tin. The recipe called for filling the liners to the top with the batter – this is the one thing I would do differently next time I make these. By filling them so much the tops of the cupcakes were enormous.

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After baking for about 30 minutes there were ready to come out of the oven. Ultimately I ended up with 23 cupcakes.

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Once they cooled it was time to make the frosting.

I started off by blending together butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and almond extract.

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While the recipe called for 1 1/2 pounds of sifted confectioners’ sugar I decided to only use 1 pound this way it wouldn’t be too sweet. I tried to take a shortcut and sift the powder right into my mixing bowl – definitely won’t do that again. I ended up with sugar all over my counter.

After mixing for a few minutes the frosting was nice and smooth and ready to be spread onto the cupcakes.

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Once I frosted the cupcakes I sprinkled each of them with a little shredded coconut. These cupcakes were amazing! Definitely a recipe I will be making again. And since I still have about half a bag left of the shredded coconut I am sure I’ll be making one of those other recipes I mentioned earlier soon.

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Coconut Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Food Network Magazine September 2012

Makes 18 to 20 Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces coconut.

4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

5. Make the cream cheese icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment blend together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

6. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.