Having grown up in California where the (Bunny) hid eggs nestled under the leaves of violets and primroses, and little girls had bonnets and little boys wore dress shirts with Peter Pan collars, I was determined for Nick’s first Easter Egg Hunt in Maine to be outside. The tradition continues in that neighborhood! Later we moved the hunt and brunch to a friend’s farm. The Bunny was diligent about disguising LLBean boot prints if there had been an early spring snow, sometimes walking backwards whilst swishing a pine bough. During peak years 100 children represented the gathering of friends and family: 15 – 20 eggs each = 1500 plus! The (Bunnies) did not disappoint; as kids got older the chocolate got better and eggs were filled with quarters. During this transition, hoping to inspire their teenaged boys, friends hid a golden egg containing a $100.00 bill in the woods behind their house: never found. Sometimes when I’m walking the path I still look.
I started making Nest Cupcakes for the annual brunch before Gus was born. After his diagnosis with Celiac Disease, they became GF. I hope you like them as much as we all do!
Easter Nest Cupcakes – 12 cupcakes
3/4 cup (6 oz.) sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup (6 oz.) GF flour mix (your, ours, Trader Joes)
3 tablespoons (1.5 oz.) coconut flour (sorghum or chestnut flour can be substituted)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk (not low-fat)
3/8 cup (3 oz.) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a cupcake pan or use stand alone paper cups.
2. Blend the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed until creamed and light in color.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to blend.
4. Combine the oil, coconut milk and vanilla extract in a 1 cup glass measuring cup and whisk to blend.
5. Add the dry and wet ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan or cups, not more than 2/3 full. Bake at 350 F for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cakes just begin to crack and are slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely before icing.
1/2 cup (4 oz.) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons GF flour mix
generous pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut milk (not low-fat)
1/2 cup – 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened, but still cool.
Green food coloring. I used India Tree Natural Colors (made from fruits and vegetables!) http://www.indiatree.com/Detail_Page.php?Category=NC&Subcategory=NC_Decorating_Colors&Name=Decorating_Colors&ID=208
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
50-60 jelly beans – Trader Joe’s surprised me with theirs: made in a tiny Irish candy factory of natural flavors – no preservatives – pretty colors 😉
1. Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a small heavy duty saucepan. Whisk to blend.
2. Add the coconut milk and whisk to incorporate. Cook, stirring frequently, over a medium heat until the sauce begins to boil – reduce heat and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough for you to seen the bottom briefly when you stir with a spoon.
3. Set aside to cool to just about room temperature, or stir over an iced water bath to hasten. The sauce should be slightly warm. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.
4. With the mixer set to medium speed, incorporate the butter a piece at a time. Beat at high speed until it’s completely blended and the icing is fluffy. Add the food coloring. If you’re using a natural plant based product you may need more than you’d expect. Take it easy, a drop at a time….
5. Using a pastry tube, ice the cooled cupcakes, dip in the toasted coconut, and place 3-5 jelly beans in the center of each one.
Good luck – have fun – enjoy!