Pastel Bird’s Nest Cupcakes for you today! It is mind boggling to me that it’s April and we’re already in the fourth month of 2023?? Umm, please stop. Haha, thanks. But with Easter this weekend, I thought it’d be fun to play with some fun spring colors! Birds nest cupcakes are nothing new, but I just love how these turned out. I went for slightly darker pastels and added a tiny bit of cocoa powder to the batter, making these similar to a red velvet cake. They needed cream cheese frosting after that, which I flavored with a bit of coconut extract to go with the toasty coconut on top. So good! Is there any flavor that doesn’t go deliciously with cream cheese frosting? Probably not. I’m not going to think about it too hard.
These Pastel Bird’s Nest Cupcakes are super easy and such a fun weekend baking project. The batter comes together in one bowl, then is split into four and tinted with gel food coloring. I did four colors, and you can use whichever colors you’d like! The frosting is dreamy and the toasted coconut adds a nice little cronch when you take a bite.
Happy Easter weekend, friends!
More Easter Recipes
Pastel Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Pastel Velvet Cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Gel food coloring of your choice in four colors
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 9-oz bag Cadbury Mini Eggs
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, and milk. With an electric mixer, mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide batter among four bowls. (I used a ¼ cup cookie scoop to distribute the batter evenly.) Add a dab of food coloring to each bowl and stir. Add more food coloring until the desired color is reached. (For some colors, like the purple and teal, the color can look like a gray-ish sludge if there isn’t enough food coloring. Just keep adding small dabs until the color becomes a little more vibrant.)
- Scoop batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Filling them about ¾ full. (I had enough batter for three cupcakes in each of my four colors.) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cupcakes are set in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a couple of crumbs are okay).
- Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting & decorate:
- Cook coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until toasted and lightly golden brown. Remove from heat; transfer to a plate or bowl to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter; beat on medium to medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add cream, coconut extract, and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (ending with ½ cup) and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag. Workingo one at a time, pipe or spread frosting onto a cupcake, dip into toasted coconut or press coconut all over the frosting, and press a couple of mini eggs on top. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator; thaw to room temperature before serving.