Birds' Nest Cupcakes

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tomorrow, we are heading to my mom's for an early dinner with my family to celebrate Easter. In addition to the cutout cookies, I wanted to make something else that fit in with the spring/Easter theme.

I had seen photos of birds' nest cupcakes, but the "nest" part was always made with toasted coconut or chow mein noodles. I wanted to make my nests with frosting. I made up a batch of buttercream and used one of my decorative frosting tips to swirl a little "nest" on the top of each cupcake. Topped with three peanut M&Ms as the eggs, these came out really cute (and tasty, too).

For the cupcake itself, I decided to try out a homemade confetti/funfetti recipe. The almond extract gives them a really nice flavor. Although totally different than the funfetti in a box, these were really good.

As you can see, I used Easter sprinkles in the cake to make it festive looking.

I did run into a bit of a problem with this cupcake recipe. The recipe states that it makes 12 cupcakes. When I divided the batter evenly among all of the cupcake liners, I noticed that they were really full. Against my baker's instincts, I decided to just go with it and trust the recipe. I thought perhaps they wouldn't rise too much.

Wrong. The cupcakes all overflowed, and as a result, I had really crispy edges, and really FLAT cupcakes. They were ridiculous looking. To decorate them, I ended up trimming off the overflowed edges, which worked out, but was a pain. So, in the end, the cupcakes didn't look the way I had hoped, but I was able to salvage them for this purpose.

Lesson learned! I have modified the recipe below... this will probably make about 18-20 cupcakes instead of 12. Just use your best judgment. Next time I make them, I wouldn't fill the cups more than 1/2 - 2/3 full.

Confetti Cupcakes
(Source: Slightly modified from Baking Bites)

- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 6 tbsp butter, soft
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (base amount on your preference)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg whites and extracts. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if you prefer to work by hand), combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir to combine.

4. Cut in butter with the paddle attachment at low speed (or cut in by hand), until mixture is coarse and sandy.

5. Add milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl and continue beating for 20-30 seconds. Stir in sprinkles.

6. Fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 - 2/3 full. Bake for for 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

Makes 16-20 cupcakes.


Jacki,  April 13, 2009 at 5:57 AM  

Those are so cute!

Happy Easter!

Vanessa April 14, 2009 at 4:45 AM  

These look amazing, Heather! Well done!

Anonymous,  September 2, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

I love these cupcakes!! My best friend is having a baby shower birds nesting is her theme...I would love to surprise her and make these for the shower. Could you give me the exact recipe and tools I would need to make the nest frosting. I would really appreciate it. my email is


Karmen December 13, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

These are exactly what I am looking for! I was wondering if you could send me the info for the "nest" part of the cupcake?? Thank you!

chris February 11, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

what tip did you use for piping the nest?

Surprisingly Single March 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM  

like the others, i am curious what tip you used to make the nest? i am hosting a baby shower and would appreciate any advice you could give me. my email is

amy March 11, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

Yeah I think the nests look really neat compared to some of the coconut ones you see. I'm also making cupcakes for a baby shower so if you could email me advice/tip details that would be great!

Heather March 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

To answer the question everyone seems to want to know... for the nests, I used tip #233. It's the one used for grass, hair, etc.

Have fun and good luck!

Kim @ March 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Very cute! A friend just sent a link to your blog to see if I could make these for her family for Easter! I love that you found a way to use icing instead of noodles!

Kim @
party inspiration

rb_flufz97 April 22, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

Heatherrr, they're beautiful (: (: do you think you could teach me and send me the recipe for the decoration on the top? <3 thanks lovely. (:

Anonymous,  April 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM  

i made these for this easter, and i was very disappointed. i love the design but the buttercream frosting recipe was not good. it didnt mix well with the wilton frosting color i used and it tasted like a glob of sugar. the cupcakes on the otherhand either came out crispy or were too moist. :(

Heather April 25, 2011 at 9:01 AM  

rb_flufz--Thanks! There is no recipe for the decoration on top--it is just icing and M&Ms. You have to use Wilton icing tip #233 to make the nests. That's all. Have fun!

Anonymous--I'm not sure how I can be held accountable for you not liking the icing, as I didn't post an icing recipe for these cupcakes. Also, if you read the post, I mentioned how the cupcakes all overflowed and came out crispy/flat for me, too. I'm sorry they didn't turn out the way you had hoped.

WaterBug April 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM  

Thanks so much for posting this! I had no idea about the tip that makes grass! Awesome info :)

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