Easy Easter Cupcakes–Two Ways

I used to teach a lot of classes – cake decorating, cookie decorating, cupcake decorating.  It was fun, for sure, especially teaching busy moms that they, too, could make really fanciful things using products that were ready to go.

For example, Pillsbury.

Pillsbury makes a huge assortment of products that make a busy parent’s life so much easier.  From cake mixes to canned icing, refrigerated cookies, brownies, you name it.  But those same busy parents tend to assume that cutting corners (such as using a box mix or a canned icing) means they can’t get bakery style results.

I have news.  You can.

In fact, I happen to know first hand that there is a cake shop that is on a television show that stocks rooms and rooms full of cake mixes and 5 gallon tubs of prepared icings.  And they use those in their bakery everyday, churning out results that make people oooh and ahhh.  So yes, frantic parent, you too can make a good looking cupcake for your child’s holiday party or birthday.  You just need to KNOW YOU CAN.

You CAN.

DO you need special equipment?  Mmmm, kind of.  But I bet you have $2.  Yes, a couple bucks is enough to go buy a piping bag and a tip for it.  That’s truly all you need.  You can pick this up at a craft store or Wal-Mart – just grab it your next trip out.  SO easy, and reusable…so why not?  Do it.

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What I did for these easy Easter cupcakes was take the same products and do two different designs. One is a little more kid friendly, with brighter colors, and one is geared more towards the adults, with more subdued colors but still very Eastery. My kiddo loved them both, and my parents had no issue at all scarfing down the kid versions, so I’m pretty sure it’s a win-win either way.

To start, I baked up a dozen cupcakes using the Pillsbury mix in a bright orange color just to keep it spring like and fun. It’s still vanilla, but because of the orange color, I mixed in some orange zest and orange juice instead of the water the mix called for.  It made the cake just a little more zippy and just perfect for what I wanted to achieve!  Pillsbury mixes are very adaptable…feel free to add extracts you love to change up the flavors.  Try cherry, root beer, lemon, even coffee extracts to make these mixes just what you want!  After baking, I allowed my cupcakes to cool and then got to icing them with Pillsbury icing. 

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You can buy so many varieties of Pillsbury icing, but I went with a vanilla that came with sprinkles in the lid.  Score!  You can use these to top your cupcakes if you like, or, you can buy any sprinkles or sugars you want to top your creations.  Just make sure you have some!

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I started by using a simple butter knife and “mom icing” each cupcake with a thin layer of the frosting.  I say “mom icing” v=because I know you know what I’m talking about – the standard dip and swirl we all grew up with!  Just get a coating on there so that the sprinkles have something to stick to.  How?  Easy.  Just roll the edges of each cupcake in a bowl of sprinkles – they will stick and NO MESS.  It couldn’t be simpler.  From there, you can go one of two directions.

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One: The grown up way.  I used a more monotone sprinkle for the adult cupcakes, then piped more icing on top of that using the grass tip and a piping bag.  I thought that seemed appropriate and kind of like grass for an Easter basket.  So – that’s what I did.  Beyond that – I added some chocolate eggs to top it all off.

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Option Two:The kiddo way.  I used fun springtime sprinkles full of color for these cupcakes.  Again, I just rolled the iced cupcakes in the sprinkles, then piped on top of that.  This time I used a large star tip in the piping bag, adding a good sugar-filled dollop of frosting that every kid will appreciate.  On top of that, more chocolate eggs and a few more sprinkles.  Done!

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Could I have taken these cupcakes farther?  Sure.  I could have made full on Easter baskets, done some crazy piping, added fondant or more. But what I wanted to accomplish was showing those busy folks out there that you CAN make something fun and professional looking using store bought products.  Pillsbury makes it so easy for you, all you have to do it give it a go.

So…hopefully this weekend you and your little ones can spend some quality time together in the kitchen making these fun cupcakes and decorating eggs.  Have a great time, and enjoy each other!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pillsbury.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.