I started a tradition when my son Braden was in preschool, that I would bring in sugar cookies or cupcakes for his class on every holiday. Then my daughter Gemma started school the next year, and instead of 24 cupcakes it was 48 for every holiday! I could have stopped making them once they graduated preschool or kinder, but the expectation/standard had been set, and the kids and teachers loved them! 

Even though i’m usually up until midnight baking, frosting and decorating 4 dozen cupcakes, and then up until 3am cleaning my kitchen… the work is always SO worth it when I see how much my kids, and their school-friends love them.  It will be a sad day when they are too old for cute cupcakes like these!… 

…Except my husband loves them just as much as the kiddos do, and if I don’t save him one or two he gets SERIOUSLY offended! So really I don’t think my kids will ever outgrow cute cupcakes. Not when they taste this good!

Here’s my favorite go to cupcake recipe– don’t judge, I cheat and use a boxed cake mix because it’s quick and easy, (for when you’re making 50 cupcakes at midnight!) They’re also foolproof, and with a couple of simple modifications, they always come out big, light, fluffy and moist (ugh, can someone please tell me a good substitute for that ugly word? Thanks!) So here it is:

Ingredients: (makes 24)
Cupcake Liners
Cooking Spray
2 boxes cupcake mix of choice
Buttermilk (to replace water called for on box) x2
Olive oil (to replace canola oil) x2
2-3 Eggs (as called for on box) x2
(2 cups chocolate chips: optional).

Directions:
Preheat the oven according to box directions (usually 425degF for a dark cupcake pan). Spray with cooking spray and line with cupcake liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the mix with the buttermilk, olive oil, eggs and chocolate chips (if desired).

Using a 1/4 cup measurer, spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Bake according to box directions, plus 3-5 mins (cupcakes will be larger and will need slightly longer cooking time). Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the Vanilla frosting
(Recipe adapted from the Cake Boss)
2 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
5 cups powdered (10x) sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons lukewarm water  

Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk until smooth and creamy (2-3 mins).

For the bunny faces:
Coconut
regular sized marshmallows
pink dusting sugar
mini chocolate chips
Pink Jelly beans
Mini Marshmallows

Directions:
Frost each cupcake and cover in coconut.

Cut a regular sized marshmallow in half diagonally. With the sticky part exposed, dip into the pink dusting sugar. Add frosting to the base of the marshmallow and secure on to the cupcake. Make an indent in the middle of the cupcake with your pinky finger, dip a jelly bean into the frosting, then stick into the indented part. Stick two mini marshmallows below, then add the mini chocolate chip eyes above.

For the bunny butts:
Coconut
Large gum drops

Dip the gum drops in frosting then cover all over in coconut. Frost each cupcake then cover in coconut. Add some frosting to the back of the gumdrop and stick it to the center of the cupcake.

 

Happy Easter! <3 Sarah