Easter has some of the most colorful candies and decorations of any holiday. Some holidays, like Halloween and Christmas, are deeply connected to specific colors. Easter is a little bit of a free-for-all when it comes to colors, thanks to the fact that it falls in the springtime when flowers are starting to bloom and fresh fruit is starting to fill up store shelves. The bright colors attracted me when I was a kid and they still appeal to me now, so I like to use a little extra color when making my own Easter creations.
These Easter Egg Nest Cupcake Toppers were inspired by some craft projects I saw at a local craft store. They’re easy to make, totally edible and are a great way to infuse color and Easter flair into some holiday baked goods. The toppers are made with royal icing, which is dyed green and piped into faux “grass” nests. Tucked into the nests are trios of brightly colored jelly beans, standing in as Easter eggs. They’re easy to make and have a long shelf life, so you can keep them on hand throughout the Easter season to use any time you need a quick decoration for a cake or cupcake. Here’s how to make them:
Once you have your Royal Icing made, take out about a cup of it (more if you want larger nests or a bigger batch) and add green food coloring to it. I prefer to use gel food coloring for a more vivid color and will use about 1/4 tsp of color. You might need more if using a liquid food coloring. Stir the color in well, then transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a small tip or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off.
Place a sheet of parchment on your work surface (a counter or sheet pan) and pipe circles of frosting that are 1/2 – 1 -inch in diameter. They don’t have to be neat, since these are the bases of the nests and will be covered up. Place three jelly beans upright on the circle of frosting (larger jelly beans may require larger circles; I used Jelly Bellys).
Once all your jelly beans are in place, pipe some vertical lines of “grass” all around the edge of the circle to fill in the nests and conceal the bottoms of the jelly beans. Once all your nests are piped, allow them to air-dry overnight until they are hard. At this stage, they should come right off the parchment and can be stored in an airtight bag until you’re ready to use them.
Although I put my cupcake toppers on white frosting so that they would stand out for this picture, I highly recommend coating your cupcakes with green coconut “grass” to blend in with the cupcake toppers and make your desserts even more festive.