The first four ideas are different and easy ways to decorate a plain cupcake. Click here for my favourite "go to" basic vanilla cupcake recipe.
Easter Chick Cupcakes
To make these easy Easter chick cupcake toppers you need these five fondant shapes - a circle the same size as the top of the cupcake for the head/body, two wings (instructions to make these below) and a small triangle for the beak. The small flower is optional. I made this using a small flower punch.
To make the wings, roll out a small piece of fondant, use a scalloped cutter to cut off a portion of the fondant then using a knife cut three of the scallops in to triangles.
Glue all of the pieces of the Easter chick together by using a small amount of apricot jam, lightly diluted with hot water. Use your fingertip to brush the diluted apricot on the underside of each fondant piece and put in place. I drew the eyes on with a black edible pen or your could push in two black sprinkles.
Either add a small dab of icing to the top of your cupcake or ice a big swirl and place your Easter chick topper on top. You're done!
To make these really easy but so effective fondant roses all you need is a small ball of fondant about the size of a marble. Roll in to a thin worm shape then press down and flatten with your finger tip. Then gently begin rolling in from one end. And there you have your wee rose bud.
Cut a scalloped fondant circle the same size as the cupcake and gently push your rose in to the centre. And you're done.
Birds Nest Cupcake
To make these easy birds nest cupcakes toast a small amount of shredded coconut on a piece of baking paper under your grill in your oven and ice a thin layer of chocolate icing of top of your cupcake.
Gently push the toasted coconut in to the rim of your cupcake.
Using a small icing nozzle (I used size 3) pipe circles of chocolate icing around the inside of the coconut to form the nest.
Place three small chocolate eggs inside the nest (I used Cadbury Mini Eggs which are lightly speckled like real birds eggs). And you're done.
As an alternative I made a small fondant bird by rolling a small egg shaped ball of light blue fondant, pinching it in slightly at the head. Then I cut a small diamond of yellow fondant and attached it as the beak and drew on the eyes with a edible black pen.
Upside Down Cupcakes
If fondant seems all too hard then simply take your cupcake out of its paper and place it upside down on a plate. Drizzle over chocolate ganache, melted chocolate or a thin chocolate icing and top with some Cadbury Mini Eggs. Easy peezy.
For an extra detail you could hollow out a wee hole in the top of the cupcake before icing, fill with a small Easter egg and sprinkles. Fill the top of the whole with cake again and ice as above.
This is an easy one for little kids to help with once you're passed the chocolate melting stage. Melt two family size bars of Milky Bar. I prefer to melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a boiling pot of water. Or you can use the microwave in short bursts. Which ever way you choose remember to keeping stirring to help the melting process and avoid burning.
Let the chocolate cool for a short while before mixing in two cups of mini marshmallows. The chocolate needs to be cool enough so the marshmallows don't melt. Pour the mixture in to a dish lined with baking paper and spread out evenly. Top with sprinkles and freeze for 20 minutes.
Remove from freezer and allow to return to room temperature before cutting in to squares. I also cut some in to egg shapes and popped in to self-sealing cellophane bags. Add a cute label and these would make gorgeous wee Easter gifts.
You could also play around with different toppings - crushed Oreo cookies, nuts, M&M's. Anything goes.
Meringue Birds Nests
A slightly different take/shape on a kiwi favourite. Make your favourite meringue recipe or you can try my old family favourite one:
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups castor sugar
1 dessertspoon cornflour
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar
Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar. Mix in cornflour. Mix in vinegar.
Preheat your oven to 150. Using a teaspoon, spread a small amount of meringue in a circle on a sheet of tin foil. I like the Mono Magic Foil which has a matte finish non-stick side. The size of your circle will be the size of your nest. Fill a piping bag with meringue and pipe around the inside edge of your circle. I went around three times. Bake for approx. 30 minutes.
Once cool gently remove from the tinfoil. Don't worry if the base breaks a little. It won't matter. Plate up your meringue nest. Fill the whole with fresh piped whipped cream and top with fresh fruit. I used Oob Organic Blueberries.
I also made a kids version with Cadbury Mini Eggs.
So there you have it - six easy Easter treats. I hope you see something you'd like to try to make this upcoming Easter. Or I'd love to hear if you have any easy Easter favourites you'd like to share too.
And finally, to redeem your Countdown $5 discount code at www.countdown.co.nz simply enter the code "YUM" upon checkout.
Thank you so much Countdown for asking me to take part in this fun Easter promotion x