Earn Serious Bunny Points, and Make Easter Basket Cupcakes

These Easter Basket Cupcakes are almost too much fun. Seriously! And it’s hard to believe that every single thing that you see here is edible! Even down to the “dirt”.  This one takes a little bit of an artsy eye but once you get to splattering chocolate onto those candy eggs, you’ll feel like the Easter Bunny himself.  And speaking of hoppin’ into sweet goodness, today we are featuring some uh-mazing virtual bloggers making sweet and savory Easter greats.  Earn some serious bunny points, and try these irresistible recipes.


Now, here’s how to create these super sweet and fun cupcakes.

You’ll need to buy some mini candy eggs for this one. Get a big bag, because, trust me, at least a few will be sacrificed in the name of quality control.  You have a few options for the mini eggs and coloring them: either use cocoa powder, black dutch cocoa powder or brown food coloring with a dab of vanilla extract.  All of these combinations will do the trick.  I used The Cocoa Trader, Black Dutched Cocoa Powder.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Amp up your game with some chocolate chip cupcakes from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Bakery in New York. This gal really inspires me! She keeps it so real and puts sentiment and down-home baking above Escoffier and tradition. These cupcakes boast just enough chip to get you some serious brownie points with chocolate chip cookie dough lovers as it claims the classic chip’n’vanilla combo.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

To give these easter basket cupcakes that speckled look, mix a little vanilla with your cocoa powder to create a chocolate “paint.” Then, brushing the concoction against your finger, you can flick the chocolate a la Jackson Pollock so that it splatters onto the candy.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

I went with pastel blue for my easter baskets, but you can just easily go with pink or green – whichever your little bunnies will enjoy the most.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

With your off-set spatula, make a little indent in the center of your frosting so you can drop in a little “dirt.” This cocoa crumb reminds me of brownie bits that are buttery and delicious.  It is essentially cocoa powder, flour, and butter that get baked together to make chocolate crumbs. Dee-lish, right?

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Then top each one with a few of your artfully decorated little easter eggs.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

I kept some without the dirt and speckled the frosting instead.  My youngest, Liam, is a purist and wants the frosting plain as day.  I guarantee he will omit the eggs, but can’t blame a mom for gussying up the baskets, right?

Easter Basket Cupcakes

These Easter Basket Cupcakes are a guaranteed hit. Kids (of any age!) will love them and you’ll look like the super mom that you are. Happy Easter!

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Virtual Blogger List:

The Road to Honey, Chocolate Mini Easter Egg Brownies


Instagram: @the_road_to_honey

Beyond Mere Sustenance, Maple Bacon Deviled Eggs


Instagram: @beyondmeresustenance

Girl Heart Food, Mini Egg Chocolate Bundt Cake 


Instagram: @dawn.girlheartfood

No Spoon Necessary, Spring Roasted Carrot Noodle Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette


Instagram: @nospoonnecessary

Seasons and Suppers, Lemon Curd Pavlova 


Instagram: @seasonsandsuppers

Beer Girl Cooks, Blood Orange Wheat Ale Pound Cake with Blood Orange Glaze


Instagram: @beergirlcooks

Salt & Lavender, Easter Mini Egg Cookie Bars


Instagram: @saltandlavender 

Keviniscooking, Ham and Cheese Scones


Instagram: @keviniscooking

Sugarhero, Marbled Easter Egg Truffles


Instagram: @elabau

Seasonal Cravings, Spring Green Salad with Asparagus


Instagram: @seasonal_cravings 

Meg is Well, Angel Food Cupcakes with Compote Filling


Instagram: @megiswell

From Scratch Mostly, Easter Hazelnut Meringue Layer Cake 


Instagram: @fromscratch_mostly 

Contemplating Sweets, Cookie Cutter Chocolates 


Instagram: @contemplatingsweets


Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Easter Basket Cupcakes

By TheSweetNerd  

March 19, 2018


Chocolate Crumble ("Dirt")

2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Vanilla Buttercream

3 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt


Cadbury Eggs Speckled


Chocolate Crumble ("Dirt")

1Heat the oven at 300 degrees. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.

2Spread the clusters on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. Store in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1Heat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high again for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.

2On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous. Don't rush the process. You're basically forcing too much liquid into an already fatty mixture that doesn't want to make room for the liquid. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you see any lumps of cake flour in there while you're scraping, mix for another 45 seconds.

4Spray a quarter sheet pan with cooking oil spray and line it with parchment, or just line the pan with a Silpat. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. Give the bottom of your sheet pan a tap on the countertop to even out the layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cake batter.

5Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer by jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn't pass these tests.

6Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer. The cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.

Vanilla Buttercream

1In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Start with the mixer at the lowest speed, then gradually increase the speed, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl as needed, until the butter is light in color, is perfectly smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This should only take 30 seconds, but if the butter is cool, it can take a couple of minutes.

2Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix at the lowest speed until it’s fully incorporated before adding the next cup. When all the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat at low speed for 15 seconds. Increase the speed to as high as you can without making a mess, and whip the buttercream until it is perfectly smooth, creamy, and light, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bowl and paddle, then continue beating. At first the buttercream will appear to soften, then it will stiffen and increase in volume.

3Use right away, or store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it, let the buttercream come to room temperature, then put it back in the stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to beat it until it’s creamy and stiff again.


1Mix 2 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder with 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Using a paintbrush, flick the tip so that the mixture speckles the Cadbury eggs. Add drops of blue food coloring to the vanilla buttercream. Ice the cupcake with the vanilla buttercream, sprinkle with chocolate crumble and then place three eggs on top.


Easter Basket Cupcakes


  • These are super adorable and my kiddos would go crazy for them. I especially love that there are chocolate chip cupcakes under there! My favorite!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      I am a chip fan too! My kids loved anything chocolate, so hopefully this will go over well for your ‘big’ kids too.

  • 5 years ago

    So adorable and SO creative. And going that extra step to splatter the eggs with the chocolate. I love it. Thanks Cindy!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Yes, get the kids in the splatter game, they will love it!

  • So cute and what a great Easter treat! I’d definitely earn serious bunny points for making these 🙂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Bunny points can equal buy great things my friend! I am hoping that bunny points will get me into Nordstrom this year! HA. No really, thanks for the sweet comment.

  • These are absolutely adorable Cindy! So fun for the kids for Easter. Love the video. These would definitely be a hit on the Easter dessert table! I saw a few of your pics from your TRI this past weekend! Congrats! Such an accomplishment.! You should be so proud of yourself! Woot woot!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Thanks so much Mary Ann. I feel a little tired, but it was such a great cause that I am just happy I got it done! Whew.

  • These bring me back to those worm mud cupcakes I used to love when I was little only SO MUCH BETTER! I would have so much fun going all Jackson Pollack on those eggs!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Right? There is something incredibly cathartic about flicking paint (or vanilla and cocoa). I am hopeful you won’t have to wear any scratchy dresses this Easter!

  • So fun! Love those mini eggs too and could eat by the handful so I have to restrain myself 🙂 If your son is a purist and rather them not on the frosting, that just means more for you 😉 These definitely earn bunny points!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Thanks Dawn. Yes, my kiddos kill me sometimes when they retort, “Uhhh, no thanks I will skip the frosting!” Whhhhaaaat? Fine, more for me, eh?

  • I would love to wake up and find these cupcakes in my basket! They are absolutely adorable!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Awww thanks. They were super fun to make. OMG, I was gushing over your blood orange pound cake. Still licking my chops.

  • Oh my gawsh, girlfriend, I just LOVE all your desserts!! They are always so fun and sooo stinkin’ cute!! These cupcakes are just fabulous! I’m kinda obsessed with that “dirt”! And those little eggs! And, I mean, to top it all off these are CUPCAKES! YESSSSS!!! Is it bad I want to eat a dozen of these for breakfast!? LOVE IT! Pinned! Cheers!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      No not bad at all. “Bad” would be NOT eating breakfast. Don’t you know that is the most important meal of the day? So I say, as long as you eat breakfast, all is well in the world!

  • Yep – to find these in my Easter basket would make me one happy lady! These are almost too adorable to eat! Almost! 😉

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      I chuckled with the “almost.” I agree, these make me smile too! Thanks for always leaving such sweet comments.

  • Holy cow! These little guys are just so cute! And look SO delicious! I’ll probably have to buy two bags of the mini eggs though 🙂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      That is funny. Me too. I love mini eggs and splashing some vanilla and cocoa on them just made me feel like I was ‘entitled’ to eat them all. YIKES.

  • Ohhh I just love these! I always get excited when I see cupcakes, and these are just too cute. Perfect for Easter. I love the animation too!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Thanks Natasha. I think we should have a cadbury egg party as we both found some awesome uses for them! Cheers –

  • These are ALMOST too cute to eat! 😉

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Shucks. I wish I had thought of that. I ate them all! Thank Kevin for the sweet commenting. Now, I am off to make some awesome scones.

  • These are so adorable!! I am getting some ideas here for a dinner party on the Easter weekend. I can eat that chocolate dirt by the handfuls.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Right? “Dirt never hurt” is what my momma always told me. No really, I am a C.Tosi fan, and I love her crumble add-ons.

  • 5 years ago

    These are sooo cute down to the edible “dirt”! Thanks for all the other blogger reccos. Will have to check them out!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      You are so welcome! Edible dirt is underrated…. it is like your cupcake took a brownie bath. YUM!

  • 5 years ago

    These cupcakes are sooo cute! and fun to make with the kids! love these!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Shucks, thanks Gaila. My kiddos loved them – I even put one inside a secret compartment in the refrigerator for after the kids went down, and they found it. Buggers! Ha.

  • Kendall
    5 years ago

    Everything you make is so adorable! These cupcakes are especially great because they seem like something I can for sure do! Yummmmm

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      I am a sucker for chocolate chips. If you like chocolate, you are me are insta-friends! Please post any pictures if you make them, ok?

  • 5 years ago

    Having raised 4 sons (and now gramma to 2 grandsons), I have to chuckle at the dirt… These are such a fun and festive treat for Easter and springtime! I love your creativity Cindy!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 years ago

      Thanks Tamara. Dirt don’t hurt is what I tell the kids! HA. Wow, you don’t look like a grandma and boy I bet your family LOVES their grandma’s cooking. Lucky guys.

  • 5 years ago

    I always wondered how people did the speckled look! Cocoa powder and vanilla extract huh? Love the touch it adds!

  • These are so darling! Finally a use for mini eggs that doesn’t involve me throwing them down my gullet by the handful! 😛 They look so delicious.

  • These cuppies are the cutest. I love how you took those plain old Cadbury eggs and jazzed them up with the cocoa powder. I’m definitely going to have to remember that for next year. This would be such a fun project for the kiddos too (but I can only imagine the mess 😉 )

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