These Easter cupcakes look like vanilla cupcakes until you cut them open and discover a surprise Easter bunny inside!
They look super impressive, but you’ll see that it’s easy to learn to make this adorable Easter dessert!
Imagine the look of delight on someone’s face when they break open an Easter cupcake and find a bunny inside! These Easter cupcakes will brighten anyone’s day.
You can use any flavor of cupcake to make these Easter cupcakes, but I suggest you pick a light color so that the bunny stands out. I make from-scratch vanilla cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting.
How to Make Easter Cupcakes
The trick to making these Easter cupcakes is learning the technique for making the hidden bunny inside.
To make the hidden bunny, start with a combination of frosting and cake. It’s what Amanda calls “cake mixture.” Tip: I bake a single cupcake before I bake the rest of the cupcakes and use that cupcake for the cake mixture.
In addition to the crumbled cupcake and frosting, I add freeze dried strawberry powder to my cake mixture. This makes it more red and also kicks up its strawberry flavor. (If you don’t like the look of the seeds, you could also use red food coloring.)
To create the powder, use a food processor to pulverize freeze dried strawberries.
To create the bunny shape, you need to make something that looks like the picture below to place in each cupcake.
True, this looks nothing like a bunny. We have to think in three dimensions. If you take this ball with a bowl on top of it and slice it down the middle, you end up with a bunny.
If you don’t believe me, grab some Play-Doh and try it yourself. I am seriously challenged in three-dimensional thought and I had to break out the Doh when my husband explained how this shape ends up looking like a bunny.
To make the surprise bunny inside the Easter cupcakes, fill cupcake liners just 1/3 full with your cupcake batter. Then, place the ball and bowl shape exactly in the middle of the batter. As you see below, it should rise slightly over the batter.
Place a small dollop of batter into the bowl you made. This ensures that there will be cake between the bunny’s ears. Then, fill the rest of the cupcake batter, 3/4 of the way to top of the liner.
Important Tip: I highly recommend that you do one or two test cupcakes to get the knack of this before baking all of the batter. It can take some tweaking to make the bunny the perfect size and to get the batter to rise just the right amount.
Other Easter Cupcake Ideas
When I think of Easter cupcakes, I think of light cupcakes and festive spring flavors. Some of my favorite Easter cupcakes are:
- Carrot cupcakes (I top mine with cream cheese frosting and a candied carrot curl.)
- Angel food cupcakes with fresh berries
- Lemon cupcakes
- Easter egg cake (This is Easter cake baked in real egg shells! It’s a lot of work, but so impressive!)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour not self-rising
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup canola oil you can also use vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract use pure, not imitation
- 2/3 cup whole milk room temperature
Strawberry Frosting Ingredients
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries finely ground in a food processor
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cake Mixture Ingredients
- 1 baked cupcake
- 2 teaspoons strawberry frosting from above
- freeze-dried strawberries ground in a food processor, as needed - up to 1/2 ounce
Cupcake Instructions, Part One
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
- Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)
- Fill a single cupcake liner just over 1/2 full. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if it's done. It's done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cupcake should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. It should not turn a golden brown. If it is not done, test again in two minutes. If it is still not done, test again in another two minutes. When the cupcake is done, remove it immediately from the tin and leave it on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.
- Fill the remaining cupcake liners 1/3 full with batter. There should still be some batter left over.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (about three minutes at high speed).
- Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time.
- Mix in strawberry powder and salt.
- Cake Mixture Instructions
- Remove cooled baked cupcake from the liner and break into crumbs.
- Mix crumbs with 2 teaspoons of the frosting until it forms a Play-Doh-like consistency.
- Mix in the strawberry powder until the cake mixture becomes a color that you like.
Cupcake Instructions, Part Two
- Rip off pieces of the cake mixture and sculpt into the shape illustrated in this post - a small ball with a bowl on top that is just big enough to rise slightly above the batter.
- Place the ball/bowl shape in the center of each filled cupcake liner.
- Fill each bowl with a small dollop of batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
- The cupcake batter should have risen enough to completely hide the bunnies.
- Remove cupcakes from the tin and set on a cooling rack or the counter to cool.
- Pipe strawberry frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
- Serve with a knife and instructions to cut each cupcake open down the center. If people just bite quickly into the cupcakes, they will miss the surprise!