Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Cupcakes!

Cake balls used to be something I made only at Christmastime, and rightfully so because they're a lot of work. But they're so cute and everyone likes them so much, I've decided I can't limit them to just one holiday. The themed cake ball possibilities are endless ... you can make them for any occasion! The last time I made them I made footballs for the Super Bowl, so I figured why not try Easter eggs for Easter?
The problem with making cake balls more than once a year is that they're a huge process. I typically take three or four days to complete all the steps in cake ball-making. I won't repeat the recipe because you can find it here in my football cake ball post, but I will walk you through the steps in photos.

This project was made slightly more complex by the fact that I was making my cake balls in order to decorate cupcakes. It was so much work, but so worth it!

Easter Egg Hunt Cupcakes
Step 1 (Day 1): Bake your cake; let cool.

As you'll recall from the football cake ball recipe, cake balls require just one box of cake mix (but they yield dozens of balls). To shave off some time in the ball-making process, I poured half of my prepared cake batter in an 8x8-inch square baking pan, and with the other half of the batter made 6 cupcakes. Given that I was making cupcakes anyway, this seemed like a stroke of genius.

Step 2 (Day 2): Roll your cake balls; let set.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the most painstaking step in the process, especially when you're trying to achieve a specific shape like I was with my Easter eggs. I'm sure that an easier way to do this would be to press the cake-frosting mixture into candy molds. And I fully intended to go to Michael's in search of Easter egg-shaped molds, but I never made it there. That'll be a note for next time.

Step 3 (Day 3): Bake another batch of cupcakes because your husband ate the first batch.

Ok, so I was planning to bake a second batch of cupcakes anyway because the 6 that came out of the first box wouldn't have been enough. But Bill really did eat 5 of those 6 original cupcakes. And it looks like he may have pilfered one of these, too!

Step 4 (Day 3): Dip and decorate your cake balls; let set.

I've always found the dipping of the cake balls to be the most difficult step because it's nearly impossible to get them evenly coated and smooth. So, yes, they look messy. But when I peeled them off the wax paper and nestled them on my cupcakes they looked quite cute. You'll see.

Step 5 (Day 4): Frost and decorate your cupcakes.

My plan was to nestle my Easter egg cake balls in a bed of coconut "grass" on top of my cupcakes. The photo turned out a little yellow, but my coconut actually looked really good! I learned that the secret to evenly coloring coconut is to squeeze a few drops of food coloring into a plastic container, then add the coconut, close it up and shake it vigorously. Never add the food coloring directly to the coconut because the portion that it hits will absorb it immediately, failing the evenly coat the remaining coconut.

I also added green food coloring to my can of vanilla frosting. After frosting all of my cupcakes, I dipped them in the colored coconut, gently rolling them to coat the edges.

Step 6 (Day 4): Finish the cupcakes off with a cake ball on top!

Ta da! Super cute Easter Egg Hunt Cupcakes! To make sure the eggs stayed in place, I dabbed a bit of frosting on the bottom before placing them on the cupcakes. And here's a helpful hint: if you accidentally take a little chunk out of a cake ball in the process of removing some of the excess chocolate around the edges, you can hide that imperfection with frosting!


  1. My mouth was literally watering reading this. And even moreso looking at the pics. The cake balls are dipped in melted white chocolate? This cupcake has just about everything I'd ever want in a cupcake-- the cake, frosting, coconut, MORE cake covered in melted white chocolate. I think this recipe needs a version for every holiday ever created. Including mail carrier's day, secretary's day, crossing guard's day.. I would definitely celebrate if these were involved :p

  2. I'm pretty sure I could come up with something for each of those "holidays" ...Cake balls shaped as postage stamps? Computer mice? Traffic lights? Gimme any theme and I've got a cake ball to go with it!