last minute Easter nest cupcakes

Not even one week left until Easter and I must admit, I haven’t had the chance to decorate yet. But I finally have a few days off. Time to clean up and decorate and to prepare for one of my personal highlights of the year: our annual Easter brunch. It’s something that – although it is so much work – I am looking forward to every year. The preparations usually take about three days minimum and at the end I am awfully tired, my feet hurt and the kitchen is a mess. Sometimes I fall asleep in my armchair after the brunch. But you know what? It’s worth it. Every time.

easter nest cupcake on a glass plate

So if you are like me and don’t have much time left, if you find yourself wondering what to make for your Easter brunch or afternoon tea: fret not! I have some last minute Easter nest cupcakes for you that will be quick and easy to make – and nobody will notice that you had to make them in a hurry. They are delicious and easily customizable and you can use what you find at the store or what you have at home. And they look festive and cute.

last minute easter nest cupcakes on glass plates

The ingredients are easy to get and you can choose whatever cupcake base and frosting you desire. You have your all-time-favourite cupcake recipe your great-grandmother passed on to you, for instance? Great, use it and turn your kitchen into a flour-dusted mess! That cake mix you still have in the pantry? Nobody will be able to tell the difference anyway! Use that box, mix your batter and scoop it into a 12-cup muffin tray to bake it. You don’t want to bake, at all? You don’t have to! Just buy some sweet mini muffins and use them instead. Chocolate, vanilla or raspberry-pistachio-truffle-champagne? You decide! Go nuts! Use whatever you crave and what you can get. For the frosting you should either choose a chocolate buttercream, a chocolate frosting or a smooth, stable frosting that you can dye with brown food colouring.

See? It’s that easy!

easter egg cupcake on a glass platter

The only thing you might want to order or buy asap – if you don’t have it already – is a grass/fur piping tip. (I am not getting paid for this link.) A freezer bag with a tiny hole cut into it will do the job as well, but it will take forever to form a nest like that.

last minute easter nest cupcakes on a glass platter by the window

So, since we have already stated that we don’t have much time left, we’ll dive right into it.

last minute easter nest cupcakes

last minute Easter nest cupcakes

Ingredients:

(yields 12)

  • 12 cupcakes of your choice without frosting (either homemade or storebought)
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate frosting or chocolate buttercream (again either homemade or storebought)
  • 36 mini eggs or candy eggs of your choice
  • sugar or candy flowers (optional)
other material:
  • a piping tip for grass and fur
  • a piping bag
easter egg cupcake
instructions:

Insert the piping tip into the piping bag and fill it with your favourite frosting. Pipe a circle of frosting or buttercream on top of your cupcake, then another circle directly on top of your first and repeat this step until you’ve build up a small nest-like cup. And the best part: you don’t have to be all too accurate. Because the little twigs of a bird’s nest most certainly aren’t arranged in a perfect circle.

Now fill your little nests with three mini eggs each and decorate with sugar flowers if you want to.

Done.

Didn’t see that coming, did you? I told you it would be simple and quick. You might even have the time now to try the recipe for my braided pesto bread with all that time you saved.

last minute easter nest cupcakes

If you enjoyed this recipe and still have two seconds left, don’t forget to like and subscribe and let me know if you gave it a try!

Happy Easter!

last minute easter nest cupcakes

homemade braided pesto bread

I’ve already mentioned it, but every year we invite our dearest friends – our family – to a decadent, lengthy and delicious Easter brunch. And while there are a few dishes I make every year, there are some things I tend to experiment with. And two years ago, I brought in something new that quickly became one of my favourites: homemade braided pesto bread.

braided pesto bread on a wooden board

For a long time, I’ve been intimidated by the thought of baking with yeast. And sure enough I’ve experienced some epic failures, but over time I’ve grown more confident working with it. And, I won’t deny it, a new oven that could actually hold a certain temperature helped tremendously.

braided pesto bread

This braided pesto bread is made with a mixture of all purpose flour and rye flour. That means it’s heartier and even a little healthier and it makes it actually easy to prepare. While most yeast-based breads and pastries lose their specific flavour and consistency while freezing, you can make this bread in advance and store it in a freezer until you need it.

In this recipe, I will use metric measurements for the dough ingredients because they are more precise and will give you the best results.

braided pesto bread

braided pesto bread recipe

ingredients

for the dough:

  • 160 ml lukewarm milk
  • 7 g (about 2 1/2 tsp) of active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200g all purpose flour
  • 100g wholegrain rye flour
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

for the basil-almond-pesto:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese (parmesan works as well, but has a different flavour)
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • another 4 tbsp grated pecorino cheese to sprinkle (optional)
Instructions

Mix the sugar, milk and dry active yeast until the yeast has dissolved and begins to foam. Then mix the all-purpose-flour, rye flour, salt and baking powder and add the salt and yeast mixture. Knead it thoroughly for at least 4 to 5 minutes using the dough hooks of your mixer or spend a little longer kneading it by hand. Form a ball, brush it with some olive oil (this step is optional) and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for about an hour at a warm place. Avoid draft.

In the meantime, mix all ingredients for your pesto – the basil, garlic cloves, pecorino cheese, ground almonds and olive oil – in your food processor until you have a smooth pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can use parmesan cheese if you don’t get pecorino, but it will change the taste. I personally prefer the salty flavour of pecorino over parmesan.

basil almond pesto with pecorino in a mortar

Of course you can also use any kind of store bought pesto as well, but trust me when I say that nothing beats homemade pesto.

basil almond pesto with pecorino

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it out on a surface dusted with flour until you have a rectangle of about 40×20 cm (16×8 inches). Spread your homemade pesto on the rolled out dough. If you want to go all out, sprinkle with the left four tablespoons of pecorino.

Roll the dough from the longer side, then cut the roll lengthwise into two halves while leaving the top end attached. Now braid both strands by crossing one end over the other several times.

unbaked braided pesto bread

Now you can either put your bread into a loaf pan or directly onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then cover your bread again with a kitchen towel and let it rise again at a warm place for about half an hour.

how to make braided pesto bread

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

After the bread has risen a second time, bake it in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it’s golden brown. Let cool and remove the bread from the loaf pan if you chose to bake it within a pan.

braided pesto bread

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