On the other hand, I am sort of appalled by the bright artificial colors and blank stares of the little birds. And to be honest, coating a marshmallow in sugar isn’t my favorite way to eat it.
But when it came time to make a dessert for Easter, something about the quintessential Easter treats stuck in my head. I had gone through a long list of possibilities, from mini Easter baskets, to bunny rabbit cupcakes, to an Easter egg-shaped ice cream cake. But it was when I was at See’s Candies and came across their Hollow Eggs with Novelties that I finally figured out what to do. The Peep would be the star of the show.
You can use any cupcake and frosting recipes you want. Those aren’t important. For this project I used a banana cake recipe from Moms Who Think, along with a whipped cream frosting from Tasty Kitchen. I only made half a batch of frosting, though, because this project uses very little of it. The topping, meant to look like a bird’s nest, is made from crushed banana chips. See the Lessons section below for alternatives.
The key is to freeze the hollow chocolate eggs for a couple of hours before using them so that they don’t melt in your hands. They will also shatter better. Because you’re only using shards from the egg, one chocolate egg will be enough for three cupcakes. One box of six, then, will be enough for 18 cupcakes. I haven’t figured out what to do with the novelty white chocolate chicks that come with the eggs yet.
Your best cupcake recipe
Your favorite frosting recipe
8-12 See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelties
1.5 cups dried banana chips (unsalted)
24 Peeps Marshmallow Chicks
24 cupcake liners
- Freeze the hollow chocolate eggs for at least two hours.
- Bake the cupcakes, and prepare the frosting.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a knife to cut a shallow hole in the top of the cakes.
- Using an icing spatula, ring the cupcakes with frosting. Also put a dab of frosting in each hole you made.
- Using a food processor, finely chop the banana chips. It’s OK to have a big piece here and there. They add more crunch. Spread the banana crumbs on a plate.
- Invert a cupcake, and roll the rim in the banana crumbs. Imagine that you’re salting the rim of a margarita glass. Repeat for the rest of the cupcakes.
- Take the chocolate eggs out of the freezer, and unwrap them. Twist them at the seams, and they will shatter at into several pieces. Discard (eat) the novelty white chocolate chick inside.
- Arrange three shards of chocolate egg around the edge of each cupcake hole, using the frosting as glue. Leave one side open.
- Place a marshmallow Peep in the cavity formed by the eggshell, sticking the tail out of the side you left open. Repeat for the rest of the cupcakes.
- Using a small amount of frosting as glue, stick small shards of chocolate eggshell on the heads or tails of the Peeps.
This works equally as well for a generic “spring” dessert, but you’ll need to stock up on the hollow eggs, which are only sold during the weeks leading up to Easter. Buy a bunch of them during the post-Easter sale and save them in your freezer until next spring. Peeps may be difficult to find outside of Easter season, too. Graham crackers work just as well for the nest. I largely avoid artificial food dyes, though I made an exception in this case due to the theme of the project. To make grass for the topping, instead, put some shredded coconut in a zip top bag and add a few drops of liquid chlorophyll, shake it around to distribute the color, and use it to top your icing.