Although I originally made these nest cupcakes to share with family and friends for Easter, I think they are cute for the entire spring season.
To start, bake cupcakes using your favourite recipe or box mix. I used the Super Moist French Vanilla Cake Mix by Betty Crocker. Once your cupcakes are done baking, let them cool. I filled my cupcakes with a yummy pudding filling. You can definitely skip this step if you want to keep things simple. For the filling, I made one pack of Vanilla Instant Pudding & Pie Filling by JELL-O and added a few drops to red and blue food colouring to make the pudding a nice purple colour to go with the spring theme. Follow the directions on your pudding box and let it set in the refrigerator for the appropriate amount of time, you don’t want it to be too runny.
While your cupcakes are cooling and your pudding is in the fridge you can create the nests. Begin by lining some baking sheets with parchment paper. To create the nests you will need a bag of pretzels (preferably unsalted) and a bag of chocolate chips. I used the double boiler method to melt my chocolate, but you can use any method you feel comfortable with. A double boiler consists of a pot placed on top of another pot of simmering water. The top pot should not not touch the water, but creates a seal with the bottom pot to trap the steam produced by the simmering water. Begin by filling a small pot with some water and put it over heat. Once the water is simmering you will place a second pot on top of the first pot (without it touching the water) and place a bag of chocolate chips into the top pot. Continuously stir the chocolate chips until they are completely melted and then stir in the bag of pretzels. It is alright if you break the pretzels as you are stirring them, because the pieces of a nest are never uniform. Using a wooden spoon, (a small ice cream scoop would work too) place spoonfuls of the chocolate covered pretzels on the parchment paper to create the nests. You may need to use your hands to help shape the nests. Quickly add chocolate eggs or marshmallow Peeps to the nests before the chocolate hardens. Put the nests off to the side and let the chocolate harden.
When your cupcakes have cooled, created a hole in the center of each cupcake using a cupcake corer or a similar tool. If you do not have a cupcake corer, you can always use a knife.
Next, I filled a piping bag with the pudding and filled all of the cupcake holes. If you do not have a piping bag, you can always make one out of a plastic bag, or you can just use a spoon to fill the cupcakes.
Next, I iced the cupcakes using Creamy Deluxe French Vanilla icing from Betty Crocker. I iced one cupcake at a time and then added a nest to the fresh icing, so the nest would stay in place. If you ice all of the cupcakes first and then place your nests they will not stick as well.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post on how to create some cute spring-themed nest cupcakes. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments.