Easter Basket Cupcakes

What You Need:

  • 1 box (7 ounces) waffle bowls (10 to a box)
  • Aluminum foil cut into ten 8-inch squares
  • Baking sheet
  • Electric mixer and large mixing bowl
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flavoring
  • Rubber spatula
  • Buttercream Frosting (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 to 3 drops green food coloring
  • Assorted jelly beans
  • 10 strawberry-flavored Twizzlers (9 1/2 inches long)

What You Do:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. With your child, wrap the outside of each waffle bowl in an 8-inch aluminum foil square, carefully tucking the edges of the foil just inside the top of the bowl. Remind her to be careful with the bowls! Place the bowls on a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Have your child help put the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, egg whites, and coconut flavoring in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.
  5. Your child can now help you fill each bowl with a heaping 1/2 cup of batter. Place the baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger (not your child's finger!), about 24 to 27 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Gently peel off the aluminum foil and allow the bowls to cool to room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream frosting if you're making it yourself.
  9. Once the cupcakes and bowls have cooled, it's time to assemble the baskets!
  10. Place the flaked coconut in a plastic bag with 2 drops of the green food coloring.
  11. Give the bag to your child and tell her to shake it until the coconut turns green. If the color isn’t strong enough, add another drop of color, and shake again.
  12. Have your child 2 heaping tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake while you spread it out smoothly with a short metal spatula or a spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely.
  13. Immediately sprinkle on coconut to resemble grass and place a pile of jelly beans on the coconut to resemble eggs.
  14. To create the basket handle, insert one end of a Twizzler in one side of the cupcake near the edge, then bend it over the cupcake and insert the other end on the opposite side. The cupcakes are ready to serve!

Store these cupcakes for up to 1 day at room temperature. After a day, the cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This same cupcake batter may be baked in regular-size lined cupcake pans for 16 to 20 minutes, then topped with frosting, coconut grass, and jelly beans. Cut a smaller length of Twizzler and stick it on both sides of the cupcake for the handle.

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