Easter Cupcakes

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Yellow easter cupcakes topped with the best cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and M&Ms to create the cutest (and easiest) Easter treat! These bird’s nest cupcakes are so simple to make.

4 bird's nest Easter cupcakes

Easter cupcakes

Growing up, we made these Easter cupcakes every year in my home. We’d help my mom make and decorate bird’s nest cupcakes and then decorate the dinner table with them.

These bird’s nest cupcakes are one of the easiest Easter treats you can make and you do not need any special skills to make these look good. To ensure these cupcakes are just about as easy as they can get, we’re using a (doctored) cake mix recipe today. However, if you’re feeling ambitious or would prefer homemade cupcakes, these carrot cake cupcakes are the BEST and even that much more festive for Easter!

The frosting on top is homemade but you could also grab a tub of store-bought frosting if you’re really pressed for time. That said, this cream cheese frosting recipe can whip together in minutes and it is honestly the best!

Close up shot of speckled egg M&Ms

How to make Easter cupcakes with coconut

  • First, you’ll want to start by making the cupcake base. I’ve provided an easy and delicious doctored cake mix recipe, but again, use whatever cupcake recipe you like best. If time isn’t an issue, we use this carrot cake cupcake recipe 🙂
  • While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, you can prepare the toasted coconut and the cream cheese frosting.
  • How do you toast coconut? pour the coconut flakes in a large DRY skillet, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flakes are mostly golden brown. Yes, it’s really that simple 🙂 If the coconut is sweetened it tends to brown faster so, it will take less time. Remove the flakes from the pan as soon as they are toasted to your desired preference otherwise they will continue to cook in the skillet.
  • The frosting is simple: beat together room temperature cream cheese and butter, sea salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Once it’s all smooth, chill the frosting for a bit and then pipe (or spoon) it on top of the completely cooled cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle some toasted coconut on top and add 3 M&Ms on top and these Easter cupcakes are ready to go!

How long do you bake mini bird’s nest cupcakes?

If you want to make these cupcakes in a miniature muffin tin instead of a regular muffin tin, you’ll want to make sure to still use paper liners and you’ll bake them around 10-15 minutes. Check the cupcakes around 10 minutes. You can test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, they are done.

How do you store Easter cupcakes?

These Easter cupcakes (and the frosting) are even better the second day as the flavors have intensified by day 2. So, don’t stress about having to make these the same day as an event! For any cupcakes that don’t get eaten, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. These Easter cupcakes are best eaten within 3-4 days of being made. Read more on freezing cupcakes here.

Bite taken out of a cupcake with other Easter cupcakes in the background

More Easter fun:

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Bird's Nest Easter Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
Yellow Easter Cupcakes topped with the best cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and M&M's create the cutest (and easiest) Easter treat! These bird's nest cupcakes are so simple to make.
Print Recipe

Bird's Nest Easter Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
Yellow Easter Cupcakes topped with the best cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and M&M's create the cutest (and easiest) Easter treat! These bird's nest cupcakes are so simple to make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easter cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Chelsea Lords
Calories 351kcal



  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup full-fat sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 package (15.25 ounces) super moist yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • ½ cup water

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 bag M&M's Speckled Easter Eggs Candy


  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cupcake pan with liners. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Set aside.
  • BATTER: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Add in the sour cream, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until completely combined. Add in the cake mix and pudding mix, stirring a few times to moisten. Add in the water and mix until just combined.
  • FILL CUPCAKE PAN: Fill cupcake liners ¾ the way full. (The batter should yield a full 24 cupcakes, so divide evenly.)
  • BAKE: Bake cupcakes, only 1 tray at a time, in the center of the oven, for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick (or fork) when inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. When lightly touching the top of the cupcake, it should bounce back. Remove and let the cupcakes cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely
  • TOAST COCONUT: Meanwhile, Place 2 cups of coconut flakes in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the flakes are mostly golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting and Assembly

  • FROSTING: Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, cream together the room-temperature butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. Chill the frosting while the cupcakes finish cooling. (Note: adding the powdered sugar all at once could result in a dust storm of powdered sugar all over your kitchen!)
  • FROST CUPCAKES: Frost completely cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of toasted coconut over the cupcakes. Gently press in the coconut to get it to fully adhere to the frosting.
  • ADD CANDIES: Place a bit of frosting on the bottom of an M&M and press into the cupcake. Place three M&M's on each cupcake.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information may vary slightly, depending on the brand of cake mix used.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

BIRDS NEST CUPCAKES! Yellow cupcakes topped with the best cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and M&Ms to create the cutest (and easiest) Easter treat! These bird's nest cupcakes are so simple to make. chelseasmessyapron.com #easter #cupcake #cream #cheese #frosting #bird #nest


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Recipe Rating


  1. Oh my goodness! I can’t stand the cuteness! Love the easy part too.
    Hoping my kids don’t pass by the screen at this moment or they’ll be begging for these like…now!
    Pinning! 🙂 Have a happy Monday!

  2. 5 stars
    These are super cute! Such a cute idea using the m&m’s!! I skipped St. Patty and went straight to Easter this year…I just love everything Easter and bunnies and couldn’t wait!!! Pinned 🙂 Have a great day, I can’t wait to see your upcoming Easter posts.

  3. beautiful as always Chelsea! I made a variation of these last year, but they were not as pretty as yours! lol

  4. Oh my goodness, these are too adorable Chelsea! Yay for toasted coconut! Love the cute little birdie faces – Easter treats are one of my favorites – pinning 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious carrot cake cupcakes! I made them from scratch using your recipe and they were so moist and flavorful. The decorative touches with the toasted coconut and chocolate eggs were so adorable and perfect for Easter.

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