These cute little cupcakes decorated with candies and coconut grass are a great treat for the kids.
Coconut Easter Grass for Cupcakes
Cook's Note: Food coloring can be messy and can stain your skin. To prevent this, wear latex gloves. You may find it easier to color the coconut in a large zip top plastic bag, tossing it to color evenly.
Frost a cupcake with fluff frosting. Press a circle of coconut grass on top. Nestle the malted eggs on top of the grass. Gently press the peep onto the center of the grass. Cut the white Airhead into a 1/2 oval shape; trim one side so it has a cracked egg jagged edge. Place egg next to chick.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners. (To avoid cupcakes sticking if they overflow slightly, lightly spray the tops of the pans.) Put tins on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Process sugar and butter in a food processor until very creamy, scraping sides as needed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing after each addition. Add the milk, water, and vanilla and process to blend.
Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients, in 3 batches to the wet, pulsing, and then scraping batter off the sides of the processor as needed after each addition. Process until the batter is very smooth and pourable like pancake batter, about 2 minutes.
Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and the tops are golden, 18 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly in tin, and turn out of tin when cool enough to handle. Cool cupcakes completely on a rack before frosting.
Whisk the milk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
Slowly beat the butter and sugar, in another medium bowl, with an electric mixer until incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.) Add the fluff and salt and reduce the speed to low. Add the milk and vanilla mixture, scrape the bowl down, and mix until fully incorporated. Raise the mixer to high and beat briefly until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cupcake immediately.
Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a mesh rack on top, if available.
Put coconut in a shallow bowl. While tossing with a large spoon, add food coloring drop by drop until the desired color is reached. A little more green than yellow makes a pretty grass color. Add a few tablespoons water to moisten the mixture and help disperse the color evenly. If the color is too dark, add additional water, as needed, to dilute to the desired color. Drain the coconut in a sieve or strainer.
Spread the coconut in an even layer on the rack, or directly on the lined baking sheet. Place in the oven until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use immediately, or store in covered container for up to 3 days.