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Easter Basket Sugar Cookie Cups are made in a muffin pan with prepared sugar cookie dough as the basket base, filled with vanilla buttercream, and topped with chocolate eggs. A fun, cute, and festive treat that everyone will love.
Easter Basket Sugar Cookie Cups Recipe
I have another fun Easter treat to share with today. As my kids get older, and therefore can help in the kitchen more, they love these cute Holiday themed snacks and treats.
The easter basket is store-bought sugar cookie dough that bakes in a muffin pan. The basket filling is just vanilla buttercream with green food coloring, and lastly the chocolate eggs on top.
These are fun to make, simple enough for kids to help, and they’re so adaptable because you can use any color of food coloring, and switch out the egg candies on top!
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe. I also share some tips and suggestions so you can get the best results.
- Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough – Make sure you get the flat package of cookie dough rather than the log. The flat package is sugar cookie dough but it’s already separated out into small squares, which makes it easy just to put one per muffin cup.
- Butter – This is the base of the buttercream. You can use salted butter or unsalted butter, whichever one you prefer.
- Powdered Sugar – Sweetener for the buttercream frosting.
- Heavy Cream – It’s best not to substitute this ingredient. It makes the frosting so light, fluffy, and thick and there really is no other milk that will do that as well as heavy cream does.
- Vanilla Extract
- Salt – Only use this if you used unsalted butter in the frosting.
- Green Food Coloring
- Hershey’s Chocolate Eggs – You can use any egg shaped candy you want to. Jelly beans are a great idea, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and Reese’s Eggs are all delicious options.
How To Make This Easter Treat
Learn how to make these Easter Basket Sugar Cookie Cups below. For the full recipe and helpful instructions, continue scrolling down to the recipe card below.
Step One : Prepare two muffin pans (12 muffin wells each) by spraying liberally with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step Two : Place one cookie dough portion into each muffin well. Bake for 10-14 minutes.
Step Three : Use the bottom of a shot glass, spice jar, or small cup to gently press an indentation into each cookie cup. This will be the nest or the basket.
Step Four : Once cookie cups are completely cooled you can prepare the frosting and decorate them.
Tips For Success
Here are a few of my helpful tips that will make this recipe a success in your own kitchen!
- Don’t Bake Too Long : The sugar cookie cups should only be lightly browned when you take them out of the oven. If you over bake them, this can result in a sugar cookie base that crumbles and breaks apart when you try to take it out of the pan. And the cookie part will be dry when eating. I always suggest that people start at the lowest cook time given, check it, and then go from there. You don’t want to see any wet or shiny looking cookie dough in the tins. It should look cooked and pale in color.
- Piping Tip : If you want pretty looking sugar cookie cups then use a piping bag with a large star tip in it. I use a Wilton 1A or 2A tip. Snip a large chunk off of the end of the piping bag and place the tip in. Put the bag into a tall glass. Use a spatula to spoon the frosting into the bag. Twist the top part of the piping bag as you squeeze down to pipe the frosting. If you don’t have a piping bag or tip, you can simply use a Ziplock storage bag and cut the corner off. Make sure the corner piece you cut off leaves enough room for the frosting to come out. The frosting will be thick.
- Creating Basket : When creating the little nook or basket area for the frosting, be sure to gently & lightly press down into the cookie. The space you create does not have to be very deep. Pressing to deep and hard, can result in holes and cracks in the cookie cups. They don’t have to be perfect – most of the cracks will be covered by the frosting anyways.
- Spray Pan Well : Make sure you spray the muffin pan well with cooking spray. To be extra sure, you can even use Baker’s Joy spray which is cooking spray + flour. This can be found in the baking aisle right next to the other cooking sprays.
- Let Cool Completely : Before adding the frosting into the sugar cookie basket, be sure to let the cookies cool completely, to avoid the frosting becoming soft and potentially melting all over.
- Tip : Use a butter knife around each cookie cup to help release the cookies from the muffin tin.
Easter Basket Sugar Cookie Cups FAQs
- What Do I Use To Create The Basket?
- There are several things you can use to help create that indentation (or the basket) for the buttercream frosting.
- Use a tart shaper if you have one.
- The bottom of a shot glass is the perfect, round size.
- Bottom of a spice jar.
- A small, flat bottomed measuring cup or drinking cup.
- You can even use a plastic spoon and your fingers (very gently) to form the cup.
- How To Store Leftovers
- Unfrosted cookie cups can be stored, at room temperature, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Frosted & decorated cookie cups can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, and are best eaten within 3 days for best taste.
- Can I Freeze This?
- Unfrosted and plain cookie cups can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Bring the cookies to room temperature before frosting and decorating.
- What Are Some Substitutions I Can Make?
- For a really easy and quick recipe you can use prepared frosting for the filling, rather than make your own.
- Add some festive Easter sprinkles in with the frosting or you can just decorate the tops with the sprinkles. Adding sprinkles is something we always do when we make these at my house.
- Use any type of egg shaped candy you want. Jelly beans, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Reese’s Eggs, pastel Easter M&M’s. Lots of options here.
- Choose a different color for the buttercream frosting. Typically green is used as the ‘nest’ aspect of these cookies, but pink or light blue are other great options too.
- Try using a different prepared cookie dough if wanted. Make sure you stick with the flat shaped package of cookie dough that has the dough already cut into squares.
- Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
- You can certainly make the cookie cup part ahead of time and decorate them. Store them in an air-tight container, or Ziploc bag, at room temperature for up to 2 days. For best taste, I would recommend not making these more than 2 days in advance. I would actually say the day before is the best time to make them ahead of time.
- I Don’t Have a Piping Bag or Tip. How Do I Decorate These?
- I use a piping bag + a large 1A or 2A star tip.
- If you don’t have those items, you can easily put the frosting into a Ziploc bag and snip the bottom corner off. This will give you the same result as piping it in, just without the pretty decorated edges of the frosting (like you see in the pictures below).
More Recipes That Use Easter Candy
- Peeps Rice Krispy Treats
- Easter Goody Bars
- Easter Surprise Confetti Cookie Bars
- Bunny Chow
- Easter Cookie Cake
Easter Basket Sugar Cookie Cups
- 1 package (16 oz) Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough *see note
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 bags (9 oz each) Hershey's Egg Candies or something similar
Sugar Cookie Cups
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Liberally spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or baking spray (cooking spray + flour).
- Separate the premade cookie dough and put one section into each well in the muffin pan.
- Cook for 10-14 minutes until very lightly browned. * It's best to not over-cook, set the timer for the lowest time, and go from there.
- Immediately after baking, use a shot glass or bottom of a spice jar, to lightly and slowly press the center of the cookies down to form a 'basket' or 'nest'. This will create a small indentation for the frosting.
- Let the cookies cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove them by using a butter knife to help lift them and remove them from the wells. Transfer to a cooling rack so they can cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or you can use a stand mixer, beat the butter until it's fluffy and lighter in color. About 2 minutes.
- Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Increase speed to medium after all the powdered sugar has been added, and beat for about 1 minute until combined and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk or more powered sugar depending on if you want it thinner or thicker texture. * If using anything other than heavy cream in the frosting, start at 1 tablespoon and go from there. You won't need as much milk if using a lower-fat milk than heavy cream.
- If using food coloring, add 2-3 drops (or more), and mix until desired color is reached.
- Put frosting into a piping bag with a large 1A or 2A star tip and pipe the frosting into the indentation of the cookie cup. Top each basket with 3 eggs. * If you don't have the piping supplies, simply put the frosting into a Ziploc bag, snip off one of the bottom corners and pipe it on that way into each sugar cookie cup.