Bunny Cupcakes


These adorable bunny cupcakes are oh-so-simple to make. A split marshmallow dusted with colored sparkling sugar makes "ears" that say "rabbit" at a glance.

Prep Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Additional Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
24 cupcakes
Nutrition Profile:


Marshmallow "Bunny Ears"

  • cup sparkling white crystal decorating sugar or sanding sugar

  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried raspberry powder (see Tip)

  • ½ teaspoon water

  • 24 marshmallows


  • 1 ⅔ cups cake flour

  • 1 ⅔ cups white whole-wheat flour

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • cup safflower oil or canola oil

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 cup low-fat milk, at room temperature


  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried raspberry powder

  • 1 tablespoon low-fat milk

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar


  1. To prepare sparkling sugar: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk decorating (or sanding) sugar and raspberry powder in a medium bowl. Add water and thoroughly stir until the sugar is evenly coated. Spread into an even layer on the prepared pan. Place in the oven and turn off the heat. Let the sugar dry for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. (If being used right away, the sugar doesn't have to be completely dry, but must be if stored.) If there are clumps, lay a sheet of parchment on top and roll a rolling pin over the sugar to crush into fine bits. Set aside.

  3. To prepare cupcakes: Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees. Coat two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.

  4. Whisk cake flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, oil and granulated sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until well blended. Increase speed to high and beat until light in color, thickened and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually beat in eggs, vanilla and lemon zest, scraping down the sides as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and 1 cup milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and scraping down the sides as needed until well blended. Don't overmix.

  5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Combine raspberry powder and milk in a small bowl. Beat butter and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the raspberry mixture and beat until smooth.

  7. To decorate: Frost the cupcakes. Cut marshmallows in half diagonally. Immediately dip the sticky, cut side in the reserved raspberry sparkling sugar. Position the marshmallows on the cupcakes to look like bunny ears.


To make ahead: Store sparkling sugar (Steps 1-2) airtight at room temperature for up to 1 month. Refrigerate decorated cupcakes for up to 2 days.

Equipment: Parchment paper, 2 muffin tins with 12 (1/2-cup) cups

Tip: Freeze-Dried Fruit for Food Coloring

Freeze-dried fruits have all their water removed in a heat-free, vacuum process that also protects colors, keeps flavors fresh and fruity and creates a crumbly texture (unlike the leathery, traditionally dried ones). Ground into powder, they're ideal for coloring.

Where to Buy: Both freeze-dried fruit and pre-ground powders are readily available. Look for them at the supermarket with other dried fruit or online at amazon.com.

To Prepare Them: Grind freeze-dried fruits in a food processor until they become a fine powder. (If you find dried fruits already powdered, there's no need to grind them.)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

280 Calories
12g Fat
42g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Serving Size 1 cupcake
Calories 280
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 26g
Added Sugars 26g 52%
Protein 3g 7%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Vitamin A 292IU 6%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Folate 31mcg 8%
Sodium 115mg 5%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 4mg 1%
Potassium 51mg 1%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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