Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. #SpringMoments #CollectiveBias
Easter will be here before you know it and today I am sharing a fun Easter dessert to help welcome spring! Check out my recipe for Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts using our favorite chocolate Easter candies; a modern twist on those popular Bird’s Nest Cookies!
Life as a blogger, recipe developer, personal chef and cooking instructor is very exciting and has definitely been a dream job! I have learned so many things over the years, from calming my nerves to speak in front of hundreds of people, to marketing and accounting, to one of the biggest lessons- learning to plan months in advance and to be super organized! Like, most of the world is just getting over Valentine’s Day and *maybe* thinking about St. Patrick’s Day; but I’ve already moved on to Easter and am sharing a fun Easter dessert with you today, these Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts.
No joke, not only have I been planning Easter content since pretty much the beginning of the year, I also have things for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day all in the works! Because I love holidays so much, a trait I inherited from my mother, I really don’t mind the opportunity to get to plan and prep for some of my favorite holidays months in advance!
Yes, “The Hunt is On” for fun Easter treats and decor! Are you ready to shop for the festive Mars Chocolate Spring Mixed Minis Bag and M&M’S® 62oz. Pastel Peanut Chocolate Candy Bag? Hover over the photo to click through to samsclub.com and purchase them right now!
But, if I’m being honest, sometimes I’ve done so much planning and prepping content (not just for this blog, but other clients I work for, as well as for the cooking classes I teach), that by the time the actual holiday rolls around, I’ve already moved on. In fact, for Valentine’s Day this year, we spent a romantic evening doing our bi-monthly grocery shopping run and I was already on the hunt for Easter candies and décor. LOL!
Since this year Easter is a little bit earlier, and we have a lot going on in the next few weeks (anticipating the arrival of a new nephew, moving, lots of work obligations, multiple birthday celebrations, etc., etc.), I think our celebration the day of Easter will be a little bit lower key. I mean, all those things are certainly NOT going to stop me from baking up some festive Easter treats, like these cute Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts. Or put a damper on me making a loaded Easter basket for my husband with all kinds of goodies, I just may not have the energy to make a big Easter dinner with ham or lamb and all the traditional fixin’s.
So when we were doing our bi-monthly shopping trip to Sam’s Club recently, I of course scouted out all the Easter and spring time candies and other products. I love being a Sam’s Club member and shopping there for household staples, but it is my number one place to go to get things for holidays or when I’m planning other big events or get togethers, like a birthday celebration or baby shower. Not only can I get party platters and paper goods at great prices, Sam’s Club always carries a tone of seasonal products like M&M’S® candies, Mars Chocolate Spring Mixed Minis and other fun items to celebrate spring and use as Easter basket filler!
In addition to loving to celebrate holidays with fun traditions and cute, festive desserts, I have vivid memories of my Mom always buying M&M’S® candies and Mars Chocolates for our holiday celebrations. In fact, even to this day, my Mom will make Easter baskets for us, her grown, married adult children (which, I secretly love!)! LOL!
Today’s recipe is inspired by a spring dessert that I’ve been making for years, Bird’s Nest Cookies (you know, the one ones using Chow Mein noodles). However, these Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts are more modern because everyone loves a loaded donut as fun treat these days, and these would be a festive addition to the dessert table at any spring dinner party or Easter celebration!
I love making baked donuts, but have struggled for years to find the perfect baked donut recipe that tastes just like the traditional fried cake donuts that we love. I finally perfected a plain/vanilla/funfetti baked caked donut and I think these Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts are the perfect baked chocolate donut. They are dense, not overly sweet or muffin like, and have a nice little crunchy exterior, usually only achievable by deep frying cake donuts.
Not only are these Chocolate Bird’s Nest Donuts an adorable Easter treat to celebrate spring, they are delicious too, making them a great chocolate dessert to make all year round!
- Baked Chocolate Donuts:
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup chopped assorted Mars Chocolate Spring Mixed Minis
- Chocolate Glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons 2% or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup M&M'S® Pastel Peanut Chocolate Candy
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heavily grease a standard donut pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and oil and mix well. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir vanilla and almond extract into the buttermilk. Set aside.
- Slowly beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Continue mixing in the flour and buttermilk, mixing until thoroughly combined. Carefully fold in the chopped assorted Spring Mixed Minis, making sure not to over mix.
- Pour the donut batter into a gallon size food storage bag. Press the batter into one corner of the baggie and twist the top of the baggie. Cut the corner of the baggie off and pipe the batter into the greased donut pan, filling the wells to about 2/3-3/4 full.
- Bake the donuts in the preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes before removing them from the pan and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely and glaze. Tip: Use a butter knife to carefully loosen the edges of the donuts in the pan.
- Meanwhile, to toast coconut for topping. Heat 1 cup in a small skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until golden brown. Let coconut cool completely. Once cooled, stir together toasted coconut and remaining 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes. Set aside.
- To make the glaze, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk, vanilla and almond extract; adding additional milk if needed to make a smooth, pourable glaze.
Carefully start dipping each donut into the glaze, returning the glazed donuts to the wire rack. Alternatively, glaze can be poured or spooned over the prepared donuts on the wire rack. Immediately top the donuts with a generous amount of the coconut flakes and 3 M&M'S® candies.
Donuts will keep at room temperature in an air tight container for 2-3 days.
Donuts can be made ahead of time, and frozen un-glazed in freezer safe packaging for 1-2 months.
Buttermilk substitute: In a small bowl whisk, together equal parts milk and yogurt or sour cream and add to recipe as directed.
The hunt is on for the perfect products to make every Easter celebration a success! Stock up on all your Easter food and fun, including Mars Chocolate Spring Mixed Minis Bag, M&M’S® 62oz. Pastel Peanut Chocolate Candy Bag and M&M’S® 62oz. Pastel Milk Chocolate Candy Bag at your local Sam’s Club. And for more ideas to celebrate Easter and spring, including additional recipes, crafts and decorating inspiration, click here or follow M&M’S® on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.