Monday, April 02, 2012

birth of spring

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of witnessing robin's eggs laid and hatched right outside one of our bedroom windows.  It was a phenomenal thing to watch...robin's blue eggs are so indescribably blue, that it is no wonder why we try to mimic it's beautiful hue in our homes.

It was a slow process.  The robin would lay one egg, one day at a time.  Robins usually lay about four eggs in their clutch, and this one was no exception.  By the end of the week, she laid about four eggs in the little nest on our windowsill.

She sat, incubating the eggs for a good two weeks.  Even when we went out and about on the weekends, when we returned, the mother robin was still sitting.  Patiently.  We were careful not to disturb her...she didn't mind that we took pictures, so long as we didn't touch or go too close to her nest (of course!).  I read that if the mother robin smells another scent on the eggs, she would not return to them for fear that they've been tampered with.  So we just watched in awe.

Then came the moment when they were to hatch.  Robin's eggs usually hatch one day at a time, in the order that they were laid.  

And indeed mother nature did work it's wonders.  One by one, the little birds, blind at birth, were hatched.  Wide mouths instinctually open to be fed by their mother.

It was amazing to be able to witness and capture this wonderful moment of spring.  With Easter around the corner, I love to make egg's nest cupcakes, to remember that lovely moment when these birds were born...into spring.

Simple Egg's Nest Cupcakes

Here are instructions on how to simply decorate cupcakes to look like an egg's nest.  For the cupcake recipes (I made chocolate cupcakes and icing), scroll below.  

To Decorate: 

I placed the icing in one of my baker's pipes, and iced each cupcake circles, creating the nest.

I then cut miniature marshmallows in half for the eggs (you could use blue jellybeans...I didn't have them on hand at the time), and place the marshmallows in the centre of each nest.  

Using a vegetable peeler, shave a bar of chocolate (baker's chocolate will do), and sprinkle on top.  


Chocolate Cupcakes 


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. 
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. 
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. 
  • Fill the muffin cups about 1/2 full.
  • Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Chocolate Icing


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. 
  • Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla. 
  • Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

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