Bird’s Nest Easter Cookies
Bird’s Nest Easter Cookies are topped with a delicious buttercream frosting, toasted coconut flakes, and Cadbury mini eggs to create the cutest (and most incredible) Easter treat! Between soft, pillow-y sugar cookie and buttery shortbread cookie, these bird’s nest cookies fall somewhere right in the middle. They are easy to make, have the most wonderful texture and are pretty much heaven!
Spring and Easter are right around the corner and I wanted to bring you an easy springtime dessert recipe for all of your celebrations.
These delicious homemade Easter cookies are made with a copycat Swig cookie recipe, which is an irresistible cross between a buttery shortbread cookie and a soft sugar cookie, with frosting on top. This sugar cookie dough doesn’t require any chilling and you don’t have to roll it out and worry with cookie cutters either.
Kids and adults adore these and they’ve truly become a family favorite cookie around here, even without the Easter egg bird’s nest topping.
These bird’s nest Easter cookies are super easy to make and require normal baking ingredients with the addition of shredded coconut and Cadbury mini eggs. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Flour. All-purpose flour is what we’re using to give these cookies a tenderness that you just won’t find when using other types of flour.
- Baking soda + cream of tartar. Instead of a combination of baking powder and baking soda, a mix of baking soda and cream of tartar is used to make for the fluffiest, most delicious Easter cookies that have a wonderful tangy flavor.
- Salt. A must in any good cookie recipe!
- Butter. I always use unsalted butter, so I can control the amount of salt going into a recipe. Be sure your butter is softened to room temperature, so that it combines properly with the sugars. Room temperature butter is still a bit cool to the touch and it should indent slightly when you press on it with your finger. Take butter out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before beginning your recipe.
- Oil. In addition to the butter, you’ll need any type of oil (vegetable, light olive or melted coconut) to ensure these Easter cookies are perfectly moist.
- Sugars. This copycat Swig cookie recipe uses a combination of regular granulated sugar and powdered sugar, which gives the cookies a bit of a shortbread texture.
- Vanilla. Do NOT forget the vanilla. And use pure vanilla extract, not imitation. It’s worth it!
- Eggs. Two eggs will add structure, stability, and richness.
- Water. For the best consistency of the cookie dough.
how to make this recipe
These festive bird’s nest cookies are easy to make and are super fun to decorate with the kiddos! You can find the full printable recipe at the bottom of the post, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Cream together the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer (affiliate links) and cream the softened butter, oil and sugars on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla and water; mix well.
- Add in the flour. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Scoop dough balls. Use a large spoon or cookie scoop (affiliate link) to make golf ball sized dough balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (affiliate link). With a small glass cup, dip the bottom of the cup in the reserved 1/4 cup sugar, then use it to smash the dough down flat.
- Bake. Cookies will need to bake for about 8-10 minutes. Do NOT overcook! Remove from the oven right when edges start looking set and golden. The centers may look slightly undercooked, but they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven.
- Cool cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire cooling rack (affiliate link) to continue to cool.
- The bird’s nest topping. While the cookies cool, make the frosting and toast the coconut. Once the cookies are completely cool, frost the cookies, sprinkle on the toasted coconut and add the 3 Cadbury mini eggs. Enjoy!
how to make frosting for cookies
To make the frosting for these bird’s nest easter cookies, just whip the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk together with an electric mixer until well combined and light and fluffy. I kept my frosting white, but if you don’t want to add the coconut and Cadbury mini eggs, you could always mix things up and add food coloring to the frosting.
easy swaps for the perfect cookies
This is an Easter or spring version of the famous Swig cookies topped with Cadbury Eggs, but you can use this delicious cookie recipe to make cookies for other holidays or anytime of the year. Some ideas include:
- Frosting. You can really use any type or color of frosting for these cookies. Pastel would be so pretty! If you’re short on time, feel free to use your favorite store-bought frosting. And, honestly, these cookies are really delicious without any frosting at all!
- Sprinkles. If you want to make these Swig copycat cookies for a different event, feel free to leave the bird’s nest topping off and use colorful sprinkles instead. For example, green and red for Christmas or red, white and blue for the Fourth of July.
- Eggs. Not a fan of Cadbury mini eggs? M&M brand has several different candy egg varieties that would be great too!
tips for recipe success
There are tons of tips and tricks for baking cookies, but follow the suggestions below and you’re sure to have perfect bird’s nest cookies!
- Measure flour correctly. If you have a scale, that’s the easiest way to measure ingredients. If you don’t, spoon flour into a measuring cup and without shaking the cup, use the straight side of a butter knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
- Fresh baking soda. Be sure that your baking soda is fresh! It loses potency over time. When I open a new can, I always write the date on the lid with a sharpie. Discard the opened can after 6 months.
- Bake time + temp. Baking at 350ºF will guarantee your cookies melt at the perfect speed to get those crispy edges with soft centers – the MOST epic cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and keep in mind, cookies continue to bake even after they are removed from the oven.
- Don’t over bake. I recommend experimenting with a couple of cookies before baking the entire recipe. This will help you find that sweet spot when it comes to baking time in your oven and your preferred level of doneness.
- Chill the dough. No need to chill the dough for these Easter cookies! They will bake up perfectly without taking the time to chill the dough.
- For presentation. Be sure cookies are completely cool before decorating. You don’t want the frosting to become melty from the heat of warm cookies.
- Wait for the icing to completely harden on the cookies, then place them in an airtight container in even layers. You can place parchment paper in between each cookie layer if you are concerned with cookies sticking to one another.
- Cookies will keep well for 5 to 7 days at room temperature.
- Directions for freezing these cookies can be found below.
how to freeze
If you want to freeze the already baked cookies for later, simply wait for them to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to about 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and once they are defrosted, you can add the topping.
You won’t be able to eat just one of these amazing frosted cookies, I promise you that. I apologize in advance, if your pants fit a little tighter! I hope you enjoy this Easter cookie recipe just as much as we do. Happy springtime, sweet friends!
If you try these adorable Bird’s Nest Cookies, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Bird’s Nest Easter Cookies
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil or other oil
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/4 cup more sugar for smashing down the dough balls)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 stick, 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract
- 4-5 tablespoons evaporated milk (from the can)
- 1-2 cups coconut flakes
- Cadbury mini eggs
- In a bowl combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- In another bowl, with an electric mixer combine butter, oil, and sugars. Cream together. Add the eggs and water; mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Form dough into golf ball sized dough balls, and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. With a small glass cup, dip the bottom of the cup in the reserved 1/4 cup sugar, then use it to smash the dough down flat.
- Bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes, do not over cook!!! Set aside to cool.
- To make frosting, whip ingredients together until frosting is light and fluffy.
- To make toasted coconut, spread out 1-2 cups of coconut flakes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 4-6 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they cook very quickly and can burn easily.
- To assemble cookies, top room temperature cookies with frosting, toasted coconut, and Cadbury mini eggs.