When many of us think of Easter Traditions we think Easter eggs, hot cross buns, Easter bunnies. It’s true that these have all become part of Easter without realizing their significance. Have you ever asked the question “what do bunnies have to do with eggs and Easter?” As I show you some Easter cupcake decorating ideas I will attempt to explain what the tradition behind the symbol.
The Easter Bunny
For thousands of years the rabbit has been a symbol of fertility. The Goddess Eostre (also known as Eastre among other variants) was the Great Mother Goddess of the Anglo-Saxons. The Saxons worshiped her through her earthly symbol of the rabbit. The name of the goddess was derived from the ancient word for spring.
Having started as a pagan festival predating Christianity the bunny tradition was brought to America by the German immigrants in the 1500 and 1600. The immigrants would tell tales to their children of the Easter Hare who had laid eggs for children to find. Cakes were also baked in the shape of bunnies.
Easter bunny cupcake decoration idea. Ice your cupcake with a pastel shade of pink. With white icing make two cheeks, placing them just below half way. Use a jelly bean for the eyes and nose and small marshmallows cut and shaped for the ears. To make the pink inner ear, dip the cut side of the marshmallow into pink sugar. The final touch is to pipe two or three whiskers from the cheeks.
The Easter Egg
As with the Easter bunny the Easter egg also predates Christianity. In many cultures the egg symbolizes rebirth, new life and fertility and is used in Spring festivals.
In Medieval times eggs were not allowed during Lent which traditionally ends on Holy Saturday — the day after Good Friday. Eggs laid during the forty day period of Lent were often boiled or preserved and the egg became a mainstay of Easter meals.
Many traditions have developed around the Easter egg with the coloring of eggs becoming an established art — the most elaborate decorations coming from Eastern Europe. These days there are many chocolate eggs with colored foil to represent the painted egg. Eggs are used as holiday games such as the Easter egg hunt and the egg roll. The most famous of these is the egg roll which usually takes place on the White House lawn each year.
Easter egg cupcake decoration idea number one. Ice your cupcake with smooth paste such as glace (water) icing and pipe designs or use edible paint. You can also two or three different color icings without actually mixing them but to make a marble effect.
Idea two — bird’s nest of eggs. Ice your cupcakes with chocolate frosting making the edges a little raised. Grate chocolate or sprinkle chocolate hail to represent the bird’s nest. In the hollowed centre place mini chocolate eggs or candies that look like eggs.
The Hot Cross Bun.
It may come as a surprise that once again the sweet fruit yeast bun with the cross is thought to predate Christianity having formed part of Anglo-Saxon festivities celebrating the goddess Eostre. The cross is thought to represent the four quarters of the moon.
According to Wikipedia the term “Hot Cross Bun” was first recorded in 1733. Today the hot cross bun has become a part of Easter tradition with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion. Although in our household they are eaten well before Easter the tradition is to serve them on Good Friday.
Hot cross bun cupcake. This is the simplest of the decorating ideas as all you need do is choose your cupcake icing and pipe a cross on it. To make the cupcake look like a spicy bun with fruit you could add the spices and a small amount of current. Why not use chocolate?
Perhaps you have had some surprises when considering the traditions that we have come to associate with Easter. Who knows the creating of new Easter cupcake decoration ideas may become a new tradition.