These simple bird’s nest cookies are the perfect Easter treat! Chocolate Rice Krispie treats are molded into nests, filled with a dairy-free chocolate ganache, and topped with coconut whipped cream, and dairy-free Jordan almonds.
It is officially March which means that Easter and spring will be here soon! I cannot wait for the warmer temperatures, the blue skies, and getting outdoors.
I’ve been cooking up some fun vegan Easter recipes! Vegan Easter treats can be a bit tricky! Most of the treats sold in stores are not vegan or dairy-free. If you’re also gluten-free, well, that makes it even more difficult!
Note: If you are not vegan, feel free to use the regular version of these ingredients.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some spring and Easter-inspired desserts that your whole family will love. I came up with these vegan bird’s nest cookies using some inspiration from my vegan rice Krispie treats.
The base of the nest is made with organic gluten-free rice Krispie cereal, combined with cocoa powder, vegan marshmallows, and melted dairy-free butter. The cocoa gives the cookie a brown color to resemble the nest, but also tastes fantastic!
The center of the treats is filled with a vegan chocolate ganache made by combining melted vegan chocolate chips with coconut milk. If you like you can top it with whipped coconut cream, or leave it as is with chocolate ganache.
It’s difficult to find candy-coated chocolate eggs that are vegan, so instead, I used pastel-colored Jordan almonds. They come in the perfect egg shape, but also add a touch of nuttiness to this very chocolatey cookie! These are so fun and a perfect vegan Easter basket idea!
Why you’ll love these Birds Nest Cookies…
- Simple and fun to make.
- No Bake Cookie Recipe (No Flour or Dough)
- A great recipe to make with the kids!
- A festive spring or Easter treat!
- Vegan and Dairy-Free
- Ultra chocolatey!
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
Organic Rice Cereal: I prefer to use organic rice cereal to make these treats. This cereal is dairy-free and gluten-free. However, it is produced in a facility that produces wheat, and peanut products. Be sure to use a rice cereal that is vegan, if you follow a vegan diet, as Kelloggs Rice Krispies are not vegan.
Vegan Marshmallows: My favorite marshmallows to use are Dandies. You can find them in most grocery stores. They work very well when making rice Krispie treats.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips: I use Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips. They taste great, and don’t have anything extra! They’re also great for kids who have allergies to nuts.
Coconut Milk: For this recipe, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk to get that rich chocolate ganache flavor and texture.
Pastel Jordan Almonds: Jordan almonds are candy-coated almonds. They come in pastel colors which are perfect for Easter. They are dairy-free, vegan, and kosher.
Tools and Equipment
Circular Molds: These molds make it very easy to shape your nests. If you don’t have molds, you could also use a muffin tin.
Medium Saucepan: You’ll use a medium saucepan to combine the marshmallows, butter, cocoa powder, and cereal. You’ll need to clean and use another saucepan or use a second saucepan to make the chocolate ganache.
Spatula: I like using a spatula instead of a spoon when combining the ingredients for the rice Krispie nests. It makes it easier to scrape the sticky cereal from the sides of the pan.
How to Make Birds Nest Cookies – Step by Step
Melt the butter, marshmallows, and cocoa powder. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, and marshmallows on medium heat. Stir until marshmallows have combined with the butter. The mixture will be a bit clumpy as vegan marshmallows don’t melt the same way as regular. Stir in the cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Add the rice cereal. Remove the pan from the heat. Add in the rice cereal, stir with a spatula until the marshmallow and the cereal have completely combined.
Place cereal in mold. Using your washed and clean hands, press the cereal into the molds making a hollow nest shape.
Allow time to set. Transfer the molds to the refrigerator and allow them to sit for 25 minutes.
Make the ganache. While the rice Krispie nests are setting, make the chocolate ganache.
Melt coconut cream. Scoop the cream off the top of the coconut milk. The cream will rise to the top of the can. You don’t want to use the water below the cream. Transfer the coconut cream to a saucepan on medium heat. Warm until the coconut cream is melted.
Combine chocolate and coconut cream. Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl. Pour the warmed coconut milk over the chocolate chips. Allow them to sit for 2-3 minutes before stirring. Whisk together until smooth.
Put together the nests. Remove the nests from the refrigerator. Using a spoon, fill the nests with the chocolate ganache.
Top with coconut whipped cream. If you like, top each nest with coconut whipped cream. Then place 3 Jordan almonds on top of each nest. Enjoy!
Top Tips for Making Birds Nest Cookies
- Use the molds for the best results! These molds make it easy for the nests to pop out, and also create the perfect nest like shape.
- If your melted marshmallows seem a bit too clumpy, and an additional tablespoon of vegan butter.
- You may have some extra chocolate ganache after you fill your nests, if so, this ganache makes an excellent chocolate frosting. Store in the refrigerator to allow it to firm up and use to top cupcakes or cakes!
Variations and Substitutions
Not vegan? If you’re not vegan or dairy-free, feel free to use regular marshmallows, and butter for the Rice Krispie nests. The rest of the ingredients can stay the same unless you’d like to use heavy whipping cream to make the ganache and regular whipped cream for the topping. You can also use candy chocolate eggs instead of the Jordan almonds if you prefer.
Peanut Butter: Add in 2 tablespoonfuls of peanut butter to the rice krispie mixture for a chocolate peanut butter treat!
Chow Mein Noodles: Instead of using rice krispie cereal try using chow mein noodles! They are crispy and look like the branches of a tree when mixed with chocolate!
Different Toppings: If you are not vegan feel free to top your nests with Cadburry mini eggs, jelly beans, or go with a more natural topping such as peanuts, walnut, or almonds. Instead of ganache, try filling your nests with your favorite jam!
How to Serve
- Top with coconut whipped cream. You can make your own, or use the Reddi-Whip coconut whipped cream!
- Serve as a dessert on Easter.
- Make as a treat for an Easter Egg hunt.
- These would also be cute to serve at a baby shower.
How to Store and Keep
Store: Don’t top these with whipped cream until you’re ready to serve. The whipped cream will melt if stored for an extended period of time. These bird’s nest cookies will keep at room temperature for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container lined with parchment paper to keep them from sticking together. Then transfer any leftovers to the refrigerator.
Keep: They will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.
More Vegan Easter Recipes!
Birds Nest Cookies
Rice Krispie Nests
Chocolate Ganche Filling
- 4 oz vegan chocolate chips
- ½ cup coconut milk or cream
- whipped coconut cream
- 24 Jordan almonds pastel colors
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter, and marshmallows on medium heat. Stir until marshmallows have combined with the butter. It will be a bit clumpy as vegan marshmallows don't melt the same way as regular. Stir in the cocoa powder until well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add in the rice cereal, stir with a spatula until the marshmallow and the cereal have completely combined.
- Using your washed and clean hands, press the cereal into the molds making a hollow nest shape.
- Transfer the molds to the refrigerator and allow to set for 25 minutes.
- While the rice krispie nests are setting, make the chocolate ganache. Scoop the cream off the top of the coconut milk. The cream will rise to the top of the can. You don't want to use the water below the cream. Transfer the coconut cream to saucepan on medium heat. Warm until the cream melts and becomes a liquid.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl. Pour the warmed coconut milk over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before stirring. Whisk together until smooth.
- Remove the nests from the refrigerator. Using a spoon, fill the nests with the chocolate ganache.
- If you like, top each nest with coconut whipped cream. Then place 3 Jordan almonds on top or each nest. Enjoy!
- If not vegan, feel free to use regular marshmallows, butter, and whipped cream.
- These will keep for 2-3 days.
- Store in the refrigerator.
- Don’t top with the whipped cream and Jordan almonds until you’re ready to serve.