How To Make An Easter Bunny Cake
I have this thing about cake, and if you're interested in creating a showstopper for Easter, try this bunny cake (also fabulous for a baby shower or birthday party). The construction actually is very straightforward (plus, think about all the sculpting experience you have via Play-doh!).
You will need:
- Your favorite standard cake recipe for a two layer, 9" cake (boxed mix is OK)
- One 9-inch + two 6-inch round cake pans + cooling racks
- A round or oval platter (at least 12 inches long)
- Cream cheese frosting: This cream cheese frosting recipe works beautifully; I make an additional 1/3 to 1/2 of the recipe to make sure there's enough since piped icing requires more frosting
- A decorating bag + large star icing tip
- 3 brown M&Ms
- 2-3 bags of coconut flakes (about 7 oz. bags)
- Green food coloring
- 1 sheet 8.5 x 11 pink card stock for ears
- Dyed eggs or foil covered chocolate eggs (optional)
1. Make the cake
Make cake per recipe or box instructions but divide among one 9-inch and two 6-inch round cake pans, filling the 9-inch pan a little more than the 6-inch pans (since the 9-inch pan will be the bunny body). Keep an eye on baking timing since you are working with different sized pans than specified in your recipe; perhaps check 6-inch pans for doneness 10-15 minutes earlier than listed baking time. When cakes are baked, cool 10-15 minutes in pans then flip out and cool completely on wire racks.
2. Make the icing
While the cake is baking, make the icing. Set aside.
3. Form the bunny body
Cut the 9-inch layer in half to form two semicircles. Spread icing on the flat side (side that was against the bottom of the cake pan) of one of the semicircles and press the other semicircle flat side in, so the rounded cake top sides are facing out. Spread a little icing on the center of your platter to keep the cake from shifting, then set the cake layers cut side down on the frosting. Using a knife or spatula, spread a very thin layer of frosting over the bunny body to form the "crumb coat." This will keep wayward crumbs from popping up to the surface when you're trying to finish frosting the cake.
4. Form the bunny haunches
Cut one of the 6-inch cake rounds in half to form 2 small semicircles. Spread a little frosting on the flat (bottom) side of each semicircle and press against the bunny body. As with the bunny body, spread a very thin layer of frosting over the bunny haunches to form the crumb coat.
5. Form the bunny tail
From the remaining 6-inch cake round, use a small biscuit cutter (around 2 inches) or cut by hand a small circle as close to the edge of the 6-inch round as possible. Don't worry about perfection since it will be covered with frosting! Adhere to the back of the bunny, then crumb coat the tail as with the bunny body and haunches.
6. Make the bunny face
From the same remaining 6-inch cake round, use a knife to cut a face shape - I just made an even cut to make a flat edge on the side of the cake round where I had cut the bunny tail, and then cut at the same angle on the other edge of the cake round. Again, it does not need to be perfect - just try to make the sides of the face roughly symmetrical. Adhere to the front of the bunny, resting the bunny "chin" against the bottom of the plate. If necessary, use a little extra frosting between the body and face to support the face. Once face is adhered, crumb coat the face as with the rest of the bunny.
7. Pipe the bunny fur
I find piped frosting the easiest. It always looks beautiful and uniform and for the bunny it creates a fur-like effect and I find it a much easier decorating technique than trying to cover the bunny with coconut or chocolate shavings or whatever. Pipe all over to cover exposed spots.
8. Add the finishing touches
Use three brown M & M's to make the eyes and nose. Stir green food coloring in a bowl with coconut to make the grass and sprinkle around the bunny. If you have dyed Easter eggs, feel free to add them, but this bunny will stand alone fine, or you could add foil wrapped chocolate eggs. From the pink card stock, cut out bunny ears - but don't stick them on top of the head until just before you serve the cake, otherwise, the paper will seep from the moisture. Another option would be to laminate the ears if you have a home laminating machine.