Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Celebrate Easter: Funny Bunny Cake
Growing up, one of our Easter traditions was making this bunny cake. We have a running joke in my family about traditions because about 10 years ago we were sitting around the table on Christmas morning and my Dad said that we 'didn't have any traditions.' Of course, everyone was incensed, especially my Mom (the facilitator of all the traditions) so we immediately starting compiling a list. My Dad soon had to admit that we do indeed have them, and even now we say things like "See that's a tradition!" Anyway, this bunny cake is one of the traditions I remember. I loved it! I'm not sure my brother cared quite as much as myself about creating detailed candy features for a bunny rabbit cake. Even though P is a little small to actually help with this, he is definitely old enough to appreciate it. I wish I'd had a video of him when he first saw it. "OOOOOH!" he said and then leaned down to give Mr. Bunny a big kiss.
This cake is ridiculously easy, I kept it really simple and cartoonish and only bought a few different candies, but you could go crazy and make this as elaborate and gorgeous as you want!
Here's what you need:
2 round cakes
use whatever recipe or box that you like, mine are 8" rounds, but you could go bigger or smaller
1 bag of sweetened, shredded coconut
basic white icing
I made my own cream cheese frosting, you could use store bought. Warm it up a bit before trying to
spread it on.
large cardboard or cutting board covered with parchment or freezer paper
Optional: assorted candies, almonds, white/milk chocolate
Bake your cakes according to recipe/box instructions. I used a boxed carrot cake but added freshly grated carrots. It's actually really good! Let the cakes cool completely on a rack then take them out of the pans. One round will be Funny Bunny's face, you can go ahead and lay it on your prepared paper covered board. The other will become bunny's ears and bow tie.
Position ears and bow tie. My board is a little small, larger will help you keep the coconut from getting all over your house!
Now just go nuts with the icing! I started with a thin, careful "crumb coat" (it's tough not to spread crumbs once you start icing the cut portions), then followed up with a thicker layer. I used the flat of my knife to add a little texture as I went. I also set the bow tie aside for a moment because I wanted to ice it with colored icing. It doesn't have to be perfect because we are going to top this with coconut
Before starting the coconut, coat the paper background with a tiny bit of leftover white icing just a little so that the coconut 'grass' has something to stick to. Now pour about one cup of coconut in a small bowl and add 3-4 drops of green food coloring, stir until it's pretty evenly distributed then start patting it onto the paper background. Save the remaining green coconut for touch ups later. Once that's done, sprinkle the bunny with white coconut, patting it onto the vertical sides of the cake.
For the bow tie (I changed colors later because the blue was such a weird color, it actually looks better in this picture than in real life), dye a small amount of icing your desired color and ice the bow tie while still on a plate or the counter, then scoop it up with two spatulas and set in place on the board. You can leave it plain or add candy patterns.
Tangent: Dying icing in really bright colors never fails to remind me of that scene in "Hook" with Robin Williams where he finally sees the food then they start having a food fight. Great movie!
So! That's it! I kept a few dabs of white icing to stick jelly beans on the background and help some of the candy face stay put. Black licorice (cut in thin strips, I tried to find black "Pull and Peel" Twizzlers) for the eyebrows and mouth, a blob of pink icing with a jelly bean for the nose, M &M polka dots on the tie and almonds for the eyes. That was a new idea for me this year. I dipped them in a tiny bit of melted white chocolate, let that set then dipped again in a tiny bit of dark chocolate. I love the way they turned out. I'll be doing that again! After the candy was on, I added pink cheeks and a little pink to the ears. Just dye a small amount of coconut with one drop of red food coloring and sprinkle it on.
Stay on the lookout for chubby hands swiping your candy.
So fun and definitely something to do next year, hopefully we will have our own list of traditions going soon! I love how the jellybeans on the coconut grass look like little clusters of Easter eggs or spring tulips. Can't wait to eat it!
P.S. I'd love to see pictures of this if you make your own. Add them to the "You Sewed" Flickr pool, tab at the top right of the page.