Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Bunny Cake, or a Foolproof Way to a Festive Dessert

I am, admittedly, not a very crafty person. I love to bake and make a ton of cookies for the holidays, but then have my sister arrange the plate. I attempt to make cute cards and such for Greg, but really I am pretty sure he holds onto them because he has a big heart; he certainly doesn't keep them because they look good. Every time I see a Pinterest "fail" meme, I quietly nod to myself and realize those "disaster" photos perfectly encapsulate any project I've ever attempted.

So with that introduction, I give you - the bunny cake!

Yes, this adorable piece of Americana was actually baked, put together, and decorated, by me! Several years ago, my mom found a Betty Crocker ad that explained how to create this wonder and passed it along to me, and we have had an annual bunny cake pretty much ever since then - the only difference is that the cake is vegan now, but the concept remains the same.

I realize lamb cakes or even lamb butter is usually all the rage this time of year, but that usually requires special molds of some kind, which is not in keeping with my mantra of keeping things easy and cutting down on the special equipment you keep in the house. The beauty of the bunny cake is that nothing extraordinary is required - just a knife and cutting board.

First things first - one layer of a cake! Or, if you have a cupcake recipe (like the one I used from  Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet), prepare the equivalent of 12 cupcakes but pour in a round pan instead.

Once the cake is cooled, cut it in half.

 Then frost the bottoms of the bake and push the two halves together. (Full disclosure: I did not frost this cake because I needed to freeze it  for later use! But I hope you can see where I'm going.)

About a third of the way up of the semicircle, cut out a notch.

Place the cake that you cut out at the end of the semicircle. Now, you have a head, body, and tail!

Another angle of the bunny masterpiece.

And then frost! Basically, I use a vegan buttercream frosting - think the Domino Sugar buttercream frosting recipe, but to make it vegan, sub Earth Balance, non-dairy milk, and organic powdered sugar (to make sure the sugar is vegan); I also usually leave out the salt. (Okay, I just realized typing that I pretty much have my own riff on the Domino Sugar recipe, but still - it works!)

Frost the entire creation, then coat with shredded coconut to give your bunny a fluffy coat. You can create a face using vegan chocolate chips or Starburst jelly beans or Jolly Ranchers jelly beans, since those are vegan. Then I usually cut out ears from a sheet of paper (just two long ovals, with one of the ends cut bluntly so they stick flat behind the head), stick those in the notch, and you're done!

For bonus points, you can also put some coconut in a disposable container, add some green food coloring, and shake until the coconut is green. Put it around the bunny for grass, put on extra jelly beans as eggs, and you have a cute and delicious Easter dessert, ready to go!

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope all of you enjoy the holidays, spring, or whatever makes you happy!

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