We took "Mama's Southern Coconut Cake" and turned it into a cute bunny cake for the Easter holiday! The actual pattern for the bunny cake was from an old Betty Crocker cake decorating book originally published in 1984. Of course, you can make any type of cake you want and use butter cream frosting or any frosting you normally use for decorated cakes, but we thought this fluffy, marshmallow like frosting was more suitable for a bunny and Easter!
This was really easier to make than you would imagine and the results will wow your Easter guests, especially the children! The cake is so pretty it can take center stage on your Easter buffet or table. This only uses one layer of the actual cake, so you can freeze the other layer for a future use or you could make two bunny cakes and give one to a friend or make cupcakes with half of the batter and decorate them with some of the green coconut grass and jelly beans and place them on the platter or cake board around the bunny. I thought of this after we finished this cake and wished I had thought of it earlier. If you have children for Easter, the cupcakes will be so much easier for them to hold and eat or maybe not, but they are just more fun than a slice of cake...lol. We also doubled the frosting recipe for this because it takes quite of bit to glue everything together and then plump Mr. Rabbit up so that he doesn't look too skinny. Nothing worse than a skinny bunny. Here is what you need for this:
1 15.25 butter cake mix (Be sure to get the full size cake mix and not the reduced size some companies are now marketing)
3 large eggs
1 cup Sprite or 7 Up
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup white corn syrup
6 egg whites
2 tsps. baking powder
4 cups shredded coconut, divided (2 for the cake and 2 tinted green for the plate)
green food coloring
1 bag multi colored jelly beans
pink construction paper or card stock for bunny ears
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the cake ingredients together with a wire whisk until well blended. Don't use an electric mixer for this. Mama says it makes a cake dry when you beat the batter up too long. Butter and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans. Divide cake batter between pans. If you are making cupcakes, pour one layer and pour the rest in cupcake liners.
Place in oven and bake for 20- 25 minutes.
While the cakes cool, make the icing.
Place the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer cook to the soft ball stage or 240 degrees, stirring constantly. The mixture should become almost clear. You can also do this in the microwave to make this step easier. Cook on high for 4 minutes, remove and stir well and then cook for about 3 more minutes on high. This could vary by a minute or two depending on the power of your microwave. It still needs to reach the soft ball stage.
With an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the baking powder until it reaches the soft peak stage.
Slowly pour in the syrup and keep mixing until the icing stands in peaks. This takes some time to accomplish so don't give up on it. Just keep beating it and eventually the peaks will form. Now you are ready to assemble the bunny.
Take one of the cake layers and cut it in half right down the middle. Put the two halves together with the round side up. Cut a notch, about 1/3 of the way up from the front edge to form the head. Don't make this notch too deep or big.
This is how big one of the notches you cut out will be. This will be used to make the tail.
Place the two cake halves on a pretty platter or a cake board. It needs to be fairly large to hold the bunny and the surrounding grass. Glue the cake halves together with a generous amount of the icing.
Take the cake notch and stick it on the end for your tail with frosting. Then you just frost the entire bunny with a generous amount of frosting. Really plump up the sides. They look better fat than too skinny. Sprinkle two cups of the white coconut over all of the rabbit.
Use 2 black jelly beans for the eyes and 1 pink one for the nose. Place your ears by sticking them into the frosting on the top of head. You can make the ears out of pink construction paper or stiff card stock. We actually used some bunny ears we found in the Easter section at K Mart.
Place the other 2 cups of coconut in a Ziploc bag with 3-4 drops of green food coloring and mix it up to dye the coconut. Sprinkle the green coconut around the bunny and then use the rest of the jelly beans to garnish. If you used the other half of the cake batter for cup cakes you will need more green coconut and jelly beans to decorate the tops of those.
"Easter Bunny Cake"