Growing up in a family with a Jewish Mom and Catholic Dad we celebrated many holidays. In the spring, Easter and Passover would often overlap creating an interesting dilemma. While we spent Passover with the **Rich Family** we usually spent Easter with our cousins on my father’s side. Making a Bunny Cake together became a tradition for me and my mom to bring to my aunt’s house for Easter but often she was unable to eat any of it because she was observing Passover!
You can try to make this Bunny Cake for any number of occasions. We made it yesterday to bring to an annual Easter brunch at a friend’s Bed & Breakfast. Enjoy, Mari
Bake your cakes. I used a store-bought yellow cake mix box that yields either two 9-inch rounds or two 8-inch rounds. I have 9-inch round cake pans so I used those. I left the cakes to cool overnight but if you don’t have that kind of time just make sure they are cool enough that the frosting won’t melt. Cakes straight from the oven are very hard to frost and I don’t recommend it.
Find or make a display platter. I used a piece of foam core and covered it in tin foil as you can see above. I simply taped the tin foil to the back of the foam core. If you have a large enough platter use that. However, make sure to leave enough room for your entire Bunny with bow tie – the final size of your cake will be approximately 2.5 times the diameter of one of your cakes rounds.
Cut out the bunny ears and bow tie. We used a 9-inch plate as our template for cutting out the ears and bow tie but you can also use the edge of your round cake pan. Eyeball the size of the bowtie and make a small mark with a sharp knife towards the center of the cake where you will start your cutting. Do this for both sides of the bow tie since you will be making two ears.
Position the face, ears and bow-tie on the display platter. I find that dabbing a bit of frosting at each of the attachment points helps to secure the cake to the display platter. Position the ears at the angle of your choice and place the bowtie as close or far away from the face as you want. My bunny doesn’t have much of a neck but it was easier to frost that way.
Frost the bunny with a crumb layer. Some people rush this step or skip it altogether. However, I learned about the importance of a crumb layer in the cake decorating boot camp I attended last year at the Institute for Culinary Education (thanks to a generous gift from Paul). If you take the time to do this thin layer of frosting and let is set a bit you will have a much easier and crumb-free time with frosting the rest of your cake.
Decorate the bunny with frosting and colors of your choosing. This is my favorite part! Draw the eyes, nose, mouth (tongue optional), and inside of the bunny ears using a pastry bag with an attachment or by simply using a plastic storage bag and cutting a small hole at one of the corners. I used food coloring to make the frosting pink and green and you could do the same or change the color if you like. Many supermarkets also sell pre-filled tubes of decorating gel in a variety of colors (including black) and you could use that too.
Add details like candy eyes and colorful sprinkles. I used red hot candies for the eyeballs and I added colored sprinkles to the bow-tie and inside the ears for fun. Decorate the tie however you want – make it polka dotted, striped, or another color entirely. This is all up to you and your imagination!
Press shredded coconut onto the face and ears. This is the trick that makes your cake come alive! Carefully press shredded coconut (you can find this at the supermarket) into the frosting taking care not to ruin the eyes, nose, mouth, or inside the ears. You don’t need to be too careful not to overlap the pink of the ears since real bunnies have hair in their ears!
Add the spaghetti whiskers. This was the first time I tried doing this and it was a success. I took regular dried spaghetti and I snapped it in two with my fingers. I did this with three pieces and then I stuck them into cake around the mouth.