Whether you’re celebrating Easter or a special person’s birthday – this bunny cake is easy to make and sure to be a hit with every bunny.
Every year we make our godchildren’s birthday cakes. First there was the Moana Cake (my personal favourite,) then we lived our AWW Birthday Cake Book dreams through the kids making the AWW Swimming Pool Cake, the Train Cake and this year the Bunny Cake. Clearly bunny cakes must be in vogue because even prime ministers are making them! Go Jacinda Ardern!
I must say Jacinda did a bang up job with the bunny cake and I love that she used shredded coconut – it’s not nearly as messy and gives a lovely furry effect! As Jacinda so rightly points out if you’re not a highly skilled cake decorator, then this cake is for you because that coconut can cover a multitude of sins!
Before we get stuck in with the ingredients and the how tos, here are my top tips for this cake.
- Make the cakes in advance and freeze.
- Dirty ice or crumb coat each of the cakes the night before, if possible.
- Place the coconut in a tray or long flat plate to roll the sides of the cakes for even coconut coverage.
- Use a pastry brush to ensure even coverage on top of the cake.
- Decorations may not stick but don’t worry, you can place in position just before serving.
We didn’t get many pictures of the cake making process because truth be told, the kitchen was a mess, we were a mess and my fingers were getting way too sticky for any camera action! But at least all the action shots are totally authentic!
FOR THE CAKE
3 x Nigella’s Buttermilk Birthday Cake
100g strawberry jam
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
2-3 batches of buttercream icing (1 batch for crumb coat, 2 for decorating)
2 x chocolate melts or chocolate buttons
1 x red M&M
green food colouring
pink food colouring
You will also need:
2 x sandwich tins
1 cake board 65cm x 40cm
a piping bag and nozzle
How to: Preparation
- Divide each batch of cake mixture between 2 x 18cm shallow round sandwich tins. When cool, wrap all the body parts in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc bag or airtight container in the freezer.
How to: Assembling the Cake (Best done when cakes are defrosting/have just defrosted)
- Cover two of the cakes generously with jam. Don’t spread the jam right to the edge, leave a border of about 1cm.
- Pipe the buttercream over the jam, again leaving a small border.
- Place a cake layer on top of the jam and buttercream.
- Cut 2 ears and 4 paws out of the remaining two cake layers. Spread one of the layers with jam and buttercream and then top with cake.
- Now you’ll need to give the two round cakes and the ears and the paws a “crumb coat” or what I like to refer to as “dirty icing.” Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of buttercream first over the top and then over the sides of the cake to seal in any loose crumbs. Remove any excess frosting with the palette knife. First work on the round cakes and then the paws and ears. Place the crumbed head, paws and ears on a tray and pop into the fridge for about 30 minutes or preferably overnight.
How to: Decorating the Cake
- Mix one batch of buttercream.
- Start with the body. Take one of the round cakes and, spread the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake until smooth.
- Place some coconut on a long, flat plate or tray and roll the sides of the cake in the coconut until well covered.
- Put a few blobs of buttercream on the board where the body will be. This is going to be the “glue” that holds the cake in place. Position the body on to the board.
- Put a few spoonfuls of coconut on the cake top and smooth out with a pastry brush until the top of the cake is covered.
- Repeat this process with the other round cake for the head.
- Repeat with paws; icing with buttercream first, rolling the sides in coconut and then using buttercream to stick the “hand” paws to the bunny’s body and the “feet” paws just at the bottom of the bunny.
- Cover the bunny ears in buttercream and roll the sides in coconut. Position on the board and secure with a blob of buttercream.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup buttercream with a drop of pink food colouring. Use the pink icing to make the bunny’s inner ear. Cover the white part of the ear with coconut.
- In a small bowl, add a drop of pink food colouring to a few tablespoons of coconut and gently brush this on to the pink icing.
- Ensure the bunny is covered in coconut and then with a small blob of buttercream, secure 2 chocolate melts for the eyes, 1 red M&M for the nose and cut some licorice shapes for claws. Place the licorice pieces in position just before serving.
- Add a smear of buttercream at the base of the board under the bunny’s feet. Colour a few tablespoons of coconut with green food colouring and sprinkle over the buttercream to make grass.
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