Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Bunny Cake

My Gammie turned 81 on Easter Sunday! My family celebrated her birthday on Friday evening with a delicious butternut squash & Fontina cheese lasagna, some Italian sausages, my favorite apple & walnut salad (recipe HERE!) and a fun cake!

Technically, there is nothing new about what I'm sharing today - I've shared the cake before (recipe HERE) and the chocolate icing before (recipe HERE), and I used store bought fondant. So, I won't be sharing a new recipe today but more so a concept, and I'll talk about how I made my cake making process.
Most of my cakes start out with a drawing. I had so many ideas about this cake - pastel colored icing for Easter, flowers, bunnies on top of the cake, bunnies on the side of the cake, a banner on top of the cake... I have never made a cake for Easter before so I was full of new ideas and Pinterest was filling my brain with so much more! I ended up deciding on icing the cake to look like a tree trunk, having a little bunny bum made of fondant sticking out the bottom of the cake, some little pieces of green fondant to look like grass along the side of the cake, and a little flag banner on top supported with 2 paper straws.

For those of you who read my blog often, you may know that this chocolate cake is my go-to. Every time, I'm asked to make a cake, this is the one I make. It's reliable, it's easy and I get great reactions! I'm still on the hunt for a white cake that is just as good as this one, if you have any suggestions, let me know!
I made one recipe of my favorite chocolate cake recipe. One recipe makes 6 cups of batter, I used a 6 inch cake pan, and made three layers of cake (2 cups in each layer). My family has a variety of cake pans, I've acquired a few with my more frequent cake making so I have some larger cake pans but we have no small cake pans! We only have one 6 inch pan, so I baked the cakes in 3 shifts. I knew what I wanted as an ed result, so I powered through but this was long! I will definitely be looking into investing in some smaller cake pans!

I line cake pans with parchment paper. As a result, the sides of my cake look a little rough, but this all gets covered in icing. If you want smooth sides on your cake, I recommend spraying your pan with cooking spray and allowing the cake to cool a bit before removing it from the pan. Otherwise, line your pan with parchment - the cake will come out easily and clean-up will be less of a headache!
I start by placing one layer of cake on a tray and spreading a layer of icing over the top of that cake.
I then place a second layer of cake on top of the first and spread icing over that layer too.

I place the last layer of cake over the frosted second layer and cover it with icing. Once the top is coated with icing, I start covering the sides. I don't stress about doing a crumb layer when I'm doing a chocolate icing on chocolate cake.

When the cake is covered in icing, I use a bench knife to smooth the icing out as much as possible. I didn't worry about getting the icing as smooth as possible as I was about to use a frosting knife to make the icing look like a tree trunk. I didn't take a picture specifically of the tree trunk icing, but you can notice it in the next few pictures...
This little bunny took a minute to get right! I used plain white fondant for the bunny's body and feet. The body was made out of a rolled ball of fondant that I flattened a little so that it wasn't a perfect circle. I made the feet by rolling white fondant into ovals and flattening the ovals into a sort of rectangle with rounded edges. I played with the shape of the feet once the ovals were flattened - I wanted the heel to be a little thinner than the toe.
I used a little fondant tool to make indents on the bunny's toes. The Bean helped me knead some pink coloring into a piece of fondant. I used the pink to make the pads of the bunny's feet and the tail. I made the pads of the feet and toes by flattening little balls of fondant and shaping them with fondant tools. The Bean made the tail by rolling pink fondant into a ball. I secured all of the added pink parts with by brushing a little water onto the part of the bunny where I was adding pink fondant.
The light in this picture is not great, but this is finalized bunny - it's just the back part because I was putting the front into the cake.
I dug a little whole into the cake with a spoon. This was surprisingly the toughest part! When I dug into the cake, it started to lean (ah!). I dug quickly, and got the bunny in as fast as possible which seemed to offer a little support! I was worried that the whole cake would topple at some point during the evening but it held up!
I should also note that digging out a little bit of the cake allowed me to try a piece of it before having to serve it! I never ever try food while I'm cooking. I like to keep my hands out of whatever I'm making and I'm too scared of getting salmonella to eat raw batter while I cook/bake. When I make cakes, there's never a way for me to try the cake that I'm serving so I'm always nervous that the cake might be horrible! This is in the back of my head every time I make a cake! What if I accidentally leave out the sugar!? I wouldn't know until everyone is dramatically spitting out their cake because it's bitter as all get out! Getting to taste a little bit of this cake totally calmed my crazy!

 The lighting was bad for these pictures - I couldn't find a good angle no matter how hard I tried! But you can see the detailing (lines on the side, circles on the top) I put into the icing to make the cake look more tree like. The Bean colored some fondant green, we rolled it out and cut it up to look like little patches of grass along the base of the cake.

I used my cricut to cut out 6 little pastel yellow triangles. I wrote 'Gammie' out on the flags and secured the flags into the cake with some ribbon and 2 paper straws.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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