I haven't been this excited about Easter for nearly 20 years. It's the first year we're in our new house, the first time we're having friends and family over for Easter dinner, and most importantly, the first year my little boy will really understand what the Easter Bunny is!
I've gone a bit overboard with the Easter goodies this year. I'm pretty sure I've got enough chocolate foil eggs to stock a Tesco Express. When I came home last weekend with yet more Easter stuff, my husband remarked "I've never seen anyone with so much Easter stuff before". I've got Easter baskets, Easter bubbles, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, bunny ears, bunny bubbles, chirping chicks, and tissue grass. You name it, I've got it!
The only thing missing was an Easter cake. I needed something for dessert to serve our guests, and I had settled on making a strawberry pie but I knew my husband would never forgive me if I didn't have a second option. He hates fruit. Seriously - who hates fruit?!? I wasn't quite sure what to make, but after careful consideration I settled on the most appropriate cake choice I could - The Easter Bunny!
This was the first carved cake I've made, so I also had to decide on new cake recipe that was moist and flavourful, but still dense enough to carve easily. A regular sponge cake like a Victoria Sponge is too light and fluffy to carve, and would likely crumble if you tried. I needed something with a nice tight crumb structure, so after much deliberation I settled on a cream cheese pound cake recipe (similar to a UK Madeira cake) from Southern Living Magazine. It was perfect. The recipe made just the right amount for my Easter Bunny cake (three 6 inch shallow rounds, and one extra deep 5 inch round, plus a 6 inch square pan for my husband to pick at). The pound cake carved like a dream, and allowed for me to shave off the thinnest of pieces until I got the exact shape I was looking for.
I'm not going to lie, the whole process for making this cake took ages - it took me about 3 days from start to finish (I'm obviously not a professional cake decorator lol!) On the first day I made the icing (Malibu lemon), and baked the cakes before popping them in the fridge to firm up before carving. On the second day I filled the cakes with the icing and some lemon curd in between each layer, and then carved the cakes until I was happy with the shape. I covered the iced cake in fondant, made all of the little flowers and Easter eggs, and then made my bunny's ears. After all, no Easter Bunny is complete without a set of big white and pink bunny ears! On the third day I finished off the cake by making an adorable little fondant chick - complete with floral Easter bonnet, a fondant carrot, I pipped the grass onto the base, and attached the bunny's nose, eyes, ears and fluffy tail.
This cake really was a labor of love. It was a great excuse for me to bake a cake and try out loads of new techniques. I'm most pleased with my adorable little Easter chick! I didn't actually stick her down to the fondant cake board, so I'll be placing her in my china cabinet once we finish eating the bunny cake.
Traditionally pound cake is either baked in a bundt or loaf pan, and served on it's own or with a side of berries and whipped cream. It's a wonderfully dense and flavourful cake that goes perfectly with a cup of tea. I just know you're going to love this cake as much as I did, whether you bake it in a regular cake tin, or carve it into something spectacular.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Originally from Southern Living Magazine, 2001
1 1/2 Cups (340g) Butter, softened at room temp
1 (8-ounce) Package (225g) Cream Cheese, softened at room temp
3 Cups (675g) Sugar
6 Large Eggs
3 Cups (375) Plain Flour
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC). In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt together and set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, and beat well (about 4 mins) but make sure not to over beat.
3. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until just blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan, or parchment lined cake tins (if using). Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
The cake went down a treat with everyone, and even though it was a bit of a shame to cut my little bunny's bum off, I loved how easy it was to slice, and that I could see each delicious layer!
If you're looking for more Easter treats to bake, why not try my colourful Mini Easter Egg Cakes baked inside of real eggs!