April 15, 2014

Treat Yo-Self Tuesday: Bunny Cake

Easter is almost here already! How?! It seems like February just ended and, wow, it's almost time to start dying eggs! My roommate's birthday was on the 7th of April and I made her this cute, coconut-cream cake shaped like a bunny. Shaping the cake like a rabbit was the least of my worries, how to make coconut cream pie (her favorite) into cake form was my main challenge. Luckily, pinterest came to my rescue and I found this recipe. Like always, I didn't follow it completely. I attempted it to the letter, especially after reading the comments. One claimed this cake saved her marriage! However, the filling it asked me to make turned out absolutely abysmal. It was yellow, lumpy, and downright gross looking. I didn't even want to taste it to see. Instead, I made my own filling to compensate and I think it turned out much better. 

The Cake
3 1/2 cups Flour (All Purpose)
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 lb Butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
7 large egg yolks
7 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter two circular cake pans
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
3. Beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy using a hand mixer. Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and the seven egg yolks, (one at a time, y'all). 
4. Add one tablespoon of vanilla and beat until the mixture is fluffy. 
5. Mix half of the dry ingredients in, add the milk, and then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
6. In a separate bowl, whip the 7 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the whites to the batter, folding in gently to avoid breaking them down. 
7. Divide the batter into separate pans and bake until cooked all the way through. 

The Filling
1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Butter
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
5 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Toasted Coconut
1/3 cup Coconut Milk

1. When I did this, I added things on the fly and these might not be exact measurements. Combine the greek yogurt, cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer. 
2. Add the granulated sugar, almond extract, and cornstarch- throughly combine
3. Mix in the coconut milk and toasted coconut. 
4. Let chill for at least an hour before spreading between the layers of the cake.
This will create a slightly runny, but delicious filling. 

Even out the layers of the cake so that they are flat on both the top and the bottom. Spread the filing liberally and stick the layers together.

The Frosting 
1 stick Unsalted Butter
4 ounces Cream Cheese
3 cups Confectioners' Sugar
3 tbs Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt

1. Beat together the butter and the cream cheese until fully incorporated and fluffy.
2. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar, until thick
3. Add the whipping cream, vanilla extract and the salt
4. Beat until combined 

Bunny Construction
1. Cut the finished layered cake a bit more than one half, but less than two thirds of the way across. This will be the body of your bunny. 
2. With the remaining cake, sculpt a head and one foot. The head will utilize the two layers still stuck together with the filling. 
3. Separate the two layers of cake from the one foot you sculpted and stick them to either side of the body. Your cake should look like my unfrosted construction above. 
I did not use anything to stick the layers together other than the filling. My body leaned one way, but with a few trimmings from what I had already cut off the the cakes to even them out, I was able to create a cake-shim of sorts to even them back out.  

4. Frost the entire thing. Frosting can be forgiving, so if your construction is not perfect, simply layer on the frosting! 
5. Bunnies have fur, so cover liberally with coconut shavings! 

6. Cut index cards into ear shapes that best fit your bunny and either color the inside pink strip with markers or paint with acrylic paints.
7. Stick the index cards into some cake or excess frosting
8. Add two black beans for eyes
9. Optional: Decorate with easter grass, peeps, chocolate eggs, or whatever tickles your fancy!

My roommate loved the cake, not just cause it was a bunny, but because it turned out being very delicious and it captured her dreams of coconut cream pie. I hope you all enjoy and have a lovely Easter! Take Care! 

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