Every Easter, we have this adorable little bunny cake that shows up for dessert. I honestly don’t know what bakery we get it from, but it always makes me smile. So I thought I’d try to recreate it. Obviously, a bunny would be filled with carrots, so I decided to make a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, covered in coconut. I used a recipe from David Lebovitz for the cake and frosting, and used Betty Crocker‘s instructions on how to make it into a bunny.
for the carrot cake:
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups loosely packed grated carrots (about 5 carrots)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
for the frosting:
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bag of coconut flakes
- green food dye
- jelly beans
Begin by grating your carrots.
You can also buy pre-grated carrots, but it’s not too difficult to do. I weighed my carrots, but it took about 4-5 carrots to reach 4 cups (13 ounces).
This recipe calls for brown butter. If you want, you can just use melted butter without browning it, but brown butter adds an extra boost of flavor. To brown butter, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter cut into tablespoon sized pieces.
Allow to melt, whisking. It will start bubbling.
When you begin to see some browning, remove it from heat. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. (If you have a stand mixer, you can add all the ingredients to the bowl and use the hook attachment to break up all chunks, it works the same as sifting.) Set the mixture aside.
Beat the eggs until frothy. Add the oil, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
Add the dry mixture little by little until combined.
Add the carrots and raisins.
Fill the 10 inch pan half way full.
I also filled a 5 inch pan with the remaining mixture, but you don’t have to do this part if you don’t want (I made the bunny legs with it).
Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Bake the 5 inch pan for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow both cakes to cool completely.
Allow both cakes to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, take a handful of the coconut flakes and add to a ziplock bag. Add the green food dye and shake. Add dye until desired color is reached.
While waiting for the cakes to cool, make the icing. Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar little by little until combined and then add the vanilla; mix to combine.
Add some of the frosting to a cake round, or to the plate that you will put the cake on.
Sprinkle with the green coconut flakes.
To form the cake into a bunny, first cut the large cake in half. Use some of the icing to adhere the two halves together.
Cut out a wedge of the cake about one third of the way into the round side. This will form a head and body. Reserve the cutout piece to make the tail.
Frost the cake. Repeat with the smaller cake if using. (Cut the smaller cake in half and then add the icing). Also frost the cutout piece.
Add the smaller cake halves to each side of the upright cake. Add the tail to the end of the cake. Sprinkle the cake with coconut flakes.
To make the ears, cut them from pink construction paper. Wrap the ends with plastic food wrap so that you can insert them into the cake. Use jelly beans for eyes and nose.
How cute is he?
I’ve named him Coconut Tail. hehe.
The carrot cake itself was so moist and delicious. I think if I made this again I’d actually sub in some kind of nut for the golden raisins because I really wanted some sort of crunch in the cake. Past that super delicious. And adorable. 🙂