Easter is the crafty holiday – dyed eggs, decorated baskets and of course, bunny cake. Above is my version…not a beauty but it fits the classic genre. And underneath the fluffy frosted exterior, it’s simply a chocolate layer cake on its side so it should please all ages. I omit the step of covering the frosting with coconut since my kids don’t like it, but for presentation purposes, I suppose that would give it an edge.
For the cake itself, any recipe will do – yellow, chocolate, carrot or my favorite coconut cake. And although any white icing will work, I think the puffiness of the 7-minute-frosting looks better than a smoother one like buttercream or cream cheese, especially if you’re not covering the cake with coconut. It’s delicious and balances a chocolate cake well, but doesn’t overwhelm in richness and sweetness like those made with multiple sticks of butter and cups of powdered sugar.
As far as the filling goes, you only need it to glue the two layers together. The 7-minute-frosting does that but will melt so it won’t appear you have much of a filling. I used this recipe because I wanted to try it. It’s more like a custard as you can see in the picture. I like it but for simplicity’s sake, this extra step is not necessary.
This a great cooking project to enjoy with kids because of the cake shaping and decorating, but also because the frosting preparation is a mini science experiment. Over heat, it goes from a low volume liquid mixture to hands down the most fun frosting to manipulate while still maintaining the fluffy consistency.
Layer cake for me beats out all other desserts by a fairly large margin. I’ve been on a quest for many years to find recipes that replicate the traditional ultra moist boxed cake as well as the canned frosting that never loses its creamy texture. I mean look at that:
But there came a point when this chemically perfected beauty had to be replaced. I haven’t had too much trouble finding chocolate cake recipes that are close if not better than the boxed version, and the recipe below is a great and simple one. Yellow cake recipes are a tougher find. I’ve tried many and have made some good ones, but Betty Crocker or Hines they’re not. Please share if you’ve successfully found a homemade contender!
And Happy Easter!
CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Grease and flour two 9-inch cake rounds.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the first six ingredients (sugar through salt).
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
- Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake in a preheated 350° F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes our clean.
- Allow rounds to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe courtesy of Hershey
7 MINUTE FROSTING
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For decoration, shredded coconut and pastel M&M’s or jellybeans
- Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water and egg whites in the top of a double boiler.
- Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute.
- Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy).
- Beat constantly on high-speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Follow instructions below to shape cake. For the grass, put unsweetened shredded coconut in a small ziplock bag and add 1-2 drops green food coloring. Shake to distribute color.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Dean