What's more popular than cupcakes? They're everywhere you look! They're the hot new trend. Who needs a cake when cupcakes are so fun and easy to eat? It's all the rage with celebrities. Recently, Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly on Nickelodeon) celebrated her birthday, and rather than a beautiful cake, she posed next to her cool cupcakes. So fun! My girls just love her!
So when I saw this Pull-Apart Bunny Cake recipe (which is made from cupcakes), I had to make it. It's super cute and very easy to make. No decorator bags needed...It's the perfect Easter cake!
In fact, the recipe's so simple a group of nine-year-old girls can make it all by themselves. To help our local Girl Scout Brownie Troop (which my daughter Sydney is a part of) earn a merit badge, I gave them this cake recipe to make. I divided the project up into parts, and each girl was responsible for making a part of the cake. Some made the frosting, some colored the coconut, and some helped put it all together. It was the perfect project for them! Simple, yet cute and delicious was the verdict from them. Way to go, girls!
To get started, prepare your cupcake pans by lining them with paper baking cups.
Next, prepare the cupcake batter. One yellow cake mix and about two minutes of hand-whisking is all it takes. You could also use a mixer, but why get it dirty? I would save it for the frosting...
That silky smooth texture looks about right!
Carefully spoon the batter into each baking cup so that each one is 2/3 filled. I prefer to use a spoon, but you could also use an ice cream scoop to help measure the batter out.
They're ready for the oven! Bake them at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. I always err on the lower side because I like moist cupcakes. It's easy to overbake them, and when you do, they'll be dry. If you're unsure, you can use the toothpick method. When you believe the cupcakes are ready, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, they're done!
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely after they come out of the oven. 15 to 20 minutes is about right. It'll give you plenty of time to make the frosting and color the coconut.
In a large bowl, combine all the frosting ingredients except for the whipping cream. Be sure the mixer is on low, as the ingredients are dry and will fly out of the bowl...It happened to me! FYI...
When the ingredients are well combined (and the butter's broken up pretty well), begin adding the whipping cream to the mixture. Be careful not to add too much to the bowl at one time. A "splash" (about 1 tablespoon) is enough. Mix thoroughly. Keep adding cream until the frosting is soft enough to "ribbon" with the mixer. By "ribbon" I mean when you can see the imprints the beater creates in the frosting as you mix. See the picture below... The "ribbon" looks almost like waves left in the frosting.
Using this method is a great way to tell whether the frosting is smooth enough to spread while not being too soft. It's a delicate balance...If you accidentally add too much cream, and the frosting looks runny, add a little more powdered sugar to stiffen it up.
Assemble 11 cupcakes on a cake board or decorative platter in the shape of a bunny. Three cupcakes for the ears, three across for the face, and two at the bottom...The 12th cupcake should be cut horizontally to use as the cheeks. Set the 12th cupcake aside.
Gently frost the cupcakes so that you can see the bunny face outline. There is no trick to this. You could pipe it out with a decorator bag, or you could use a spatula. It doesn't need to look perfect either. Just try to cover the cupcakes (and be generous with the frosting). The coconut will cover any imperfections from the decorating.
Now that the bunny face is frosted, place the two halves of the 12th cupcake on top (to serve as the cheeks), and frost them, too. This is going to be one cheeky bunny...
In a small plastic bag add 1/2 cup of coconut and a drop or two of red food coloring. Wilton paste colors also work. However, because paste colors are more concentrated, I would recommend using pink rather than red. I used red paste, so the coconut is a little darker than I would like. No problem though. Bunnies come in many different colors...
Seal the bag and roll the coconut around with the color. When it's the desired pink (or red in my case...LOL), it's ready.
Gently pour the colored coconut over the outside of the ears and on the cheeks. It's already looking cute! The cheeks look like snowballs. So good!
Now pour the remainder of the coconut on the rest of the face and in the middle of the ears.
Now for the fun part! Use your favorite candy to decorate the bunny's face. We used green soft round candies, marshmallows, and black gel icing for the lashes, whiskers, and mouth. Feel free to get creative though. You can use just about any kind of candy here... When we were done the girls and I had a giggle over how different our bunny looked from the Land O' Lakes bunny. We decided he looked like he could audition for a 3-D cartoon.
Pull-Apart Bunny Cake is easy to decorate and easy to eat...just ask the girls of Brownie Troop #931 in Westfield, IN. Make this funny bunny, and bring on the smiles!
How did your Bunny Cake turn out? I'd love to have you rate and review this recipe!
Next Liz is using her left over Easter ham in a scalloped potato dish you won't want to miss.
Julie is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.