Easter Bunny Cake
A) Preheat the oven to 180oC. Grease and line the base and sides of 4 x 8inch cake tins with parchment paper. If using a loose bottom cake tin, double line the base of the tin to prevent any mixture leaking out.
B) Add the plain flour, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and caster sugar into a large bowl, and with a hand whisk mix until evenly blended together.
C) Add the oil, milk, eggs and vanilla extract, whisk by hand again until the mixture is smooth, glossy, and lump free.
D) In a different bowl, mix the freshly boiled water and coffee, and then add to the mixture. Whisk again by hand again until smooth and lump free.
E) Evenly divide the mixture between the 4 tins (around 1kg of mix per tin). The mixture will be runny. Bake for around 35-40 minutes or until a cocktail stick which, once inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. Leave to cool on a rack.
A) Put all the ingredients into a free-standing mixer (with the K beater attachment) and start mixing on a slow speed until everything has combined.
B) Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then beat on full speed for around 6-8 minutes or until really pale, light and fluffy.
A) To make the chocolate ganache, break the milk chocolate into pieces and leave to one side.
B) Pour the cream into a pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
C) Once the cream is boiling, remove the pan from the heat.
D) Add in the chocolate. DO NOT stir - leave the chocolate in the cream for around 1 minute. Now the chocolate has acclimatised to the heat, you can stir with a spatula until smooth, silky, and lump free. Leave to one side to cool for at least 15 minutes.
E) To make the buttercream, add the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract to a free-standing mixer (with the K beater attachment), and mix on a slow speed until everything has combined.
F) Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then beat on full speed for around 6-8 minutes or until really pale, light and fluffy.
G) Once your ganache has cooled, pour into the buttercream and fold with a spatula until completely incorporated.
A) Take 150g of milk chocolate and break into small pieces.
B) Melt in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue melting the chocolate in 10 second bursts in the microwave and stirring the chocolate until completely melted.
C) Whilst the chocolate is still warm, add 90g of liquid glucose to the chocolate. This is easier when placing the heatproof bowl onto electronic weighing scales and pouring in the liquid glucose. Mix well until it forms a stiff, firm paste.
D) Spoon paste onto a piece of greaseproof paper, and leave until it has completely cooled. This should take 1 hour. Avoid putting the paste into the fridge where possible as it could become too firm to work with later on.
E) Repeat the steps A to D to make the white chocolate modelling paste, but use 75g of white chocolate and just 45g of liquid glucose.
A) Equally divide your vanilla buttercream made in step 2 into two bowls.
B) In one bowl, add a few drops of our pink food colour gel and mix thoroughly with a spatula until the mixture is evenly coloured to create a pastel pink.
C) Take two disposable piping bags and fill one with half of the pink buttercream, and the other piping bag with half of the white buttercream. Leave the remaining buttercream to one side for decorating the cake later.
D) Cut a hole around 1cm in diameter at the bottom of each piping bag, this will be used to fill your cake.
A) Now it’s time to assemble your cake! To begin, get a cake board or serving plate for your cake to sit on. Ensure that it’s flat and big enough for your cake to sit on.
B) Add a thin layer of white buttercream to the cake board underneath where the first layer of the sponge will sit.
C) Place the first layer of cake on top of this thin layer of buttercream.
D) Starting with the white buttercream, pipe a large circle around the edge of the sponge.
E) Take your pink buttercream and pipe a slightly smaller circle just inside of the previous one you’ve created.
F) Repeat steps D and E until you’ve reached the centre of your sponge layer, and you can see alternate coloured rings of buttercream on your sponge.
G) Lightly place the next layer of sponge onto the buttercream, making sure this is in line with the first layer.
H) Repeat steps D to G until all the sponge layers are filled.
A) Divide the chocolate ganache buttercream evenly into two bowls.
B) Take one of the bowls and using a palette knife start adding a thin layer of chocolate ganache buttercream to the outside of the cake. Start with the base of the cake, and work your way up to the top so that all the sides of the cake are covered. Then cover the top of the cake.
C) To remove the excess buttercream, take a large metal scraper (or palette knife) and smooth around the sides of the cake until they’re looking straight and coated with only a thin layer of buttercream.
D) Chill the cake in the fridge for around 1 hour to set the crumb coat. TOP TIP: if your chocolate modelling paste (step 4) has cooled, you can now move onto step 8 whilst your cake is chilling.
E) Repeat step B and C with the second half of the chocolate ganache buttercream, but this time adding a much thicker layer so that the crumb-coat is well covered.
F) When you use the metal scraper (or palette knife) to remove the excess, don’t scrape too firmly as you want to keep the chocolate ganache buttercream thick and crumb free.
G) Once the sides and top are looking very straight and smooth, dip the metal scraper (or palette knife) into boiling water, then dry with a clean tea towel, then scrape gently around the cake one last time to get a lovely smooth finish.
H) Place the cake into the fridge for around 30 minutes to allow the chocolate ganache buttercream to set.
A) Take the milk chocolate modelling paste and divide into two.
B) Take one half of the milk chocolate modelling paste and knead with the palm of your hand on to the work surface until smooth. Then roll it into a ball. If the paste becomes sticky, add a little more icing sugar to your hands and work surface.
C) Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar, then using a small non-stick rolling pin, roll the milk chocolate modelling paste to around a 2mm thickness. After every roll, lift the milk chocolate modelling paste from the surface to prevent sticking, using more icing sugar if needed.
D) Using a small sharp knife, cut 2 larger ear shapes (around 20cm length) out of the milk chocolate modelling paste, and leave to set on a piece of greaseproof paper.
E) Now take the white chocolate modelling paste and add a couple of drops of our pink food colour gel, and knead until evenly coloured to create a pastel pink.
F) Take the pink chocolate modelling paste and divide into two.
G) Take one half of the pink chocolate modelling paste and roll to around a 2mm thickness.
H) Cut 2 smaller ear shaped pieces out of the pink chocolate modelling paste, around 14cm in length.
I) Take both the milk chocolate ear-shaped cutouts, and add a tiny line of water with your finger to the middle of them both (length-ways). Then firmly press a cake pop stick into each ear to support and keep it upright once in the cake. Position the stick to around 2/3rd’s the way up the ear.
J) Place the pink ear cut outs on top of the cake pops and lightly press to secure them together.
K) Gently pinch the base of both ears and bend the top of one, to create a bit of character and make them look really cute.
L) Now leave them to one side to set.
A) Take a ¼ of the remaining milk chocolate modelling paste to create the eyes.
A) Take a ¼ of the remaining milk chocolate modelling paste to create the eyes.
B) Roll 2 balls of the milk chocolate modelling paste to around 1.5cm in diameter.
C) Take a small portion from each of the balls to create the eyelash later on.
D) Then place one of the balls into the palm of your hand and roll to make a sausage shape, applying more pressure at one end to thin it out into a point.
E) Get the cake out of the fridge, and choose where you’d like the face to be.
F) Position the chocolate you’ve rolled into a curved eye shape and lightly press to ensure it sticks onto the body of the cake, with the thin part flicking up at the end.
G) Now take one of the smaller portions to make the eyelash. Create the same rolled shape in the palm of your hand, but with this much smaller piece of milk chocolate modelling paste (a sausage around 2mm diameter).
H) Stick the thicker end of the sausage close to the end of the eye to create an eyelash effect. If you apply a bit of pressure they should stick together easily.
I) Now repeat steps C to H for the other eye.
A) Take a 1/3 of the remaining milk chocolate modelling paste to create the nose.
B) Roll 2 balls around 2cm diameter and use the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.
C) Position these next to one another, and press together to stick.
D) Now take a 1/3 of the pink chocolate modelling paste.
E) Roll into a ball around 1cm in diameter, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
F) Place a small blob of the remaining pink buttercream underneath the eyes on the body of the cake where the nose should sit and place all three balls in a triangle shape with the top ball being pink.
G) Take your spaghetti and break it into 6 smaller pieces around 5cm in length.
H) Stick 3 of them into each side of the bunny nose to create whiskers.
A) Take the remaining milk chocolate modelling paste and form 2 balls roughly 4cm diameter and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand to create the feet.
B) Use a small knife to create two indents into the top of each ball, around 2cms apart.
C) To make the pads on the bunny feet, take the remaining pink chocolate modelling paste and separate into 6 smaller pink balls, and 2 larger balls. These need to be flattened with the palm of your hand.
D) Stick 3 small flattened balls and 1 larger flattened ball onto each foot to create the ‘paw.’
E) Place a small blob of the remaining pink buttercream onto the base of cake where the feet should sit and stick on both feet.
F) Place the cake back in the fridge.
A) Get the remainder of the white and pink buttercream.
B) Take a few different size star nozzles and a disposable piping bag to go with each nozzle. Ideally, 3 different sized nozzles should be used. Cut the end of the piping bag so the nozzle can fit half in/half out of the bag and press it in firmly.
C) Turn the bags inside out, and down one side of each piping bag spoon in the pink buttercream and down the other side spoon in the white buttercream. This is easier when propping up the piping bag in a large jug so that you have both hands free. Don’t overfill the piping bags otherwise it will be difficult to pipe. Make sure you evenly distribute the buttercream across all of your piping bags.
D) Turn the bag back, and push the buttercream to the end of the bag, to ensure there aren’t any air pockets.
E) Remove the cake from the fridge.
F) Slide the pre-made ears into the top of the cake, ensure they’re facing forward when looking at the face.
G) Now starting with the largest nozzle, pipe rosettes by squeezing the piping bag from the end and holding the nozzle around 2 cm away from the cake. Once you have the size rosette you want, stop squeezing and pull the nozzle away. You can practice this before you pipe onto the cake if preferred.
H) Utilising all of the piping bags/nozzles, pipe all the rosettes around, and in front of the ears to create the bunny hair.
I) Finish the hair by adding a few mini wafer flowers and wafer daisies to complete the look.