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March 21, 2016

Easter Bunny Cake | Continuing Granny's Tradition | Coconut Cake

Country Living Magazine recently shared my Bunny Cake on their site.  Granny would've been "tickled pink" - as I'm sure she would've said : )  

We could always depend on what was going to come out of Granny's kitchen - spaghetti and meatballs any day of the week, shrimp dip on Christmas Eve, fried mushrooms during mushroom season, fried donuts on Saturday mornings and the infamous Bunny Cake on Easter.  Easter wasn't Easter without the Bunny Cake.  As I look back on the Bunny Cake, I can remember thinking it was amazing when I was really young.  We were fascinated by anything in the "cake decorating" realm and I loved seeing it come together in person.  

We never really ate the cake - none of the kids liked coconut and my Mom's cream pies piled with meringue tended to distract us.  None-the-less, the Bunny Cake always showed up and we always got a kick out of it.  She presented hers similarly, in a basket with fake green Easter "grass" surrounded by cupcakes topped with jelly beans.  

Granny was better than me - I forgot to only make one 8-inch cake* and bake the rest of the batter as cupcakes... I made two cakes and ended up with two bunnies.  I guess it really is true what they say about bunnies...

*I've added the perfect, deep 8-inch cake pan to my store.  It fits the entire cake mix into this one pan, perfect for 1, plump bunny.

Bunny Cake

3 sticks of butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
Parchment Paper ($10 for 100can buy here)
8-inch Cake Pan
Cream Cheese Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and coconut.  Add it to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with the milk.  End with adding flour coconut mixture.  Do not over mix.

I line my 8-inch Cake Pan (and cookie sheets, and everything...) with parchment paper that I cut to fit.

Bake the cake for 30 minutes and cupcakes for 15.

See cream cheese icing recipe below.

I made a base for the cake to sit on by wrapping a piece of cardboard in parchment paper.  You can use wrapping paper, printer paper or foil... whatever you have.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 pound of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of milk

Cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Stir together until creamy - do not whip. 

I put a smear of frosting on the base to help the cake stick.


Cut a notch out of the top to form the head.  Use part of the scrap to create a little tail.

Cover the bunny in icing.  You may need to put it in the refrigerator then add a second coat if you like a lot of icing like me.

 Cover the outside with flaked coconut.  I put some of spanish moss around the bunny to give it some natural texture and life.

I created the little ears by cutting them out of textured cardstock and painting pink centers with Emma's watercolor paints.  Granny used good ol' fashioned pink construction paper.

I added a little pink nose, too, but kept the bunny blank... I like just the nose and ears.  Too much decor takes away from the simplicity of it.

The Bunny Lives on!   Both of them.

The eggs came from my Mom's friends' farm - I've been saving them just for this.  It will make a great centerpiece for our Easter dinner!

The Spring Collection

Each morning I take a walk with Mr. Darcy.  While gauzed as my "workout" this daily ritual gives me a chance to quietly observe the seasonal changes.  February is truly a winter month here, but there are small signs of awakening.  Amongst the brown grass, small bits of new green sprigs are starting to break through, tips of daffodils are emerging just a tiny bit, and the birds are back and they are singing.

The beginning of March brings all of the changes of spring that I love the most - the season before the season.  I love to watch the slow reveal of each new flowering bulb - first the crocus, then the daffodils, then the hyacinth and finally the tulips.  The trees aren't just grey sticks any longer, if you look closely you can see their new buds slightly shading their branches.  Our maple trees look almost red with their tiny buds, and Emma's cherry tree has deep pink buds that will be blossoms in a months time.  I also love to obsess over my peonies.  Right now, you can go in your garden and see the teeniest deep fuchsia shoots poking through the dirt.  And the dirt, I live for the scent of the fresh, damp mud that hangs in the air during the pre-spring season.

Every season brings a fresh beginning, but none quite like Spring.  This is the time of year when I want everything simple, clean and fresh inside.  I want my windows open and each room to be filled with light.  This collection reflects that feeling of freshness for your home and Easter celebrations this Spring.

Spring Changes

This year has been one of exciting moves for my business.  You all read about The School House that will by my business' new head quarters.  We're working to have it up and running next month!  Another new avenue I'm traveling down is offering more custom designed products.  I've been at this for a while now, and I find that the only time I'm really able to offer you exactly what I want is if I design it myself.    I'm moving to an almost entire store of completely custom collections designed by me, just for my store.   In the Spring Collection, you'll see some of my newest custom products and some classics. 

Not only am I interested in bringing you my custom designs, but I also want them made in a way that feels good.  I want the products that I offer to be made by someone that loves making them and that makes them in a way that they'll last forever.

I've partnered with a local service organization, Rightfully Sewn.  They seek out under-employed, and sometimes at-risk women and train them as seamstresses and pair them up with businesses like mine so they are able to work for themselves.  The custom designs and quality they've been able to offer me are beyond what I've had available before.  

I feel so blessed to be one of their partners and have plans to help them to continue to grow with me.  You will be blown away at the quality of the stitching, zippers and hand-pressing of each item.  And look at my new cute tags!  It all feels very official.  And the entire process gives me the warm fuzzies, which is the entire idea - all the way around.  I want the entire process of my business from inspiration, to design, to production, to fulfillment to feel good and solid and right.

Creamy and classic, the Natural Check Pillows are perfect for brightening our sofa for spring.  Offered in 22" & 20" Squares that are self-piped and self-backed, and in a Rectangle that is piped and backed with a natural oatmeal.

Here is a close-up shot of the natural oatmeal backing and piping featured on the Rectangle pillow.

The Square 22" & 20" is self backed and piped in the natural check.

The Spa Check is in between a blue and a green - in the best way.  It is such a soothing color - almost neutral, but in an airy, breezy way.  Like the Natural Check, the Square Pillows have a matching check back, while the Rectangle has a natural oatmeal backing and piping.

What is more charming than a pair of Wellie Boots?  They are nostalgic, yet modern, seemingly child-like yet utilitarian for any adult that enjoys the outdoors, alike.  This paper collection of tags, tablets and cards will add that sweet, charming touch to a gift.  I set the kids' Easter table with a tablet at each place, ready for drawing.  I'm also using it as my official tablet for the School House.  
Tags : Set of 10
Tablets : 50 pages
Card & Envelope Boxed Sets : Set of 10

Here I've used a Spa Check Napkin as a liner for an Easter basket.  A tea towel would be easily used, as well.  For a little color, I add a simple tied Pool Satin Ribbon on the top of the basket.

Spa Check Tea Towel
Cello Bags
Grosgrain Ribbon
Wellie Boots Short Tablet

Pool Satin Ribbon

I have loved this Pool Paper-Source ribbon for years.  Like almost 20 years.  I use it with kraft paper to wrap gifts, to tie on cello bags and everything else.  The color is just fabulous - not to saturated, just the right shade of blue.  It is a bit of a splurge, but a little goes a long way.
Small : 1/4", 10 yards
Large : 1 1/2", 10 yards

I set the Kids' Table with a Spa Check Runner folded in half.  Each setting has a Wellie Boots Short Tablet.

Creamware Creamers holding daffodils and colored pencils act as the interactive centerpieces.

Creamware Creamers, Set of 5
Wellie Boots Short Tablet
Pool Satin Ribbon
Natural Check Napkin
Spa Check Runner

At the dining table, I featured the Natural Check linens, using the long and wide runner with the napkins.  I love this rustic, gardeny setting.  It feels elegant but also feel a bit like you're lunching in the potting shed.  Use a collection of vessels for flowers, and bring some outdoor pots inside for that fresh from the garden feel.  The monochromatic creams and pale yellow make this a really lovely scheme.

Natural Check Runner
Natural Check Napkins
Creamware Creamers Collection of 5
Classic Cream & Sugar Set
Creamware Platters

Each setting is tied with a Grosgrain Ribbon and a Garden Tool tag as the place card.

Natural Check Napkins, Set of 4
Garden Tool Tag
Grosgrain Ribbon

The Creamware Platters have been restocked.  They are a favorite all year long, but the creaminess is especially Springy to me.  Great for entertaining and for display, as you can see on our walls and hutch.

As a favor, each guest receives this charming hyacinth wrapped in a Natural Check Napkin, and tied with the same Grosgrain Ribbon and Garden Tool Tag.

Garden Tool Stationery Collection

I love this stationery suite because it is rustic enough to use to label your gardening supplies or make out your to-do list in the garden, but still elegant enough to use on your Easter table.  I think it would be perfect for a springtime gift to a friend - maybe a potted plant or a favorite packet of seeds.   
Tags : Set of 10
Tablets : 50 pages
Card & Envelop Boxed Sets : 10

Natural Check Tea Towel, $10

Easter Basket Essentials : Grosgrain

I've added some essential ribbons in pastel colors, perfect for Easter.  All of these color coordinate with both the Natural and the Spa Check Linen Collection.  I know that we all love ivories mixed with these colors, but we also know our kids will love some hues that are a little more fun.  Emma, for instance, will love the Lilac Grosgrain on her basket.  I'll probably accent the basket with the Spa Check Tea Towel, then tie her treats up with the Lilac ribbon.

This is the perfect Easter Kids' Table craft - all of the supplies needed to make a Bunny & Pom Garland you can use year after year.
Kit includes pre-cut shapes, yarn pre-strung with poms.  Makes 1 garland approx 12 feet with 12 bunnies each 5x5".

Bunny Paper Dolls Kit 

Speaking of colorful...  These will be right up Emma's alley!  Each season she makes some decorations for our home.  Today after school, she's going to work on these and apply them to our french doors in the kitchen.    She will love the bright, fun colors, and I can't wait to see how she adds a little personality to each one of these bunnies.  I'm sure some of them will have Jo-Jo bows... if you know what that is, then you know what I mean ; )

12 bunnies

This might be just the thing for you to add to your Easter Baskets, or cello bags to give them a little Easter spirit.  Great for class gifts!


  1. oh jenny! cutest little bunny cakes i've ever seen! why don't kids like coconut??? my boys would love the cake and icing though! i might have to change my plans for sunday to include one of these!! start a new tradition here. thanks for sharing. Happy Easter! xo, tessa

    1. Anonymous9:58 PM

      My Aunt Opal made this every year at Easter when I was a child. I always got the Bunny Tail....Mostly frosting!! She tinted coconut green for the rabbit to sit in. I always wanted to make this, but never did. I think I will have to hire someone to draw the ears for me!! I am not that good at "ears"!! I am kind of nervous to cut off some cake to make the head.....My aunt had given me specific directions.....but over the years, I lost i t. This is the closest I have seen. Thanks!! OJ Ward

  2. love this! So creative

  3. Jenny , This same cake has always been a tradition in my family as long as I can remember , my Mom would also make the cupcakes with coconut tinted green and jelly beans on top .
    Love your blog glad I found it via Pintrest , today I am making your red velvet whoopie pies for Easter baskets !

  4. Cutest Easter cakes I've seen!!! Love them!

  5. So cute Jenny! I want to try this! What a neat family tradition to remember.

  6. just what I was looking for! I have everything ready to make a coconut cake this morning and now I may have to male it into a bunny shape! So creative and looks delicious too!

  7. This is so so so cute! Love it. :)

  8. How absolutely gorgeous, I agree simplicity is the key here.

    Lee :)

  9. That is the cutest easter cake i have ever seen! Think i may have to make this...
    Thanks for sharing
    Happy Easter

  10. Jenny these are so cute! I just pinned this to remember to make it next Easter. Thanks for the step by step instructions.

  11. Anonymous8:13 PM

    Adorable bunny cake! I love how it is more natural looking and not cartoon-ish. I will have to keep it in mind for next year. Danielle B. at Welcome Company

  12. Anonymous6:01 PM

    We have also done these for years but we added jelly beans for eyes and nose. And we surrounded it with green-dyed coconut for grass with candy eggs or jelly beans. colored sheets of foam work well for the ears because they don't get messed up from the frosting.

  13. Anonymous9:32 AM

    This just made my Easter dinner list. So cute and simple. Love that it uses regular cake pans!

  14. This is the cake my mother made when I was growing up. I have made it too! Thank you!

  15. Hi there! My name is Tiffanie and I write corner blog. I just found this link near something someone pinned of mine on Pinterest, your bunnies were right next to it. Turns out we posted the exact same (more or less) cakes on the exact same day last March! My mother made these when we were little. And I see these comments from other people who had mothers who made them as well. Must've been a big trend in the late 70s! Here are mine. So funny! :)

  16. What a stunning looking bunny cake. Love the simplicity of the design, but it looks too good to eat

  17. SO cute! I hope you don't mind me sharing this tomorrow on my [in five] Easter edition. I will link back to your original post. Thanks!

  18. My grandmother used to make a cake just like this and I've been wanting to make one. Thank you for the easy instructions!

  19. About to make this- by "stick of butter" do you mean a full-sized stick of those little half sticks (I think they are half a cup ea)?

  20. This cake looks adorable and I am sure it will be delicious.
    Does the recipe really only yield one 9" cake?

  21. So sorry to be "THAT GIRL" who did not read the post carefully.
    Two 8" cakes!!
    I am totally making this. I will probably use coconut milk (the delicious canned variety, well shaken) for the milk instead of cow's milk. One can never have enough coconut. Happy Easter!

  22. Jenny - For your cinnamon bread recipe when you say "I set my oven at 120 degrees, put in a pan of warm water, and let it rise in the oven" Is that after it has risen in the refridgerator over night?
    thank you,


  23. I made this for today for Easter and it was a HUGE hit! I decided to zest a lime into the icing while I was making it and it was so good! The lime mixed with the coconut was the perfect pairing and added a bit of freshness. Thanks for the great recipe!

  24. wow nice recipe, I made to try this recipe today and yesterday I made Easter Bunny Cake on lovely Easter ... I love awesome recipes :)

  25. Victoria7:40 AM

    used the instruction to cut a cake into a easter bunny, but made a vanilla biskuit coated in chocolat ganache and topped with hazelnut brittle instead. a great alternative for the ones who dislike coconut... became a pretty little brown bunny :)♥

  26. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Hi Jenny,
    My Mom used to make a bunny cake out of two round cakes, cut one in half like you did and then the other was cut into hips/legs and a head.
    She put green coconut around the bottom to sit in and jelly bean eggs.
    Thank you for the memories.

  27. My mom always made this at Easter - she would use an angel food cake in an angel food cake pan to make the rabbit. Then she would add thin licorice for the whiskers and a jelly bean for each of the eyes.

  28. My grannie always loved coconut cake, but she never made a bunny cake. She was a much too practical farm lady to spend time on things that would have made be a cool grannie. This grannie is going to make your sweet bunny cake this very day and with the help of her grandaughters, too. Thank you for sharing. I was looking at all of them and decided on yours!

  29. Hi Jenny - I just made these (2 for gifts) 2 for us. They are the cutest and easiest ever. I did have a question. It says 4oz of shredded coconut in the recipe. Do you mean a half a cup or should we use a scale to weigh out the 4 ozs. I did the later as a 1/2 cup didn't seem right to me. Your reply would be appreciated as I'm sure others may wonder as well. HAPPY EASTER !!!

  30. What a hit yesterday!!! The kids loved the bunny cakes...not to mentioned everyone devoured it. Great recipe...cake has a nice crumble.


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