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Monday, 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...
Bunny Cake

Get my Printable Recipes, here.

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 ($8 for 100can buy here)
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 baking pans (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!

Here are some of my favorite Spring projects so far : 

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Products used :

6" Celebration Candles in Lemon Curd

Jumbo Starburst Tip

18" Disposable Piping Bag

Brown Cupcake Liners

Spring Copper Cookie Cutters, $15 (now on sale!)

Cookie Cutters have become my new favorite item to think about for each season of the store.  For years, I've always looked forward to decorating cookies each season, now I look forward to being able to share that tradition with all of my readers.  

For more Spring and Easter baking projects, decorating and gift ideas, visit my Spring Collection!

Here is the easy-to-pin strip!


  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. 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. 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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