It’s perhaps a bit last-minute to post an Easter cake recipe but this one is pretty quick to make without a packet mix in sight! As we have two birthdays this Easter week, my daughter and I celebrated both together in advance with this Chocolate Easter Bunny Birthday Cake.
She then hopped back over the Channel – as a mix of happy and hot cross bunny – to prepare for her first university exams. Julie turns 19.
The older she gets, the more she asks for treats she loved when she was little, such as Melting Moments (oat biscuits), fresh strawberries now in season, macarons (surprised?) – and an extra large dark chocolate cake!
Easter Bunny Butt Cake – Let’s Say Bottom!
She may be 19 but she’s still my baby so her wee party did look more like a baby shower. Inspired by Easter Bunny Cake images on Pinterest, I loved this ‘Bunny Butt’ version as it’s easy to put together. To achieve a clean, round mound without even needing to cut off tops – simply bake the cake in a greased glass Pyrex bowl and make 3 smaller cakes in cupcake or muffin moulds for the paws and tail (many sites tell you to use candy floss but I can’t find it here).
All the recipes I found on the internet, however, used a packet mix for both the cake and the topping. Like all my recipes, this is a recipe made from scratch which is still easy but you’ll see why it’s worth making your own. Why should we bake from scratch? Because we can control the amount (and type) of sugar we use. Too sweet and you lose the good chocolate flavours.
Good Quality Dark Chocolate Cake
When it comes to chocolate cake, we’re serious chocoholics. After years of appreciating good chocolat noir – dark, bittersweet French chocolate – it has to be pure and simply our best chocolate cake: moist rather than crumbly with melted intense dark chocolate, good quality unsweetened cocoa powder, plenty of good quality chocolate chips and not too much sugar to let the chocolate’s quality shine through.
Reduced Sugar Chocolate Cake
For a white rabbit topping, either use my easy dark chocolate glaze recipe and sprinkle coconut on top, or cream cheese frosting (from this purple carrot cake) – or make this topping using good quality white chocolate, making it a triple chocolate cake.
White chocolate is naturally sweetened so it doesn’t need any extra sugar. If you see recipes adding sugar to white chocolate and butter – DON’T. With some recipes, you could end up throwing in a whopping amount (as much as 250g/9oz!) of totally unnecessary sugar. Just add a touch of vanilla powder, if you like, for more natural sweetness. The result? The white chocolate buttercream topping on this balances the overall cake’s sweetness.
How to Make Chocolate Easter Bunny Cake Paws
Roll out ready-made pink marzipan and cut out these paw shapes using a sharp knife. If you have a piping bag tip, then pressing through paw circles is even easier. Cut the two muffin-sized cakes to form triangular feet, coat with white chocolate buttercream then stick on the marzipan.
Chocolate Easter Bunny Birthday Cake
A triple chocolate bunny cake that's great for Easter, birthdays or baby showers. Dark, bittersweet chocolate cake is topped with reduced sugar white chocolate buttercream and decorated with pink marzipan for the paws and ears.
- 75 g (3oz) dark cooking chocolate at least 60% cocoa (broken into pieces)
- 225 g (8oz) unsalted butter softened
- 125 g (4.5oz) brown cane sugar (I use organic cocoa flower sugar)
- 150 g (5.5oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 75 g (3oz) ground almonds (almond flour) (for a nut-free cake, replace nuts with more plain flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt (fleur de sel)
- 4 medium organic eggs
- 75 g (3oz) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten)
- 150 ml (5.5 floz) milk semi-skimmed (or full fat)
- 110 g (4oz) good quality chocolate chips
- 150 g (5.5oz) good quality white chocolate drops or broken into pieces
- 135 g (5oz) unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract (optional)
- 100 g (3.5oz) pink marzipan (for paws & ears)
- 250 g (9oz) green marzipan (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4. Grease a large ovenproof glass (Pyrex) bowl and 3 muffin moulds with extra butter.
Melt the cooking chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie), ensuring the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. As soon as it starts to melt, take off the heat, stir until completely melted and leave aside to slightly cool.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, melted chocolate, eggs, cocoa powder. When well mixed, add the milk and chocolate chips and combine until smooth.
Pour the mixture into 3 muffin moulds and the large Pyrex bowl. Bake the smaller cakes for 15 minutes and the large cake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake. Set aside to cool then upturn on a cake rack.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie), ensuring the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. As soon as it starts to melt, take off the heat, stir until completely melted and leave aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Cream the butter in a stand mixer or using a wooden spoon in a large bowl. When the chocolate is cooled right down but still liquid, beat in to the butter (both should be the same temperature). Using a spatula, spread on top of the large cake. Chill until ready to serve. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving, to appreciate the chocolate flavours.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the pink marzipan to a thin sheet and cut out paw shapes using a sharp knife: 2 ovals and 6 small circles (use a piping tip).
Cut the top off to even one muffin cake for the tail. Cut off the sides of each of the 2 muffins to make a triangular shape for the paws. Spread on the buttercream, plopping one for the tail and place the 2 as paws, sticking on the pink paw-prints. Optional: roll out the green marzipan into a large circular sheet as a grass-looking base and decorate with edible flowers, Easter eggs and macarons.
Alternatively, love a lemon cake? Try this gluten-free Almond & Lemon Easter Cake.
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