Confetti Coconut Classic Bunny Cake with M&M’s.
I know guys. I know.
Is the whole bunny cake thing terrifying? Or adorable? The question will always be out there, but since mine has sparkle sprinkle eyelashes? I’m going with adorable. (p.s. where can I get myself sparkle sprinkle eyelashes… ?)
There have been some terrifying ones in my day, I’ll tell you that.
This is one old school cake! Please tell me you’ve seen, tried, eaten or have at least walked by the bunny cake at one of your Easter brunches, lunches or dinners over the years. It’s a classic staple around here and almost embarrassingly easy. And fun!
Since Max was born, I feel like I’ve talked tirelessly about wanting to create traditions for him and for us as a little family. It’s no secret that I am ridiculously nostalgic and my family had so many traditions, some purposeful and others accidental, that they truly shaped my (wonderful) childhood. Those traditions ranged from big things, like being lucky enough to go on vacation every summer to more minor things, like eating the same dinner on Thursday nights.
For Easter, we always spent a large chunk of time dyeing eggs and on Easter morning before church, would find the eggs and our baskets that the Easter Bunny hid. My mom will still hide the eggs (okay, actually I think last year one of my brothers hid the eggs… ) and we still spend a few hours dyeing them, it’s just more of a grown up party now. See also: wine.
So this is one new tradition I want to make each year: decorating a bunny cake! Kind of like a gingerbread house for… Easter. You know.
Obviously Max is just a bit too young to really get the whole decorating thing. Later this week, I plan on making another cake here for our brunch and might let him have at it. A part of me wants to serve a cake that he “decorates” himself – a “Max masterpiece” as we call his art here.
I’ve partnered with M&M’S to decorate my bunny cake today because we just love the little pastel morsels so much. Seasonal M&M’s were always a tradition in our house too – my mom always had little bowls filled with them that everyone would go crazy over. I’ve carried on that tradition and love how it adds a bit of decor to our kitchen.
Let’s talk cake!
The base of the cake is a coconut confetti cake – coming from the recipe out of my cookbook, seriously delish. I used the confetti cake and mixed in some good old angelflake coconut, my grandma’s favorite. The frosting is a coconut cream cheese frosting and the entire thing is downright DELICIOUS.
It’s also super easy. All you need to do is bake two round cakes, and I’m not going to tell you that you can’t use boxed mix. If it’s easiest, do it. Mix it up, bake and let cool. The trickiest part comes next.
Once you bake the rounds and they are cool, you’ll slice one of them to create the ears and bowtie. This is the hardest part so if you think it’s simple, you’re on your way. And don’t worry about it being even – mine’s a little uneven and let’s just say that it gives the bunny… character.
I was on the fence about the bowtie, honestly. This is a super old-school cake, I don’t even know WHEN it originated. The 70s? The 80s? Tell me! It originated with the bowtie though.
Anyhoo, I wanted to make the bunny without the bowtie but if I did that, hello – what would I do with the extra cake?
Besides devour it, of course.
Maybe make cake balls? I couldn’t be bothered.
After baking, cover it in your frosting. Then cover it in coconut, at least the face and ears, because bunnies have fur. The coconut tastes better, I swear. After that, get to decorating! The only décor I used was a bag of M&M’S and some sprinkles. I’ve made many a bunny cake where you need specific candy to make the face. And while it’s super cute, you can still make a face with just one type of candy! Easy peasy.
And of course, the next part is the easiest. EAT up.
(Or the hardest, depending on how you feel about cutting bunny cake slices. Whomp whomp.)
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 2 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 bag Easter pastel M&M’S
- ½ cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles, plus some extra for decorating
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks of cold cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it until creamy. Add the sugar and beat with the butter on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the egg and egg white, mixing well on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed for another minute. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk. Add in the other half of the dry ingredients and mix them on medium speed until the batter is combined. Stir in 1 cup of coconut. Use a large spatula to gently stir in the sprinkles.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake until the tops are set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then gently turn the cakes out on a piece of parchment paper, using a knife to release the edges if needed. Let cool completely before frosting.
Take one of the cake rounds and cut out the bow tie and the ears. To do this, simply cut two curves on the outside of the cake round to make the ears. This gives you the bow tie for the center too!
To decorate, frost the cake and then immedaitely cover the face and eats with the remaining coconut. Use the M&M’S to decorate the bow tie, make eyes, a mouth, a nose – whatever! I liked to add in little sprinkles for “eyelashes” and pink cheeks.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar with the mixer on low speed, increasing the speed once all of the sugar is added. Add in vanilla and coconut extracts, then beat on medium to
medium-high speed for a good 2-3 minutes until creamy, scraping down the sides if needed. If you find the frosting it a bit too thick, add in some milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it is too thin, add additional powdered sugar gradually.
The best part is how this cake makes you feel like a KID. Super happy.
[this post is brought to you by M&M’S®! i’ve partnered with them to create a few recipes for their pinterest page, which i’ll share with you over the next few months! thank you so much for supporting the site.]