Easter Basket Cake

I can’t believe it’s almost Easter! I’ve always wanted to make an Easter basket cake, and this year I finally got around to making one. Not only was this my first time using a basket weave technique, it also was my first time making a cake without butter!! I wanted to try a butter alternative, to ensure that my frosting was as white as possible. I used unsalted Country Crock Sticks, and was pretty amazed that they worked right out of the fridge with no softening required!! I used my go to vanilla layer cake recipe and American buttercream recipe, but swapped out butter for baking sticks (1:1 ratio). The recipes used can be found below.

Be sure to check out the workshop that I hosted with Thefeedfeed and thanks for supporting the brands that support my work, Country Crock!

Coconut Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup (416 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted Country Crock Buttery Sticks
  • 1 Tbsp (13 grams) coconut extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil

Coconut Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 6 sticks unsalted Country Crock Buttery Sticks
  • 12 cups  powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp coconut extract
  • pink, purple, and yellow gel food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 7” and two 8″ round pans. Begin by making the coconut cake layers. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of the unsalted Country Crock Buttery sticks slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in coconut extract and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, carefully fold in sprinkles.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-37 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling, or in the freezer to accelerate the process. Once chilled, level the layers using a serrated knife.

While the layers bake and cool, make coconut frosting. Beat the unsalted Country Crock Buttery Sticks on medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the coconut extract and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). Place 1 cup of frosting into a bowl and color a pastel shade of yellow using a few drops of gel food coloring. Set aside, and repeat with pink and purple gel food coloring.

Stack and frost layers on a cardboard cake round. Frost an even layer of colorful between each cake layer, using the yellow, pink, and purple frosting. Once the layers are stacked, trim in a tapered shape, to resemble a basket.

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Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, place remaining white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 47 tip.

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Carefully pipe a basket weave pattern onto the cake. Begin by making the vertical lines, then carefully pipe the horizontal stitches. 

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Chill again for 5 minutes, then carefully invert the cake using an an addition cardboard cake round.

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Use a spoon to remove about 1 cm from the center of the top of the cake, to make it easier to fill with easter treats.

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Frost the exposed area, and pipe a border around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Fill the inside of the basket with you favorite Easter goodies. I added peeps, candy eggs, a chocolate bunny, and some buttercream flowers.

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Use a bit of wire to shape the handle of the basket, and wrap with fondant. Leave at least 1 inch of uncovered wire, to allow you to securing anchor the handle into the top of the cake.

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Then it’s time to cut in and celebrate Easter in style 🙂 The full tutorial is also included below:

Easy Rabbit Cake

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Since it’s finally spring, I decided to make a super easy rabbit cake! It’s so easy to make, I actually making it as part of my live stream for the Food Network, which can be seen here! This cake is covered in coconut buttercream, and shredded coconut, so you don’t have to worry about frosting your cake perfectly smooth. This cake is a perfect way to celebrate spring, or could even be a fun Easter dessert! It also is perfect for anyone who loves rabbits! The recipe can be found below.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

Decorations:

  • pink fondant
  • white fondant
  • black fondant
  • skewers (for ears)
  • shredded coconut

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the coconut buttercream. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract, and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. Mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get smooth sides on your cake.

If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

To assemble the cake, stack cake layers and apply an even layer of coconut buttercream between each layer. I also chose to sprinkle some toasted coconut between the layers. Once stacked, I applied a thin crumb coat to the cake, and chilled the cake in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the crumb coat to firm up. I then applied a thicker, second layer of buttercream, and covered the cake in shredded coconut. I put some left over buttercream in a pipping bag, and added a tail and cheeks to the cake. I then added fondant ears, eyes, mouth, whiskers, and a nose to the top of the cake. I made these the night before to allow them to firm up before placing them on the cake.

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You can easily simplify the face of the rabbit, but I got a bit carried away making giant ears and big eyes 🙂

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