My kids are long past believing in the Easter Bunny, still each year I try a little something special for a surprise. This year I am making pinata eggs (sort of), and a bunny cake.
Over the years I have made assorted animals with the colored eggs, made and played pin the tail on the rabbit games, barnyard charades, treasure hunts with clues hidden in the hidden plastic eggs, name that animal game, hopping sack races, egg hunt, egg toss, don’t break the egg races, pass the egg with out using your hands games, Hoppy Says(simon says), Bunny lawn bowling and on an on………
I made my own chocolate bunnies, bunny, chick, and egg decorated cut out cookies, even tried making my own jelly beans one year ( hit a brick wall there), bunny shaped pancakes, used cookie cutters to cut shapes out of layer cake or brownies, like brownie bunny sundaes,etc., sounds silly I know but I always got lots of smiles.
I was walking through a local craft store last week looking for a couple of small cute baskets that would hold a little candy and a small surprise (movie, DS, or PS game) for my son and daughter on Easter (had already figured out bunny cake for dessert), and then I found it (in plaster crafts), a loose mesh gauze that had been dragged through a loose plaster of paris mixture then dried. This “plaster gauze” (actual name of product) was being sold as a short cut to home made paper mache for pinatas, so I got an idea.I took a balloon blew it up ’til it was the shape of an egg(I used a large 10″ balloon but any size will work), cut a few short strips of mesh, wet them and cross laid them over each end of the balloon, then cut longer strips of mesh(length of balloon) wet them and began to lay strips lengthways on balloon overlapping each strip a little and repeating until strips almost completely covered the balloon, stopping when you need only 2 or three strips to finish covering balloon. Let dry. Pop balloon. Fill egg with Easter treats. Add last strips, closing egg. Let dry. Paint egg with any design you like. Hide filled Easter pinata egg, make son or daughter hunt for treasure, after all you took the time to make it, you might as well make ’em work to find it before they destroy your creation. Should be great fun.
As for my bunny cake I’m making my bunny shape the old fashioned way using 2 round layer cakes, a piece of pink construction paper (ears and nose) and jelly beans for eyes.
Pre-school through elementary are thought to be the best years for holiday fun with kids, but kids at any age appreciate and delight in special thoughts and surprises done just for them.
For the bunny cake you can use any flavor combos that are family favs, for me this year it’s white on white with flaked coconut on top.
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 cup softened butter (stick)
1 1/4 C whole milk
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 C sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
4 Tbs water
4 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
bag of flaked coconut
To make cake:
oven to 350
rack in center oven
grease and flour 2 – 9″ round cake pans
In large mixing bowl beat all ingredients on low just until combined(about 30 sec), scraping bowl constantly
continue beating on high speed about 3 min, scraping often
divide batter evenly between 2 baking pans, tap on counter to level batter
bake 35 min, until tops spring back when touched and pick inserted in center comes out clean
cool completely on wire racks
To make frosting:
In medium saucepan stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water
cover and bring to rolling boil over med heat
uncover and continue to cook without stirring until 242-245 on candy thermometer, about 6-8 min
should form a soft ball when a dab is dropped in very cold water(you can squish it between thumb and forefinger)
while mixture is boiling beat egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form
when syrup on stove comes to temp begin pouring into stiff egg whites very slowly in a very thin stream while beating constantly on medium speed
when combined add vanilla and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form again (about 10-12 min)
frost your bunny, dust with coconut
you may want to tack bunny parts together with a little frosting to hold tight in place, if cakes bake rounded on top trim with a knife to make level