Recipes, Special Diets on April 21, 2011 by

The Recipe Renovator: Easter Bunny Cake (GF/CF)

This bunny makes a charming centerpiece for Easter or a spring party.

This coconut-vanilla bunny cake will delight kids, and it’s very easy to make as a family project. Using gluten free vanilla cake mix helps you focus on the fun of carving and decorating it with your kids.

When I was little, my mom used to make this bunny cake, which seemed absolutely magical to me. Using Bob’s Red Mill GF vanilla cake mix and their delicious coconut made it come together quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need for the project:

  • 1 package GF Vanilla Cake Mix (or use the Gluten-free Goddess’ coconut cake recipe)
  • 1- 8″ or 9″ round Cake Pan
  • Coconut Oil
  • Filtered Water
  • 3 Eggs or Egg substitute
  • 2 tsp Coconut Flavoring (gluten free, alcohol-free)
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • Flaked Unsweetened Coconut
  • Green Food Coloring*
  • Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)
  • 9-10 Toothpicks with pointy ends
  • Pink and Purple Small Jelly Beans (see list of GF Easter candy here)
  • White Card Stock
  • Pink Paper or Crayons

The day before:
Make the frosting
Bake the cake
Color the “grass”

Mix and bake the cake according to package directions, adding 2 teaspoon coconut flavoring to the batter. For Bob’s Red Mill mix, I greased the pan with coconut oil and lined the bottom with parchment paper. I used 3 Tablespoon flaxseed meal plus 9 Tablespoon filtered water as the egg substitute, and coconut oil in the batter. It is important to smooth the top with a spatula before putting it in the oven. Bake for the time recommended, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Easter Bunny Cake diagram

Illustration courtesy of Divine Dinner Party. Used with permission.

This illustration explains how to cut and assemble the cake. Use frosting to stick the two halves together, then put toothpicks through both layers in several places to hold it together. Use a serrated knife to cut the wedge for the head. I ended up carving the shapes a little bit more, to round off the head and body.

At this point, move the cake to your serving platter. I put four pieces of waxed paper under the edges of the cake, to catch excess frosting and coconut while I worked.

Frost the body with frosting, covering the seams thickly. Use toothpicks to hold the tail in place. Use a spoon and your fingers to pat the shredded coconut onto the frosting. (If you don’t want to buy a package of each type, you can put some of the flaked coconut in the blender and pulse it on low to shred it for the fur.) When you have completely covered the bunny, carefully remove the waxed paper and the excess frosting and coconut.

Cut out the ears by folding white card stock or heavy paper in half. These ears are 2-1/8″ long and 1-1/8″ wide. If you have pink paper, cut a smaller piece in the same shape. Or, kids can color in the center with a pink crayon or pencil.

With a sharp knife, cut one purple jelly bean and one pink jelly bean in half. Using scissors, cut 3 toothpicks in half. Create the face with the jelly beans, add the toothpick whiskers, place the ears last.

Make the grass by putting flake coconut in a large plastic container with a lid or a large ziploc bag. Add food coloring and shake until it is the color you want. Use a spoon to place the grass around the bunny. Decorate with candy eggs, jelly beans, or other goodies.

Vanilla Frosting
From the BabyCakes cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
  • 3/4 cup Dry Soy Milk Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Agave Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (alcohol free)
  • 1-1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine the first five ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes. With the blender running, add the lemon juice and the coconut oil, alternating between them until everything is fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate six hours until set.

To use this as a sauce, let it sit at room temperature. This can stand in for whipping topping, frosting, and even sweet butter. You will likely have to warm the coconut oil in the microwave to get it to liquid state, which is why you need to refrigerate it to set it. Pull it out about an hour or so before using so it’s at a nice spreading consistency. I find that I need to use 2 tablespoons of coconut flour to get the right consistency.

Notes: Most GF cake mixes do contain sugar, so you’ll need to make your own batter from scratch if you’re watching your sugar intake. If you are avoiding soy, you can substitute rice milk and rice milk powder in the frosting.

*Food coloring is optional for the green grass and can be left out entirely if you prefer.

Many thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for providing the cake mix and coconut for me to create this recipe, and Divine Dinner Party for providing the perfect illustration.




Lindsey says:

This looks adorable and totally delish! With a little tweaking I can make this safe for my daughter. Needless to say she’s excited 🙂 Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Mike says:

We’re not restrained by the GF thing, so we’re going to use the Carrot Cake recipe on the back of Bob’s Whole Wheat Pastry flour bag. We’ve made that cake several times, and it’s always a hit. We use coconut oil instead of the fat called for in the recipe.

I am tempted to try the frosting recipe, although I’m a bit put off by the agave syrup. It’s one of those “health-halo” ingredients, but it’s no better than high fructose corn syrup as far as your body is concerned. Might try using regular Karo corn syrup

What a fantastic cake! My kids would absolutely love it. Wish I had the skills to make it!

Dixiesnow2012 says:

Can you use almond milk for the frosting?

Yes, almond milk makes a fabulous frosting- from personal experience.

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