Chocolate Easter Bunny Tree Trunk Cake

Chocolate Easter bunny Cake

Well first off, Happy Easter – I hope you’re doing something nice (or if you’re looking at this in Easters of the future, I hope you have something nice planned!)

This Easter I really wanted to make a cake that was a bit of fun and a bit unusual – I didn’t want to do the typical Chocolate Mini Eggs cake.  I had a look on Pinterest for some inspiration and I found this Chocolate Bunny Tree Trunk Cake concept.  There were a couple of sites I saw that had done it before, like Juniper Cakery, but I couldn’t find a complete recipe that I wanted to use, so I kind of merged a couple.

We’re yet to cut into it so I can’t tell you how it tastes, but it sure looks the part.  This is how I did it…

Ingredients

I decided to maker 3 tiers of chocolate sponge to get a bit of height to the cake.  For this I used, 450g Self Raising Flour, 600g Refined Golden Caster Sugar, 350g Butter & Margerine combo (didn’t have enough butter so I just topped it up with margerine -this seemed to work fine), 150g Cocoa Power (combined with 600ml of hot water and left to cool) , 6 Eggs, 2tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda and a couple of drops of Madagasgan Vanilla Extract.

First things first, I popped the oven on at 180.

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I didn’t have any baking power so I generously greased my baking tins and sprinkled a bit of flour over them.  This really did the trick as I later turned out the sponges cleanly with no problems.

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The sugar and butter were mixed together – I just used an electric hand mixer – and then one by one I added in the eggs.

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Next the cooled Cocoa was folded into the mixture and then poured equally into the 3 greased tins.  A word of warning – I didn’t mix all of the cocoa in properly so when I turned the sponge out there was a bit of a marble effect where the pale mixture was showing through.

I popped these into the oven to bake for just over half an hour, and licked the bowl (life’s too short not too!)

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I could smell the sponges were ready before I took them out –  you can’t beat the smell of baked chocolate sponge on a sunny Saturday afternoon (or most days really!) You can’t always tell with chocolate sponge just by looking at it if it’s ready, the colour is deceiving, so I just double checked it with a skewer.  All clean – good to go.

I let them cool completely before turning them out.  Meanwhile, it was time to start on the sugarcraft bunny and other woodland decorations…

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For this I cheated a little bit in buying ready to roll icing.  I figured I’d just get white icing and a couple of colourings.

I first split out the icing for the separate components I needed.  A healthy chunk for the rabbit, and a couple of smaller pieces for the plants, flowers and rabbit’s paw pads.

Colouring the icing was easy – I just worked it all through in my hands – but I needed to add an extra bit of icing sugar now and then to stop it getting too sticky.

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For the bunny I just rolled out a good sized ball of white icing, and a much smaller ball for the tail.  I used a knife to make a few marks in the tail for that fluffy effect.  Next the feet, which were 2 elongated oval shapes.  I used a cocktail stick to make a couple of little indentations for the toes.

I added a couple of smaller ovals and 3 pink dots to eat foot for the pads.

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I cheated a little for the flowers as I already had a couple of flower shaped punches (I’d never used them before but these are amazing and now my new favourite baking tool – I plan to get more!)  It was great because they all came out looking uniform.

The vines were easy, just a bit of green icing rolled thinly in my hand, and to top it off I made up a simple little toadstool from red and white icing.

Now the sponges had cooled I next needed to cut out the space for the bunny to ‘get stuck in’.  It was important to have the bunny finised so I could measure the right size hole to cut out.

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Next up – the chocolate frosting filling.  I looked at lots of different methods for the filling from Chocolate buttercream to chocolate ganache, but I settled on a simple frosting recipe (mostly because it fit in with the ingredients that I had!)  I took 300g icing sugar, 300g butter, a couple of spoonfuls of cocoa powder and a few drops of vanilla extract.  Whizzed it around with the hand mixer and it couldn’t be simpler!  Now to slather it on!

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I put a relatively thin amount between the layers as I knew the weight of the sponge would ooze the filling out of the sides anyway, and covered the outside with a good helping.  Being a butter base the mixture quickly started to melt in the sunshine, so off into the fridge it went for setting.  Another obligatory bowl licking opportunity…

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Once set, all that was left was to assemble the pieces.  I used a bamboo stick for ease, but if you have steadier hands than me, your fingers will do just fine.

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And there you have it – it may look complicated but it really is quite an easy recipe.  Give it a try – I’d love to know how you got on and what recipe combos you found worked for you.

Happy Easter…
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