If you are anything like me, it is that time of year again when I dust off my rather extensive collection of various Easter baking pans and welcome spring with some whimsical cakes. Not only are these specialty baking pans fun to use once a year but they will also make your kids rather happy. Not to mention that the seasonally shaped cakes will make a brilliant centerpiece for your Easter table.
Sometimes I will use my Easter lamb cake pans to bake a Easter Lamb Marble Cake or Easter Lamb Coconut Cake (as can be seen here), today I have used one of my baking pans in the shape of the season’s signature rabbit. All you need to pull off this easy Easter baking project is, of course, one of those baking pans, plus a few everyday baking ingredients, no need to get too fancy here but the scraped seeds of a fresh vanilla bean or vanilla paste is a lovely addition to this simple cake batter and most definitely worth the extra splurge, it is Easter after all. Vanilla beans are the ultimate in flavoring and scenting baked goods. Their flavor is really intense and the extra perk of being able to see all those tiny black specks throughout the batter never ceases to amaze me. Vanilla bean paste can also be used here as a good alternative. Just make sure to buy a smallish jar of the scraped-out vanilla pod, and follow directions on each jar indicating proper equivalencies so you will get the fragrant, sweet, speckled end product you want. As far as conversions go, 1 vanilla bean will equal 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (which I prefer not to use but, of course, do feel free to do so).
Then, maybe with the help of some eager young kitchen assistants, decorate that bunny any way you like. Whether you sprinkle your Easter bunny with confectioners´ sugar, or drizzle him with a dark or white chocolate glaze or adorn him with some colorful icings, place him in the middle of your Easter buffet table or bring him along as a gift to a that Easter brunch at your friends´ house, the resulting Easter bunny cake will always be a charming addition to an Easter feast. Trust us on this one.
Vanilla Bean Easter Bunny Cake
Ingredients for the Cake
- 50 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a bit for buttering the pan
- 50 grams superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 egg (L), free range or organic
- the scraped seeds of a vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste
- a pinch of fine sea salt
- 50 grams almond meal (or grind natural almonds)
- 50 grams flour, plus a bit for flouring the pan
- 30 grams cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsps milk (I use 3.5%)
For the Decoration
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional) or dark or white chocoale glaze or shredded coconut
- Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
- Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 165° C (325° F).
- Grease and flour all wells of an Easter bunny cake pan (or use an Easter lamb shaped pan) and tap out the excess flour.
- To make the cake, put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium speed light and creamy.
- Add the egg and beat until blended and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more.
- Add the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste and beat some more.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the almond meal, flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling about 3/4 full, and spread the batter so the sides are slightly higher than the center.
- Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- If necessary, level cake by using a serrated knife to gently saw off any portion of the cake that rose above the edge of the pan.
- Carefully unmold the bunny cake and place the bunny upright on a platter and lift off the pan.
- Let the cake cool completely before dusting with confectioners´ sugar ot decoirating it to your heart´s content.
Hope you enjoy using your fun-shaped, Easter baking pans at this time of year and while you are at it, why not dye some lovely Easter eggs and place them next to the Vanilla Bean Bunny Cake. Happy Easter Baking!