This coconut-vanilla Easter 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. I used Bob’s Red Mill GF vanilla cake mix, which 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
eggs or egg substitute
2 t. coconut flavoring (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
white card stock
pink paper or crayon
The day before:
Make the frosting
Bake the cake
Color the “grass”
Mix and bake the cake according to package directions, adding 2 t. coconut flavoring to the batter. For Bob’s Red Mill vanilla cake mix, I greased the pan with coconut oil and lined the bottom with parchment paper. I used 3 T. flax meal plus 9 T. 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.
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.
vegan, gluten-free diets
low-sodium or migraine diets
Could this be migraine-friendly?
This recipe is tricky, as it’s from my days before I was diagnosed. Here’s how I might renovate this recipe to be migraine-friendly:
- Check cake mix to make sure it’s free of triggers (like fava bean flour)
- Make buttercream frosting instead of the soy-based frosting below
- Enjoy small servings
Easter Bunny cake
- 1-1/2 cups soy milk unsweetened
- 3/4 cup soy milk powder
- 1-2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups coconut oil melted
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
- 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 T. of coconut flour to get the right consistency.