..cake. I made a bunny cake.
Before I introduce my next creation, I feel I must clear up an issue that’s been causing quite a bit of confusion. Because I’ve lived with the name Shibow for so long, I’ve come to assume that pretty much everyone knows how to pronounce it. Wrongsauce. Here’s how it goes: “Shib” rhymes with “rib.” “Ow” rhymes with “cow.” Ribcow. Shibow. All set? Schweet!
So, the storm’s passed. Literally, it looks like the rain’s decided to calm its behind down and bounce for a bit. Also, things have been looking up for Sad Shibow. Friday, I stalked, met and photographed Academy Award-winner and lead singer of The Swell Season and my hero and lead actor in Once, my favorite movie and lead singer of my favorite band Glen Hansard. If you can’t tell, I sort of adore him. You can’t see the picture I took because I am in it and I have a case of the crazy eyes. I’m sorry Glen. Really I am. I’m not going to explain that apology in this post, but just know that it is necessary.
Anyway, that experience gave me the serious boost I needed in order to get baking for Easter Sunday. I’d been looking for a fun, kid-friendly dessert that wouldn’t be terribly difficult to pull off. I failed and decided on this cake instead. Yes, it was a PAIN to bake and construct. No, I am not an artist. These two facts together basically equaled, in my case, the fattest bunny ever. Seriously, I am pretty sure this thing was knocked up with cupcakes. That’s cool to say, right?
So, here’s the recipe, from Delish.com. If I were you, I’d pay little mind to the reviews. Hey, Internet Mom, mayyyyybe it’s not the cake’s fault that your son didn’t want to eat a bunny. And maaayyyybe it’s not the cake’s fault that your son’s allergic to coconut. I mean, that sucks, but really, you’re going to blame Good Housekeeping, lady?
As usual, I am stubborn and tweaked the recipe to my liking. Here’s my version (really only the frosting is different):
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of cream of coconut
8 oz of crushed pineapple, in juice
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of butter
3 large eggs
(Coconut)-Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
touch of lemon juice, optional
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or coconut extract (depending on how overt you want the flavor to be)
1/2 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
jelly beans for decorating
Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line a 9×13 inch pan with enough parchment paper to be able to lift the cake out of the pan once baked. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of coconut, pineapple chunks and vanilla. In a third large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fully blended and fluffy. Incorporate eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, and beat until completely mixed.
Alternate between beating the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/eggs and beating the pineapple/coconut mixture in, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. By the way, this is when I knocked over my just-purchased bottle of vanilla extract and wept silently into the mixture. Just kidding. I cried in the sink.
Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. I’m kind of getting tired of using that phrase over and over again. It’s a necessary step, but it needs more pizazz, no? Anyway, once it’s baked, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before moving it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While that’s happening, get started on the frosting. Cream together the cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in the vanilla, then the sugar a bit at a time until fully blended. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice if you prefer a tangier frosting. Now, this isn’t technically a coconutty frosting, hence the parentheses above. After the bunny is cut and frosting, coconut is pressed into the frosting to create “fur.” As you will see, my overweight bunny needed a lot of coconut to cover him.
So here’s where I got “creative.” Good Housekeeping kindly offered this diagram as a guide for bunny cutting. There is definitely a better way to phrase that. Anyway, I printed out the diagram, cut out the bunny outline (body and ears separately), covered the cake in foil, and carefully cut around the outline to create what I prayed would be an acceptable-looking animal. I came away with this, which really isn’t terrible:
For some reason, once I frosted it, the bunny gained a ton or so. To frost, use a flat, rubber spatula or wooden spoon to spread evenly. Press coconut flakes into the frosting to create a furry little monster. Use jelly beans to make eyes and a button nose, and use anything but licorice to make whiskers. Licorice is gross.
So, would I make it again? Probably. This cake was delicious, especially with the cream cheese frosting. Still, I don’t think I’d try to get crazy with the animal shapes, if only because, um, see above.