Many years ago, when my son Joe was just a little boy, we spent Easter in the California Sierra’s. We have a cabin surrounded by sugar and ponderosa pine trees, white firs, cypress and a couple of magnificent oaks with a redwood forest down the road. It’s our own little piece of heaven on earth.
Jack and I built “the cabin”, as everyone calls it, the year after we were married. It is our special place and is the keeper of milestones and memories.
This particular memory I’d like to share with you. This was the first Easter Joe would not be waking up in his house, the only one the Easter bunny was familiar with and so, he was worried that the Easter Bunny wouldn’t know where to deliver his basket.
I assured him that the bearer of baskets would know where to bring this special treat just the way Santa Clause knows where to deliver Christmas presents. That explanation seemed to suffice and given the temperature outside (low 40’s) it was a good analogy.
Jack added another log to the fire and we all colored eggs, drank hot cocoa and made bunny cake. In the morning, we awoke to a landscape that looked more like Christmas than Easter. It had snowed!
While Jack is stoking the fire and I ‘m making coffee, I hear Joe call out, ” Mom, I can’t find my basket.” Jack suggested we go for our morning walk and look for it.
Joe searched by the front and back doors with no luck. We made our way down the driveway and walked around the hill. On the way home Joe looked up at the cabin, pointed to the deck and screamed, “LOOK”. Jack and I looked where Joe was pointing then at each other (not believing what we were seeing). From the road where we were standing, all the way up the hill to our deck were fresh rabbit tracks … and on the deck (the only place Joe didn’t look) was his Easter basket!
This is our traditional Easter Cake. The other dolci (desserts), such as, Easter pie, pignoli and cannoli bites, will vary from year to year but there is always Bunny Cake. My sister and I have taken turns making it through the years. Sometimes it’s from scratch, sometimes not, but the decorations are always the same. If we are having a houseful of guests I make a bunny family: Mommy bunny and a baby bunny or two or three.
This cake requires only one layer. It doesn’t matter what size. Most cake recipes and a standard cake mix will give you two 8-inch or 9-inch layers.
Bake the cake in greased and lightly floured pans. Let cool.
Remove from baking pans and cut in half.
Frost one half of the layer with white frosting (if you want your bunny white).
Place the other half on top.
Stand the cake on it’s cut side.
Cut out a small V-shape and save the cut-out piece (you’ll be using it for the tail).
I realize it doesn’t look much like a bunny yet … but it will.
I separate the cut-out portion into two pieces and use just one for the tail. I think it looks better and I can eat the other piece.
Attach the tail to the backside with a bit of frosting.
Frost the cake a portion at a time and press coconut into the frosting.
When you’re finished cut out 2 ears, slightly fold lengthwise and place into the cut-out area. I usually use construction paper (which I always had when there was a child in the house) but with none to be found … printer paper had to do.
Add jelly bean eyes and nose and voila!
You now have Easter Bunny Cake. Add some Easter grass, and a few Spring Cupcakes. Make her the star of your table and watch the smiles on everyone’s face … young and not so young alike!
Rylie’s first Easter!