Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Bunny bliss, anyone?  Years back, I spotted this adorable Easter Bunny Cake from the wedding site, Style Me Pretty. I fell head over heels in love with the simplicity of the bunny ears and the adorably cute face. I mean, the ears alone make this cake a showstopper.

With a rich lemon cake and some strawberry filling, this cake equals total bunny nirvana.  I am so not joking! But take caution, this baby takes some time to prepare. Just follow my lead and this Sweet Nerd will get you to the bunny moon and back.

Let’s break down this cake into steps and prep time so you can master this bunny in no time.

4-Layer Cake Baking & Prepping Steps:

  1. Bake – 2 lemonade cake rounds the day ahead and place in the refrigerator for firming. Once firm, cut each layer in half so that you have 4 rounds.
  2. Prepare –
    1. Jam – Place your favorite jam in a ziploc or piping bag for the filling. I used strawberry.
    2. Frosting – Double the batches of frosting, one for the filling (in a ziploc or piping bag) and the other for the outside of the cake (pink).  Also, set aside 1/8 cup for the face decorating part.
    3. Optional Simple Syrup – bring to a boil 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and then let it cool.  Then add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble cake.
    4. Sugar cookie + royal icing recipe.  See below.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Cake Assembly:

  1. First (and this step is optional), drizzle simple syrup on to the first cake layer with that sweet and sour concoction.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

2. Next, layer in a ring of buttercream.  You can load it into a ziploc and cut the edge or use a piping bag.  Try to give yourself about 1/4 inch from the edges because the weight of the other cake layers will push the icing to the edge.  Don’t worry if it spills out.  It’s all workable!

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

3. Now, load in that delicious jam.  I chose strawberry and kept it simple because my children don’t love the plum ginger or the rhubarb cardamom artisan jams that I do!  Good old Smuckers came through!  Repeat this process until you get to the top layer.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

4. When you get to the top layer, you are ready to do a crumb coat with the rest of the filling.  A crumb coat frosting layer is a ‘messy’ layer of frosting you will apply first.  Place in the refrigerator 20 minutes or so and let the first layer set.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

5. Frosting – Next, switch to the pink frosting application.  You can apply the frosting many ways, but I started by piping the pink layer in rings outside of the cake.  If this is new to you, essentially you’re giving this cake a frosting bath and the next steps of ‘cleaning’ the cake is to remove the frosting into a smooth clean layer with even coverage.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

I used a cake smoothing comb while spinning it on a cake turning table to get the frosting layer smooth and flush.  Don’t worry about getting it perfect as I think this bunny looks awesome with a little fluff here and there. I like to do the sides first, then smooth the top.  You will see that the flow of decorating is a bit of back-and-forth movements with ‘combing’ the sides and the top.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

6. Simple Sugar Cookies – Prep your favorite sugar cookie recipe or use one of my favorite easy perfect sugar cookie recipes.   Now comes a bit of DIY – I created a simple ear shaped pattern (with good old pencil and paper freehand).  Next, I rolled out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.  I laid down the pattern on the dough and used a butter knife to cut out the dough shape, then I baked the cookies.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

7. Use this royal icing recipe and pipe with white (and add pink dots if you want to add a little polka dot love). If you are new to using royal icing, check out my post on the royal icing technique.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

adding uneven polka dots with a little bit of an ‘edge’ – after all, his name is bunny nirvana.  Give it a few hours to set.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Now for the final touches!  Bringing this bunny cake to life is so fun yet so nerve-wracking at the same time. If you’re feeling a little bit nervous about applying those perfect eye balls and that sweet button nose, then I would say – you are SOOOO normal.  Tip: I like to use a paper clip and trace it out first on the pink buttercream.  And then…go for it.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Lean in close, breathe, relax and pipe!  If you mess up, put it in the refrigerator so it sets, scrape it off and try again. Everything is fixable!  Now for those those spunky ears….

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Take a knife, and slice the top of the cake where you’ll insert the ears.  Wiggle the knife around when you slice so it will match the thickness of the cookie and insert easily.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Now, sit back and admire this ridiculously cute bunny cake.  Thanks, Style Me Pretty!  This sweet bunny nirvana lives on and on and on.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

And finally, take a bow as you have now entered the ultimate state of bliss. Slice that cake and enjoy the lemony strawberry sweet goodness.  This cake is dense, moist, and wonderfully rich.  Happy Easter, y’all.

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

By TheSweetNerd  

April 6, 2017

Ingredients

Lemonade Cake

6 oz plain (all-purpose) flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

8 oz caster sugar or stevia

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

4 1/2 oz plain Greek-style yoghurt, at room temperature

1/4 cup strained lemon juice

Vanilla Buttercream

3 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

Lemonade Cake

1Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake tin.

2Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl and use a hand-held whisk to combine well.

3Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture and beat well after each addition, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and salt and beat until just combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and yoghurt alternately and beat until just combined. Do not over beat. Add the lemon juice and mix until just combined.

4Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

1In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Start with the mixer at the lowest speed, then gradually increase the speed, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl as needed, until the butter is light in color, is perfectly smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. This should only take 30 seconds, but if the butter is cool, it can take a couple of minutes.

2Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix at the lowest speed until it’s fully incorporated before adding the next cup. When all the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat at low speed for 15 seconds. Increase the speed to as high as you can without making a mess, and whip the buttercream until it is perfectly smooth, creamy, and light, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bowl and paddle, then continue beating. At first the buttercream will appear to soften, then it will stiffen and increase in volume.

3Use right away, or store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it, let the buttercream come to room temperature, then put it back in the stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to beat it until it’s creamy and stiff again.

Assembly

1Layer each round with strawberry jam in between and top with vanilla buttercream. Cut slots with icing spatula and insert royal icing decorated sugar cookie ears.

00:00

Strawberry Lemonade Bunny Cake

12 Comments

  • OMGee Cindy!! Cutest Easter cake ever!! So fun for the kids. And I love the video. You make it look easy! Happy weekend!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      2 weeks ago

      Thanks MaryAnn. I love Easter cakes and all of its festivities. Happy weekend to you as well!

  • 2 weeks ago

    This is soooo cute and looks so simple. I love it! I want to make it and not share it with anyone. LOL

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      2 weeks ago

      Ha, make one for your family and one for you. Love it! Thanks for sharing those funny thoughts.

  • Kendall
    2 weeks ago

    I love the face on this cake. It’s so simple but adorable. I totally feel like I could make this with my cousins and it would be a HUGE Easter hit. Thanks so much!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      2 weeks ago

      Oh I hope you can make it. If you love lemon and bunnies, I promise you it will be!

  • 2 weeks ago

    I am so in love with this sweet baby! Such a gorgeous easter cake. My little cousins will be thrilled to eat it when easter rolls around 🙂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      2 weeks ago

      Oh thanks darling! I think all ages get tickled with those sweet bunny ears and puckery lemon berry cake.

  • 2 weeks ago

    So adorable. Really. And actually, I even love that photo of the pink frosting snakes around the cake. It just looks like a fun project all around. Not to mention delicious. Cheers!

  • Oh my garsh Cindy!!!! Can we talk about how cute this hippety hoppety bunny cake is??!! I sure am glad you came across it on Style Me Pretty. Oh. . .and those pillowy frosting spirals snaking around your cake. So, so mesmerizing. I just want to rub my face in them. . .but that wouldn’t be good. . .because we want a cute, little pink bunny cake!!

  • This is the cutest Easter cake ever! It would just be the perfect centerpiece for an Easter table 🙂

  • 1 week ago

    This is really adorable. I love the ears so much! I also love how you provide so many different shooting angles in your tutorials…it’s probably the thing I struggle with the most! I’ll definitely be giving this lemonade cake recipe a try. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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