What makes a better Easter dessert than a Carrot Cake Bunny? Not to worry- you can also make this as a 9 X 13″ sheet cake.
If you are going for the full effect you will need a special bunny mould. They are readily available on Amazon. If you are baking for kids especially it is a worthwhile investment. If you are using a bunny mould you will have enough batter to also make an 8″ square sheet cake.
That being said you can also make it as a 9 X 13″ sheet cake.
The recipe is from my Mom and originally was published in her United Church cookbook!
A sheet cake will be cooked in about 35-45 minutes. The bunny mould is pretty thick in the main part of the body. My bunny took about 75 minutes for the bamboo skewer to come out clean. Check it often so you don’t over cook it.
I don’t like overly sweet icing, as is often the case with carrot cake in particular it seems. So I traded the traditional icing for Cream Cheese Frosting that is half whipped cream and only 3 Tablespoons of icing sugar! The original frosting recipe calls for vanilla. I didn’t use it in the frosting for the bunny because it makes the icing less white. There is so much flavour in the carrot cake I don’t think you will miss it but you can add it if you like!
This frosting is a great consistency for piping and decorating because it holds its shape quite nicely!
However, I realize this is not the traditional carrot cake frosting people may be expecting so I have included the orignal frosting recipe in the recipe notes.
I have tried piping the frosting, thinking I could create some of the bunny’s body lines but it didn’t work well at all. I found it was better to coat the bunny well with a thick layer of frosting. Then I used a butter knife to outline the shape of the bunny’s haunches and foot and to carve a bit of space between the bunny’s ears.
In my mould the bunny is holding an Easter egg. I used pastel Easter sprinkles to define and decorate the egg. I used pastel dragees to highlight the eyes, ears and now.
Sprinkling the bunny with coconut flakes gives the bunny’s ‘fur’ a bit of texture.
However you choose to serve it – enjoy!
Carrot Cake Bunny
- 1 bunny cake mould + an 8 X 8" square pan or 9 X 13" cake pan
- Bamboo skewer(s) to check the bunny body for doneness
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 cups flaked coconut divided 1 1/2 + 1/2 cup
- 8 oz crushed pineapple drained
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting – Option 1
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp icing sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla optional – it will make your icing a bit yellow
- pastel sprinkles as needed for eyes and decorating the Easter egg part of the mold. I used pink dragees for the eyes and ears.
Traditional Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Frosting – Option #2
- 6 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter soft
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. If using a bunny mould spray the mould as well as an 8" square pan with cooking spray. If not spray a 9 X 13 " pan.
- Combine the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well with a spoon.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix well.
- Stir the dry ingredients in to the wet. Fold in carrots, pineapple, 1 1/2 cups of coconut and nuts. Mix to distribute evenly.
- Bunny mould and 8" square pan: When filling the bunny mould leave a 2" margin for the cake to rise. Pour excess batter in to the 8" square pan. Bake 45-50 minutes for the 8" square pan and check for doneness. The bunny mould may take 70-75 minutes for the center to be cooked. Use a long bamboo skewer so you can check the thickest part of the bunny's body. Check periodically after 60 minutes so you catch it as soon as the center is cooked through.9 X 13" pan: Bake about 45-50 minutes and check for doneness.
- Bunny mould: Allow cake to cool about 20 minutes before gently removing from the bunny mould. Trim the base of the bunny as needed so it will sit flat on your cake plate.Leave 8" and/or 9 X 13" cakes in the pan to cool.
- Choose which Frosting option you want to make. I used Option 1 for the Bunny mould – it is rich but less sweet. Option 2 is more traditional carrot cake frosting and is much sweeter. When cake is completely cool pipe or spread frosting to cover. Refrigerate. (see below if decorating a bunny cake.)
Cream Cheese Frosting – Option 1
- Whip the cream with the sugar and cream of tartar until it holds stiff peaks. Beat the cream cheese in a separate bowl with the vanilla, if using, until it is smooth.
- Add a generous scoop of whipped cream to the cream cheese and beat until blended. Continue adding whipped cream a large scoop at a time until it is all incorporated in the cream cheese
Original Cream Cheese Frosting Option 2
- Beat all ingredients except icing sugar until well mixed. Beat in enough sugar to make the frosting spreadable or to the density you want.
Bunny Cake Decorating
- Using a small offset spatula or knife coat the bunny cake thickly with the cream cheese frosting. The frosting will hide the details of the bunny. I used a butter knife to outline the back haunches and foot a bit. Build up a ball of frosting to form the tail.
- If your mould has the bunny holding an Easter egg use sprinkles to outline the egg and fill it in or decorate with lines as you like.
- Use round dragees to fill in the inner ears of the bunny, one for each eye and 3 in a triangle to form the nose. Gently sprinkle remaining coconut over the bunny's body and tail to give it a bit of texture.
- You should have enough frosting left over to frost the 8" cake as well. You can pipe or frost as you like.
- Cake keeps well in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 3 days. It also freezes well (square pans are easier for freezing). Defrost in fridge overnight.