An Easter cake is the perfect excuse to make something pretty for a holiday celebration
A pretty easter cake is one of the few holiday cakes I never get tired of making. It might be because I have so many special memories of Easter when I was a kid. My dad is originally from New Zealand, he met my mother in Hawaii so you might say they kind of loved the beach.
Every easter we would go to the coast and set up a tent (yes a real life tent and sleeping bags and the whole bit).
When we would wake up the next morning, the Easter bunny had always arrived and hidden easter eggs all over the campground! In the crooks of the beachy pines, under the corner of the tent, even under the picnic table. My favorite treat was always the little speckled eggs with chocolate on the inside.
The most magical part? This particular campground is naturally overrun with tons and tons of local rabbits! Everywhere you look, little bunnies hop around. Most are very tame too from years of campers feeding them special treats.
So basically to me… the Easter bunny is real and he lives at Cape Kiwanda.
Making An Easy Easter Cake
This cake is made with my toasted coconut cake recipe. It’s a little different than typical cake recipes because you whip up the egg whites and then fold them into the batter, resulting in a very light cake texture. You don’t have to toast the coconut if you want a whiter inside but I love the taste of toasted coconut too much to pass up!
After I bake my cakes, I let them cool for ten minutes on a baking rack then wrap them in plastic wrap while warm to seal in moisture. I will then chill them overnight to let the butter firm up before filling and frosting. Chilling makes the cakes easier to handle but makes sure you let the cakes come to room temperature before you bite in. No one likes to eat cold butter.
To fill my cakes, I decided to go with a coconut custard filling. This is fairly easy to make but if you’re in a pinch, you could always purchase a box of coconut pudding from your grocery store and that would work just as well. Whip up some coconut milk (yes you can whip coconut milk!) and fold it into the pudding and you’ve got yourself some yummy filling for your coconut cake!
Other tasty fillings that would work just as well would be freshly whipped coconut milk sweetened with some powdered sugar. Whipped cream, lemon curd, berry curds or even pineapple filling (pina colada cake anyone?)
Once filled, I do a quick crumb coat in the fridge to firm things up for about 30 minutes then get ready for the fun part, decorating!
Decorating the Easter Cake
For the frosting, I went with a simple easy buttercream. I colored my buttercream with a few drops of electric pink and two drops of ivory to get a nice natural strawberry pink color. I layered on the buttercream and smoothed it out with a bench scraper and an offset spatula. A turn table also makes this part a lot easier.
Next comes the fun part! Mix a one tsp of cocao powder into one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Dip a stiff brush into the mixture, pull back on the bristles and SPLATTER that stuff all over the sides of the cake! So fun! I was a little hesitant at first but soon I was having a blast making the speckled pattern all over the pink surface.
A note: I did place my cake onto a cake board from cake boards avare which is pre-covered and easy to wipe off the surface. Make sure whatever cake board you put your cake onto you can easily clean up the splatters later. A nice white plate would even do.
To top off my cake, I went with some dollops of buttercream and covered them with some more toasted coconut to make little “nests”. I then used some candy eggs to press into the buttercream. So simple and fun! Want to know how to get the most servings out of your Easter Cake? Need some extra goodies to go along with the cake? I made some coconut caramel easter egg nests from Self Proclaimed Foodie
Watch my tutorial on how to cut a cake
Want to watch how to make an Easter Cake? Check out my video tutorial!
Coconut cake recipe
This coconut cake is super light, fluffy and fully of coconut flavor! Pairs well with fruit fillings or creamy frostings like my coconut cream filling. This recipe is enough batter to make three 6"x2" cakes or two 8"x2" cakes
Coconut Cake Ingredients
- 11 oz AP flour (all purpose)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- 14 oz granulated sugar
- 3 oz canola oil
- 5 large eggs separated, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 tsp coconut extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 8 oz buttermilk room temperature
- 6 oz sweetened flaked coconut toasted until lightly browned
Coconut Cake Instructions
NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350ºF/176ºC.
Grease two 8" cake pans with cake goop or pan preparation of choice
Place egg whites in a mixing bowl with the whip attachment. Whip on med-high. Add in cream of tartar. Whip until firm but moist peaks form. Set aside
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Add butter to stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and add the oil, beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, about 3-5 minutes.
Add egg yolks, one at a time to the mixture, beating well after each until combined.
Add the coconut, vanilla and almond extracts to your buttermilk
With the mixer at the lowest speed, add about a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the buttermilk, mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat the process 2 more times. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the toasted coconut.
Fold in your whipped egg whites gently.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake cakes until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 35-40 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack and pop cakes out of pans. Cool completely before frosting.
Watch this video on how to make the yummiest toasted coconut cake ever!
Coconut Custard Recipe
Coconut custard is a great filling to use in your cakes, cupcakes, pie fillings or simply paired with some fresh fruits and berries
- 6 oz Whole milk room temperature
- 6 oz unsweetened coconut milk Ours comes in a can
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
- 2 tsp coconut extract
- 4 large egg yolks room temperature
- 3 oz sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
Combine the milks and vanilla paste in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in coconut and vanilla extract.
Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
Optional: Whip up 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or coconut milk and fold into your pudding mixture for a lighter texture. This filling is not shelf-stable and should be kept refrigerated.
Easy Buttercream Frosting
Delicious, rich and easy buttercream frosting recipe that anyone can make. This is not a crusting buttercream. It is meringue based so it has a slight shine and chills nicely in the fridge. Takes 10 minutes to make and is fool-proof! Light, fluffy and not too sweet.
- 2 lbs unsalted butter room temperature. You can use salted butter but it will affect the taste and you need to leave out additional salt
- 2 lbs powdered sugar sifted if not from a bag
- 1-2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup pasteurized egg whites
Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes.
Add in your butter in chunks and whip with the whisk attachment to combine. It will look curdled at first. This is normal. It will also look pretty yellow. Keep whipping.
Let whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles. This isnt required but if you want really creamy frosting, you dont want to skip it.