By Lisa McInerney - Mummy Made.It
I love Easter. Actually I love any celebration where eating lots of tasty treats is totally acceptable, but I have always found Easter to be a particularly hard one when dealing with allergies and food intolerances.
As soon as we’ve said goodbye to Santa Claus the Easter Bunny shows up with hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. This would be easy to manage if it was for the 2 weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, but the barrage of wheat and dairy filled treats usually starts as the new year begins and so does the food envy. Thankfully there are now many allergy friendly options available but the temptation is still everywhere!!
As my kids get older Easter Bunny has had to become a bit more creative. Last year the Easter Bunny left plastic Easter eggs with clues around the house for a treasure hunt. In each egg were grapes and berries and at the end of the treasure hunt (complete with cryptic clues and a sketchy map) presents were wrapped and hidden. No one felt that they missing out after they opened their Star Wars Light Sabres! The year before, the Easter Bunny left pieces of Lego in each plastic egg around the house and the instructions at the end.
Our Easter Bunny is a chocolate free visitor!
The Chocolate Bunny that I do adore is this cake version from my Healthy Easter Recipe E-Book. The kids will love taking a bite of his chocolatey bottom and eating the dirt (don’t worry; it’s chocolate cookies!) and you’ll love the fact that it’s made with vegetables and is gluten free, dairy free, nut free and refined sugar free.
Shaped or Character cakes can often seem like a daunting task but this Chocolate Bunny Cake is designed to be easily made and can be decorated by the kids. The cake is cooked in a large round bowl, instead of a normal cake tin. I have used a large glass pyrex bowl (make sure yours is oven proof first) but any rounded bowl/ or tin would work.
Three cupcakes or muffins are required to make the bunnies tail and feet; these can be any flavour you choose or simply increase the recipe by 1/4 and use the extra mixture to make 3 cupcakes.
The Chocolate Bunny Cake is covered in whipped coconut cream. Whipped coconut cream is a great dairy free option for desserts but please know that not all coconut creams are equal when it comes to their whipability. Try this cream, or make sure that the cream you buy isn’t grainy. An opened can of coconut cream or milk is placed in the fridge overnight and then the thickened cream is removed from the can.
It’s the thick stuff that you need to whip up. The watery remains can be used in a smoothie or shake. If, after being in the fridge and being whipped, your whipped coconut cream is still too runny then add some gelatine to stabilise the cream.
Simply dissolve 1¼ teaspoons of gelatine in 2 tbsps of boiling water, making sure to whisk the gelatine in so that no clumps form. Once dissolved, add the gelatine mixture to the whipped coconut cream and whip to combine. Adding the gelatine makes the cream more stable and thicker but still it is still able to be easily spread and used to decorate your bunny cake. If adding gelatine make sure to leave the cream in the fridge for 4 hours after adding it.
I hope you have a very tasty Easter. If you are after more tasty gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo desserts and treats please check out my healthy Easter Recipe Ebook - A Healthy Easter. I went a bit Hot Cross Bun mad!
You can grab your copy of Lisa's fab Easter cookbook here NOW
Gluten Free Chocolate Easter Bunny Cake
Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free, nut free - cake does contain eggs
⅔ cup (100g) coconut flour
½ cup (55g) cocoa or cacao, unsweetened
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
½ cup puréed carrot (can be swapped for mashed banana or cooked sweet potato puree)
½ cup (170g) maple syrup or rice malt syrup (185g)
¾ cup (250mls) milk (of choice)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Whipped Coconut Cream
1½ cups coconut cream (remove the lid from a tin of coconut cream/milk and place in the fridge overnight. Remove and use the thickened cream, discarding the watery remains) - OR - try this Natures Charm Coconut Whipping Cream
3 tsps vanilla extract
3 tsps maple syrup
Construction (the fun bit!!)
1-2 cups shredded coconut
4 strawberries; 2 halved, and 2 halved and each half cut into 3 slices
3 cupcakes (choose either chocolate or carrot)
5 chocolate cookies, crumbed (this makes the edible dirt)
Cardboard bunny ears (cut out to your own size requirements)
Carrots for decorating
- Preheat oven to 175°C
- Grease an 8-inch (20cm) diameter bowl suitable for baking (I used a glass Pyrex bowl). Grease the bowl and lightly dust with a small amount of cocoa
- Sift the coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the salt and set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, or until fluffy
- Add the purred carrot, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on high speed for about 1 minute so that the batter is fluffy
- Pour the batter into the bowl and smooth out the top. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (if your oven tends to overcook things check the cake at 45 minutes then every 5 minutes until it is cooked through). Remember the cake will not cook evenly because it is being cooked in a bowl rather than a tin.
- Allow to cool before removing from bowl
- Flatten the top (the larger round edge) of the cake to make a straight surface. If the cake is too soft (or your carving skills aren't great) freeze the cake for 2 hours before attempting to cut the top off
- Place the thickened cream, vanilla and maple syrup in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixture and whisk in high until thickened. This may take up to 5 minutes.
- Place the cream in the fridge to thicken further before using if it has not thickened enough
- Place the rounded chocolate cake, flat side done, on a serving plate
- Use toothpicks to attach a cupcake to the bunnies bottom and 2 cupcakes to the back of the rounded cake as feet. The feet cupcakes should be at a slight angle to give the impression that the feet are sticking out from under the bunnies bottom
- Cover the entire cake with the whipped coconut cream, making sure that no chocolate cake is seen
- Sprinkle, spread and pat the shredded coconut over the cream, including the tail and feet, until the entire bunny is covered. It doesn't matter if the coconut goes over the serving plate as it will be covered with cookie crumbs
- Take the strawberries and place the halves on the upper section of the foot as the heel pad and 4 smaller pieces just underneath it. The strawberries will adhere to the cream but use more cream as glue if required
- Crumb the cookies (I used my blender) and scatter around the bunny. Drop a few crumbs on the bunnies paws to make it look like he's been digging
- Place the cut bunny ears on the front of the rounded cake and place carrots on / in the 'dirt'
- The cake can be served immediately or placed in the fridge until ready. It can be made up to 1 day in advance
Recipe From happytummies.com.au - Copyright 2017 Mummy Made.It & Happy Tummies
Enjoy! Lisa & Lisa x
PS. Don't forget to grab your copy of Lisa's fab Easter cookbook here NOW!
About Lisa McInerney from Mummy Made.It
Lisa McInerney is a mum and a Chiropractor from Victoria with a passion for healthy, creative baking. With 3 young children she knows the value of providing the best possible nutrition to create healthy bodies and minds. Her website, Mummy Made.It, features healthier versions of your favorite desserts and treats using gluten free, paleo friendly and natural ingredients. Lisa has a fascination with using sweet potato in desserts and many of the recipes use vegetables and fruits in ways you have never imagined. Healthy can be Tasty!