Sweet-Tooth Saturday: A Special Cake for Spring

What could be more spring-y than a coconut-covered Easter egg cake decorated with real pansies?!

I love spring–flowers blooming, birds singing, puddles dancing–and Easter is a favorite holiday.  When I was little (and not so little) the Easter Bunny always visited our house with baskets of candy and stuffed rabbits.  Mom always made a big ham dinner, topped off with a special cake baked in pans that created a big Easter egg.  She decorated it with different colored frostings that made it look like one of those sugar eggs that had a little scene inside it.  When I moved out, I inherited the egg pans!

This year I was inspired to bake an egg cake and decorate it with some of the pretty pansies from the greenhouse I work for.  Lately the favorite cake flavor around here is vanilla bean-lemon-coconut.  Requested for birthdays, it’s definitely a winning combination.  I decided the fresh and light flavors would be perfect for a Special Cake for Spring!  Take it easy on yourself and take a bit of help from Betty Crocker and Pilsbury:

  • 1 French vanilla cake mix
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 1 jar lemon curd (you’ll use a bit over half of it–save the rest for toasted bagels!)
  • 1 vanilla bean  (It makes all the difference in the flavor of this cake!)
  • 1/2-1 cup finely shredded coconut  (I use unsweetened; it gives the coconut flavor without becoming overly sweet and taking over the other flavors of this cake)
  • the ingredients needed for your cake mix–mine needed 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, 1 1/4 cup water
  • crystallized pansies and mint leaves

Preheat oven according to your cake mix.  Prepare pans–grease and lightly flour.  (Use 8 or 9-inch rounds in lieu of egg pans)

Split and scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean.  Discard the pod. (Or place it in a sugar canister to flavor the sugar!)

Place cake ingredients plus vanilla bean seeds into a bowl and mix according to package directions.

Divide batter between pans and bake according to package directions.  I baked the egg-shaped pans 45 minutes.

 Remove from oven and cool in the pans on wire racks.

Use the top of the pan as a guide to trim each pan flat.  Gently shake cakes from pans.  Place one, curved side down, on a platter.  Trim parchment paper to place under the edges.  This will keep the platter clean as you frost and decorate the cake.

Gently spread room-temperature lemon curd in a thick layer on the flat side of the cake.  Top with coconut.

Place second layer on top, flat sides together, and frost.

Sprinkle with coconut.  Press coconut into the side and sloping surfaces using your hand.  Arrange pansies and mint leaves in a pretty pattern.  Voila!  A Special Cake for Spring!

So pretty on its vintage platter.  What a yummy way to welcome Spring!

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Filed under dessert, Food memories, Holiday foods, recipe

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