There’s no time like springtime for a fun and kitschy cake recipe. With Peeps and Easter chocolate taking on particularly precious forms, it’s hard to resist dialing up the cuteness factor when it comes to cake design—and we don’t care to.
In the following step-by-step tutorial, an extra-moist chocolate cake is baked in an unglazed terra-cotta planter for a garden-inspired cake. To decorate, we opt for a simple buttercream frosting sprinkled with shredded coconut and a spring garland topper. Then, to finish, a chocolate-dipped Peep and mini chocolate Easter eggs.
Chocolate Cake Recipe with Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate, high quality cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- green food coloring
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Chocolate dipped Peeps
- Miniature chocolate Easter eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch wide and 1 1/2 inch deep unglazed terra cotta planter—planter must be unglazed. To make cake, combine sugars, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; whisk vigorously until smooth. Stir in boiling water.
3. Pour into prepared planter (note: there may be a bit of extra batter.) Bake 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
4. To make frosting, cream butter with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and mix on low speed. Once creamy, add remaining cup of powdered sugar and beat until desired consistency (3 to 5 minutes). Taste frosting and if its sweeter than desired, add lemon juice. Add additional powdered sugar for fluffier frosting and milk for creamier. Add food coloring, a few drops at a time, and mix until a uniform color. When cake has cooled, frost top.
5. In a small mixing bowl, combine shredded coconut with a 6-8 drops of green food coloring (more or less depending on color preference.) Use a whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to sprinkle a top frosting.
Spring Garland Topper:
What You Need:
- 6 tags
- 2 paper Straws
- 10 inches green paper twine
- 6 mini clothes pins
- White acrylic paint
- Small paintbrush
All of the materials listed above can be easily found at Micheals, though we encourage you to be creative with your color choices and design. Can’t find tags? Paint small pieces of fabric instead. Want to skip the mini clothes pins? Tie your tags onto the paper twine with small pieces of ribbon.
Use the white paint to paint the letters of your chosen phrase on the tags. The words “Spring” and “Easter” both fit nicely. Drawing the letters lightly in pencil beforehand will help to steady your hand and keep the letters uniform.
Put Everything Together:
Once cake is cool, use an off-set spatula to spread the buttercream frosting. Depending on the amount of frosting used, you may have additional leftover. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days in your refrigerator and save for a batch of cupcakes.
Insert straws into the cake at 75 degree angles. Using the miniature clothes pins, clip the tags onto the paper twine. Insert the ends of the twine in the straws and adjust the garland so that the tags hang attractively between them.
Sprinkle the coconut over frosted cake and spread evenly with fingers.
Place a chocolate-dipped Peep at the center of the cake, under the garland and place a trio of chocolate Easter eggs around the base of each straw. For alternative designs, try inserting paper flowers in the garden, creating a garden path of graham cracker crumbs or more Peeps—the sky’s the limit!
For more fantastic recipes with Peeps, visit the Peeps recipe page. And for more cake recipes for Easter, see below.