Here's how to create your own, no piping necessary.
When it comes to Easter desserts, cuteness is the name of the game. There’s only one month out of the year when the grocery store is packed to the brim with such colorful chocolate eggs, speckled robin's egg inspired malted milk balls, and of course, Peeps. This being the case, it’s only right that you do everything in your power to take full advantage of these festive treats while they’re available. The solution? Use them to deck out an epic Easter cake and impress all of your guests, while conveniently saving you a bunch of time and energy on the typically arduous process that is piping and decorating an elaborate, show-stopping cake. Seriously–folks can’t get enough of this cuteness. They’ll be “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” and posting pictures of it for days.
GET THE RECIPE: Easter Basket Cake
Unlike many cake decorating techniques, which can require special equipment and skills, not to mention an extended amount of time, this adorable creation is just straight-up fun to pull together. There’s no piping involved (because let’s face it, not everyone was born to wiggle perfectly uniform swirls of icing out of a plastic bag inserted into a metal tip), and the final garnishes used to create your edible Easter wonderland all come together in minutes. Read: there’s no need for you to hover over this masterpiece with tweezers and a magnifying glass, making sure every last sprinkle is in tact. Seriously, I know you’ve got other more important things to do with your day.
Okay, here’s how it’s done. You're going to want four baked cake layers, how you get those layers is entirely up to you—bake them from-scratch, whip up a box mix, pay your neighbor to do it for you, whatever feels right. We opted for baking two boxed cake mixes—one carrot cake and one yellow—to create two (9-inch) layers of each flavor, which we cooled and trimmed before proceeding. If you would prefer to make your layers from-scratch, by all means, we support you. You can go with virtually any flavor of cake you like best, but carrot cake feels especially fitting for Easter. By the way, did you know that MyRecipes has the best carrot cake recipe on the Internet? This is a fact; it has over 300 reviews, and it’s rated 5 whopping, golden stars. Not to mention, Chrissy Teigen thinks so, too. If you decide to take this route, you're going to end up with only three cake layers; this isn't a huge deal, your cake simply won't be quite as tall, which means the edges of your "basket" will come up slightly higher. You can trim them, or accept it as an opportunity to fill in with more candy... your call.
Have I mentioned that this is an incredibly flexible cake concept? It is.
So now, you’ll need some frosting. Again, when it comes to making that happen, you do what feels right for you. A few cans of plain, store-bought vanilla is fine. You can also make your own cream cheese or buttercream icing if you're feeling up for it. Heck, you can even get a little fancy and spring for a white chocolate buttercream.
When your cake layers are completely cooled and trimmed, stack and frost, doing your best to keep everything nice and level (don't sweat it if it's not perfect). Before the icing has fully set, you're going to press Pirouette wafer cookies into the sides of your frosted cake, around the entire perimeter, creating a "basket." To create the "grass" to fill your basket, you’ll need to toss a a bag of sweetened, shredded coconut in green food coloring. We actually divided the bag and made two shades of green, but doing so is far from a necessity.
Next, place the coconut grass all along the top of the cake. And to complete your masterpiece, simply have fun arranging your favorite Easter candies on top of the lush grass. We went with jelly bean eggs, M&M eggs, Peep bunnies, cotton candy, and a big ol' multi-colored lollipop for good measure, but again, use what you like! In order to mount Peep bunnies to stand upright, simply insert a toothpick into the bottom and gently lower the toothpick into the cake.
Voila–you just made the cutest Easter dessert, and it was a dang breeze. Good job, cake boss.
Now that we've talked you through it, you can get the recipe and do this thing right here.