Friday, April 6, 2012

Holiday Recipe! - EASTER BASKET CAKE!

I realize that posting recipes for a holiday on the day of is pretty silly.  This time I'll try to give you at least one day's notice so that you can actually have a little time to prepare. And this particular Easter recipe is a little bit of a project, so prep time is crucial. Fortunately it's a BLAST to make, so even the prep is fun and it's a project that can only get more involved the older your kids become! I probably jumped the gun a little by doing this project when Piper was 9 months old, just being able to fully focus her eyes and distinguish between contrasting bold colors.  But oh well, it was a culinary and Eastery adventure that we can take for many years to come as she grows I hope you do with your kiddos!  The end result is so beautiful that you'll hesitate to eat any of it and it can serve as an Easter centerpiece until it is served for dessert!

~Ingredients and Materials~

2-round 8-inch cakes of your choice (I chose cherry chip)
Cake frosting
1 and 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
4 Tbsp. water
6 drops food coloring (I chose green as this will eventually be the grass in the basket)
Paper towels
Cookie sheet
Colorful tissue paper (optional)
Round pizza pan
1 canister Chocolate Fudge Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes
Jellybeans, milk chocolate eggs, any Easter candy that is made to look like eggs (optional)
Marshmallow Peeps (optional)
Wooden handle off of a very cheap dollar store Easter basket, cut where it attaches to the basket (optional)
Dental floss (optional)
Scissors, sharp knife, or a saw
Decorative ribbon (optional)

~Step-By-Step Instructions~

1.  Bake your two round 8-inch cakes as directed on box. Let them cool completely, they will be easier to work with.
2.  Mix the water and food coloring together and combine with the sweetened coconut.
3.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and wring out excess moisture with paper towels. Let your infant watch. Apparently it's captivating.
4.  Cut the dome-like top off of one of the cakes using a knife so that it is flat on the top. This makes them stackable.
5.  This is a visual of what the top and the remaining cake should look like.
6.  On the other cake, measure 6-inches all the way around the top and cut out a circular hole.
7.  This is what it should look like. With little infants peering over the countertop hoping you'll drop a few crumbs of cake their direction...
8.  Take a little cake break and wrap the pizza pan with the colorful tissue paper so that it's ready when the cake is frosted.
9.  On a dinner plate, place the cakes like so.  Be careful when picking up the cake with the hole in it or it will fall apart!
10.  Frost the entire cake.
11.  Use one Pirouette and hold up to the side of the cake to determine how tall you would like your "basket" and use it as a measure for the rest.
12.  Using the first Pirouette as a measure to cut the rest. It's ok that some are shorter and longer than others. It will make the basket look more authentic!
13.  I ended up using a saw from the garage because the knife was too time-consuming. Utilize your resources!
14.  Place the Pirouettes around the perimeter of the cake.
15.  When that is complete, fill the well on top with your colored coconut Easter grass.
16.  Place the Peeps and candy eggs on top of the Easter grass in a sweet little spring scene.
17.  The handle was a bit tricky. I'm sure there are easier ways to do this, but I only used the means I had available. Cut the wooden handle off of your cheap Easter basket.  Because the tension will be released you have to create your own. I cut notches on both sides of both ends of the wooden handle. Tie the dental floss onto one side of the handle so that it is tight in the groove you have cut.  Using the cake as a gauge, bend the wooden handle so that the ends look as though they are attaching to the "basket."  At that point, tie the dental floss to the other side in the groove you have cut. Now the handle should hold its shape. Starting above the cake, you can slice the dental floss downward into the cake, ending at the bottom.  You may need to move some of the coconut and candies in order to do this and replace once the dental floss has been sliced through.
18.  Tie some decorative ribbon around the outside of your Easter basket or just get creative! This is your chance to make it yours.  TA DAAAAAA!!! YOUR EASTER BASKET IS COMPLETE!

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