This Easter Bunny cake can be the showstopper cake on your Easter table. Crazy moist carrot cake with fluffy cream cheese mousse frosting shaped into a super cute bunny head (no special mold needed). An Easter cake that is not only super pretty but equally delicious!
Why this is the best Easter Bunny head cake recipe
- It is rather easy – As fancy as it looks, this is a super easy Bunny cake that is effectively a carrot cake made in one bowl. The frosting is a few ingredients super fluffy cream cheese mousse. The one part you need to pay attention to is piping, but I will teach you in this recipe how to do it, keep reading
- It is super delicious – I never compromise on taste! This Easter cake is super luxurious, absolutely incomparable with buttercream cakes. Crazy moist carrot cake sponges, silky and light cream cheese mousse that is very well balanced in sweetness... Absolutely out of this world!
- No special equipment is needed – All you need is 2 round cake tins and a nozzle for piping the decoration, no special baking pan is needed. With a different design, you can even make it into a Bunny butt cake, haha!
For the carrot cake
- Oil: This is an oil-based cake (no butter) that keeps the mini cakes super moist, soft, and fluffy. Butter-based cakes tend to harden in the fridge, with oil we won’t have this issue. Use no flavor vegetable oil
- Sugar: I am using a combination of granulated white and brown sugar. I absolutely love the brown sugar deep molasses flavor do not leave it out. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my Sugar guide.
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: I am using pasty flour to make this Carrot cake recipe but all purpose works too, they are so-called “soft flour” which are low on protein resulting in a delicate, tender texture. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my Flour guide.
- Almond: Almond meal/almond flour makes this Easter Bunny cake extra moist with a very slight marzipan aftertaste. If don´t have almond flour, replace it with an equal amount of flour
- Baking powder + Baking soda: Makes the cake tender and helps the rise
- Salt: We always need at least a pinch of salt in any cake batter to balance the flavors
- Spices: For this carrot cake I recommend a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, or simply use pumpkin spice. Check my DYI pumpkin spice recipe. Feel free to use any spice you prefer.
- Carrot: Carrot will give further moistness to the cake, I recommend peeling carrots then shredding them fresh. It is a juicy, moist, wonderful addition to the cake
- Orange zest (optional): Goes super well with carrot and brown sugar and gives a beautiful extra fragrance to the cake. Make sure you grate only the yellow part of the orange zest as the white part can be sour
- Nut (optional): Use either walnuts or pecans and it is a good idea to toast them first in the oven for a few minutes. Toasting nuts enhances their flavors. Tip.: worth chopping pecan or walnut into smaller pieces
Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the RECIPE CARD, at the bottom of this page.
For the cream cheese mousse
- Gelatine: It´s an odorless, tasteless, and colorless thickening agent, very often used by pastry chefs, particularly in mousse cakes. Powder or sheet versions are available, in my recipes I always use sheet (1,7 g / sheet), which I found easier to handle. Simple soak the gelatine sheet into cold water for a few minutes before you need them and use it according to the recipe. Please note that gelatine is not suitable for vegetarians. Agar-agar can be a good substitution for vegetarians however replacing gelatin with agar agar is not 1:1 and can only be done by reformulating the recipe slightly.
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% (I always use 36%). Use it very cold and do not substitute it with vegetable-based “whipping cream”. Heavy cream will make the filling extra smooth and creamy, effectively a mousse-like consistency.
- Granulated sugar: I use simple, white granulated sugar, nothing fancy. While heating it up with cream make sure the sugar granulates fully dissolve. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here.
- Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Cream cheese: I always use full-fat Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes. I find it easy to cream (need to bring it to room temperature first) and very pleasant in taste. I usually beat it with a hand mixer for less than a minute, just until it becomes fluffy and increases a bit in volume. Please avoid over whipping
- Vanilla bean paste: Avoid using artificial vanilla. There are several great brands for fine, pure vanilla, I use Nielsen massey which I love and really recommend
Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the RECIPE CARD, at the bottom of this page.
5 Expert Baking tips
1. How to make carrot cake
This Carrot cake is a wonderful and easy cake recipe with velvety crumbs, incredibly delicious.
- Prepare baking pans with parchment paper (I am using 2 x 18 cm / 7 inches pan )
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 356 F
- Ingredients must be all measured with a Digital scale
- The egg must be at room temperature
- Shred carrot fresh
- Whip Oil, egg, and the 2 different kinds of sugar with an Electric hand mixer for a minute or two until combined
- Sift dry ingredients together (flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices) before adding to the mixture
- Folded in dry ingredients by hand (using Rubber spatula). Do not use a mixer at this point
- Then, fold in the shredded carrot, orange zest (if using) and toasted and chopped nuts (if using)
- Pour batter into prepared baking pans (2 x 18 cm / 7 inches pan) and bake for approx. 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door during baking.
- After 20 minutes check the middle of the cake with a toothpick . Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let them cool on a cooling rack upside down and only remove the baking pans once they can be released easily. Since the cake contains almond, it can be more fragile than normal flour based cakes so wait a bit to remove it from the pan.
2. How to make cream cheese mousse frosting
The Cream cheese mousse that we will be using is absolutely lush and what makes this Carrot cake recipe different from other Carrot cakes! It is not the usual, heavy, butter-based cream cheese frosting but light and airy with only a very small amount of sugar, feels like biting into the clouds!
Preparing the cream cheese mousse filling is a 3 steps process, do not try to combine them to “save time”.
- Prepare the gelatin mixture. Soak gelatin sheets into cold water, in the meantime heat cream and sugar until simmering. Mix gelatine sheets into the hot cream mixture then bring it to lukewarm temperature before step 2. Too warm? It will melt cream cheese in Step 2. Too cold? Gelatine will set and will be impossible to mix with the rest of the ingredients. Do not put the mixture into the fridge or freezer as gelatine can form lumps if it cools too quickly. Note: Straight after making this cream it will be runny but do not panic, it will set in the fridge
- Once the gelatine mixture is cooled to lukewarm temperature, whip room temperature full-fat cream cheese until fluffy, for about a minute. Fold fluffy cream cheese and the gelatin mixture together. Cream cheese is an interesting ingredient, it won´t get fluffier or harder if you beat it longer, in fact, it will break and become runny. I suggest using an Electric hand mixer to avoid overbeating
- After step 2, immediately whip very cold heavy cream until soft peaks then fold the cream into the rest of the mixture. Make sure heavy cream is very cold with a high-fat content (36%) or it might be difficult to whip up. While whipping heavy cream, remember that it will go through the following stages: runny, soft peak, stiff peak then it will break and a few minutes later buttermilk separates and you can make butter. For this recipe make sure you stop after a soft peak. The cream should not be runny but also should not be too stiff which would make it difficult to fold the cream with the rest of the ingredients.
You might need more or less cream cheese frosting depending on the size of the piping nozzle you are using, the quantity I am stating should be more than enough and you might have some left - as in my view it is better to make more than run out of the frosting halfway through.
3. How to assemble the cake
First of all, this is a rather large cake, 18x30cm / 7x12 inches so make sure you have a tray under it to support when moving it.
1. You will need to make the cream cheese mousse first, and let it set in the fridge for 4 h minimum
2. In the meantime bake the carrot cake sponges and let them cool on a wire rack then refrigerate so they will be less crumbly to trim
3. Before assembling, you will have to trim one of the sponges to create the Bunny ears. Please see the picture below.
4. Assemble the Bunny head using 1 round cake and the trimmed "ears"
4. Once cream cheese mousse is set, give it a whisk (use your electric hand mixer and whip it for about 30 seconds low speed) and move it into a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle
5. Pipe the cream cheese mousse all around (including top and side too) the carrot cake evenly and tightly leaving out the middle part of the Bunny ears.
6. Colour a small amount of frosting to pink and pipe the middle part of the Bunny ears
7. Decorate with sprinkles (optional)
8. Store it refrigerated for 2-3 days
You must always measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale, please please do not use cup measurements if you desire to achieve consistent results in baking! A Digital oven thermometer is also a must in my view as most baking failures are attributed to either not measuring ingredients properly or inappropriate baking temp.
This is one of those impressive cakes you can make without using a stand mixer. The carrot sponge literally comes together in one bowl, you only need a Electric hand mixer and a Rubber spatula and 2 x 18 cm / 7 inch round cake pan to bake them. A Cooling rack is also handy to cool the sponges.
For piping the cream cheese frosting, it is more a matter of patience than having fancy equipment! All you need is a Piping bag and a small star nozzle tip.
More Carrot cake recipes
Carrot Mini Bundt cake - This Carrot Mini Bundt cake recipe is the Ultimate Carrot cake experience in a lovely Mini Bundt version! These Mini Bundt cakes have the perfect individual serving sizes and the most amazing soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture with silky cream cheese frosting and a super-easy yet decorative candied carrot finish.
Carrot mousse cake - If you are looking for a light and airy carrot cake recipe you found the One! Melt in your mouth, velvety texture with the most amazing cream cheese mousse filling.
Carrot loaf cake with surprise inside bunny - This Surprise inside Easter carrot cake is the ultimate Easter cake with a hidden bunny in each slice! Yes, I understand the irony of having a bunny in a carrot cake, but how adorable is it?
More Easter recipes
Surprise inside Easter carrot loaf cake - This is the ultimate Easter cake with a hidden bunny in each slice! Yes, I understand the irony of having a bunny in a carrot cake, but how adorable is it?!
Mini Carrot cake - Easy Mini Carrot cakes with silky cream cheese frosting are the Ultimate Carrot cake experience in a lovely Mini Bundt version!
Carrot cake with cream cheese mousse filling - The best Carrot cake I have ever had!
Speckled Easter egg cake - Strawberry cake with Ruby chocolate whipped ganache frosting that does not only look stunning but also extremely delicious with all-natural flavors and colors!
Easter egg cookies - These cookies are the easiest baking choice for Easter, besides, they are crispy and chewy, gooey and buttery, sweet but not overly sweet, super delicious, everyone will love them.
Easter Bunny Carrot cake
- 120 g (1 cups) All purpose flour
- 40 g (⅓ cups) Almond flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 100 g (½ cups) Granulated sugar
- 50 g (¼ cups) Brown sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 170 g (¾ cups) Vegetable oil
- 200 g (1½ cups) Carrot peeled and freshly shredded
- 50 g (½ cups) Pecan Optional. Toasted & Chopped. Walnut works too
- Zest of 1 orange Optional
Cream cheese mousse
- 5 Gelatine sheet 1.7g gelatin / sheet
- 120 g (½ cups) Heavy Cream
- 130 g (⅔ cups) Granulated sugar
- 10 g (1 tablespoon) Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 400 g (1¾ cups) Cream cheese ex. Philadelphia
- 360 g (1½ cups) Heavy Cream
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla bean paste
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Heat oven to 180 C / 356°F
- Prepare a 2 x 18 cm / 7 inches pan with parchment paper
- With an Electric hand mixer whip together room temperature egg, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for a minute or two
- Sift dry ingredients (flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt) and fold into wet ingredients, then fold in shredded carrot, orange zest, and chopped nuts with the help of a Rubber spatula
- Pour cake batter into 2 cake pans. Make sure they weight equal, use a digital scale
- Bake for 20-25 min or until skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
- Cool them on Cooling rack
- Chill the sponges, then trim one to create the bunny ears as per picture
Cream cheese mousse
- Soak gelatins into cold water
- Heat cream (the first cream that is 120g) with sugar on low medium heat until simmering
- Squeeze excess water from gelatin and sheets and stir into the hot cream, then mix in the lemon juice. It won’t taste lemon but the lemon balances the flavours; Let it cool to room temperature. Do not place it into the fride as gelatin tends to form lumps if cools to quickly
- Whip heavy cream until soft peaks and very gently, using a Rubber spatula fold into the cream cheese mixture. It must stay light and fluffy
- Pipe frosting all around the cake including the top and side. Leave out the middle part of the Bunny ears
- Colour a small amount of frosting to pink and pipe the middle of the Bunny ears with that
- Decorate with sprinkles (optional)
- Store refrigerated for 2-3 days