I really like the look of Wilton’s 3D Bunny Cake Pan, so I was excited to try out my first bunny-shaped cake when I discovered one small problem with the pan: it doesn’t come with a recipe. Instead, it comes with decorating suggestions and simply states that you’ll need 4 1/2 cups of pound cake batter to make the cake. This was a bit of a problem for me because, let’s face it, it is much easier to bake a cake that is the right size for a given pan. I didn’t want to take the risk of starting off with a too-small recipe that couldn’t be sure would rise up enough to fill up the pan. So, I picked a high-rising variation on a pound cake recipe I like and scaled it down to fit the pan.
This pan is very easy to use. You simply grease and flour it, then fill it with batter (once you’ve got the amount nailed down) and you’re ready to go. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to check the cake for doneness, since you can’t see the cake as it bakes, but fortunately there is a small hole in the top of the pan to fit a toothpick or cake tester into and it works well. The cake bakes on its side, and it is easiest to handle if you set it on a baking sheet.
This cake recipe is tender, with a good vanilla flavor to it. It is a bit lighter than some pound cakes, more like a cross between a yellow cake and a pound cake. It’s still easy to handle as you’re decorating and quite sturdy. Use a wooden skewer or an extra long toothpick to test this cake for doneness, since a short toothpick will not get all the way to the center of the pan to see if it is cooked through.
Now, you can try other recipes in this pan, too. If you use a recipe that makes a big batch (say, a recipe that would ordinarily bake 2 dozen cupcakes), you can measure out the appropriate amount of batter for the bunny and bake the rest off as cupcakes. Choose a high-rising cake if at all possible to ensure that it will fill up the bunny. If you’re not sure, you’ll know you have enough batter when the bottom part of the bunny is almost completely filled up; this amount of batter will give you the best chance of having a complete bunny. And if you’re missing a tiny bit after baking – well, that is what frosting is for!
Vanilla 3D Bunny Cake Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour the Wilton 3D Bunny Cake Pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light, then blend in vegetable oil, eggs and egg yolk. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla, then stir in all remaining flour. There should be no streaks of dry ingredients remaining.
Pour into prepared pan (the side without the hole in the top!); batter should come almost all the way to the top of that half of the pan. Place 2nd half of the bunny on top and press gently to snap into place. Place bunny pan on a baking sheet.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the bunny through the hole in the top of the pan comes out clean (be sure to use a long tester or skewer!). Cool for about 20 minutes in pan, then open pan and transfer bunny to a wire rack to cool completely. I cooled the bunny on its side, using a paper towel to prop the head up, but you should be able to cool it upright, as well.
The decoration for this cake is up to you. I used white frosting topped with a little powdered sugar to give the bunny a “soft” look. I dyed a bit of the white frosting pink with some red food coloring and made a chocolate eye, although a jellybean or chocolate candy with a small chocolate dot added on for a pupil would have had a great effect, as well.