8 Best Easter Cake Ideas + 3 Tips On How to Make It Yourself
Modern Easter is mostly a time for chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, and anything else that could possibly be made from chocolate. Of course no home bake quite rivals the Easter cake. Find here the best ideas for an easter cake as well as a simple recipe.
Easter cake, also known as Simnel cake, was first created in medieval times. There is a fun myth as to its exact history, according to which a couple argued over how to prepare it.
As Simnel cakes were traditionally boiled before being baked, the couple fought over which to do, and finally compromised on both. Modern Easter cakes aren’t boiled, thankfully.
They’re much lighter and sweeter confections. We cover our favorite varieties below, as well as a recipe for an airy, delicious Easter sponge cake.
With that said, you’ll also find some tips on making old-fashioned Simnel cake in this article – just for fun.
Best Easter Cake Ideas
Nowadays, Easter cakes are brightly-hued and fun. You can get really creative with your bakes. The Easter cake designs below are beautiful and delicious – the perfect combo to impress your party guests this Easter time.
Easter Bunny Cake
Unless you’ve spent the past several years living under a rock, you’ll have seen the now iconic unicorn cake trend. This is essentially the same, except it’s a little bunny rather than a unicorn.
All you have to do to make this cake is bake our basic recipe below. Frost with white or pale yellow buttercream, taking care to smooth it out all over using a cake scraper.
Next, craft two tall fondant ears using a similar shade of sugar paste, plus pastel pink for the insides of the ears.
Top tip: use relatively thick fondant sheets and add long cocktail skewers between the ‘ear’ and pastel pink layers. Use these to place the ears on top of the cake.
Add a cute pink bunny nose, the iconic closed eyes (use dark chocolate or black sugar paste for these), and some optional fondant bunny feet on either side of the cake.
Cute Lamb Cake
Baking a cute Easter lamb-shaped cake is a tradition in many European countries, as well as the American Midwest. To make the best lamb cake, you’ll want a lamb cake pan.
Use this alongside our basic recipe below to bake your cake, then let it cool to room temperature. Stand up your cake on a serving platter, then frost generously with white buttercream.
Some of the nicest lamb cakes we’ve seen were frosted all over with fluffy buttercream. This is also the easiest way to give your lamb a nice little face.
Add a touch of pink buttercream inside the ears, and finish with two chocolate button eyes and a little pink frosted nose. Steer clear of harsh colors that could ‘bleed’ onto the white frosting, and you really can’t go wrong.
Blue Robin’s Egg Nest Cake
This sweet cake looks like the ultimate Easter treat. The soft blue color paired with the sweet Robin’s egg nest on top symbolizes Spring so well. And Robin’s eggs are said to denote good fortune, too.
To make this pretty cake, simply follow our basic recipe below.
Once your cake is done and cooling down, prepare your buttercream: mix a light vanilla buttercream of your choice with a little bit of pale blue food dye. Frost well and smooth all around and on top of the cake.
Separately, mix a little bit of vanilla extract with dark cocoa powder and spatter all over the cake using a clean brush. This is done to give the distinct Robin’s egg look. Add some toasted coconut to the top center of the cake, and finally place some blue chocolate ‘Robin’s’ eggs in this nest.
Pastel-Colored Lemon Cake
This pretty cake is inspired by a Southern recipe for a delicious lemon cake with lots of juice and zest, as well as heaps of whipped vanilla cream on top.
To make it, you’ll want to follow a lemon cake recipe of your choice. Once baked and cooled to room temperature, frost with vanilla whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.
Next, cut out an egg shape from a piece of clean paper or baking sheet.
Carefully lay your stencil over the cake, and use a variety of colorful sprinkles to create the egg shape in the center. If you wish, you may also add some sprinkles around the outer edges of the cake. This cake looks great baked in a rectangular tin, but works just as well in other shapes, too.
Traditional Simnel Cake
Did you know? The traditional Simnel cake has historically been crafted to celebrate the Easter holidays. It’s topped with 11 balls of delicious marzipan, one each to represent Jesus’ disciples, minus Judas Iscariot.
Some also decorate their Simnel cake with edible Spring flowers. The cake itself is studded with orange zest, dried fruits, and ground almonds. Follow your favorite recipe to bake Simnel cake.
Some recipes call for the top of the cake being brushed with sticky, fruity apricot jam. It’s then covered with a disk of marzipan, before being decorated with the marzipan balls. In many ways Simnel cake is a little like Christmas fruit cake, so if you’re a lover of the latter, you’ll like this too.
Easy Easter Cakes
We promise the above Easter cakes are all fairly easy to accomplish, even for novice bakers. If you’d still prefer something a little more low key, the three cakes below are extra simple. They’re quick to bake and will still put a smile on anyone’s face.
Peeps Easter Garden Cake
This is hands down the simplest cake you could ever make for your Easter meal. All you need is a chocolate cake box mix, some ‘peeps’, and a little bit of green and orange frosting.
Whip up the cake box mix in a square tin per the package instructions. Once cooled, frost lines across it using the green buttercream.
Add little orange blobs with green tops all over to represent carrots that are still in the ground. Finally, add some colorful bunny peeps. And you’ve got yourself a little Easter garden with colorful bunnies.
Easter Eggs Cake
One of the very easiest cakes to make at home is a basic Easter egg ‘nest’ cake. We describe this in more detail further on in this article.
All you need to do is bake your favorite cake recipe using round tins (our basic one below is very good.) Once cooled, frost your cake using your choice of buttercream.
Top the center using toasted coconut, and finally add some small Easter eggs to this ‘nest.’ You can further embellish this cake with a variety of chocolatey treats – more on this later.
Bunny Bum Cake
Another variation of the Easter eggs cake, in a way, is the bunny ‘bum’ cake. This may sound strange, but it’s a funny and cute little cake design that’s a light-hearted option for Easter.
It’s particularly fun for children. You’ll want to bake your favorite cake recipe and frost it with your choice of buttercream.
Next, unwrap a chocolate bunny but carefully cut off the back half of it. Stick this onto the top of the cake, so it looks as though the bunny is digging into it.
Decorate the remainder of the cake with little sugar paste carrots, chocolate eggs, and sprinkles. And don’t forget to eat the front half of that chocolate bunny.
Simple Recipe for Easy Easter Cake: A Guide
Our basic recipe will yield the most fantastic Easter sponge cake. It’s fluffy and light, yet moist and flavorful.
If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, feel free to swap the flour for a gluten free variety, substitute the butter with a vegan alternative, the milk for almond or oat milk, and the eggs for aquafaba or yogurt.
You may also use less sugar or replace it with coconut sugar or a fruit concentrate of your choice.
- 2 ¼ cups self-raising flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 medium eggs
And here’s how you do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, prep two 9” cake tins or one 9”x13” pan in by greasing them with butter or vegetable oil.
- Whisk the sugar and butter thoroughly until fluffy and slightly pale in color.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract until these are thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Gradually whisk together the butter and sugar cream with the eggs and flour until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. Make sure you don’t over-whisk.
- Pour the batter into your prepared tins and bake them for 30-35 minutes. When done, the center should be just softly browned but yet springy to the touch. Top tip: use a toothpick to prick the sponge. If it comes away clean, your cake is done.
Allow the finished cake to cool to room temperature. Frost it with a buttercream of your choice and decorate it per one of our lovely Easter designs above.
Simple Easter Cake Designs and Decoration Ideas
Some of the simplest Easter cake design and decoration ideas involve the use of store bought chocolate goodies.
The best way to create a lovely Easter effect is to frost your cake liberally with your choice of buttercream. Add some desiccated, toasted coconut flakes to symbolize a small ‘nest’ to the center. Finish with a selection of chocolate eggs.
You may also wish to add chocolate chicks or bunnies, or Easter cake toppers. Play with coloring your frosting using food dye or natural ingredients such as beetroot juice or matcha powder.
If you’re particularly crafty, small chocolate or caramel baskets filled with chocolate eggs are a lovely touch, too.
Tips and Ideas on How to Make Easter Cakes Yourself
Making an Easter cake at home doesn’t need to cause you stress – even if you are a novice baker. It’s easy to make a beautiful cake without heaps of experience. Below are some of our top tips to make a delicious and showstopping Easter cake yourself.
Understand and Follow the Recipe
It may go without saying, but understanding a recipe well before you start it is key to getting your bake right. Take your time and read through the recipe before you even buy the ingredients.
Then take your time with the actual baking process. You’ll find you enjoy it much more and will end up with a tastier, more balanced cake.
Use Good Quality Chocolate
This is particularly important. High quality chocolate won’t contain as much sugar or additives as cheaper ones. It’ll be easier to melt and use and, above all, it’ll taste better.
You needn’t buy the most expensive chocolate or cocoa on the market, just go for the best you can afford and one you enjoy.
Prep your Ingredients Beforehand
Whether you’re baking alone or with little helpers, prepping your ingredients in advance can save you tons of time and stress.
Weighing your ingredients and resting anything on the counter that needs to warm up to room temperature will make the process much smoother.
Room temperature ingredients are easier to blend into a smooth, lump-free batter. This in turn will allow for more air bubbles, creating a lighter, fluffier cake.
Easter Captions and Phrases
If you’re looking to present your beautiful Easter bakes on social media, you may be looking for captions to really set them off.
Below are a few that we think work best with the season. Feel free to re-purpose these for any Easter cards as well:
- "Easter egg hunts: proof your kid can actually find things, they just need to really want to."
- "No matter how long the Winter, Spring is sure to follow. Happy Easter!"
- "No bunny loves Easter like I do."
- "He has risen, have faith in him. Have a blessed and Happy Easter!"
- "I keep clicking accept cookies. I have not gotten one single cookie. I do have cake, though."
- "Bake the world a better place. Happy Easter!"
Alternatives to Easter Cake
If you’d like to present a whole Easter buffet rather than ‘just’ a beautiful cake, we’ve got just the things for you. Bake one or bake several, the choice is yours. Use these as inspiration alongside our beautiful Easter cake design ideas above.
Easter cookies are a great option if you want a smaller bake that won’t take much time at all. You can make basic Easter cookies by whipping up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and adding crushed Easter eggs before baking.
Alternatively, bake your favorite sugar cookie recipe and use Easter-themed cutters. Once your cookies have cooled, decorate them with pastel colored icing.
Use our easy cake recipe above to make 24 delicious cupcakes instead. Adjust the baking time slightly to make up for the smaller amounts in batter. Once baked, frost with a selection of pastel-hued buttercreams. Top using some mini Easter eggs or your favorite Easter cake toppers.
DIY Easter Eggs
You can fill plastic eggs with chocolates or candy, or go the traditional route of dyeing eggs using food coloring and vinegar. The vinegar is added so the food coloring better dyes the eggs.
You can use chicken or duck eggs. Boil them ahead of time and enjoy as part of a yummy Easter breakfast buffet.