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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Vegan and Gluten Free Bunny Pull Apart Cake

Hi everyone! I know it's been a million years since I shared a new post, and I apologize. Life has gotten in the way of blogging lately.

That said, I just had to share this latest baking adventure with you all!! Because this little experiment made me so happy, and I love opening my fridge right now, as there is a smiling bunny face looking up at me.

And I thought you all might like to know how you can turn these gluten free and vegan cupcakes into an easy pull apart cake just in time for Easter. Seriously, the cake is super easy, and I say this as someone who generally sucks at decorating. That's why I did this all as a trial the week before Easter. Turns out it's not hard at all!

I  apologize for the quality of most of these photos, since it was a last minute decision to photograph this experiment! I wanted to make a dessert for my 3yr old niece to enjoy at Easter, and did a trial run this weekend, in case I totally failed!! Since it all worked out, I whipped out my camera and took some shots on the kitchen table with wretched lighting.

Also, I used mini cupcakes, but you can easily do this with full-size ones.

The initial inspiration for this came from this post on Crafty Her bunny is lovely, and I suggest you check it out for a fancier decorating idea. (I don't have the patience to do all those little dots, so swirls it is for me!! I doubt my 3yr old niece will care once all that icing is in her mouth, anyway ;p )

Ingredients for Gluten Free and Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 24 mini or 12 large)

1 cup + 3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup + 1 Tbsp sorghum or brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin, or line with cupcake liners.

1. In a large bowl, whisk water, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until sugar is mostly dissolved.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add 1/2 dry ingredients to wet mix and beat in. Add remaining 1/2 mix and beat until smooth. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from tin and let cool completely on a rack.

Ingredients for Vegan Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup vegan butter, like Earth Balance, at room temperature (or regular butter for a non-vegan version)
2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 small shake of salt (eliminate if using salted butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons water, as needed

For the pink colouring, I divided the icing and used a tsp or 2 of pomegranate juice. A slice of beetroot mixed in, then removed, also works.

To make the icing:

1. Cream the butter with a hand blender or spoon until smooth. Gradually add in sugar until incorporated. Beat in vanilla, then add water as needed to make a stiff, smooth icing.

To make pink icing, remove 2-3 Tbsp of icing. If using pomegranate juice, you will need to add more icing sugar and adjust until desired color is achieved. If using a small slice of beetroot, mix the beet around in the icing until desired color is achieved, then remove beet slice.

2. Scoop icing into piping bags. I used a 1M tip for the swirls on the cake, and just cut a small hole in the bag to make the pink nose and ears.

To assemble the bunny pull apart cake

To line the cooking sheet, I simply cut a sheet of contact paper / shelf lining paper to size. I did not stick this to the try. Instead, I suggest dabbing a small amount of icing on the corners on the back of the contact paper, and then laying it down. This will prevent the paper from shifting on the tray.

Then, arrange your cupcakes on the tray. The same way you "glued" the contact paper tot he try, you can dab a bit of icing on the bottom of the cupcakes to glue them to the paper. You do not want your cupcakes to be shifting around as you ice them, or when you move the whole thing later. 

There are several ways you can ice your bunny, but it is super fast to simply do swirls. This also makes it really easy to pull each cupcake away afterwards. Simply start in the centre of the cupcake, apply pressure to your icing bag, and move in a circle. 

To make a face, I used 2 large chocolate chips for eyes.
Then I piped a few lines of pink icing over the ears, then smoothed them with a knife. Pipe a little nose and mouth. 

A few thin carrot slices served as last minute whiskers! I recommend putting those on at the last minute, as carrot tends to add a bit of extra moisture to the icing. 

Once I had my icing made, it took less than 20 minutes to assemble and ice the bunny.

Have leftover cupcakes? Check out these gorgeous Gluten Free and Vegan Sunflower Cupcakes.

 They're a little more time-consuming to ice than the bunny, but they're like beautiful little sunshine bombs!! And if you make 24 mini cupcakes, you'll have more than enough to make the bunny head and 13 sunflower cupcakes, which will make a beautiful display on the Easter table!

Have you seen the latest novel in my romance series, The Anubis Mask? Get it now, and the priestess Betrest  as she searches for the mysterious man-god she met one lotus-infused night.

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