Easter is such a good excuse for adorable cakes. So much so that I had too many ideas this year, and unfortunately, I think I’m only going to have time for this one. Boo. I guess I can always save the rest for next year. With bunnies and chicks, Easter baskets, Easter eggs, and CANDY, the possibilities are endless. Speaking of candy, I’ve always been fascinated by those adorable, panoramic sugar eggs. You know, the ones with those cute little springtime scenes inside? Well, a couple weeks ago the idea popped into my head to try making one inside a cake. I was so caught up in the idea that I put my previous Easter cake plans on the back burner and threw myself into this project instead.
This cake was significantly easier than I thought it would be. The main issue was just carving the egg shaped hole in the cake, after that it was a breeze. Sort of. But I’m getting ahead of myself. For starters, I used two 4 inch cakes: one chocolate, one vanilla. I torted each into two layers so I could alternate the two flavors. I added a strawberry simple syrup to each layer (which left me with some delicious cooked strawberries to add to my morning yogurt BTW), then assembled the cake with chocolate ganache in between. I let it firm up overnight, then tackled the carving the next day.
I drew myself an egg template on a piece of paper, folding it in half, and drawing half, so that when I cut it out it was even on both sides. If only that had translated to my egg shaped hole actually being even on both sides. I used a knife to outline the shape on the side of my cake, then cut in a little deeper, angling the knife in towards the center of the egg.
The ganache was a bit firm. I used a 3:1 ration of chocolate to cream. In retrospect, I should have used more cream. It needed to be firm, but this was a bit too firm, which made it difficult to cut through while carving. With a sharp pairing knife and a grapefruit spoon though, I was able to carefully hollow out an egg shape in my cake. It looked pretty even at this point, but then came the tricky part; frosting the cake.
I recently purchased a set of acrylic discs from Cakesafe, and one of their icing scrapers. This was my first time using the discs and it went pretty well, although I haven’t quite gotten the hang of removing the discs yet. I think that will improve with practice. The big challenge for me was the egg shaped hole. I had used a spoon to smooth some frosting into the hole before frosting the sides, but obviously, as I scraped down the sides, my Swiss meringue buttercream would get dragged into the hole. I really just had to play around with this. I got it as smooth as I could around the edges of the hole, got the rest of the cake smoothed out, and then stuck it in the fridge to chill. Then I used my X-Acto knife to try to trim the edges and smooth them out, but I struggled to get the hole even at this point.
Next I colored a smidge of buttercream blue and applied it to the back and top of the hole. I started out using a spoon but it wasn’t working well so I ended up dabbing it on with my fingers. I smudged some white in there too to make it look like white fluffy clouds in a spring sky. Then I used a tiny round piping tip and some green buttercream to pipe my grass. I found using this tip and piping the blades of grass individually gave a much more natural look than using a grass tip. Not sure I’d want to do that over large section of cake though. Sounds like a headache. After piping the back of the hole with grass, I stuck a cute little Wilton brand sugar bunny in, then piped more grass in front of him. Then I added a few white flower sprinkles to the grass.
After that came the traditional sugar egg piping. I’m still in need of some classic piping skills, so I love any excuse to practice. I used a small shell piping tip to pipe a border around the hole, at the top and bottom of the cake’s sides, and around the top edge. The final touch was a bit of Bakery Bling glitter sugar to mimic the sugar texture of the panoramic eggs. My piping could still use a some work, and my egg was a little lopsided, but this was a really egg-citing cake for me. Tee hee.