Coconut Easter Nest Cake
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Mushy dork fest begin: that’s 5 years, 158,109 comments, 850 recipes, 0 regrets, 2,394 grocery store trips, and 3,101 dishwasher cycles. Those last two are a calculated approximate, of course. Thank you for helping keep the engines running and recipe ideas flowing. You, and this entire enthusiastic baking community, are this blog’s foundation. You are the main reason why I “show up” to work each day and I am overwhelmingly full of gratitude for your comments, emails, and participation, as well as your continued support, inspiration, and encouragement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping build what this site is today.
End mushy dork fest. But PS: I love you ♥ ♥ ♥
So let’s eat cake! With candy! Even better: Easter candy. Honestly out of all the holidays in the year, Easter season is the BEST candy season. Easter bunny, you’ve got the right idea. Robin’s Eggs! Jelly Beans! Cadbury Creme Eggs! Reese’s Eggs! I wanted to put the pastel beauties of the season on display and while another piñata cake was tempting, I was inspired by Real Simple’s nest cake. It’s sort of the same, just A LOT more festive (and easier, too). And how beautiful as the finale to your Easter supper in a few weeks?
While you can truly use any flavor bundt cake you desire, I went with my favorite lemon bundt cake. I typically add a lemon soaking syrup and poppy seeds to the lemon bundt cake, but since the focus of this dessert would be on the garnish– I kept it plain. But “plain” isn’t at all how I would describe it. Rather, this lemon bundt cake is soft, sweet, and moist. Smack dab in the middle between fluffy and dense with *just* the right amount of lemon zing. You know the flavor is there, but it isn’t overwhelming. Nor is is competing with the coconut and cream cheese frosting on top. (We’ll get to those in a second.)
Other bundt cakes you can use:
- carrot cake (you can leave out the cheesecake swirl!)
- apple bundt cake
- orange bundt cake
- chocolate bundt cake (you can leave out the cheesecake swirl here too)
- or even this angel food cake!
Or virtually anything that pairs with coconut. And Easter. You have control over the flavor. Just use whatever your family will like best. I’ll definitely be making this coconut Easter nest cake with carrot cake for the big day.
Transforming the cake into a bird’s nest is a cinch. Cover it with frosting, then coconut, then pile candies in the center. 10 minutes, tops.
Like the cake flavor, you also have total control over the frosting flavor as well. But I will say one thing: silky smooth cream cheese frosting is soooo easy to spread on a bundt cake. It glides right on and is a fabulous “glue” for all the toasted coconut on top. I added a teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting, just to amp up the coconut flavor in the entire dessert. On Easter weekend, I plan to make the frosting a day in advance so there’s one less task before the big meal. That’s the other thing about cream cheese frosting: it holds up well over a couple days. And speaking of preparing ahead, the lemon bundt cake is AWESOME for making ahead too. Holds up well overnight!
And now for the goodies + garnish:
We’ll use sweetened shredded coconut. For a contrast of texture and color, I toasted only half of the coconut. You can leave the coconut as is or toast it all– the decision is yours. You can also use unsweetened coconut too.
Don’t like coconut? Use sliced almonds as the nest instead!
The eggs in the nest are, of course, Easter candies. Just pile them in the center of the bundt. I wanted an extra pop of pastel color, so I added some M&Ms along with the candy coated chocolate eggs. When you cut into the cake, the candies spill down in a pastel sugar waterfall, total piñata style. Egg-cellent.
And you know what would launch the cuteness factor into overdrive? Adding chick PEEPS! Your adorable Easter dessert = winning.
It’s, like, double dessert because after you inhale the cake, you get a pile of Easter candies. 🙂
Coconut Easter Nest Cake
- 1 baked and cooled bundt cake (lemon bundt cake 1, carrot cake, apple bundt cake, orange bundt cake, chocolate bundt cake, or even this angel food cake)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional: 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)2
- 1 - 2 cups Easter candy eggs
- Invert the bundt cake onto a cake stand or serving platter.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla and coconut extracts with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Frost the cooled bundt cake. Top the entire cake with coconut. Fill the center with candies. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- I used this lemon bundt cake recipe. Left out the poppy seeds, soaking syrup, and glaze.
- If desired, toast some or all of the coconut in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Inspired by Real Simple
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