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coconut Easter nest cake cut into slices with candy in the center
coconut Easter nest cake with candy in the center

So let’s eat cake with 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 meal? (See more Easter brunch recipes to complete your spread.)

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 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.

Other cake flavors you can use:

You have control over the flavor. Just use whatever your family will like best.

cream cheese frosting in a glass mixing bowl with whisk attachment
Easter nest bundt cake with cream cheese frosting layer on pink plate

Transforming the cake into a bird’s nest easy. 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 too. But I will say one thing: silky smooth cream cheese frosting is really easy to spread on a Bundt cake because it glides right on. In addition, it’s a fabulous “glue” for all the toasted coconut on top. I add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting to amp up the coconut flavor. On Easter weekend, plan to make the frosting 1 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 because it holds up beautifully overnight.

And now for the goodies + garnish:

toasted coconut
Easter candy eggs and M&Ms

Use sweetened shredded coconut. For a contrast of texture and color, I toasted only half of the coconut. You can leave the coconut plain 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 cake. When you cut into the cake, the candies spill down in a pastel sugar waterfall, total piñata cake style. Egg-cellent.

And you know what would launch the cuteness factor into overdrive? Adding chick PEEPS!

Coconut easter nest bundt cake with Easter candy
slice of coconut easter nest bundt cake with Easter candy on plate

It’s basically double dessert because after you inhale the cake, you get a pile of Easter candies. 🙂

More Easter Dessert Recipes

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coconut Easter nest cake cut into slices with candy in the center

Coconut Easter Nest Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: serves 10 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A stunning and easy dessert, this coconut Easter nest cake will impress everyone around the Easter dinner table!


Ingredients

Scale

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Decoration

  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)*
  • 12 cups Easter candy eggs

Instructions

  1. Invert the Bundt cake onto a cake stand or serving platter.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Bundt Cake to Use: We usually use this lemon Bundt cake recipe. In the photos above, I left out the poppy seeds. Skip the soaking syrup and glaze in that recipe. Other cake recipes you can use are carrot cakeapple Bundt cakeorange Bundt cakechocolate Bundt cake, vanilla cake, or even this angel food cake.
  2. If desired, toast some or all of the coconut in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 6-8 minutes or until browned to your liking.
  3. Inspired by Real Simple

Keywords: Easter cake, nest cake

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally…what a great idea for an Easter cake! Do you think your yellow sheet cake recipe would pair well with the coconut frosting? Or am I better off with a vanilla/angel food cake?

    Thank you so much,
    Stephanie

  2. I have been wanting too make this cake since you first posted it, and this year I finally got around to it. I followed the recipe exactly (lemon cake and coconut cream cheese frosting). It both looked and tasted amazing! I think this cake will have to become a new tradition in my family. Thanks a lot for inspiring photos and excellent recipes!

  3. Hi Sally! I’d like to make this recipe! I plan on using the carrot cake recipe you have linked above. However, how should I adjust the carrot cake recipe if I am making it in a 6 cup bundt pan? Should I halve it? As for the frosting, I think I’ll leave that as it is because you can NEVER have too much frosting! Thank you!

  4. I made this today and wow it was a beautiful cake!

    Life pro tip: Let’s face it, some people don’t like coconut. I had some leftover robin eggs and cream cheese frosting so I made Sally’s no bake oatmeal cookie recipe, molded them into a nest shape, piped cream cheese frosting into the center and nestled a few Robin eggs in each.

    The cake and cookies were really remarkable to look at side by side.
    As always, great recipes and inspiration from Sally. I wish I could share the pictures with you all.

  5. Hi Sally, Congratulations on your 1000 post on your blog. I do love all of your recipes. I enjoy coming to your site to get ideas for what to make for holidays and special occasions. I’m in a culinary school and learning professional baking skills. I like seeing your technique for piping, making pies and cakes. I do plan on making this Easter cake that you have posted. It’s a beautiful cake and will be fun to make! Happy Easter!

    1. Thank you so much, Debbie! We would love to hear how this Easter cake goes for you!

  6. I just want to say I have made this every Easter for the past 4 years and it is always perfect.

  7. I just saw this post! Just missed it for Easter! 🙁 But it looks so good I’ll probably make it anyway! Sally, I don’t have a bundt cake pan, could you recommend a good one? Thanks! And congrats on your 1,000th post! I absolutely LOOOOVE your recipe’s and they’re practically the only ones I use! I have learned so much, and have had so much fun with baking this past year. Thank you so so much!

    1. Hi Zana! Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes. We link to a couple of our favorite Bundt pans in this blog post – the section titled “Before You Bundt” just above the recipe. Hope you love this cake!

  8. Does this cake freeze well? Can I freeze it with the frosting on?

    1. Hi Victoria! Frosted (without the coconut) or unfrosted cake can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.

  9. Hello Sally,
    This Easter Cake looks so good, and I would love to make this for Easter! But, I don’t like cream cheese frosting. So, what would you suggest for the frosting and bundt cake? Would coconut frosting work well with the lemon bundt cake? Or should I just use a vanilla bundt cake instead?
    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Coconut frosting would be delicious with the lemon bundt cake! Let us know what you try 🙂

  10. I followed the recipe as directed and only added 1 tbls of milk to the cream cheese frosting and it was very soupy. I had to add a lot more confectionery sugar to get this frosting thicker. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Donna! What kind of cream cheese did you use? Make sure to use full fat cream cheese that comes in a block (not from a tub).

      1. I made this cake for Easter and it looked adorable! I used the lemon bundt cake recioe – it had great lemom flavor, but mine came out quite dense and a bit dry. I tested for doneness with the toothpick test. Any ideas o where I went wrong? Thank you – LOVE ALL OF YOUR RECIPES!!

      2. Hi Diane! Usually a dense cake is the result of over mixing, and dry cakes usually happen when they’ve been slightly over baked. Also be sure that you’re spooning and leveling your flour (or using weight measure) so that there isn’t too much flour to dry out the cake. This post on how to prevent dry and dense cakes might also be helpful. Thanks so much for making this recipe!