Sweets

Sunflower Easter Cake

Easter is almost here! I am so excited! Easter has always been such a special holiday for my family! Easter is definitely one of my top three favorite holidays.

The list for Easter desserts is literally endless and I love every single one of them! There is such a light whimsical feel to each Easter dessert that makes me so happy to see. They all seem to have cute, out-of-the-ordinary desserts shaped like bunnies, flowers, little nests; I love them all!

This sunflower cake has a very special place in my heart and is a cake that I make every year! One year when I was younger, I came home to my mom’s house when she told me I had a surprise in the kitchen! I walked into the kitchen to see this wonderful, bright sunflower cake sitting on our kitchen table! It was so cute and definitely delicious, but made even more special that my mom, who doesn’t like to cook or bake, decided to bake my sister and I a special treat to welcome us after school!

I am also in love with the marshmallow chicks the line the top of the cake, so the fact that this cake has chocolate icing, a fluffy cake inside, and topped with marshmallows chicks is literally my dream come true. Thanks, Mom, for introducing me to this heavenly creation! You’re the best!

It’s such a fun, cute cake that even if you don’t like baking, you can still whip this up in no time! You can use store-bought icing and used a box cake if you want! This can be as simple as you want and no one would even know the difference! They’ll just be impressed with how adorable this cake is!

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder

Pinch of salt

Stick and a half of butter, room temperature

1 cup of milk

3 eggs

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

A drop of almond extract (Optional)

Icing:

12 ounces of chocolate

1 cup of heavy cream

Pinch of salt

Topping:

Chocolate chips

3 packs of marshmallow chicks (I always buy more because if there are any extras, those get to be the chef snack while you’re frosting)

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the softened butter and the sugar. Mix them together on medium speed until pale yellow in color. Add in the eggs one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Begin to add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. After everything has been fully mixed together, add in the extracts! For this recipe, I used a sheet pan to bake my cakes because I wanted to cut out three small layers since there were only four of us eating the cake! However, you can bake this cake in a circular pan, cupcake tin, or a 13 by 9 cake dish. You might have to adjust the baking time accordingly! I placed my cake batter into a sheet pan that was lined with parchment paper and sprayed lighting with the baking spray! Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!

While the cakes are cooling, gather the ingredients for the frosting! In a small saucepan, heat up the heavy cream. You want the cream to be slightly simmering, with little bubbles popping up around the edges. You don’t want the cream to get too hot or it could scorch the chocolate! While the cream is heating up, make sure the chocolate is chopped up and waiting in a bowl! When the cream is slightly simmering, pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and cover it with a dish towel or a lid. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. You want to give the cream plenty of time to melt and soften each little piece of chocolate! After five minutes, begin to gently stir to combine. It might seem like there’s a bunch of cream and it’s too liquidy, but don’t stress, it’ll get there with plenty of patience! After the chocolate and cream are fully combined into a beautiful, thick chocolate sauce, allow the ganache to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour! Once the ganache is cooled, put into a stand mixer and begin to whip at medium-high speed until the ganache is completely whipped and fluffy!

Do we see how shiney this ganache is?! It’s like looking into a liquidy chocolate mirror! Who doesn’t want that?!

Now, it’s time to frost the cake! Place a little dollop of frosting onto the cake plate to hold the cake down. Take one layer of cake and place it as evenly as you can in the middle of the plate! Cover the first layer of cake with the frosting! Then, place a generous layer of chocolate chips over the icing! Gently press down on the chocolate chips to make sure they stick to the icing! Complete this process with the next layer! Place the top layer on top of the chocolate chips and gently press down! Place a large dollop of frosting on the top layer and begin to smooth out the top! Once the top is fully covered begin to work the icing down the side of the cake. If you notice that your cake edges seem a little crumbly, you can place the cake in the freezer for a couple of minutes to help the cake firm up. You can also place a thin layer of the frosting around the edges to act as a crumb coating! This layer will catch all the crumbs, so when you put another coat of frosting down, it’ll be smooth and perfect!

After the entire cake has been frosting, place the marshmallow chicks along the top circle edge of the cake! I placed them mostly on the cake with their little tails hanging off! You want to make sure they’re stable on the cake but allow for plenty of space for the inner chocolate chips! Once the marshmallow chicks are in place, sprinkle the middle with plenty of chocolate chips. I used mini chocolate chips because I felt that it looked a little bit cuter, but use whatever chocolate chips you have on hand!

I got a little messy on this layer but, it’s okay! A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen! Just don’t let my mom know I said that…
I love the chocolate chips in this cake! They provide a nice little crunch to the soft cake, it’s perfection!

Finally, you have a completed sunflower cake! I absolutely adore this cake! I think there is something so charming about it’s simplistic, whimsical design! This is definitely a cake that will be enjoyed in my household for many years to come!

Enjoy!

-Holly Michelle

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