Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bunny Nest Carrot Mini Bundts #BundtBakers

What does a bunny bring for Easter? Candied eggs, of course. What you may not know is that bunny nests are made of carrot cake, cream cheese glaze and coconut. True story. (Unless you are in France, and then the flying church bells deliver the eggs and chocolate. Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up, folks!) 

On this day in 1968, my life changed forever when our family went from four to five with the arrival of my baby sister. I was five years old so I remember it well. I had been sent to stay with my maternal grandparents for a few weeks towards the end of Mom’s pregnancy. I “worked” with my grandmother in the store each day, dusting the appliances, keeping my “accounts” and playing in those fabulously large boxes refrigerators and the like are delivered in and occasionally accompanying my grandfather out on short service calls. I drank small bottles of ice cold Coca-Cola and Grape Nehi to my heart’s content from the old-timey red machine that took just a nickel. And my grandmother kept a small bowl of nickels at the ready. I ate candy and cake and ice cream at will. In short, it was the holiday of any child’s dream. Have all the babies you want! When the phone call came that Marta had been born, family lore tells the story of my reaction: I said that I would come home when the baby stopped crying. I have no personal recollection of making that statement, but, hey, I was no fool. I knew I had it good where I was. My parents were stunned when they picked me up. Apparently I was as wide as I was tall. So 1968 was also the year a lot of my fat cells were created. But I don’t hold it against my sister. She is smart and funny and one of the most generous souls I know. If Marta has bought you a gift, careful thought went into that thing and it will be something purchased with just you in mind.  She is one of my favorite people to spend time with, because she has a wicked sense of humor and can always make me laugh. She is a great cook, an astute businesswoman and a talented graphic designer as well as the caring mom of three beautiful boys. With an April birthday, Marta’s were often celebrated with an Easter theme when we were growing up so I thought it appropriate to make these little carrot cakes with her in mind. Happy birthday, dear sister! I love you!

Easter, circa 1969


This month’s Bundt Bakers theme is Easter and spring and our host is my good friend, Tara of Noshing with the Nolands. Happy Easter, everyone! Let’s bake some Bundts!

Ingredients
For the cake:
2 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1/2 cup or 120ml of light cooking oil (canola or sunflower)
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
 7 oz or 200g carrots
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/3 cup or 40g finely chopped pecans or nut of your choice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, room temperature
1 oz or 30g butter, room temperature
8 oz or 225g confectioners’ or icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
Zest 1/2 navel orange
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the grass:
7 oz or 200g sweetened flaked coconut (That’s half a bag of Baker’s Angel Flake coconut.)
Paste food coloring – I used Wilton’s leaf green

For the candy eggs: I used pastel colored peanut M&Ms but any small candy eggs will do nicely.

Method
Peel and cut the very ends off of your carrots.  Cover them with water in a medium sized pot and cook until very fork tender.  Drain the water off and mash them with a potato masher until there aren’t any lumps. Transfer the mashed carrots to a bowl and leave to cool.



Meanwhile, you can make the glaze. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Add the juice a tablespoon at a time. Keep adding juice until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but thin enough to drizzle. We are going to dip those mini Bundts in it to coat once they are baked and cooled.


To color the coconut for grass, put the coconut into a large Ziploc bag and add in your paste coloring. I use the end of a clean knife to scoop some out. Stick the knife in the Ziploc and use some coconut to clean it off.  If you need to add more coloring, always use a clean knife. Close the bag securely and knead until the coconut is uniformly colored. (This takes approximately half an episode - 10-12 minutes - of How I Met Your Mother online with no commercials, so have a seat and enjoy the process.)



If it feels too sticky when you are done, you can spread it out on some paper towels to dry for a while.


When your carrots are cool and you are ready to start mixing, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup mini Bundt pan by buttering and flouring it or spraying it liberally with non-stick spray.

Add all the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including the cooled carrots and mix well.

Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula and beat for about two more minutes on high.



Divide the batter between the holes in your prepared mini-Bundt pan.



Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the little cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely before even thinking of glaze.


I turned mine right side up on a mini muffin tin.



If upright nests are important to you, trim off the rounded bottoms of the little Bundts. Do with these what you must but know that you will get absolutely no judgment from me if you eat them all, one by one, right as you stand there slicing.


When you are ready to glaze, hold each mini Bundt with a thumb on the bottom and one finger in the little hole on top or vice versa. Turn the cake in the glaze until it is lightly covered. Place flat side down on your serving platter and push a little of the glaze into the hole.




Sprinkle each mini Bundt with colored coconut, making sure to pat some on the sides.



Fill the little holes with candied eggs or peanut M&Ms.


Enjoy!




BundtBakers

If you are looking for more Easter or spring time Bundt inspiration, I’ve got a whole lot of lovely links right here.


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us baking Bundts each month, please send me an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.  If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.



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11 comments:

  1. Don't those scream Easter, perfectly adorable!! I love the photo with the Easter bonnets brings back memories!!

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  2. Back in those days, you had to have a hat for church, Tara! At my Catholic school, they would put a Kleenex on your head if you forgot your kerchief. By the time I'd reached the older grades, it was all more relaxed.

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  3. I love the story and the picture. I like that you cooked the carrots. I'll have to try this.

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  4. Cooking the carrots make the cake way more moist, Kelly. I've found it's the best way for carrot cake.

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  5. Aww that is such a cute story. I would say the same thing if I were living the dream life!

    These bundts are absolutely adorable. I love the pics of them before the frosting, although if I were eating them I would prefer them after frosting. :-) I can't decide which one to pin so I'll pin them all!

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  6. These are really adorable Stacy! I loved reading the story about your sister. It is so sweet. Happy Easter

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  7. Love the story, grandparents are so special. The bundts are adorable. What a cute idea!

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  8. heheheee love the story!!! and HOW CUTE these little cakes are!

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  9. What a lovely tribute to your sister. Happy birthday!
    Also, might I just say - CUTENESS OVERLOAD!

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  10. Those mini bundt look so cute, perfect for these sunday.

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  11. What a wonderful tribute to your sister, Stacy! And your grandparents sound incredible. What an amazing way to spend your time as a child (that's every kid's dream. To play and eat junk food all day! Hmmm…kinda sounds like my life right now…) These little bundts are freaking adorable. Happy Easter and happy belated birthday to your sister!

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