Easter is one of my favourite occasions. Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, it always coincided with the start of Spring, longer days, warmer weather and the lead-up to my birthday in late April. Even though I live in Australia now (hello Autumn!), and I am not especially religious AND I think a lot of chocolate is over-rated, I still look forward to Easter. To me it means having my kids at home from school, Easter egg hunts, perhaps some Autumn sunshine, visiting the Bendigo Easter parade (a tradition in Paul's family since the 1930s), baking lots of cakes and welcoming friends over for Easter tea.
Last year I went with a super-colourful theme for my Easter entertaining (check out my Malteaster cake HERE) but this year I am in love with Meri Meri’s Easter collection from our store, which features sweet Liberty florals and quirky little bunnies. Sooo pretty and perfect for serving up Easter treats! I teamed up with my very talented friend JB from Pretty Special Cakes to put together an Easter table using the collection and our cake deco products. Here’s the lowdown…
JB created a beautiful two tier cake inspired by the Liberty tableware.
The lower tier can be displayed on its own to serve cupcakes
And the top tier looks pretty cute too!
JB gave me the lowdown on her concept for the amazing Liberty Bunny cake and how she went about creating it…
Inspiration: The brief for the Liberty Bunny Cake came about over an impromptu cup of coffee and some unicorn cookies. Allison showed me the gorgeous new Liberty print party plates and Easter Bunny favour bags from Melt.
"How about an Easter cake using the print in some way?" Allison asked.
The bag was asking to be made into a cake. I also knew that having the print only on the bunny ears wouldn't do enough justice to its cheerfulness. I wanted to incorporate the print on a bigger area as well and decided to give the bunny a "body" and have him "wear" the print.
The making: I chose a 6" diameter by 6" tall cake for the head and an 8" diameter by 6" tall cake for its body. Both head and body were covered with a thin layer of white fondant. I marked the spots where I wanted the ears to go on the head.
The ears are made of white modelling chocolate -- easier to handle than fondant and holds its shape better; also "sets" faster than fondant. I cut out one ear free-hand and then used it as a stencil to cut out the second ear. I inserted bamboo skewers in both and let them dry flat.
I tried to copy the pattern as closely as possible and after selecting a section I liked most, I drew it out onto some baking paper. Next, I rolled some more fondant to about 10cm wide and roughly 3mm thick. I pinned the "pattern" baking paper on it and with a firm but gentle hand, I traced over my drawing to emboss the pattern onto the fondant. I then cut out the smaller ear shapes and stuck them on to the modelling chocolate ears.
The same technique was used to transfer the pattern on to the lower tier. Once dried, I hand painted the pattern onto both head and body.
Painting the print: I've used a couple different brands of edible/food paint to get colours that were as close as possible to those of the Liberty print. These are all available at Melt.
Liberty blue: Americolor sky blue + hint of forest green + hint of ivory
Liberty 'flower' green: Americolor leaf green + touch of white + hint of ivory
Liberty leaf green: Edible Art pastel green, was he out with vodka
Liberty yellow: Edible Art pastel yellow
Liberty pink: Edible Art pastel pink
Liberty orange: Americolor orange + hint of ivory
Outlines: blue and brown edible markers
I used vodka to dilute the Edible Art paints and water for the Americolor paints.
Assembly: Once the head was placed on the body, I cut out two circles for the eyes and hand painted the nose and whiskers. Lastly, I attached two fondant strips to the front of the bottom tier to make it look like Mr Bunny is wearing a Liberty print shirt (and pants which we can't see!) with "suspenders”.
Every teatime table needs cupcakes so I whipped some up using the Meri Meri Easter cupcake kit and Sweetapolita's Easter Parade sprinkles, both available HERE.
They look so cute next to the Liberty Bunny treat bags, which were the inspiration for JB's cake!
Liberty tableware and a pretty backdrop finished off our Easter table perfectly. I added a touch of gold to make it all sparkle.
PS find our Easter shop HERE.