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Easter Basket Cake Happy Easter!

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Two variations for pretty and presentable Easter basket cake that are formed and decorated to look just like adorable Easter baskets.

Easter Basket Cake

Recipe Ingredients

1 18-oz. package white cake mix (with pudding in the mix)
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes, divided
Vanilla frosting (recipe follows, or use canned)
Jelly Beans
Pull 'n Peel licorice
Mini Kisses Chocolates
Coconut Grass (recipe follows)

Recipe Directions

Prepare cake batter with whole eggs as directed on package; stir in 1/2-cup coconut. Using two round 9-inch pans, bake and cool as directed.

Place one layer on serving plate, bottom side up; frost top with vanilla frosting. Place second layer on top, top side up. Frost sides. Mark a 6-inch circle from center of top layer. Using fork, gently remove small amount of cake from within circle, forming an indentation to allow basket to be filled. Lightly frost edges of top.

Cut lightweight cardboard into 14 x 3/4-inch strip for handle; cover with plastic wrap. Bend and insert handle ends into top of cake about 1-inch from sides; frost. Decorate with jelly beans and single licorice strands. When frosting on sides of cake is firm, with fork, alternately press fork tines vertically and horizontally, forming basket pattern.

Place coconut "grass" on top; decorate with mini kisses chocolate and assorted Easter candies. Separate licorice into three strand groups; twist and place around top rim. Place jelly beans around bottom. Remove handle before serving.

Vanilla Frosting:

Beat 1/3-cup softened butter in medium bowl. Add 1-cup powdered sugar and 1-teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well. Add 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar alternately with 3-tablespoons milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Coconut "Grass"

Combine three drops green food color with 3/4-teaspoon water; add to remaining 1-1/2 cups coconut. Stir until evenly tinted; use immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

Variation: Easter Basket Cake

Easter Basket with Red Ribbon

1 pound ( 2.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 pound container white frosting
1 cup shredded coconut
Green food coloring
Jelly beans and other Easter candy
Pipe cleaners

Heat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour a 1-1/2-quart stainless steel bowl. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Pour the batter into the bowl. Bake for 70 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the bowl for 15 minutes, then unmold it onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Turn the cake right side up and place it on a platter. Cut a circle out of the center of the cake, leaving a 1-1/2-inch border. Scoop cake out of the circle to form a 1-inch-deep crater. Frost the cake.

For the grass, add several drops of green food coloring to the coconut in a zippered plastic bag.

Close the bag and shake it well.

Fill the crater with the coconut, jelly bean eggs and the other festive Easter candy.

For a handle, arch two pipe cleaners over the cake. Wrap ribbons around the handle and tie a big bow in the center

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