I have this obsession with Easter egg hunts. Like, seriously. I LOVE them. I. Love. Them. Every year, I love to hide the eggs for Hubs or the kiddo to find, but my favorite part of the day is when they hide all the eggs for me. And they get super into it, too. They know how much I love hunting for the eggs, so they work together to be sneaky and clever and hide all the eggs in places I might not expect. Except for dark, scary, possibly spider (or spiderweb) infested places…because WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT?! And of course, they take pictures of all of them, because otherwise, there’s the inevitable forgotten egg.
I think I inherited my love for Easter egg hunts from my grandmother. She used to hide dozens and dozens of colorful, candy-filled plastic eggs all around her home and yard for all of the grandkids to find. But my grandparents had these neighbors who had the most horrible bullying kids, and one year, they snuck over after my grandma had hidden the eggs, stole all of the candy out of them, and placed crawdads (crayfish, crawfish, mudbugs, freshwater lobster…whatever you call the nasty things) inside of the eggs instead. Honestly? Looking back, it is kinda funny, and frankly, after the initial shock, my sisters and cousins weren’t terribly bothered by them. They were far more angry over the candy theft.
I, on the other hand, was slightly damaged by the event. We all know how I feel about spiders….six legs, two claws, antennae, and slippery sliminess are barely a step above eight legs, pincers, hairy legs, and creepy crawliness. To this day, we only hunt hardboiled and brightly dyed Easter eggs…because sure, they taste good, but more importantly, you can’t break them open, steal the goodies, and replace them with some awful creature instead.
Candy eggs are also acceptable substitutions, but I prefer to have those with my cake. Like this cake. This cake is perfect topped with candy eggs.
When I decided to make this cake, I knew I wanted to top it with a sweet nest filled for the candy eggs, but I didn’t want a traditional bird’s nest made of chocolate shavings or another food that resembled natural twigs. I wanted something a little more unexpected and playful…and of course, if it was pink, that didn’t hurt either.
I made my nest using pink strawberry Pocky. I simply broke the Pocky sticks to varying sizes and built my own abstract bird’s nest by arranging the playfully in the frosting. I’m delighted with the end result. The nest looks sweet and happy and the candy eggs nestle in it perfectly.
I also played around with how I chose to frost this cake. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m a sucker for fluffy, rustic buttercream, but I wanted to add some color to the bottom of the cake to balance out the sweet nest on top, and I think that a simple, swirly coating of frosting looks best plain and lovely. Instead, I decided to combine my favorite frosting technique with a classic smoothed base. Now, my ribbon of spring green sanding sugar around the base of the cake looked elegant and lovely.
I didn’t stop at decorating the outside of the cake, though! The inside of this happy cake is all dolled up in its Easter best, too. The recipe I used made three layers, so I made each layer a different color, then I followed these instructions from my vertical layer cake to alternate the cake colors and create a spring-themed checkerboard.
This sweet cake looks elaborate and elegant, but it’s extremely and surprisingly simple. This is just one tasty cake recipe, divided equally into thirds, and colored for spring, and it’s easy to cut the layers into rings to mix and match them for the checkerboard design. Plus, there’s no right or wrong way to make the Pocky nest – that’s one of the beautiful things about abstract.