Anywho, I got the idea for this cake from (surprise!) Pinterest; here's the webpage that the pin brought me to: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peeps-sunflower-cake?crlt.pid=camp.rjXcJmm05yLz
Of course I tweaked the recipe and made this cake my own way, based really on only the photo from Pinterest. Here's the process and recipe I used for my version of this gorgeous treat!
For the cake:
1. Make a chocolate cake mix (yes, I use cake mix) according to box directions, bake in a 9 inch round pan, allow to cool.
Hint: I usually add an extra egg, as well as a teaspoon of flavoured coffee creamer (in this case I used Mocha Fudge creamer) to make the cake richer and moister.
For the icing:
To ice this cake I started with my base vanilla buttercream:
1. In a mixer, thoroughly combine 5 cups icing sugar, 1 cup butter (softened), 1 tsp. vanilla extract (although who really measures their vanilla?), and 1 cup of whipping cream (found in small cartons next to coffee creamer at the grocery store).
2. Add heaping tablespoons of Nutella, mixing each one into the icing completely before adding the next. Do this until you have achieved desired chocolate flavour and color. (I used probably 6-7 tbs.).
NOTE: You will likely have quite a bit of icing left over, so unless you have another intended use for it, you may wish to halve the recipe (you will still have plenty!).
1. Spread a thick, even layer of the icing onto the cake. Make sure it is level on top, and that the icing is smooth all around.
2. Place literal HANDFULS of chocolate chips in the middle of the cake, and spread towards the edges. The layer of chips should be thick enough that icing does not show through.
3. Place a generous dollop of icing on the bottom of each Peep, then press it firmly on the edge of the cake, tail facing outward (if anyone is wondering, I used 25 peeps for my cake).
4. Continue this until the entire edge of the cake has been filled with Peep "flower petals".
5. Fill in any spaces visible on top of the cake with chocolate chips.
I think this cake is super adorable and can't wait to serve it after dinner tomorrow on Easter Sunday.
I am SO pleased with how this cake turned out! If anyone tries this cake please let me know how good it was on the scale of deliciousness. I hope everyone has a happy, fun-and-chocolate-filled Easter :)